Quitting Your Job and Travelling – Top Ten Reasons Why You Should


Quitting your job and travelling is something that I think each person should do at least once in their life. As many of you know my boyfriend Matt and I are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime; a life of slow, independent travel. It wasn’t a decision we made lightly and it goes without saying that it involves a great deal of upheaval and change. Preparing for such a move is stressful and we’re facing fears we never thought we would.

While catching up with friends the other day one reminded me of aptitude tests we often took in school when we were young. A series of questions and a computer algorithm would assess us and recommend life careers; a teacher, a doctor, an accountant, an engineer and then, as we grew older society taught us that we should finish school, attend university, find a “real” job, get married, have children and live what can become an incredibly mundane 9-5 existence.

My reason for travelling is because I feel compelled to do so. Every job I have had since university has related to travel and when I wasn’t travelling I was thinking of travelling. For me choosing this path isn’t really a choice.

What might be your reason? Here are my top ten reasons quitting your job and travelling makes sense.

  1. You’re Young, Celebrate It! – Have you ever heard of the Working Holiday Visa? There are more than 30 countries worldwide which offer work visas for a year for those under the age of 30 and a few countries to those under 35. Move to Australia for a year, bartend and learn to surf or move to France and learn French. There are so many possibilities and my biggest regret is that I didn’t take advantage of this program. Note: If you are about to turn 30 or 35 you can still apply as long as the application is approved before your birthday. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_holiday_visa
  2. Waiting For Retirement? Please Don’t! – Isn’t it backwards that retirement is sold as the time to travel? It can be a good time but it surely won’t be the same experience as when you’re young. You likely won’t be as fit so you might not be able to do that trek or climb you’ve always wanted to do. You’ll likely be less agile so walking for hours upon hours in your favourite European city might not be an option. Have you always wanted to scuba dive? Surf? Bungee jump? Now is the time to do it!

    Bungee Jump

    Bungee Jump

  3. Take a Career Break – Career breaks are useful whether you’re working your dream job or not. If you’re contemplating a career change then take a break and travel. If you’re not sure what you want to do with the rest of your life or you’re unhappy in your job then take a break and travel. Perhaps you’re feeling lost and want to reconnect with yourself. In fact, the best way to see if a life of long-term travel is right for you or your family is to take a career break. Begin small, don’t sell everything and take a few months to see if you can imagine yourself returning to your current lifestyle. Many don’t!
  4. Fall In Love – Online dating is popular because our lives has become too busy to meet anyone. Too many hours or living and working in the same area are making our social circles smaller and smaller. There is no better way to enlarge your social circle than making the globe that circle. Plus, when you meet your new love while travelling you can likely bet that you’ve got one key thing in common!
  5. Build Your Resume – A great way to boost your résumé is to travel the world and an excellent start is through language immersion in another country. Or maybe you want your résumé to reflect you’re ability to adapt by volunteering in Kenya. What about showing a prospective employer that you accept challenges head on and go to Buenos Aires to master the tango!

    Tango in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

    Tango in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

  6. Stress Is Killing You – The scientific results on the impact of stress to your body, health and life expectancy are eye-opening and we all know how it affects our psychological health. If your job or life is stressing you out thereby diminishing your quality of life the you should highly consider quitting your job and travelling; take a career break and some time for yourself.
  7. Fresh Start – The obstacles we face in life, such as divorce, illness or death are often sad, overwhelming and difficult. However, sometimes they are a blessing in disguise by putting life into perspective and can be viewed as an opportunity. Take off, travel the world, reconnect with yourself and realize what’s the most important. For me it is my friends, family and experiences.
  8. Become Well Travelled – Yes, it’s true, travelling helps you becoming well-travelled. Take a break from everyday monotony, go and visit iconic sites and the various wonders of the world. Immerse yourself in other cultures and learn.

    The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

    The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

  9. Do What You Want, Every Day – Can you imagine a life where you woke up when you wanted, did what you wanted, went where you wanted and were free to pursue what you love? Freedom should be a huge enticement to go and travel.
  10. Travel Breeds Self Confidence – Facing a fear or a challenge is a great self-confidence booster. I was, for the longest time, intensely scared of sharks and doing my first shark dive was exhilarating and freeing, showing me that I could do more, accomplish more than I ever thought possible. Since then I have sought out activities and destinations which have pushed my limits and bettered myself. Travelling, whether alone or with others breeds confidence and teaches you so much about yourself. Why live a life of complacency when the world has so much to offer?

Hopefully something in this post will inspire you to reflect and contemplate on what life means to you or what you would like it to mean to you. You only live once so please reignite your passion for life. Be present, don’t have regrets or watch others live the dream that you wish for yourself. Travelling can be done alone, with a friend or loved one and even with children. Set an example and show your children what living should really be about because it will surely change your view on life.


I recommend the following books if you’re looking for inspiration:

  1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long Term Travel by Rolf Potts
  2. The Rough Guide to First Time Around The World by Doug Larsky
  3. World’s Cheapest Destinations by Tim Leffey
  4. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
  5. The Beach by Alex Garland
  6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho



3 Responses to Quitting Your Job and Travelling – Top Ten Reasons Why You Should

  1. I love this! One thing I would say about the falling in love: sometimes what you have in common with your fellow traveller can also be a hindrance. For that reason it’s even more amazing what you and Matt are doing! All the best.

    Yours in Travel,


    Alyssa June 14, 2013 at 9:12 AM Reply
  2. I fell in love with my boyfriend Tyler because he was well travelled. I found him to be more compassionate and open minded then the men I was was accustomed to. Conversations with him are always more interesting and he keeps me in a constant state of awe with his view on life and opinions which come from his life experiences. Fantastic article Julie. Thanks for writing it!

    Christina Mayer July 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM Reply
    • I so agree Christina, well said! The more I travel the more I want to be around people who travel. It’s not just about sharing common experiences but outlooks on a variety of issues are often shared as well. The bigger picture is obvious, our reason for being and living life to the fullest!

      Julie Munsch July 17, 2013 at 10:57 PM Reply

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