It’s okay to quit your job and travel. Dropping out of ‘the real’ world for a while is good for your health. It’s fine to go and find yourself, travel the world, become a digital nomad or bake cakes every day for 3 months. If your career is holding you back from achieving a dream or a life goal you probably need to quit your job.
I quit my job to travel in November 2015, I was in my early 30s and cruising up the career ladder. I had a great London job at an awesome company, lots of perks and brilliant minds. Not the most ideal time to take time out.
But sometimes life happens and you realise the amazing career is less important than taking time to clear your head, hike up big mountains or start a business selling organic beef burgers at farmer’s markets.
Following an internal face-off with my ego (which had a hard time letting go of my job status) I boarded a plane to South America to go and find myself (apparently I was hanging out on a mountain top in Peru). It was all the cliches – incredible and life changing!
I am a better, more well rounded person and I don’t regret a second of it. South America led me back to Australia and now I’m working again but much more on my own terms.
Making good financial choices
When I reflect on my decision to leave I see several financial choices I’d made that allowed me to quit:
- Saving for a goal. Yes, a boring old saving habit. I was half-heartedly saving for a house deposit (London property prices is another blog!) but my real (recently acknowledged goal) was to travel. The cash in the bank let me leave.
- Understand your financial position and be as debt free as possible. If you can’t pay off your credit card or personal loans you shouldn’t quit your job.
- Keep your investments. I have some low risk investments earning a passive income that I can leave alone. It gave me a sense of security.
- Calculate a daily, weekly and monthly budget and add 10%. It’s a painful realism exercise but it will help avoid running out of money.
- Consider part-time work. I can teach yoga which covered some of my travelling costs, I wasn’t reliant on this but it meant I could travel for longer.
- Have a plan of action (no matter how vague) of what you’ll do when it’s time to earn money again.
I’m very aware I’m a lucky winner in the life lottery, but if you’re reading this post you probably are too. Obviously if you have debts, children or other dependents it may not be possible immediately, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible in the future to quit your job and travel or do one of the myriad of amazing things you’re capable of doing.
The point is to understand the goal and implement the financial steps that will let you achieve it in the future.
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