“5 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Travel”
This was the first headline I saw when I opened the interwebs to Twitter today. I’ve seen a million blog titles like this, and my thought is always the same, “But… I don’t have a job.”
Most people have a job of some sort, but many people at my age and in my position in life don’t have a job. This means your family is either entirely paying your bills or helping you out a lot. Maybe you’re even living with them. In which case, it seems impossible to leave school, your side job, or caring for a loved one, and take up the travel life. After all, how will you even get to your first destination without $100 to your name?
This is why I’ve saved you the grief, disappointing reality check, and shame by creating a new list. This one is titled, “5 Reasons Not to Travel Right Now”
5. You have plenty of time. I am sure you hear this a lot, and you’re impatient, and feeling rebellious. You’re in your 20s or 30s and hearing, “Clean your room!” for the millionth time.You already have a list of things to pack and are researching how difficult it is to live on a mountain in a small van with a broken window.
Maybe that is what you need, but maybe you’re idealizing it a tad. Even if you don’t LOVE the life you’re living, that doesn’t mean the nomads you read about are living the dream, either. Everything online is photoshopped, even travel adventures.
If the article doesn’t mention the struggles, the nights of questioning life choices, and all the tears and fears, then you’re reading a lie. Traveling to a new country every month is great, but it’s not for everyone. Figure out what you’re seeking and why you want to run away before you start making these huge decisions.
4. Times is tough. If you’re in school still, you’re drowning. The things you want to do, the things you need to do, and the things you might not get around to doing seem to be all life is about. The moment you find an escape, you want to make a run for it!
If you’re currently working towards something, you’re on a good path. You’re working your way towards something you’re either passionate about or that will give you a career. Not just a job for a month, but a career to which you can become dedicated and feel useful and productive. When it comes to travel work, nothing is certain. Money, housing, and even good company can be hard to find. And, then, once you’ve seen it all, and got that wanderlust satisfied, will you be able to return home? If so, what will you find there? Most likely, you’ll have to start from scratch, even if you decide to live in a foreign country. There are no quick solutions, no matter where you’re living or visiting, there are bills to pay and your life to maintain.
3. Adjusting is hard. Now, let’s say you’ve made the big leap. You’ve dropped out, quit, and said goodbye to everyone. You’re off to find… things! You can’t go to your local coffee shop, you can’t necessarily text your best friend at 3 AM, and you may not be able to speak the language with which you are most familiar and comfortable. Everything is different.
This is a good thing in some cases. Being out of the safety net and living a bit dangerously is a great experience. It’s also a difficult reality once you’re deep into your new lifestyle. Taking a vacation in Disneyland for a week is not the same as moving to Bangkok for a year. You might face some obstacles that you simply did not expect to face. No one took a moment to warn you about something, and now you’re facing it alone. Maybe this is part of the struggle and adventure- maybe this is the wake up call you were seeking, but in that moment, it’s difficult and scary. Obstacles are not to be taken lightly, you never know when you might break. It might even be the moment you realize that the country you’re stuck in doesn’t sell your favourite beverage. Seems tiny, but convenience is not to be taken for granted.
2. People!! Ugh, traveling would be so much easier if it weren’t for other people, am I right? It is so hard leaving the people you know and love. What if someone gets sick while you’re gone? What if someone has a baby that you won’t get to meet? Geez, what if someone dies? Maybe you’ll miss that hug from someone who always knows just where and when to grab ya….
Even if you really feel there is no one at home who you will miss, there is something about seeing familiar faces that gives a person some warmth and joy. Are you prepared to have those faces come and go at a rapid pace? One day you’re meeting your soulmate in Korea, the next day you’re traveling to Bangladesh without them. The people for whom you care, the countries you fall in love with, and all the things you come to enjoy in one place won’t be coming with you once you move along. Everything is changed and replaced, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. You don’t know until the time comes and you’ve made a choice. Every choice has an uncertain outcome. The thrill may wear off, and you could be left feeling lonely and afraid, a feeling to which you may have to adjust sometimes.
1.The deeper reason. Most people know they want to travel and see the world, but not everyone leaves their lives behind and starts anew in a country they can barely pronounce. The question is: Why you? Why now? Problems will follow you, feelings will linger… you can’t run away from yourself.
Not everyone who travels hates their life, I think that’s a myth, but everyone is trying to escape something or find something. There’s nothing wrong with that! But, will you find the solution? If you’re just jumping around the world thinking that eventually the solution will fall upon you, then you may find yourself extremely depressed, even while riding a fishing boat around a beautiful island in the sun. Looking for solutions and answers is great, and doing so through travel is possibly one of the best ways to do it, but coping when the answer is not found can be hard. At the end of the journey it’s awful to feel as though you’ve wasted years of your life- that’s not the goal. Traveling should be fulfilling a dream; leaving behind the ordinary and predictable!
I didn’t write this to dissuade people from traveling, let me be clear about that. Even after considering all these cons, I still aim to travel the world, write, and be washed over by fantasy… once I graduate from school. However, I think there are many articles that make it seem as though travel is perfect, it’s perfect for everyone, and everyone should do it right away.
If you can’t do it right this moment or you’re not ready to do it- that’s okay! Don’t feel like you’re wasting your time or missing out on something. As is the case for me, when the time is right, you can make that choice. If it’s not for you, just follow other people’s adventures, travel when you can, and make the best of your life at home!
In the meantime, get satisfied!
If you would like to submit your own experiences or opinions on travel, or you would like me to write about any particular topic of interest, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org