More than 50% of the people in the world are not satisfied with their job, they don’t like to do what they do, yet they do it every single day. So what is the solution? Well, it’s that simple, leave it. Don’t do what you don’t want to do. Just pack your bags, and hit the road. You’ll find a piece of yourself every time you lay your head to rest when the night falls.
Why Quit Your 9 to 5 Job?
It’s not about abandoning your job, it’s about taking a break from reality. And if you don’t like to do something, there’s no point doing it. Chances are, you will find something else, probably more fulfilling when you get back.
The experience traveling teaches you will be worth more than the money you will make during that short period of a few months.
Your perspective on life will be different and what you expect from your work as well.
Store your personal belongings and sublet your apartment, that will make things easier. Renting a cheap apartment? Sublet it for more and make some money while you are gone.
Everyone has a different situation that will require a different solution.
The most important lesson here is this :
It is possible, maybe hard, but always possible and absolutely worth it.
SHOULD YOU GO ALONE?
Well, it’s usually pretty different to find the right kind of traveling companion. So the question arises, should I just go on my own? The answer is, you most certainly should. Traveling alone has a different kind of feeling, it’s kind of thrilling and adventurous. Also, you have to figure everything out by yourself, the world teaches you the best way possible and you emerge to be a wiser and brighter human being.
Traveling alone means you don’t have to argue with your companion about what to do next. You can do what pleases you. And the best part is, you’re bound to interact with strangers. Know their vision of life and you get to trust your own instincts above everything. So if you’re thinking about going solo. GOOD LUCK, you should really go for it.
If you’ve quit your 9 to 5 job, what about money?
Ok, that is obviously the big question here. How much money do you really need?
Europe is expensive, that is something you will come to hate. Asia (except Japan) is much cheaper but might require a bit more guts for a first trip.
I had a log book in which I wrote down all my expenses to help with my budget. I suggest you do that as well.
In 2004, it costed me about 30 Euros per day (40 USD) to eat, sleep and move around.
Some days will be more expensive (train ticket days…) and others will be super cheap (walking around a city while couch surfing).
Take your budget, remove around 2500$ of it for the plane ticket and preparation costs, then divide it by 60 (for Europe) or 30 (For Asia). This should be an approximation of how many days you can travel without income. Also, aim to travel off the beaten path, this will be a much cheaper option since a lot of big cities charge a premium for everything.
Make sure you have emergency funds as well or at least, access to someone else’s.
Travelers cheques used to be cool, but I think they are old fashioned now.
Bring 1 or 2 credit cards (Avoid AMEX), make sure you have a NIP on each and you will be able to take money out from most ATMs. The exchange rate will be tolerable and as long as you repay the withdrawn amount via your bank’s website quickly, this will be an affordable solution to get money abroad.
You’ll find a lot of tricks to save money while traveling if you search for them, but here is a small list for Europe :
- Hostels are really cool, but couch surfing is fantastic. The best part is, listening to the stories of your fellow travelers on a silent night with a bonfire (wonders of couch surfing).
- Hostels sometimes have kitchens so buy groceries and cook!
- Or better, hike around and get the feel of the ground. It’s way better than some fancy hotel.
How much planning do you need?
That’s an easy one…
Do as little planning as humanly possible.
Plan your next destination by booking the hostel and by understanding how to get there, but no more.
You never know who you will meet and where you’ll end up going.
So forget all you big plans and just wing it most of the way.
Note 1 : sometimes it is nice to plan a little bit ahead, especially when time is short or when it’s high season. You should still try to avoid it.
Note 2 : If you are not traveling solo, planning may be essential. Booking for 2 is not as easy as booking for 1. But again, all depends of where and when.
Constantly living out of your comfort zone is what you need to learn about your capacities and limitations. It also enlarge that same comfort zone exponentially, enabling you to deal with a lot more difficult situations at any given time.
You will also come back with a more open mind about different cultures. It does not mean you will like them all, or like their habits, but you will at least understand them better.
I only wish everyone could do the same.
So go on, save up some cash and get ready, because the longer you wait, the more this quote from Tyler Durden becomes undeniably true :
“The things you own end up owning you.”