The Truth Behind Those Stories of “I Quit My Job to Travel the World”

We’ve all read a million and one articles about ‘I Quit My Job to Travel the World’ and while we all finish the last paragraph with a big sigh and wonder how we can do that RIGHT NOW, let’s not forget what a huge decision this is.
Disclaimer: It is not a smart decision to wake up one day, hand in your notice, jump on a plane and end up on the other side of the world. And those articles you have read that say ‘This man woke up one day in Brazil after quitting his job 14 hours before’, may be stretching the truth just a tad.

Over here at Workaway we are avid travellers, worldwide wanderers, spontaneous backpackers and open road addicts, however, we believe there is a right time for us all to start our journey, wherever that journey may take you. So we talk to one of our bloggers Sarah Richard about when really is the RIGHT time to quit your job and travel the world.
Let’s go straight in with the million dollar question:

career quit job travel dream

When Is It The RIGHT Time To Quit Your Job And Travel The World?

Honestly, there is never a right time.
You won’t just wake up one morning and suddenly be ‘in the right time’ life takes us along many roads, things are always coming up, going wrong, happening too soon. The only way to find ‘the right time’ is to believe in yourself and what it is you want to do. However there are a few guidelines that most people can use to determine whether it is the right time for them:
When you start to no longer enjoy your job or have a real passion for what you are doing. Once the passion dies, things start to slip and your motivation isn’t where it should be. Obviously, this happens to all of us at some point in our career, so give it another one or two months and see if you can regain the love for your job. If not, now might be the right time to take a career break.
When you see no progression in your job. Have you been in the same position for years? Is there a promotion available? Or is there no way up? Re-evaluate your time in your current position, talk to your boss. Ask for some honest feedback, and the chances of progression. If there really is no progression available, this may also be the right time for you to go out and see the world, and take a think about what it is you want to do next.

What about money? How much do you need to fund your travels?

Again, this is completely different for everyone.
When I quit my job in 2014 to travel around South America for a year, I knew I would be doing a lot of Workaway projects, Couchsurfing and Hostel jumping. Therefore, I felt comfortable with around £500 for every month I was away. A few more considerations to take in are:

Set a realistic budget. Don’t kid yourself that you can live on $2 a day. You can’t. But you also don’t need unlimited funds. Start with working out a daily budget you feel comfortable on. Research the average cost of things in the country you are going to and then calculate a total amount. Then add ¼ extra.

Remember to keep enough for a return ticket. A lot of people buy one-way tickets now, but forget they also need that much in the bank to return when the time comes. So remember to add that on to the total amount you need.

NEVER LEAVE WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE. This is probably my biggest piece of advice. I would have been thousands of dollars down after trips to hospitalsl in Guatemala and Peru if I wasn’t insured. It is absolutely imperative you get an insurance policy.

budget travel funds workaway

What about the other people in your life? Family, friends, relationships?

Remember this: There will always be one person that says you are making the best decision of your life and one that says it is the worst. There will be one person encouraging you and another discouraging. People will tell you of the dangers, how you won’t have a job to come back to, how you will have no money, how some countries are dangerous. But do you know what the biggest danger of all is? Not doing anything. We only regret the chances we didn’t take. Yes, it is a risk, I am not going to sugar coat that. It could potentially go wrong, (as could every situation in life) but it also could potentially change your life forever. You will never know unless you go for it. Your friends and family will just have to accept that. Let them give you advice, listen, respond positively, however never forget this is YOUR decision, your dream.

Coming from someone that quit her job and successfully afforded to travel to over 40 countries and are still travelling, what are your secrets?

Don’t over pack.
You don’t need that travel iron or those smart pants. You really don’t. You will be so much happier carrying less around than having a pair of shoes you only will wear once.

Go with an open mind.
You will have bad days, you will question whether it was the right decision ( along with the thousands of other travellers that have done it before and are doing it now) so be ready for that, and know that it is a normal feeling.

Realise that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Everything happens for a reason. Embrace the journey- even when it’s over.

Stop waiting around.
Taken in all that advice? Now go. Stop waiting for something to push you. Push yourself. You are going to have the time of your life. Travelling on a budget, with little than a backpack on your back, waking up every month in a new country is the single most fulfilling feeling I have felt so far!

quit jobcareer breaksabbaticalbackpackersworkawayersvolunteersjourneywanderlustbackpackingdreamtravelbudgettipsadvice

About Sarah

Sarah helps with the Workaway blog. She left her secure job and daily routine in the UK 5 years ago to pursue a life of volunteering and travel. Throughout her work as a freelance writer and scuba ins... show more...

View all posts by Sarah

Visit Website

Share the Workaway idea


You might also like

Travel photography – “Greenlandic Horse Transport” (Narsaq, Greenland)
Workaway Host of the Month: The Host that Saves Elephants