Swapping your current day to day life for travelling can seem pretty intimidating!
This year, Katie Finch and her boyfriend, Josh, made the bold decision to swap their full time jobs in London’s West End theatre scene for exciting new adventures in Southeast Asia.
They gave notice on their flat, resigned from their jobs, said goodbye to their friends and family and moved all of their belongings into storage. They left the bright lights of London behind and boarded the plane for new lands!
Are you thinking of quitting your job to travel? How will it feel when you finally make the decision? If you’re currently contemplating a huge life change then these 10 tips may help you to make the move!
1. You’ll feel like you’re keeping the biggest secret ever
When I decided to give up my London life and travel to SE Asia it felt like I was keeping the biggest secret from my loved ones and colleagues. I had only told my family and decided to wait until nearer the time to tell my close friends and colleagues. My thinking was ‘the less people that knew the less likely my employer would find out’ especially as a lot of our friends work in the same industry.
However this didn’t help but make me feel like I was lying and holding back from wanting to shout from the rooftops that I was going on this huge adventure! When it is time to tell people, whenever that may be for you, embrace it and know that pretty much everyone will be happy for you – not least because you’ve taken control of your life.
2. Every step you take towards getting on that plane will feel like another milestone
When we decided to go travelling I thought that was the hardest decision, how wrong I was! There are various things to think about in the lead up to going travelling including resigning, what happens to your home, when should you book your flights etc?
The truth is there are no correct answers to how to approach this just what works for you and your situation, each time you get closer to leaving and tick another thing off your list it will fell like there is more at stake – in an exciting way.
The day I moved out of our London flat, there I was in a transit van full of my belongings with nowhere to call home. The mix of fear and excitement was simply just another step towards getting on that plane and realising my dream of going travelling.
3. You’re in the driving seat
This is your life, you only get one (or so I believe) so do what truly makes you happy.You’ve got years to settle down or work. Go with your gut, the difficult choices are often the right choices so it’s bound to feel uncomfortable and scary at times, no one we’ve ever met has regretted taking the plunge.
4. You’ll be surprised at peoples reaction to your decision
Every time I told someone else I worried about their reaction (I probably care too much what others think). I thought people would say ‘You’re crazy you’ve got this great lifestyle working in an industry you love and in a relationship with someone you love why would you walk away from that?’ – no one ever said that.
I was overwhelmed by how many people said ‘I wish I could do that’ or ‘I know someone who did that last year and they loved it’ and how supportive they were. You soon realise that you aren’t reinventing the wheel – many people have gone before you and will continue to go after you.
5. You will freak out now and then before leaving
When you decide to commit to travelling suddenly a weight begins to lift all those things that were getting you down and pushed you to make this change might not look so bad after all. I remember feeling my job wasn’t pushing me enough and living in London was getting me down yet as soon as I resigned and gave my notice in everything looked great and my new lease of life made me feel like I shouldn’t go and it wasn’t that bad after all.
6. Taking a ‘career break’ wont hurt your career – or your friendships
When deciding to travel we talked for hours about the effect on our careers; we both work in the arts and we had established ourselves within a small sector of the industry. Our worry was being unable to break back into the industry upon our return. In reality, the industry will keep running whilst you’re away, but your experience will still be valid and you, as a person, will be enriched by your adventures – it’ll be there when you come back and almost like nothing has changed!
7. Happiness is important
It is easy to say “do what makes you happy: but much harder to go out and do it. I have never been happier than when I decided my future and worried less about what others thought.
8. You can always come back
Nothing is permanent and you can always change your mind if you realise you don’t like it, whether it is short or long all adventures are worth the time to discover the unknown and help you realise what makes you happy.
9. You realise that people do this everyday
Once all was packed up and before we had started our trip I remember thinking we weren’t alone, we would meet lots of people while we were away sharing the same experience as us. There is comfort in thinking that you are part of a larger group and that you’re not alone. If you’re feeling nervous, join South East Asia Backpacker’s Facebook community where you’ll meet loads of people currently travelling!
10. What are you waiting for?
Go and do it, what are you waiting for – it’s not quite as simple as that I know – but start by putting the wheels in motion, even just deciding in your own mind that you’ll go and commit to making travelling work will make a massive difference and then who knows, the possibilities are endless…
If you’re planning a new adventure, be sure to refer to our essential Trip Planning Resources, where we guide you with everything from what to pack to how to find cheap flights, travel insurance and hostels!