After traveling for over seven years long-term I had a nervous breakdown. People want to know if I regret quitting job to travel the world. Keep reading to find out!
Quitting Job to Travel: Regrets?
Earlier this year I read an article in Cosmo, “Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to an Island and Scoop Ice Cream” and it caused me to reflect on my own journey.
Even though I share a similar story to the woman in the story, somehow reading about her life-changing transition ignited a momentary state of panic.
I realized: I’ve also done that. Now what?
I gave up a well paid job, sexy convertible car, and beautiful shoes and replaced them with a remarkable number of passport stamps, a lifetime of memories, and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.
At 32, I had achieved many travel goals but the article made me question my future. Was I on the wrong path? Should I be thinking about adult-like things? Children? A house? Gulp…settling down?
After weeks of personal reflection and eventually enlightenment, I realized that I still had an entire lifetime to continue experiencing all the world had to offer and living without regret. This filled me with a renewed sense of strength, inspiration, and gratitude.
I was 26 when I went into early “retirement” and no, I wasn’t rich or a trust fund kid. I left corporate America in January of 2008 and was quitting job to travel for three months on a career break.
After spending my “sabbatical” in Central America, Europe, and India I had a life changing epiphany, which led me to immediately break the lease to my apartment, sell all my belongings, and begin a new quest to visit all the wonders of the world.
My temporary jaunt has now turned into eight years of long-term travel. I now lead a permanent nomadic lifestyle. I’ve been around the world several times and back and have just visited the 41st country on my list.
Do I regret my time abroad? NEVER. My experience traveling has changed me in ways that could’ve take me a life time to figure out.
I gained knowledge that surpasses that of a professional resume. I learned about tolerance, patience, and love – for others and for myself. I am independent, courageous, and confident.
I’ve become a woman. I’m strong. I know where I’ve been but I don’t care if I know where I’m going.
But to be honest with you, the biggest lesson learned is that life isn’t about the amount of money you make. It’s about how you enjoy it.
I’ve worked as a snorkeling guide in Thailand earning $30 for a thirteen-hour workday when that’s how much I made in one hour in Los Angeles. The difference? In Thailand my earnings would allow me to live comfortably in a tropical beach setting. Plus, my office as a snorkel guide was in the ocean doing something I loved.
Isn’t that what we all work so hard for? To spend our vacation time in paradise? Why not just live in paradise? Why wait? You don’t need to be rich to do it. You can even find work abroad.
But don’t misunderstand. My life isn’t one big vacation. I still work and I work damn hard to run a successful online business. I just do it on my terms in a location that’s suitable to my needs. The work is still there but the corporate barriers are not. In place of a cubicle is a hammock, a restaurant table, a boat, or even a beach side bar.
A life like the one I lead isn’t about laziness. It’s about living life on your own terms.
Once you leave the comforts of home the world becomes very small yet your vision of opportunities becomes global. Nothing is too out of reach and no destination is impossible.
You can always look back on life filled with regrets about the goals you will never accomplish but you will never regret the experience of taking a risk, journeying around the world, and most importantly discovering yourself.
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