I believe in travel, my passion is travel. I let it consume me beyond a bank balance. But I also know now it’s not all great Instagram photos and happy wanderings. I love my life based around the road but I realise it isn’t for everyone.
Quit your job. Pack it all in. Travel full time. There was a time, when in fact, it wasn’t the right moment for me.I don’t want to devalue the industry but I also didn’t want to write about travel to make it sound glamorous and exclusive to those that have all the time in the world at their hands.
It works for some people but not for all. I don’t want to go against my beliefs that travelling full time is amazing, but I also don’t want to sugarcoat it into sounding like the only way to live a fulfilling life.
So, here are five reasons you shouldn’t quit your job to travel…
You (may) have more money
Unless you’re a successful trader, a heavy-weight tech whizz or have another skill that will make you a lot of money on the road chances are having a full-time job will give you more money to spend on travel.
Many people who travel full time actually make their money off telling you how to do it. But setting up a blog is hard work, you can’t just announce you are an English teacher and the reality is taking a short trading course isn’t going to make you rich (usually!).
It’s also about the future. I have expat friends who love their life in the third world but know they have no health care, no pension being built up and no real idea of what will happen further along the line. But they wouldn’t trade their life in for anything, maybe that’s a level of security you actually aren’t ready to give up?
If you want some great ideas on how to travel more with a full-time job, there are some great tips on this post especially for my American friends with stingy holiday allowances!
You can have ‘experiences’ on a vacation
The whole tourist v traveller debate really pisses me off. You might only go abroad for one week a year but I still think you can have an education, experience and ‘one of those moments’ if you go looking for it and actually want it, especially if you go to destinations where it’s easily found such as Myanmar or Laos. (Hint: Put down the guidebook)
There are also lots of ‘Voluntourism’ companies now which offer such experiences. If you haven’t got the confidence to just wing it solo and want to give something back then that can be a great option. Do your research though and make sure they aren’t just taking your dosh and their projects are sustainable. Small start-ups such as Hands on Journeys might actually resonate more true with you than the larger companies and if you want to see the sights whilst you give back they can be a great option.
Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am naive. Maybe it is from being in London where all my friends travel and usually come back from a vacation with a life changing story that sounds like they were gone for a good few years… Maybe you can too?
You might (God Forbid) want to own material possessions
I don’t want a nice car or even any car. I don’t particular want a mortgage and sometimes I look at my wardrobe (who am I kidding, backpack spread across the floor) and wonder how long it has left until it falls to shreds.
But I get that some people do and there is nothing wrong with that. Saving to have a safe home for a family further down the line, wanting to own something which you can wear to a special occasion – please don’t let the travelling world tell you that is wrong, you will just have to make your travel budget and plans differently.
Friends tell me they can’t understand how I afford to travel. But if I compare what I own and my lifestyle to theirs it seems fairly obvious.
But it slapped me across my face earlier this year when I was mugged for my camera and laptop. I lost 80% of my earthly belongings in cash value that night, it makes you a little worried!
Yes, it can be a really selfish thing to do
I didn’t realise how selfish a thing it could be until my Dad got slammed into at 70mph on a motorway and his head was launched out the windscreen. Being far from home and sometimes not even having the backup fund to get back in an emergency is tough.
People will worry about you and I am eternally appreciative for how supportive my family is. Going and seeing the world is great but it just takes the wrong kind of Skype call to make you feel guilty as hell.
Plus, yes, homesickness is a real thing.
Life’s education can easily start at home
If you’re sat at home now, think about the place you live, the community that’s around you. I bet you can think of a situation you’re not comfortable with, something you would want to better or an opportunity to jump right out of your comfort zone.
Sometimes we forget what’s in our own back yard so to speak, but those life-changing educational moments might not need to be at the end of an expensive international flight.
And you? Travelling full time? Dreaming about it? Loving it or regretting it? Is peer pressure really able to be an influence?