Ready to quit my job and travel...

Travel Forums General Talk Ready to quit my job and travel...

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1. Posted by RLee82 (Budding Member 6 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Here I stand at a big crossroad, stay in my comfortable and normal life...or give it all up and start traveling to the most interesting parts of the world.
I am 37 and have built myself a career in the automotive industry. Over the past year I have saved up a decent bit of change...still planning to sell my car and have an "apartment sale" to liquidate everything else I own.
Is it just a fantasy to try and live as a nomad? Or at least work abroad? Truth is, I have no idea where to start. I do know that I don't want to waste any more of my life the way I have been living it. I suppose I could just take a $20,000 World cruise and get it all over with, but something is just so fake about that...
I strive to live a life without regrets and am hopefully on the cusp of a huge change.
Thoughts? Advise? Anyone in a similar situation?

-Thanks All!!

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2175 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

It's realistic to travel for an extended period, if you do it from savings and on the cheap.

Working to support yourself while travelling is less realistic. Most countries don't allow it. They welcome you in as a visitor spending money, but if you work you're competing with their citizens. Often it's a criminal offence.

Similarly you can visit most countries for a limited time. They're happy to have your money, but they don't want permanent or semi-permanent residents.

Most people have a gap year (or two) of travelling from savings. Then go home and get a job again. Being a permanent nomad is tough to achieve.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Feb-2020, 11:33 GMT by AndyF ]

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5520 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

At age 37, working abroad is much harder than it is below 30. You're not eligible for any working holiday visas. If you're an EU citizen, you could work at any other EU country, but given your use of dollars, you probably don't have that option either.

So, you could go travelling longterm without earning any income until you've nearly run out of money, and then return home to build everything up again, or you could try applying for a working visa in another country and move there to build up things there. Working visas tend to be expensive to impossible to get though, unless you have specific in demand skills or a job lined up already with a company willing to sponsor you, and there's a real risk that the country you pick will turn out to be less good than what you're used to at home.

I do fully endorse the idea of going travelling to see more of the world and broaden your horizons, but I think it's frequently an illusion that just the mere act of travelling will change your life around in such a way that you won't feel like you're "wasting" it anymore. Probably the easiest place to change your life is right at home, where you have the knowledge and infrastructure to support you. So maybe you should just take a long vacation to clear your mind and rediscover your priorities in life, and then gradually change your life at home to take those lessons into account, making space from there on for frequently travelling if you feel that'll help you stay the course.

When I say "long vacation" there, I'm thinking something like 3-4 months; a long enough period to feel like really travelling rather than "holidaying", and impossible to plan in detail beforehand, so you'll need to make decisions and adapt as you go (be sure to stick to just a single continent for that time, and ideally only 1-2 countries to really get to know them in depth) - but short enough that the basics of your life back home will still be there to fall back on before your money has run out.

4. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 842 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

This is exactly what we did in 2017, right down to letting go of almost everything we owned. It took us 20-plus years to save enough money to travel on our terms, so we had a long time to think things through. Fortunately we are still on the road at the moment... That's excellent advice to you from Sander to perhaps test the waters with this type of travel first.

In 2013 we traveled for 1 year. This was something we thought would either get any long-term travel desire out of our systems, or spur us to continue with it in the future. At that time, we kept our lives (jobs excluded) back in Maine and knew we had our "base" to return to if we needed, for whatever reason.

Take 6 months or so and travel for a bit. It may not be for you... If you do decide to go long-term after selling up, have a solid plan b in place if you need to make it "home" for any reason - family emergencies, your own health, money runs out, you get fed up etc.

Earning on the road: Good advice from others on the forum if you are thinking of working abroad in a conventional sense. Instead, think if there's anything else you can do to earn from anywhere in the world. Many people work and earn remotely with just an internet connection (queue the eye-rolls ).

Think it all through. Connect with other groups and forums and pose this question - cast your net as far as you can in that sense. Read about others who've done what you want to do - plenty have and plenty are doing it. Reach out to those people.

Think about ways to get paid-in-kind - we housesit frequently and that saves us on accommodation; sometimes it's paid, sometimes it's not. Is there any tech-type hobby you have which can earn you money? Any artistic skills? Photography? Digital design?

In short, you'll need to think well-beyond working abroad in that conventional sense. If that all sounds too uncertain (because it can be), perhaps selling-up to travel may not be the right move for you at this time. If it's not, consider Sander's advice and travel for several months, then take things from there.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Feb-2020, 15:54 GMT by road to roam ]

5. Posted by Dymphna (Respected Member 223 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Can you write? Look for a job with a travel magazine. Or look for a job as a tour guild that goes different places.

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 2836 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Don't burn your bridges behind you! Maybe refrain from telling your employers to piss off or whatever is on your mind. Why - because you might have to return home and be in the work force again and need friends and references. Leave on good terms!

Regular stuff, have more than one source of spending money on your trip. If you plan on drawing off a single bank account for the entire trip consider that a single debit card could be lost or stolen. Have credit cards available for emergencies that may come up.

Crap happens! You could be in an accident overseas that is not your fault or you did something stupid. Either way if you get hurt that could wipe out your travel budget! Look into some hospital - medical insurance good overseas.

Some countries are cheaper than others to visit for hotels and other day to day expenses. Bottom line is that your money will go further in some countries than others. So do some research on how expensive any country is that you are interested in.

Safeguard your passport. Lose it or damage it and you will have a difficult time getting a replacement.

Have fun.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Feb-2020, 17:17 GMT by karazyal ]

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1905 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

After we retired, we traveled for 6 months at a time on our boat. We still had a house and we spent the summers at home and the winters on the boat. 50 miles a day was a long day of travel. The boat was like a moveable house - we were like turtles and carried our home with us. This is what the RVers do only they do it on the road. This is a cheaper way to travel and there's lots to see in North America without going abroad.

When we travel on land (not in an RV) I find that after 3 or 4 months, I'm ready to go home.

8. Posted by AbiKannan20 (Budding Member 2 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Everyone loves to explore and find new stuffs. But the problem in real life is the expenses we're gonna face. I had read several quotes saying MONEY IS NOT ESSENTIAL TO TRAVEL. But the reality sucks. Money will play a vital role in travel. Very few were lucky enough to survey without money. And coming to the point of quitting 9-5 is not as easy. Every one gets bored with their job after a couple of months and they won't be able to leave that well secured job. And the situation demands that.You can say that starting a travel blog will help you generate money. But the number of travel blogs is huge. My suggestion is save enough and travel.

9. Posted by RLee82 (Budding Member 6 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Thank you to all that have responded so far, I greatly appreciate all the input! I definitely don't plan on burning bridges, although I am quite frustrated and bitter at my current place of employment. I do love to write and have thought about looking in to journalism, although my degree is in Criminal Justice and I don't plan to go back to school. The only other skill I feel I could offer to make any kind of money would be my mechanical ability and knowledge; If I were on the road or on a boat I suppose I could use those skills for maintenance and repair.
I do like having a "base" however, I currently dislike where I live very much so. I moved to upstate NY in 2010 (I grew up in Washington D.C.) and went with it at first, but now I want to move and really don't plan on returning...I have been looking at places to re-locate and start fresh.
Maybe the six month or one year thing would work out best to jump start my batteries and get some overseas travel in. I am the kind of person that wants to shy away from the traditional touristy things and find my own path in remote places.

10. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1708 posts) 46w Star this if you like it!

Have you considered volunteering for some organization? I've done that and it's great. You have a purpose in life, people you get to know, a place to stay and usually a lot of fun when you're not working. It's worth a thought . . .

Enjoy your travel.