Digital Nomad Lifestyle

How to Quit Your Job to Travel the World

I want to start this post off by saying that I am in no way undermining those who have corporate jobs. I completely understand that some people are happy with their office jobs and that’s what they’re passionate about. However, that’s not me. As you already know, I’m that crazy girl who quit her job to travel the world. I actually just had to pinch myself because I can’t believe I’m writing this post. Yep, this is real life.

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Quitting My Job

To be completely honest, quitting your job to pursue the unknown is terrifying. But, I want you to know that you have the courage inside of you to take this leap. My job here is to help you overcome the fear of quitting your job to travel the world and show you that it’s possible to turn all of your travel dreams into a reality.

When I think about corporate world Disha, I feel like throwing myself in a corner and crying. My very first job after I graduated college was a living hell. My boss was a real-life Cruella de Vil. I could actually use some other words to describe her, but my mom told me that I should keep my mouth shut if I can’t say anything nice. Anyways, she only pretended to be nice to me when I achieved the goals she set for me that month. If I fell short one month, she made it quite obvious that I was her least favorite person on the team.

I said adios to that job after a few months because I couldn’t handle her anymore. I found myself hating my new job. Story of my life. My boss always showed up to work an hour or two late every day, and I was doing her job for her without getting paid her salary. I lasted a few months at that job before I decided to quit.

Then, I found a new job working for an insurance company. While that job wasn’t awful, it wasn’t fulfilling. I loved my coworkers and the work wasn’t that hard. For once, I actually got along with my boss. But, there was a huge gap that was always present in my life. What kind of impact was I making in this world by determining who is at fault for an auto accident? If you have the answer to that question, please let me know. The job wasn’t rewarding at all other than receiving a decent paycheck.

I worked all week and looked forward to Fridays. And Wednesdays because the Chinese food vendor was here on that day and I got to eat my depression away over a bowl of fried rice. Isn’t that pathetic? When the weekend rolled around, I didn’t want to see my friends because I was too mentally exhausted from being chewed out over the phone by customers who hated me because I told them they were at fault for rear-ending Fran’s brand new Camry. I was also bringing work home and it was impacting my relationship with my husband. The first person who guesses what I did next gets an award. Ding, ding, ding… we have a winner. You guessed it– I quit this job too.

This photo was taken in Indonesia a few moments after I realized that I definitely made the right decision to quit my job to travel the world.

Let me make something clear. I was an exceptional employee. I showed up on time and never left until I completed my work for the day. I rarely called in sick and always helped my peers. However, there came a point in my corporate journey where I was exhausted from settling. I wasn’t living up to my full potential. I wasn’t the amazing woman I had hoped to be as a child. I didn’t have a sense of purpose. I wasn’t living the incredible life I dreamt of. I was robbing myself of the ability to really follow my dreams. When I had a spare minute at work, I was on my phone looking for flights and hotels for my next vacation. I’m pretty sure my former boss follows my blog so I need to apologize to him for checking out escape options when I should have been doing something more productive.

Do you want to know something absolutely crazy? This is considered normal! It’s normal to have a job like the three I explained above. It’s normal to stay at an unfulfilling job just because it pays well. It’s normal to have a boss that you can’t stand. INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE! I sacrificed my happiness and sanity for a couple of bucks. SO CRAZY!

Before I ask you this life-altering question, I want to let you know that I first started writing this post for those who are interested in quitting their job to travel. As I started writing more, I realized that the advice I share in this post is relevant for everyone. I want all of my readers to strive for greatness and live marvelous lives regardless of if you want to travel or not.

I want you to focus and really think hard about this question: “Do you love your job enough that you would do it without receiving a paycheck?” If your answer is no like mine was, please move on. This job isn’t right for you and it makes me sad to see you like this. If you answered yes, you go Glenn Coco! You’ve found what you’re passionate about and you should keep doing it.

It was almost a year ago (December of 2017) when I took the plunge. In the first month of traveling, I had crossed more things off of my bucket list than I did in the past twenty-four years. I played with elephants on the beach in Thailand. I went to the winter Olympics in South Korea. I saw Mount Fuji. Most importantly, I felt fulfilled and like I was living the life of my dreams.

If I was still working at this job, I would have gone on one vacation a year for a week. I wouldn’t have accomplished any of my goals. I would still be existing instead of living. I’d be living in a pile of “what ifs” and regrets. I don’t want you to be this person.

On my one vacation a year trying not to think about the unfulfilling job I have to return to.

How You Can Quit Your Job to Travel the World

Okay, enough about me. Let’s focus on how you can do this too. It’s actually quite simple.

Get Rid of Your Fear

Trust yourself. Connect with someone who has done this before. Cough cough– me. I’ll be here to hold your hand. Or give you a strong kick in the butt. Believe in yourself and know that you’re about to be living your dream life. If it makes you feel any better, I still have a little fear about this. Yet, I still keep my eyes on the prize and keep moving forward.

