Love The Journey Travel

Is quitting your job to travel the world realistic? [LTJ]

Short answer? Yes.

Long answer? Yeah… well, kinda!

The correct answer? It depends on who you ask.

There are a lot of people in the ‘Uh, nope.’ camp, many in the ‘Hell yes!’ camp, and even more that have settled on ‘I want to believe!’

None of those beliefs are wrong. It depends on who you are, where you are in life, and what you want.

My thoughts? If it’s something you want to do, consider it a real possibility… and start working towards it! I can’t speak for everyone, and I can’t speak to every person in every unique situation. What I intend to do is share my experience, my mistakes, and my perspective in the hope that it will help and inspire you on your journey.

The journey starts today. Photo by Calen Martens.

So is it really realistic to quit your job and travel the world? Damn right, it is!

Is it easy? No.

Is it a sustainable lifestyle? I’m still trying to figure that one out. I’ll keep you posted!

It’s a rainy day in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. I’m on day 921 of wandering the world, in search of something that I’m not really even sure of at this stage. Whatever it is, I’m getting closer by the day.

When I look at who I was 1,000 days ago, that person is almost unrecognizable. Most of the people who were in my life at that stage don’t know me anymore. There is a sense of loss associated with shedding my past life and the people who were part of that, but that pivot was absolutely necessary for me to grow into this version of me.

Capturing the moment. Photo by Calen Martens.

Quitting life and starting over isn’t something I advocate. It was a drastic move, if I’m honest. If there are parts of your home life that you value, keep them close to you. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get back the things or people you give up. But I was ready for a fresh start. When I ‘quit my life’, I had and still have no intention of going back and picking it up again. I took the lessons I learned in my first 25 years of life, and used that knowledge and experience to reset my life. And here I am today… 921 days later.

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How did I go from city life with a house and car payments and a steady relationship to galivanting around the world, laptop in tow, creating a future that is – for the most part – unknown?

How did I get here? And how can you?

Shannon Falls, Squamish. Photo by Calen Martens.

Work hard, make money.

I didn’t just drop the mic and hop on a plane. It was never my plan to hit the reset button and seek out a life on the road, but I worked hard and saved money for a decade before I started traveling. I went a non-traditional route with my education, entered the workforce early, and started stacking cash. Then I sold everything I owned and stuffed what was left into a suitcase. And now? I’m working while I travel to sustain this absolutely epic lifestyle.

Do you need to work for 10 years before you set off? Absolutely not. What you need to do is understand how you want to travel, and prepare for that. Does hostel or camping life appeal to you? Can you survive on ramen every day in the interest of saving money? Are you able to work while you travel? Many people start their adventure without any savings, picking up cash jobs along the way, and manage to explore the world for months or years on end. It’s possible. (Forewarning: Having social skills is invaluable if you’re going this route. Develop them ASAP.)

My recommendation? Figure out how long you’d like to travel for, where you’d like to go, what style of travel suits you, and estimate the cost. And then double it, because things never go to plan. Having a little extra bacon in the bank to stay a little longer, or take your cute travel crush up on that invitation to go skydiving, or treat yourself to a nice dinner every once in a while will make your trip unforgettable.

Take the road less traveled. Photo by Calen Martens.

Find your purpose.

Where do you start? Do a core values search. Here’s one I use. Then write down your travel and life goals. Today. Right now. And then do it again every few months of your trip. You’ll be surprised how much your goals and values change through your experiences. Staying in touch with this will allow you to re-adjust and shift direction so you stay in alignment with the current version of you.

Yes, I get that this sounds like some woo-woo personal growth bullshit. Take a moment and be open to the possibility that it will make a difference. And if it doesn’t? Okay. That’s 10 minutes of your time. We’ve all spent 10 minutes on worse things. Rule to live by: don’t dismiss something you haven’t tried. Except for heroin. Don’t try heroin.

Maybe you can learn something from my experience here. For the first 500+ days on the road, I found myself unable to make a choice on what to do or where to go next. Because I wasn’t going anywhere. I was just going for the sake of going. Once someone turned me on to this whole concept of traveling with purpose, I was finally able to assess my options based on how they fit against my values and goals. Today? Every invitation I accept, every flight I take, every decision I make is with that in mind. I’ve never made more progress personally or in building my mobile career than I have now that I feel in alignment with myself. Try it. Seriously.

Chasing wind. Photo by Sean Galla.

Be open.

This may be the greatest opportunity in your life to grow. To learn. To progress. To change. From the moment you set foot out the door, allow yourself to watch, listen, and be aware of everything that’s happening around you. When you feel the urge to say ‘no’ to something, ask yourself why. Take a moment to understand if you’re making decisions out of fear, anxiety, or being out of your comfort zone. Don’t let those fears get in the way of your experience. Fears related to potential physical harm or death exempted, obviously.

Be in the moment. Enjoy where you are and what you’re doing. Try not to fall into the traps of your past and the things that prevent you from making the most of your experience. Take some time to disconnect from that past – and your cell phone – and be here now.

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What are you waiting for? If experiencing the world is important to you, go for it. Every day or month or year you delay may prevent you from ever getting the opportunity you have right now. Commit to make the changes that you need to prepare for your trip, and go. Don’t delay, because you might miss your chance.

Explore. Photo by Calen Martens.

Today, 921 days after it all began… I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. After so much time on the move, I now understand that I’m not looking for anything, I’m just creating my life and loving what’s happening. I’m taking each and every opportunity that I have to connect, learn, and grow. To what end? Hard to say. I’m somewhere in the middle of the long and beautiful story of my life.

What does your story look like?

[Squamish photography provided by Calen Martens. Header photo by Sean Galla.]

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