5 Quitting Job to Travel Realizations That Rocked My World

Quitting job to travel realizations - F*ckity bye - funny travel blog

In September of 2017, I left a cushy job that a lot of people would die to have to take my life in another direction.

I wanted to travel. I wanted to be free to enjoy life on more than just two days out of the week. I wanted to feel creative again.

As I write this, I'm 1 year out of the rat race... And have no regrets whatsoever.

Quitting my job to travel provided me with a lot in the way of a higher quality of life. It also challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before.

Many of those challenges I'm still grappling with today.

Below are 5 quitting job to travel realizations that took me by surprise.

1. You Feel Like a Loser... Constantly

When you have a cushy good job, you're considered "successful" by most people you'll rub shoulders with at adult gatherings. I never flinched when somebody asked me what I did. I would confidently answer the question and the conversation would push on with me feeling like I was in good social standing.

It didn't matter if I was depressed, unhappy or unfulfilled. Simply having a solid 9-5 job signaled to other people that I was in doing fine.

Because of that social construct of "solid job = good life" and how deeply I bought into it, when I shed my job I lost a tremendous amount of my self-worth.

I spent almost every day dwelling on if I had made a mistake. I told myself that I had thrown away my best chance of being "somebody". I looked 10 years into the future and saw myself not having enough money to do anything besides to live in a studio apartment where I'd boil pork-flavored ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner (that actually sounds delicious).

My mind running away with all of those negative thoughts weighed on me heavily making this quitting job to travel realization hard.

Over time though, I began to see that having a cushy job isn't what should define success for me. Happiness should.

It's still a struggle to not get down on myself every now and again but I'm slowly getting better at staying positive.

2. Life Keeps Moving

When you leave your job, you might tell yourself something like, "I'll leave for a year to do everything I've always wanted to do and then I'll go back to work." What's obvious about that plan yet not something people mentally prepare for is the fact that when you hit pause on your life, the rest of the world keeps moving.

Friends get married. They buy houses. They get promotions.

All the while you're taking a sabbatical and it's easy to feel like your decision to take time off from the rat race has led to your falling behind.

I've always been one to measure my success based on how I stacked up against my peers so this quitting job to travel realization was a punch in the gut. The blow has softened some since I've started to come into more success recently working for myself. The feeling of falling behind the pack is still there though...  I'm not sure it will ever go away.

3. It's Hard to Stay Productive

This was a little less of a quitting job to travel "realization" and more of an annoying thing I expected. When you're working for somebody else, the fear of letting them down is enough to propel your productivity 40 hours + a week.

When you're working for yourself, that fear is gone.

You literally only have you to answer to and that means it's easy to wake up at noon every day, eat junk food, and watch Netflix.

Not doing that and actually staying productive in ways that take advantage of your newfound time (getting out there and traveling, starting a business, improving your skills, etc.) is challenging.

I found that creating to-do lists were helpful in my making sure that I at least made some  progress on my goals every day. Also, my rule of making one investment in my present and one investment in my future each day has been a fun way to keep sustaining myself presently while improving my odds for a brighter tomorrow.

4. It Can Get Lonely

During traditional work hours, it's like you're by yourself in the world. None of your friends are available to do anything and when you go to a park or a restaurant, it's usually just you by yourself or (if you're reeeaalllly lucky) you and a couple of senior citizens squinting at a menu or talking too loud.

That being alone was a quitting job to travel realization I didn't anticipate.

I was under the impression that during work hours there would be some awesome group of cool people hanging out in public spaces all high-fiving each other because they managed to escape the grind. In reality, people like that are few and far between so you're pretty unlikely to bump into them.

My recommendation to get past feeling isolated is to find ways to stay productive during the day. If you're traveling then you should have no shortage of things to do. If you're staying put while taking time off to redirect your life, find a fun project that can take up your time.

You can also join online groups of other "digital nomads"/"work from homers" and lean on each other for support (let me know if you find any good ones).

5. There's Actually a Tremendous Amount of Time to Enjoy Your Life

When I was working a 9-5 job, I felt like there was no time to focus on myself and zero time to really sit down and appreciate life. That sucked because I was making all of this money and had no time to enjoy it.

Now that I'm traveling, working from home/on the road and pretty much doing whatever I want... I realize there are a lot of hours in the day. Hours you can spend reading, writing, chasing down a dream, improving a friendship, or anything else you can think of.

The best quitting job to travel realization I came to was the discovery of all of that time. It made me not feel like I needed to rush to get everything done before I die. A lot of that negative urgency just melted away.

There's a lot of life available to us that we're blessed to have. Do everything you can to take the time to really savor it!

Wrapping Up Quitting Job To Travel Realizations

A year ago I quit my job to travel.

The first thing I did was leave Los Angeles and travel to the Northwest. Since being up here, I've enjoyed seasons for the first time. I've reconnected with family I hadn't seen in years. I've discovered a lot about myself both positive and negative.

That sort of sums up what you can expect if you choose to follow in my and other's footsteps by leaving your job to travel or just reset your life.

You're going to be challenged in new ways. You're going to be happier and sadder. You're going to figure out how strong you are mentally and what kind of discipline you have to make the most out of this wonderful moment in your life!

Hopefully those quitting job to travel realizations did more to solidify your want to step away from your job than it did to deter you. If it made you not want to leave your job, the good news is you don't have to quit your job to travel.

If you're adamant on leaving your job to take your life in the direction you want to go in, I applaud your conviction!

The first thing you need to get started is a great plan. To that end, I've got you covered. Click here to get started on your next big adventure!

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