There are SO many of these kinds of blogs out there. So how is mine different? Well, I’m not quitting my job to travel the world forever. I’m quitting for the time I need to tick off the top destinations on my travel bucket list at a time in my life when I have the advantage of travelling with a bank balance and my own independence. If you love your job and can take a sabbatical, that would be the more sensible option. I don’t have that option and for completely selfish reasons, I am looking forward to feeling completely free. For a few months at least.
How the decision came about
Harry and I are an Australian couple living and working in London. We’ve been here for about one and a half years so far. I’ve been feeling a bit unsure about my career but unclear if this feeling is actually about my job. Do I just want to be free while I’m closer to the rest of the world?
This led to a conversation about when we want to move back to Australia. Harry turns 30 next year and we agreed it would be great to celebrate this milestone surrounded by our Australian family and friends. So! That means just over one year to squeeze in all the ‘must-do’ travels before committing to a long term address. And I had a few big trips in mind.
How do you choose where to go?
I started to write a list of all the places I REALLY wanted to see and experience before having kids. Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting to grips with the idea that you can still travel with kids. But! For now I want to completely immerse myself in the culture and get lost without a crying baby or small child in tow. Who needs a hen’s party for their last night of freedom? I need one last adventure!
Looking at the list, it becomes clear which places gravitate towards the top. It’s probably something you’ve always wanted to do but never found the right time. For me, that included volunteering at a rhino conservation project with African Conservation Experience, something I’d applied for years ago and deferred to move to London instead.
For those of you with a partner, the list also helps guide a conversation. For us, we discovered that only I had my heart set on most of the places, with one or two destinations being a shared interest. This meant some brave decisions! Lucky for me I have the most patient and understanding partner in the world and I will be going on some of the adventures alone or with family and friends, and some with him.
Logistics, timing and money were also factors in my decision. I have a friend living and working in Cambodia until the end of the year. That means I have until December to visit her to have a local experience! It’s also a great stop over point on the way to Australia for a family wedding. And let’s face it, despite often rubbing a lamp and hoping a genie will pop out to grant my wish of lifelong travel which includes the money to pay for it, you can’t do it ALL! Well, in one year anyway. Not MY travel bucket list!
How do you pay for it?
If you’ve read my other blog How I Afford to Travel, Live Overseas and Own a Home, you’ll know that I make sacrifices for travel. I’ve also worked in a well-paid job for the past 15 months, 16 by the time I leave the company. With a goal in mind of at least one big trip at the end of our time in London since the beginning, I’ve managed to save enough money for the two and a half month adventure. I’ll be travelling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia and South Africa.
You have to be realistic. And I would highly recommend putting together a budget to see if your plans are actually affordable. I know for me that cash reserves will be low post the adventure, so I’m already planning work options for early next year to save up for the next one!
How do you make the leap?
Ask yourself these three questions:
- How badly do you want the experience?
- What would you regret if you had an accident and could never travel again?
- What have you got to lose?
And don’t worry, like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to quit your job to travel the world. You could take a sabbatical or use annual leave. Just make the leap before you’re too old to experience your destinations of choice comfortably and to the fullest. Travel broadens your mind and creates opportunities like meeting lifelong friends and discovering things like career options you’ve never considered before. So don’t leave it too late. Make a plan and make it happen!