Hey, you! Yes, you. Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing. Instead of injecting all your glorious brain power into your 9-to-5 job, it’s being used to conjure up a plan to travel around the big, wide world. And, instead of just thinking about it, it’s probably time that you actually do it. Take it from someone who quit their job to travel for a year.
It wasn’t just any ol’ job, too. It was my dream job working at my dream company (The Urban List, if you haven’t already figured it out), but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Since you clicked on this article, you’re likely in the same boat. The concept of quitting your job, selling 74% of what you own and booking a one-way ticket to somewhere you’ve only seen Pinterest photos of is a daunting task. What if I run out of moolah? What if no one wants to employ me ever again? What if my friends forget I exist? Niggly.
To help you put all quit-to-travel anxieties to bed, I’ve put together a couple of tips. Here’s how to quit your job to travel. Do it! It will be one of the best decisions of your life.
Get Serious About Saving
Once you’ve made the decision to travel full-time, your perception of money changes. That daily $5 flat white is now the equivalent of a dinner or two in Asia. The solution? Set both a travel budget and a ‘life until I fly’ budget. Figure out how much you will need each day, week and month while travelling as well as your current living expenses. It will help you decide how much you need to save and prevent many money stress moments on the road.
Say Adios To Life’s Luxuries
Like that weekly manicure or Sunday brunch with your crew, no matter how mighty fine that eggs bene may be. When I said you should budget for ‘current living expenses’, I meant you should put aside money to pay for your rent, power, petrol, insurance, groceries—basically anything you need to live—and draw the line at that. Seriously, that boutique gym membership and personal trainer are standing between you and your wanderlust. Ditch it.
Move In With The Folks
My parents live overseas so I didn’t have this option, but if your folks are in the same city as you and you get on with them relatively well, ask them (nicely) if you can stay at theirs for a week or two or seven. That two hundy bucks you throw at rent each week could get you two weeks in a hostel.
Your car, those Karen Walker sunglasses that you only wore twice, that juicer you bought when juicing was a thing. Sell. It. All.
Leave Your Leave Alone
This is such a win. Resist the temptation to take mini breaks throughout the year and you’ll be paid out the annual leave you accrue. It will feel like free money and will do wonders for your travel piggy bank.
Get Savvy With Your Accom
Beds in hostels are often cheap as chips, but when you’re travelling full-time, you want to keep the ol’ bank account looking as healthy as possible. In exchange for cleaning, manning the reception and other bits and bobs, most hostels will give you a free bed, a daily meal and perks such as free beer and discounts at other hostels. If that’s not your jam, you could try crashing with the locals for free with Couchsurfing. It’s the best way to meet people and get an insider’s guide to the city you’re visiting.
Top Up The Piggy Bank
Just because you’ve decided to quit your adult job to frolic around the world doesn’t mean you have to ditch work entirely. If the funds are running low and you’re not quite ready to go home, start working again. Freelance or work remotely, work on farms, work in cafes, teach yoga/surfing/something you’re really good, sell your crafts at local markets, busk, bartend...I could go on and on. It’s not as scary as you think.
Go With The Flow
While Instagram might not show it, travelling full-time can be stressful and at times, ugly. They say that travel can either make you or break you as a couple and since I’m travelling with my boyfriend (who also quit his job to travel), I now understand why that saying exists. On the road, you’re faced with all sorts of challenges. You’re constantly in foreign cities (or random mountain villages) not knowing how things work and trying to find your hostel after enduring a stuffy 11-hour bus ride and an unfortunate bout of food poisoning the day before. At times, you’ll find yourself wishing that you were back in the cosy comforts of your office cubicle.
Whether you’re wanting to travel alone or with a partner, pretty please don’t go into it with the perception that it will all be cocktails on the beach and Pinterest-worthy hostel rooms, because it won’t. Things will go wrong, someone will get sick and sometimes travel will feel like a chore. Just take a deep breathe and go with the flow because really, it’s the best frickin’ time of your life.