Why Now is the Best Time to Quit Your Job to Travel

September 11, 2017 | Sarah

There has never been a better time to quit your job to travel the world than now. Let’s face it, you’re not getting any younger, the corporate world isn’t going anywhere, and time isn’t going to stop. If you don’t do it now, then when are you going to do it?

La Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires

When I first considered quitting my job to travel the world, I was nervous and filled with excuses, such as:

  • I don’t have enough money
  • I might get a salary increase or promotion soon
  • I have a stable job and a nice apartment, I shouldn’t leave those things
  • I’ll be far away from my friends and family in a place where I know no one, won’t that be lonely?

The reality is that traveling when you’re young and able is going to be much more enjoyable than waiting until you are retired. Who knows what the future may bring in terms of health issues or other hindrances that could prevent you from seeing the world. It doesn’t make sense that you should gamble on being able to travel when you are 67, when you can do it now. This is my list on why you shouldn’t wait to travel, you should plan for it ASAP.

Donegal, Ireland
  1. The Corporate Game is Over: The story that you work for one company for forty years, they pay you far less than you deserve, then they give you an award for your time is done. It will leave you depressed and wanting more out of life. There is no magic happiness waiting at the end of that next salary bump, you will still be unhappy, and that is because you don’t get value or purpose out of your job.
  2. The Internet Makes It Easy to Start Your Own Business: There are no middlemen online, you can start a business from anywhere about anything (as long as there is a market for it). You can buy a website domain in seconds and set up an entire site selling your own products in weeks. Twenty years ago you would have to be sought after by a producer to get in front of millions of eyeballs on TV, today you can upload a video on YouTube by yourself and be accessible to the whole world in minutes. There significantly less barriers of entry.
  3. Corporations Don’t Care About You: They might throw you a sad birthday party every year, but in the end, corporations care about one thing, and that is revenue. They care about the whole and not the individual.
  4. English Speakers Are Everywhere: There has rarely been a time while traveling when I could not find someone that speaks English. Globalization has caused most people under the age of 35 to be able to speak decent or excellent English. Fifty years ago, it was more difficult to travel because you would need to learn the local language. Today that is not the case (though it is still nice to learn some of the local language to respect locals!).
  5. Money Does Not Equal Happiness: Studies have shown that an increase in salary offers marginal to zero increase in happiness. It’s simple, think about your last salary increase. You were happy when it happened, right? How did you feel about it a year later? Most likely you wanted more. Wanting more is something that we have been taught by society. Once we are satisfied with what we have, then we can achieve happiness. Money will not buy us happiness.
  6. Technology Has Made Travel Easier Than Ever: Smartphones make traveling incredibly easy. In seconds, you can book a place to stay for the night (Airbnb), meet locals (Couchsurfing), or buy a flight (Momondo). You can do everything online.
  7. Saving Money Is Easy: You might be objecting to this one, however, I’m going to prove to you that saving money is easy if you put your mind to it. Think about how many times you buy little things in a day; maybe a pack of gum, a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, etc. These are the little costs that add up. Make a list of your fixed expenses every month and compare that to what you spend freely with your credit card. There is likely a huge difference that can be reduced. Sometimes it is as simple as not going out to restaurants and cooking at home instead. Saving money is possible as long as you dedicate yourself to it. Mint is a great app to help you manage your money and save for a big trip.
  8. Making Friends Around the World is Easy: You won’t be lonely on the road. Between the number of solo travelers, foreigners who want to make friends with travelers, and friendly people on this earth, there are unlimited ways to meet people during your trip. Apps such as Couchsurfing and Meet Up are great ways to do this.
  9. Is Your Job Satisfying Your Needs? Are your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs being satisfied? If not, then you need to find a way to do that because you will not be happy long term. In my case, I felt like a prisoner when I had to go into an office everyday. I needed to find a way that I could work from anywhere. That is why I started my travel site and what eventually lead to my decision to leave my job and the US. I craved exploring and learning about other cultures, and I needed to find a way out of corporate life.
  10. Excuses Are Preventing You From Living a Full Life: There is a gap between what you have now and what you would like. The gap is all of your excuses. I fell into this gap for years, coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t travel now because of this reason or that reason. The bottom line is that you CAN have what you would like, you just need to face your excuses and find creative ways to get through them.

It is okay to take small steps to get to your goals. The important thing is realizing that you are in control of your own destiny and the only thing stopping you is yourself. If you want to quit your job and travel the world, then take the first step now.

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