quit your job and go travel

Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared to Quit Your Job and Go Travel

So you want to quit your job and go travel? You want to escape the paralyzing constraints of the 9-5 world, but you’re worried about the ‘what if’ scenarios. What if I can’t get another job? What if it all goes wrong? What if I regret it?

Well how about I give you one more ‘what if’ to consider. What if you sit on your butt your whole life, too scared to make the changes you want, and then you wind up regretting the opportunities you should have jumped at? For me it’s that what if that makes my decision a little easier as I prepare to quit my job for the third time to go off traveling again.

I’m not here to convince you, but if you do want a little more convincing here’s a couple of extra reasons!


You’ll Get Another Job

Yes you may have worked hard to get your last job, so it sucks to quit, but it’s totally possible for you to do it all again. Jobs might be hard to come by, especially if you’re building up a career, but you might even experience something on your travels that leads you in a new career direction. If you’ve got to start again, at least do it with no regrets and some kick ass stories to tell.

Work Overseas and Travel at the Same Time

If you’re still worried about re-securing a job at home, and you don’t have quite enough money to travel long-term, why not look for work overseas? Education, health care, construction, hospitality, banking… every country around the world has jobs in these professions. Some countries more, some countries less. Working overseas is also a fun way to gain a new perspective on your career. It shows you areas of your job that you might not have dealt with back home, and it makes you even more skilled upon your return… if you do!

Gain Valuable Life Experience

Now more than ever the world is interconnected through sport, art, politics, economics, business, among many other areas. Spending time overseas and experiencing the world tells potential employers a lot about your life skills. Determination, resilience and cultural tolerance, just to name a few. Just think, if an employer asked a question like “tell me about a time you accomplished something difficult”, crack out that one time you hiked solo through Central America with nothing but a backpack, some broken Spanish and a gutful of adventure. See if they’re not impressed!

Life is Short

Now this isn’t meant to be a pessimistic view, but in the broad scheme of things it’s undeniable. Life has gone on for millions of years without us, and is likely to go on for millions of years after we die. Why not make the most of this short time we have! If it’s something you want to do… do it!

Ask For Leave

One last resort. Your job might love you so much that they put your position on temporary hold. Some jobs can do this easier than others, and some jobs might just take you back once you’ve returned anyway. Always remember to leave your current job on good terms; you never know when you might be back knocking on their door.

So there you go, it’s time to quit your job and go travel! And if I haven’t convinced you yet… send me a message and I’ll keep trying! We’re headed to Thailand in February 2015, and you’re always welcome to join us!

Have you quit your job recently to go traveling? Drop us a comment below or Facebook message and tell us all about it! 

Published by

Julian Hatfield

Jules is an avid traveler, community development worker and a surfing addict. He's spent the past four years working in non-profits throughout Latin America and Southeast Asia, with a lot of island pit-stops and wild adventures along the way. Adventure travel that respects and gives back to local culture and environment is his main priority...and Mexican food. Wanna know more?

47 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared to Quit Your Job and Go Travel”

  1. Unfortunately so many people are scared of the unknown, and quitting their jobs to follow a dream of travelling the world is a huge step. What drives me is knowing we only live once, and I certainly don’t want to throw my life away thinking about “what if”‘s. Great post!

  2. I definitely agree that travel is worth the risk of quitting a job. And how cool that you’re going to Thailand! I’m dying to visit, but money seems to be an issue right now. Soon though!

  3. Great post, certainly spoke straight to us. We are leaving our jobs and moving away from our home country next year to go full time travelling. Looking forward to the experience.

  4. Thailand in February, yes please! I loved your post and even though I know all these things, it takes so much courage to just do it, especially on your own.

  5. I remember a few years ago when I started reading about these amazing bloggers who quitted their job to travel the world and while sharing their stories they encouraged others to do so. I remember living vicariously through their stories and wanted to do that so bad but I was also stuck with a 2 1/2 masters program that I could not just “quit to travel”. I had a full scholarship which covered not only my University but monthly allowance. I love what I am studying, although I’m not in the best program so how could I just leave it to travel. So instead I decided to add traveling into my hectic life. I have a month between semesters which I efficiently use to travel, and also get full advantage of weekends to travel locally. Why not have the best of both worlds? I love the comfort of my house once in a while after jumping from bed to bed for an entire month. — I admire people that quit everything to follow their dreams, but what if my dreams are where I am? 🙂

    1. Thats awesome that you are able to balance travel and school! That makes perfect sense that you would continue your studies, especially with a scholarship. It’s all about fitting travel into your life. Making it a priority and making it work for you. Sounds like you’ve done just that!

  6. That’s interesting. So are you just leaving everything and heading to Thailand? Indefinitely? Or do you have a duration in mind?

  7. So true, I saw a post the other day about not quitting your job in case you can’t find another.. But you’re totally right you will get another job and you’ll have some interesting life experience to bring to it. Furthermore, you might find that you find something better than a job abroad 🙂

  8. I completely agree with your post here.

    I think fear is keeping a lot of people from doing exactly this. I hope that this post will be able to help convince people to do the things they have always wanted to!

  9. These are all good reasons! Not everyone is in a position to leave their job, due to things like family obligations or debts (and I’m one of the people who unfortunately is not currently able to leave the income of my law job); but a lot of people out there really have no excuse to NOT go for it! I do believe that everyone should see as much of the world as they can!

    1. Thats true, many people have obligations that they have to take care of before they can think about quitting their job to travel. It’s certainly not for everyone, but there are a lot of people who are able to do it but are too scared to leave the comfort of their steady income. And those people need to stop making excuses and just do it!

