“Quit your job to travel”. What an absurd idea! What type of person even does that? Not me for sure. I‘ve invested so much time, effort and money into my education and my career. So now you know my thoughts on the matter – well, my thoughts about it back in October 2017 at least. Little did I know, so much was about to change so fast…
My first solo trip
I was on my first ever solo trip backpacking through Indonesia. I spent 3 weeks discovering this breathtakingly beautiful country, but discovering myself as well. Believe me, I really spent a lot of time with myself during those weeks – and I don’t mean just by myself FYI (yes there is a difference). I spent more time with myself than I probably would in an entire year of my normal ‘9 to 5’ (well, more like ‘8 to 7’) lifestyle. While spending time with myself in Indonesia, I was also treated to the most stunning scenery and got to know a new and interesting country where I met some very inspiring people. These were people who probably without even knowing it, have changed my life enormously. Some of them had been travelling for 3, 6 or even the full 12 months. During late-night dorm conversations or midday poolside chats, I’d express my newfound desire to do the same. “So why don’t you quit your job to travel?” I was asked by a few of those travelling daredevils as I saw them back then. My answer was short and simple; “I can’t”.
Feeling the rumble of the Bromo volcano in my stomach
That’s exactly what most of us rat racers think because, just like the others, I had worked hard to get my university education and climb the corporate ladder thereafter. I was so proud of my 2 master degrees, my fancy job title, my company car and well my status. It all meant I was successful right? That I was doing good? That I was happy even? Or didn’t it? A seed was planted right there and then on the sofa of a hostel near the foot of the Bromo volcano in East Java.
Do cool sh*it: Quit your day job was the title of a book I found behind my dorm bed in Lombok. It was a bundle of totally useless paper that was too heavy to carry around for my predecessor, but for me, dare I say, a sign?
This one isn’t a book on how to quit your job to travel, but a book to help you set goals you are passionate about, reaching for the sky and as a result, doing cool sh*it. I decided to write down my goals for the next 6 months. Here’s what my list looked like:
- Enrol in a yoga teacher training program
- Go back to India
- Support a good cause
Early-onset post-vacation blues
Flying home to my job, my house, my company car, and my beloved my status, I felt sad. I had a mean case of early-onset post-vacation blues kicking in. To distract myself from my bad mood I started looking into yoga teacher training courses in India. I was determined to attain my 6-month goals; life, as usual, wouldn’t get I my way.
I had it all – cars, home, status & boyfriend, but did that mean I was successful? That I was happy even?
The solo backpacking adventure that had exposed my love for exploration and need for freedom prevented me from really falling back into my regular, daily routine. Well, at least not without a ton of friction, unease and resentment of the present moment. I felt even more empty, drained of energy and frustrated than before my trip. This time I couldn’t blame the way I felt on tiredness or needing a vacation – I just got back!
Quit your job to travel? That’s crazy!
While talking to friends and family about my desire to do something else, I noticed I wasn’t the only one who was wondering, “Is this it?” I wasn’t the only one who didn’t see the point of fighting your way through morning traffic to get to a job you dislike (at best) only to head back home through traffic again. A stopover at the grocery store, quick dinner and a workout before going to bed after which the entire scene starts over again and again and again. Groundhog day much?
“So what are you going to do? Quit your job to travel? That’s crazy!”, was a common response when I voiced my discontent with this way of living. Madness must have taken over me that morning in November when I barged into my manager’s office. I was 100 per cent unprepared without a clue of what to say. And luckily for me, I didn’t need to. “Oh, no. I already know what you are going to say,” said my manager. The rest dear friends is history.
This article was written by Lara Sosanwo, a Belgian a location independent marketer, yoga teacher and the creator of Get Moving Marketing. Follow her adventures on her blog and on Instagram. Club Elsewhere publishes travel and lifestyle design guides. Work with us here.
In 2017 Lara quit her marketing job in Brussels to travel. A 6-month trip turned into a total lifestyle overhaul. Today, she’s a location independent marketer, web shop owner, yoga teacher and the creator of Get Moving Marketing where she provides marketing services to entrepreneurs and brands that help people live happy and healthy lives. Follow her adventures at HerBackpackBliss.com.