Start Saving Money ASAP

The sooner you start saving money, the sooner you’re able to quit that crummy job to go travel the world. I actually share some money saving strategies and easy side hustles you can start to jumpstart your travel fund here.

Ditch the Notion That You’ll Do It When the Time Is Right

I want you to understand that there will never be a perfect time to quit your job to travel the world. There will always be challenges and imperfect conditions. Pop– I just burst your bubble. Stop waiting for tomorrow and do it now. Don’t be that person who decides to wait until tomorrow to start something and then realize that ten years have gone by and you haven’t done it yet. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t enter this universe to ride in the back seat of this thing called life. I came to sit in the driver’s seat.

I want to share this quote with you that gave me a wake-up call. “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”

Timothy Ferris quoted this in his book, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.”  I used to be a huge proponent of this perfect timing theory. When I read this quote, I felt a fire light up in my soul. I didn’t want to be sitting in a cubicle when I was fifty years old rolling my eyes at the frustrating customer I was dealing with on the other end of the phone. I would rather take the leap into the unknown than live a miserable life filled with certainty.

Having the time of my life in Thailand playing with elephants.

Drown Your Excuses

Excuses are easy to come up with, but hard to get rid of. Once you start making excuses, you’ll find yourself in a never-ending cycle. Sadly, I’ve watched too many people fall short of their potential because they’re too busy making nonsense excuses for themselves. At the same time, I’ve watched some really cool people dare themselves to create change. I want you to be like the latter.

JUST DO IT!!!!

Ready, set, jump! You’ll completely shift your mindset the moment you realize that you’re the only person in charge of your happiness. You’ll find yourself stepping outside of your comfort zone more. You’ll do things that scare you so can live a life that most only dream of. Quit that job. Jump on that plane. Go explore. Be inspired.

I wake up every morning in disbelief that this is the life that I’m living. This is all because I had the courage to quit these unsatisfying jobs to travel and chase my dreams. The freedom I have today is something that you can have too. Don’t talk yourself out of it. By the way, freedom is my favorite F word. My life flashed before my eyes in Kenya when this semi truck driver almost drove us off a cliff. I’ll save that story for another day. In that moment, I felt an eerie sense of satisfaction. It was the satisfaction of knowing that I was making the most out of my life and I was living each day doing something I love.

Life is too short to be slaving away at a job you hate. Dare to live your dream life. Take action. Take chances. Oh, and don’t eat your sorrows away over fried rice like I used to do. That will only make you feel more miserable.

Are you thinking about quitting your job to travel the world? I want to know all about it. Let me know in the comments below.

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18 Comments

  • Jessica

    I LOVED reading this article! Come February I am quitting my job, selling everything I own and traveling. It’s terrifying but I love that you did the same and are enjoying the opportunity you’ve had to do what you love! Kuddos!

    • Disha S.

      Thanks so much for reading, Jessica! I’m so excited for you!! Yep, it’s terrifying. But, holding yourself back from living your dream life is even more terrifying. You go, girl!! Feel free to reach out if you need advice. I’m happy to help.

  • Kelley

    I absolutely love your article. Your writing style made me feel like we were having a conversation. I have a 5-year goal to make my blog my full-time life. I will continue following your blog and take you up on your offer regarding a friend someone of who had taken the leap. Great job!

    • Disha S.

      Thank you for reading, Andrea!! I commend parents who travel with kids. It’s not easy. But it’s also so special to show your children the world.

  • Matt

    Well said! I came to the same decision myself and recently packed it all in to go and travel for a while as well – I knew that if I didn’t do it now, there’d always be a reason not to go in the future. I’m starting with just over a year backpacking through Africa… after that, we’ll see.

  • Amira

    Hi Disha,

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I work crazy hours as a lawyer for someone else. Although I love being a lawyer, my dream is also to travel the world one day and that’s only possible if I’m my own boss! So I can relate to your blog post. I loved this quote you shared, and it stayed with me – “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks.” It makes you think because it’s so true!

    Great post,
    Amira at ASelfGuru

  • Monika

    I can’t tell you how much your story has lifted me up! I absolutely HATE my job and I need to leave. Thank you thank you thank you! Oh, and I love your page. I will definitely be catching up on old posts while I’m stuck at this sucky job today… 😉

    Monika
    MonikaMakingMoves.com

    • Disha S.

      Thank you so much, Monika!! Your comment just made my day. I’m sorry to hear that you hate your job. I hope you’re able to find something you enjoy doing soon!

  • Nadja

    I so relate to this, down to the Cruella de Ville boss (though mine was a he) and the Chinese vendor to eat my corporate depression away (I was soothing with chocolate bars, though)! The best decision I’ve *ever* made – and I’ve made some pretty good decisions in my day – was to take the plunge and go travel the world, my (then) 10yo in tow. Yay to feeling happy about more than just Wednesday’s fried rice!

    • Disha S.

      I’m so glad that you took the plunge and that you’ve traveled the world. It makes me happy to read about others who have the courage to leave toxic jobs behind to follow their passions.

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