So you want to quit your job and travel the world… but you’re not sure if it’s the right decision?
For many, exploring the world full-time is the ultimate dream.
With so many travelers country-hopping every couple of weeks on social media, it’s hard not to feel a sharp pang of wanderlust and yearn to follow in their footsteps.
After all, who wouldn’t want to ditch their desk and trade it in for a passport full of stamps, new experiences, and adventure?
But quitting your job is a major life change and traveling the world isn’t always as fantastical as it seems. So, should you quit your job and travel the world? It depends. Let’s get into it.
Should You Quit Your Job to Travel?
That’s the question that has likely kept you up at night for months. While I am a firm believer that if you enjoy your career, you can find a way to make travel and work go hand-in-hand, not everyone loves having a traditional 9-to-5.
If you’re in that boat, here are some things to consider before you decide if quitting your job to travel is the right decision for you.
How Long Do You Want to Travel for?
Would you really be happy traveling full-time for months or years at a time?
If you can, you’ll need to make sure you have enough funds to support your travels (do your research) or you have a way to make money on the road. You can do this by working remotely as a digital nomad or starting an online business.
If you can’t imagine not seeing your pets, plants, friends, or family and having all your creature comforts and routines stripped away for an extended period, maybe the best option is a long vacation.
Instead of quitting your job, consider planning a work-cation (a work + vacation trip), or negotiating a multi-week vacation.
Maybe it’s time to consider looking for a new job and negotiating a start date that will give you an extended vacation to travel the world and cure your wanderlust in between gigs.
Can You Take a Sabbatical?
It sounds fancy, but really, a sabbatical is a period of paid leave giving you time to travel or study. Sabbaticals are a bit uncommon in the US, especially in the private sector, but if you work for a company that offers one, it is an amazing perk to take advantage of.
Typically, sabbaticals can last from one month to a year, and offer you either paid, partially paid, or unpaid time to pursue education, travel, or personal pursuits as a way of rewarding you for your loyalty. It’s more common for employees that stay at companies for several years to earn a sizable sabbatical, which is one significant perk of sticking it out and not quitting your day job.
Unless your company has a clearly outlined sabbatical leave policy, you might need to pitch the idea of your sabbatical to your boss first for approval. If he or she is onboard, it could be your ticket to getting time off to travel the world, without losing your salary. A win-win!
Can You Work Remotely?
2020 changed the way we work.
For the first time in history, companies around the world had to learn how to adapt to working from home. With countries in hard lockdowns, Zoom calls became the norm, and we all had to figure out how to be productive with Netflix and a comfy couch only an arm’s length away.
The bright side?
More companies than ever before are open to the idea of their employees working remotely.
This is great news if you’re itching to travel the world long-term. Instead of quitting your job, you can work from a beach in Bali or a cafe in Paris and not have to stress about your dwindling travel fund.
Not at a company with a flexible remote work policy? Look for a remote job that will let you work from anywhere.
Do You Just Hate Your Job?
Is your wanderlust due to restlessness, or do you just have a job that’s boring you to tears?
Check in with yourself before you hand in your resignation letter and buy that one-way flight to Peru.
Are you simply unhappy with your current job? Would you still want to ditch your city if you had a job that made you feel inspired, challenged you, and fit your needs better?
If there’s any lingering doubt, consider shopping around a bit and seeing what other jobs are out there. You might find something more fulfilling, and you can possibly block some time in between jobs for travel, too. Better yet? You might even find a job that allows you to actually travel as part of your job description!
How Much Money Do You Need to Quit Your Job and Travel?
Quitting your job to travel is a wonderful idea… but is it realistic?
Have you looked into the costs of full-time travel? As glamorous as travel bloggers make it look on Instagram, it’s not cheap.
You need to pay for:
- Airport fees
- Food & drinks
- Ground transportation
- Travel insurance
… the list goes on.
While it’s totally possible to travel on $1,000 to $2,000 a month, things will cost more than a two-week vacation if you’re in it for the long haul.
You’ll need to watch your travel fund and make hard decisions about splurging on an expensive attraction, a luxury hotel room, or a great meal.
How do you figure out how much money you need?
Open up a Google Sheets document and start tracking the expenses you’ll need to cover. Do your research to get an idea of what things cost and once you have a final number, start funneling money into your travel fund.
Have You Planned Your Trip?
Sure, it’s thrilling to get on a plane and not have a firm idea of what you’re going to do, where you’re going to stay, or even how long you plan to stay in a destination.
But when you’re quitting your job to travel, you need a plan for the first couple months, at least.
- Where do you want to go?
- What are the visa regulations?
- Do you need any vaccines?
- How will you get around?
- What things do you want to see and do?
- Do you have a universal adapter?
- What will the weather be like?
- Do you have the right clothes for each destination?
- Are there any visas or requirements between one country and the next?
Answering these questions will take some of the stress out of long-term travel and help you avoid unnecessary hiccups along the way. Speaking of stress…
How Well Do You Handle Stress?
Traveling looks fun and glamorous online. I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up in Bali one month and New Zealand the next?
But the truth that you don’t often see documented is the stress.
You can have your finances in a row, a solid plan, and still not enjoy traveling long-term.
There’s a wonderful question I always ask myself before deciding if I want to do something:
“Do I love this enough to deal with the potential consequences?”
In the case of quitting your job to travel, this could mean the stress of:
- language barriers
- constantly moving around
- booking accommodation
- navigating new countries
- getting sick on the road
- visa issues
- flight delays or cancellations
- natural disasters
- Missing out on life events like birthdays, weddings, and get-togethers
You might find that dealing with these problems daily, weekly, or monthly is not something you can handle.
Not everyone wants to deal with that amount of chaos in unfamiliar places.
What’s Going to Happen to Your Home?
Before you start packing your suitcase, there is a list of things you need to sort out at home:
- Are you going to put everything in storage? If yes, have you set aside money to cover the monthly fees?
- Or are you going to sell all your stuff?
- Are you renting your apartment? Have you given your landlord enough notice, or are you planning to break your lease?
- If you own a house, what’s going to happen with it while you’re away? Are you planning to list it on Airbnb, or will someone look after it? What about your mortgage payments?
- Do you have any pets? Is your pet coming with you? If yes, have you looked into the rules and regulations for bringing domestic animals into foreign countries?
Come up with a solid action plan for all the different facets of your home life you’ll be leaving behind.
Planning for Full-Time Travel
While traveling full-time is an incredible experience, it’s not always the best choice for everybody.
Take your time answering these questions and being honest with yourself.
You don’t need to quit your job to travel the world. My blog is an excellent example of how much you can see the world while still working a Monday through Friday 9-to-5.
At the end of the day, do what feels best for you. If traveling full-time is calling your name, make sure you have a plan to make the process as painless as possible!
Do you have any questions or tips for quitting your job and traveling full-time? Let me know in the comments below!
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