Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Saturday 28 January 2017

At this moment in time, as I'm putting pen to paper, 
I'm sitting in a froyo cafe (my current place of work) on my break, 
looking out the window at the torrent of snow that's probably blanketing my poor wee car,
(side note - later on it took me a solid 15 mins to de-ice my car...)
and all I can think of is roughly this time last year when I officially "handed my notice in" 
and let my old job know that I was leaving to go travelling. 

That was quite the day.
There were so many different feelings, all these different kinds of emotions
all tied up in that one act of voluntarily leaving a stable place of employment, 
all for 3 months of the unknown.

I felt like I wanted to write this post, where I voice my reasons for quitting my job to travel,
as well as the most obvious reason of course - to travel! 
 I wanted to put words to the reasons floating around in my head, to give them shape 
and really, to remember why I did it in the first place.
 I wanted to bring myself back to those days, to remember the bravery & the courage that it took to step into the unknown, to make a decision that some people thought reckless or random,
and yet ultimately, was one of the easiest decisions I've ever made!

The decision to quit our jobs to go travelling for 3 months was surprisingly easy.
There were very few nerves, or concerns, or hesitation...it was almost too easy!

Now, don't get me wrong - I had a mild freak out approx. 3 days after we booked our flights of
"ohmyword what in the world are we doing??"
But I'm pretty certain that was the full weight of one-way tickets to Bangkok hitting me in the face.
There was never the question of not doing it, of not going.

My concerns were there, absolutely, but so was the pure excitement of the adventure to come.
And honestly, that excitement was more than enough to overcome the fears I had.
I knew that if David & I weren't meant to go travelling, then it wouldn't happen.
I trusted that God would see us through this adventure
& guide us onto the right track once we got home.

Oh, and also? We were leaving our jobs to travel!!
We weren't planning to find work.
We were legitimately going for a 3 month holiday!
And I have absolutely zero regrets.

So, the more I think about it, the more I've been able to distinguish a couple of key reasons
as to why, exactly, I quit my job to travel!

1 - To Travel
I mean, obviously.
I feel like this goes without saying...
it's the key reason I was willing to leave my job.
I was going travelling!
I was going to see places I never once imagined existed
& I was going to see places that had been firmly on my bucket list for years.
I was going to open my eyes to new cultures, new people, new ways of life.
And, I was going to do it all with the most important person in my life!
We were going to have the total freedom to do literally whatever we wanted for 3 whole months.
Have new adventures every single day or just laze on a beach reading a book - it was up to us!
And it was glorious!

2 - No Financial Commitments
Ok, I'll not lie.
This definitely made our decision 10x easier than it would've been if we had major bills to pay.
David & I both still live at home, with pretty minimal outgoings, which made saving alot easier.
Neither of us have massive rent to pay, or huge bills every month.
My biggest outgoings are my car, my housekeeping & my phone bill,
which were all fairly easily solved for 3 months.
My car was declared off-road & I didn't have to pay housekeeping
as I was on the other side of the world!
My phone was the only unavoidable bill, but I still needed to use it while we were away,
so that was grand!
But, not having any major outgoings made things alot easier!

 3 - Mediocre Jobs
Neither of us were in anything remotely like our dream jobs.
Mine just wasn't a job that I enjoyed.
It was tedious, and boring, and lonely, so handing in that resignation letter was so easy!
It's only perks were the fact that it was full time, in Belfast & it gave me valuable office experience.
I will be forever grateful for the experience it gave me - but it was way too easy to leave behind!

4 - Perfect Timing
Okay, so David & I knew we were on the verge of doing something.
We'd been saving for a few months,
(read: David. David had been saving for months. I suck at saving.)
At one point we were almost on our way to working in Canada for a year or two!
And when I say almost, I mean we'd had Skype interviews, filled in Visa forms and everything!
Then we changed our minds & decided that travelling for 3 months was entirely more appealing than working in a call centre - even if that call centre was in Toronto!
Fast forward 2.5 months to November '15 and David decides to see how much one-way flights to Bangkok actually cost, y'know out of curiosity.
Being cheaper than we expected, we worked out how much money we would need for 3 months travel & when we would have that amount saved by...
and we booked flights then & there!

5 - Because We Could!
I know most of my reasons are personal & specific to where I'm at in my life,
but honestly, it's not as difficult to go travelling as you would think.
Anyone can spend 6 months, 12 months, even just 2 months
saving up & planning to go away for whatever length of time you want!
David & I saved for about 6 - 8 months & we had enough to cover 3 months travelling,
including all of our flights, hotels, hostels & every journey inbetween!
We were in jobs that weren't making us happy & we weren't planning to be in them forever.
So, why not use that time to save for something that will be one of the
most incredible experiences of our lives, and grabbing that opportunity with both hands?
And that's exactly what we did!

These are just a few reasons why I quit my job to travel.
For me, it wasn't a massively reckless decision.
I've always wanted to go travelling, so when the opportunity presented itself
and everything else fell into place, it was a no brainer really.

But I'm not going to tell you that you should do it too.

"Just quit your job and go!!"
"Don't worry about the money - make it work!!"
"Travel is never a matter of money - but of courage!"

Pinterest is chock full of these types of quotes, and I hate them!
It's not realistic, travelling is expensive & requires a decent amount of money,
at least to get you started.

But I will say, that it is possible for anyone.
Anyone can save up enough money,
anyone can decide to quit their job & go on an adventure,
anyone can plan a route & take that first step.

And I will tell you that it's definitely, 110% worth it every time!

Do you agree with me? What are your thoughts on travelling?!