If someone said to you “quit your job and travel the world,” how would you react? Would you nod and smile that this is an outlandish fantasy? Would you agree for the sake of agreement that it isn’t ever going to happen? Or would you take the advice?
For most people, the idea of quitting one’s job and travelling the world is a distant dream, confined to drunken ramblings and far-off stories. Travel is not an unachievable reality or a once in a life time occurrence. It is a way of life. Large numbers of people are making the step to leave their office jobs and to travel long term. No longer do they live to work; they live to travel.
People can be divided into two categories when you suggest that they quit their jobs to travel the world. Category one thinks ‘when.’ Category two, ‘thinks about it.’ You cannot simply think about it, because it means that you are not committed to doing it. When you commit to travel, that is when you are truly thinking about it and turn a dream into a reality.
One of the most important things to remember, is that you don’t need to walk out on your job today. By thinking about it, you start to worry about how much it’s going to cost and where you’ll go. You build up mental barriers that you cannot overcome, choose to take the easy route and end up staying in your cubicle. Like everything in life, timing is crucial. There are many paths that you can walk, but you must choose to walk them at the time that is right for you.
When I was 18 I wanted to travel. I didn’t know how long I would be away or where I would go. I got into my car and drove several hundred miles from my family and ended up living in a caravan, working in a bakery. It was winter and I had to run across the cold, dark field in my towel every morning just to take a shower before I went to work. A few months later, I realised that I was thinking without purpose and I made a bold move. I packed up everything once more, went to visit my family, and booked a series of flights. I had three months in which I could plan, work, or do whatever I wanted to do before I hit the road.
For three months I worked. I knew that by working hard, I would reap the dividends afterwards. After months of thinking, I had a go date and something to work towards. I spent most of my time working on building sites from morning to evening. I’m not much of labourer and I was a little intimidated at times, but for three months, I pushed wheelbarrows, carried bricks, and dug holes whenever and wherever I was told to. My previous lifestyle had involved far more time driving in my car and going to meet friends. At the time, I thought that this was the definition of freedom and that I was enjoying life. My horizons were limited and I found it hard to see outside of the bubble in which I had grown up in. Living in a cold caravan in a wet field without TV or internet gave me the time to genuinely think about my life and what I wanted to do. It made me realise there must be something more. For that learning experience, I will eternally be grateful. Without it, I would still be living in the town in which I was born, doing a whole lot of nothing that I cannot even fathom now.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you are not too late. There are people in their sixties that have realised that there must be something else to life then ventured out into the world. So too have families with small children. I was a teenager when I decided to make this jump for the very first time and it is something that gets deep within your skin. Once you start, it is hard to stop. You find out how exciting life can truly be and you always ask for more.
If you have ever thought about quitting your job and travelling the world, today is the day that you can stop thinking and start planning. If your problem is money, work out how much you have and how much you will need. Then work out the difference and your target. Make some spending cuts and figure out how long it will take you to reach your target. With a little bit of willpower and a touch of financial forecasting, it is not a difficult task.
The difficult task is jumping; committing. All you have to do is say yes.
Make it public. Book a flight, set a date. When it’s public, it’s much harder to turn back. From this point on, all you have to do is dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the build-up to your big day and then you will be on your way. You will be out of the rat race and and running free through life, finally realising how wonderful it really can be.
You cannot rely upon anyone else to make this happen, it’s up to you.