  10. You will get another job! Haha, it’s not that simple! But do you really wanna get another job after a long travel? I’ve been back (on and off) for 10 months now after 2,5 years of non-stop travelling and the idea was to settle down and find a job…but I am more confused that I was before. Can’t really imagine myself in the office again or having a 9 to 5 job…so I keep finding reasons not to look for a “real” job and go back on the road which is not the ideal solution…As fun as it is, it can´t go on forever for most of the people 🙂

    1. Haha, you’re right Elena. Finding another job is not always easy. Jules is lucky because experienced male teachers are often in demand, but its hard for many of us. I can’t imagine finding a job after so much travel but I think its all about finding the right career for you. Hopefully if its your dream job, it doesnt feel like work!

  11. I quit my job to build a career in travel writing and to travel when I like instead once or twice a year. I haven’t regretted it for a single day. Like you said, what if your whole life passes by and all you’re left with is regret and what ifs?
    This is a great post!

  12. I loved your post!! I’m still on a 9/5 job and days off are always not enough for our desire to go and discover the world! Uo’r so right when you say life is too short and we have to become the protagonist of our time!
    Well done guys!!

    1. Thanks Ale! We’ve been 9/5 all year, and finally getting out of it, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. 2014 was all about workign and making money so we can enjoy extended travels like we’re about to start. Life definitely is short… so when you off next? 🙂

  13. I agree with all of this. I’m in the middle of saving up to quit my job and travel and my friends and family think I’m nuts! I have an incredible job in NYC with tons of vacation time, full benefits, and lots of work travel. It’s very high end luxury work travel which is not as fun to me as backpacking (if I have to put on one more black tie dress and hear a rich man tell me about his time in Vietnam which was spent in the French Colonial area hotel in Hanoi where he saw zero Vietnamese culture, I may have to jump off a bridge!). It’s scary but exciting and I can’t wait to go!

    1. Haha, thats awesome Kristen! Good for you! That so cool that you prefer authentic cheap travel to that fancy high-end stuff. Sounds like it would get boring. Good luck and I’m sure everything will work out for you!

  14. Hi guys, i had previously commented the post but don’t find it 🙁
    By the way, I totally agree with it as i’m still on a FT job!!
    Hope you can read this!!

  15. Lovely post but I never really understand those that say “I quite my job to travel full time” only to end up getting jobs while they travel. So then there is no difference between the situation they left and the one they are going to. Nor is it different with someone working full-time and still travelling as much as possible. Love for travel shouldnt mean having to quit your job unless you just HATE your job anyway….my cents 😀

    1. Very true Bianca! I guess it depends on your situation and what your job is like back home. If you have an amazing job, that allows you to travel during holidays, etc. then by all means, keep it! I think the problem is a lot of people get stuck in jobs they don’t like, that restricts their travel. Some people would rather work along the way and try different jobs while experiencing new culture. We’re lucky because our career goals (international development) require travel/ living abroad. Best of both worlds!

  16. “What ifs” can be totally suffocating. I have never regretted a decision that involved getting up and traveling 🙂

  17. This post is so true. Best thing I ever did. It is not easy. I hope more people can get the courage to do it!

  18. As I mentioned on Twitter as well, this one is an inspiring piece. Posts like these always help travellers like us stay motivated and be at it. The two points I loved the most were where you said ‘Gain Life Experience’ and ‘Life is Short’. Couldn’t be more true. It made for a wonderful read. Cheers;-)

  19. Just wanted to thank you guys for all the great content. I too am currently traveling (Central America), and in the process of creating my own travel blog. It’s rough, but it’s my first webpage ever. Any feedback is more than appreciated.

    On a side note thanks especially for your bus guide from San Salvador to Leon. ROCK SOLID advice!

    Hope you enjoy SE Asia as much as I did!

    1. Hey Brandon thanks for the comments. Great work on getting a blog up and running. I’m not going to lie though, it’s a lot more work than you think haha. But all totally worth it of course 😛 We have a couple of beginning tips under our Blogging 101 section that might be of use. And also really glad to hear the bus guide helped 😀 Keep it up champ!

  20. Great post! I’ve always been an advocate on traveling getting out there and traveling more. It’s a big risk that many people wouldn’t understand, and it’s understandable as people just care for you. I loved your employer question of telling them about life experiences you’ve had during travels. I’ve done that many times while networking and it makes for amazing conversations. You’re suddenly the life of the party!

    Something I would add, as I have experience in this, is to work at an airline part-time! If you’re worried about not having a job, I think working at an airport for an airline or even as a Flight Attendant would be great! I’ve worked at Virgin America and I’ll tell you that I know people that work Part-Time and just work 1 or 2 weeks in a month and travel for the rest of it! Same goes with Flight Attendants. Another benefit of this is that domestic travel within America is free, and international travel is a fraction of what it should be! All travel is standby, of course, but I believe it’s well worth it!

    1. Thanks for the comment Eric. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Sharing your travel stories is definitely a great positive when it comes to making conversation. But you just got to make sure you don’t go on to much and make them jealous haha. Flight attendant hey, not a bad addition at all. Is this a difficult job to get into? Sounds like the perfect way to break up your travels and save money.

  21. This is a late comment over 7 years in the making. I agree live your life and find passion in what you do because time is short. I traveled to Phuket Thailand this year June 2022. My wife and I loved it and plan on retiring in that country. We will use Thailand as a hub to see most of the Asian countries. I’m Quitting my job next year summer 2023, semi retire earlier and just elope off like a teenager. I’m 51, my cliche words, it’s time to leave the principal office and be a rebel.

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