Giving up your job and setting off towards uncertainty can seem like a super scary thing to do (it is!) but it’s far from impossible. More and more people are doing it these days. If you feel like you’re not in the right place but aren’t brave enough to quit your job and change things, read on. You can make it happen if you set your mind to it.
*I appreciate it might be a lot more difficult to quit if you have kids, elderly parents to take care of or other commitments. That hasn’t been my experience so I can’t advise if that’s the case for you. However, there’s always a way – how about looking into location independent work?*
Focus on the positives
If you’re thinking about changing your life, chances are, you’re not 100% happy. You probably hate your job, are stuck in a routine, have unfulfilled dreams. So instead of being scared to quit and leave your comfort zone, focus on the things you’ll be gaining: valuable experiences, new friendships, unique life lessons, living out your dreams… Sure, it won’t be easy but what’s the worst that could happen? You run out of money and come back? At least you’ve tried. Personally, I hate regretting things I haven’t done. And you can always get another job.
Tell everyone you’re going
It’s much harder to not go through with your plans if you publicly announce them. Once you tell people you’re doing this, YOU ARE DOING THIS. Okay?
Set the date
Be realistic. Even though you can quit your job tomorrow and pack your bags the day after, it might be more sensible to allow yourself time to process the change and have time to prepare for your upcoming journey. Don’t make it too long either; if you want to wait years, you might never end up going. I would say giving yourself anything from a few months up to a year will do. Setting your date is probably the most important step and once it’s done, you can plan around it.
Start saving up
Once you have set the date and the clock is ticking, you’d better switch to a super-saving mode to be able to cover all of your travel expenses later. Flight tickets, insurance, vaccinations, travel equipment, it all adds up. Yes, you can work while travelling but the better foundation you have when you set off, the smoother your transition will be. You’ll thank yourself later.
Buy that one-way flight ticket
Now, I’ve personally waited quite a while before actually buying my first flight ticket out to Asia but the sooner you do it, the sooner it all becomes more real. (And you’ll have proper motivation!)
First of all, replace Facebook with travel blogs. We all spend way too much time scrolling on social media, so how about making that time useful? Find inspiring travel blogs (*cough cough*), YouTube videos or start listening to podcasts. Podcasts are such a great use of commute time – my absolute favourite is Zero to Travel.
Research, research, research
Living in an Internet age makes travelling so much easier. One quick Google search and you can read thousands of stories of others who’ve done the same thing you’re about to do. Although you might not see anyone around you quitting their jobs and becoming digital nomads, you are definitely not alone. Read and learn. The more you know about what to expect, the more at ease you’ll feel.
Before your journey starts, there’s a lot of things to take care of. You’ll have visas, phone contracts and insurance to think about. If you’re renting out a place and have to move out, you’ll need to secure storage for your possessions while you’re away. It’s also a good idea to reduce what you own so I recommend getting rid of everything you don’t use anymore, donating to charity, etc. At the same time, you might have to buy a few things for your trip. Make a list of everything that needs to be done by the time you go on your travels and start ticking things off. Don’t leave everything till the last minute!
It’s possible, you just have to take action and step-by-step you’ll get there.