I have an addiction. I will openly admit this. Not to anything harmful, rather to something rather wonderful: travel. I spend a significant amount of my time dreaming about travel and planning my next trip (or 2…or 3). Like others I know with a similar problem, I feed this addiction by reading travel articles and blogs. In my travel reading wanderings, I have come across articles and blogs written by people who have quit their jobs and not make their living travelling. Some teach, play the stock market, find odd jobs, or have successful blogs that they not only get by on, but that are doing really well. I love this idea; quitting your job to pursue travel and leaving the conventional behind. And the people who have done this all say something along the lines of ‘If I can do it, so can you!’
I want to believe this; I really do. And part of me does. However, something I’ve discovered about myself is that I’m a pretty practical person; maybe even too practical. I don’t want to be a naysayer and say that no, not everyone can do it, but I think that’s the truth. I think it’s like anything else and some people will be successful and others won’t. Some people will be able to travel and find financial security without having a regular paying job and some won’t.
It’s a risky endeavor to quit your job for an unknown, to gamble your financial security on something that’s far from a sure thing. It could be very well worth it, I think it probably is worth it, but I’m not currently in a position where I feel comfortable with finding out. It’s difficult to make the jump when you could end up in the unenviable position of being broke and unemployed upon your return home, if you return home.
We all have different life situations; it’s easier for some to take this chance than it is for others. I’ve been broke and unemployed, am thankful that I have supportive family and the general assurance that I will, most likely, never be homeless. It’s true that you don’t need a lot of money to travel, but it’s nice to have some all the same. I know, for myself, that I need a safety net to fall back on; money in savings and experience in a field where I know that I will most likely be able to get a job, if I need one.
Personally, I’m not willing to take out credit cards to fund my travel, even for the air miles. I have been (and still am) in credit card debt and don’t want to rely on credit cards to support myself. I don’t like the idea of getting a credit card to get the air miles, to buy the ticket. I’m all for taking a credit card on the trip for emergencies and using it to buy a ticket home if broke at the end of the trip, but I wouldn’t want to worry about paying it while I’m travelling.
At some point in the future, when I have things (student loans, credit card) paid down, I’d love to try this, to take the risk. Right now, it’s too much of an uncertainty for my practical-self to handle. I’m working towards it; I’ve cut back on my spending and actually have money in my savings for the first time. I have a decent paying job and am getting a handle on my financial situation. At this point I’m not in position where I feel comfortable giving that up – not to mention that I certainly wouldn’t make it far on my current savings. If I stick with it for a while longer, in a year or two I will (hopefully) be in a position to comfortably quit my job and buy a one-way plane ticket, spend some real time travelling.
Travelling is always a good idea. It’s also addicting. I would never discourage anyone from travelling, quitting their job or otherwise changing their live to pursue their dream. It’s also much easier to encourage others than to actually do something like this myself. There will always be reasons not to, but the reasons to go remain the same.
It’s hard to want something so much and be terrified of going for it at the same time. At the very least, I need to have my credit card paid off and some money in the bank before I can commit to a life of travel. I also like the idea of having experience in a field that I can fall back on later. I need a little bit of a safety net for my peace of mind. If I don’t have this, I doubt I would enjoy travelling as much as I should as I would be way more stressed. Current plan: pay off credit card, save money, take some ESL education courses to see if that’s something I may want to make a career of, make a timeline with goals for myself, and try to relax about the future.
In the meantime, I have 2 more trips coming up, including what I think will be my first solo trip in July! Still deciding where to go; maybe Costa Rica? Or Norway? Any suggestions
As a note, I’m going to once again make some changes to this site. The look may change a bit and the name is also likely to change. Just a heads up.