Why Telling People To Quit Their Jobs And Travel Is Bad Advice

Guest Post By Sally Elbassir of Passport & Plates

After quitting my job last summer I somehow became the resident expert amongst all my friends who were thinking about quitting their jobs. Or at least hated their jobs enough to threaten to quit.

I always listened attentively and offered my two cents. After all, most of these were problems I’d heard before. Inevitably, the conversation would lead to “Maybe I’ll just quit my job and travel,” at which point I graciously exited the discussion.

What’s ironic is that in 2015 this is essentially what I did. I’d reached a breaking point with my job and ultimately decided that I was going to “figure things out.“ Newsflash: apparently nobody ever does.

(Facepalm).

I didn’t pack up my life and move across the world — although that has crossed my mind more than once; but instead settled for a six-week solo trip through Europe.

Would you quit your job to #travel? Here's #why you should think twice. Click To Tweet

Different Advice

If you Google “quit your job and travel” I guarantee hundreds, if not thousands, of articles will show up in your search results. All will say something like “it’s easy to quit your job to travel if you just…sell all your stuff / become a digital nomad / become a flight attendant / move to Mexico.” Those articles are partially right. If your sole goal is to leave the Western world for an extended period of time — we’re talking months or years here — then it’s “easy” to quit your job and travel. You can pick up odd jobs, teaching jobs, and / or simply choose to travel through a region that won’t break the bank (I’m looking at you, Southeast Asia).

So, why don’t I tell people to quit their jobs and travel?

Because the reality is quitting your job is hard. Really hard. And so is long-term travel. None of this is as easy as your favorite travel bloggers make it look, and it’s definitely not a decision to be taken lightly.

The Reality

The harsh reality is unless you are planning to say goodbye to the Western world for a while or you’re really keen on embracing the digital nomad lifestyle, quitting your job to travel isn’t something that everyone can do. It’s hard. It’s uncertain. It may mean doing jobs you don’t really want to do so you don’t blow all your savings.

I’m sure plenty of people wonder what I’m doing with my life. I wonder myself, to be honest. I’ve spent more money and time on my blog than I’ve earned, I haven’t jetted off to many exotic locations, and I’m actively pursuing a job in social media or content marketing. By the way, someone hire me, please!

Despite what I don’t have at the moment, I DO have backup plans (and luckily a savings). Because of this I’m also somewhat comfortable with my current state of (f)unemployment. Unless you’re fully committed to a life abroad, have incredibly supportive parents or a nice savings, then quitting your job might not be the best thing for you. Looking for a new one is something I can get behind.

Yes, #travel is amazing; but it's not always the solution. Here's #why. Click To Tweet

I’m Not Saying NOT To Quit Your Job & Travel

Yes, you can quit your job and travel. You’ll just never hear me tell you to do it. We all have our own unique set of circumstances, and I won’t pretend that if you work hard enough or do what the travel bloggers do that you’ll be able to do it, too. Do what’s good for your circumstances, and know what you’re willing to sacrifice before making a big decision on a whim.

At the end of the day if you really want to quit your job to travel, remember that long-term travel takes work as well. If you’re not up for the job, then maybe you’re simply overdue for a vacation – or a new job.

What do you think? Have you ever considered quitting your job and traveling? What has or hasn’t stopped you?

*This post originally appeared on Passport & Plates. Check it out by clicking here.

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3 Comments

  1. Great stuff. I work full time and am a part-time travel blogger. I like having the security of a full time job (salary, health insurance, etc). By picking a role that involves a bit of traveling, I also get to take quite a few trips that I don’t have to pay for myself.

  2. Your are right. It makes no sense to quit your job. Developing an location independent income is a much better idea, but that can be hard. I make less money working online than I would on a factory production line, in a shop, or doing most other conventional jobs, but I have the freedom to live where I want so it’s a sacrifice I am happy to make. When people ask me, “Do you have a job in . . .?” I usually say, “No, I am a writer. I doesn’t matter where I live, I can be poor in any country of the world.” 🙂

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