So you want to travel the world? Throw away convention? Explore parts unknown? Kick the cubicle life goodbye? Good. You’ve come to the right place. If you’re thrilled by the idea of waking up in a new country, if you’ve ever dreamt of parts unknown, yearned for touching down on far away lands, don’t ever settle for anything less than that. Find the courage in your heart to follow your dreams and get ready for the adventure of your life. Here’s how to quit your job to travel the world!
Nearly 3 years ago, we set off for an around the world trip. What was originally supposed to be a 6-month grown up half-gap year ended up turning into an 18-month life-changing adventure. Thinking back to our departure in June 2015, we were absolutely terrified of the unknown. We quit our “safe” corporate jobs to travel because we were not fulfilled by the work. We knew that our souls were made for something far greater than the traditional 9-5.
As we boarded a one-way flight to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, there was a part of us that wanted to turn around and beg for our old jobs back and play it safe. However, there was another part of us that was just awakening. For the first time in a long time, we felt alive. We realized that the risk of staying in our “safe” jobs far outweighed the risk of following our dreams. It was in that moment, with our elevated heart rates and butterflies in our stomachs, that we knew we had made the right decision to travel the world.
Even if you have limited resources, parents or friends that think you’re crazy, or no idea how to get started, we’ll teach you exactly how to make your dreams of traveling the world a reality. Here is our step-by-step guide on quitting your job to travel the world.
When you’re making a life changing decision, there are always fears that arise. You will be scared if you are thinking big enough. When these fears appear, it’s important to face them head on.
Make a list of all of your worst fears – every single one of them. Perhaps you’re worried that you won’t be able to get a job when you return, that your blog will fail, or that you won’t have enough money. Once you have your list, it’s time to figure out the probability those fears could exactly come to fruition. After that, write out what would happen if that fear actually did come true. Before we left on our around the world trip, we wrote out a list of our fears:
FEAR = Not getting a job when we returned to California.
PROBABILITY = Very slim. We both have great educations, prized skill sets, and stellar work experience.
WORST-CASE SCENARIO = The worst case would be that we would take a lower paying job in order to make ends meet.
FEAR = not being able to rent out our house to pay our mortgage.
PROBABILITY = Slim since we own a home in a popular LA neighborhood.
WORST-CASE SCENARIO = We won’t be able to travel for as long, but we’ll still be able to travel for some time.
Make a full list of your fears and write everything out. We guarantee that the likelihood and reality of these fears is not nearly as bad as it is in your head.
Bye, Bye Salary
At the time of our trip, Scott wanted to change careers and Collette wanted to take a 6-month sabbatical. Scott quit his job with 2 weeks notice and Collette gave a month notice and asked for a sabbatical. We didn’t plan to start our own company or become content creators. However, we are purpose driven individuals. Before Roamaroo started, we wrote, created videos, and loved photography long. Before quitting your job to travel, there are certain things to know:
Things to keep in mind when quitting your job:
Don’t give your notice until you’re two weeks out unless you have a very good understanding with your boss. Your job could easily make the day you give notice your last day at the office.
If you’re looking for remote work, check out Elance and Craigslist.
Leave on good terms. Never burn a bridge. Great bosses will be proud of you seeking your own fortune and following your unique path. Keep in touch and thank them for everything that they’ve done for you.
Flying the Coop
Are you leaving for a month, 6 months, or a year? You should have a clear understanding, or at least an idea, of how long you’ll be gone when you quit your job to travel. This will help determine what you need to get rid of and what you need to keep.
Renters: It’s a great thing that you’re not attached to any one place. Use this freedom to your favor when prepping for your trip. If you have furniture, bikes, or clothing that you don’t want to give away or sell, see if you can leave these things with a friend on an indefinite loan. Try not to rent a storage unit. This extra expense adds up.
Give your landlord / roommates proper notice
Sell electronics / clothing on Craigslist & EBay
Store extras at your friends/family
Owners: Now that you’ve worked so hard to get a house, it’s time to let someone else live in it. It’s ok; your home will be fine. When we left for our around the world trip, we rented out our house fully furnished to a lovely family. Here are some steps you need to take to renting out your home to travel:
Have a realtor put together a contract or find one a contract online. Check your landlord rules / contracts on a state-by-state basis.
Do a thorough background check and credit check on your prospective tenants. It’s worth the money.
Double your security deposit if you’re renting your home furnished.
Take photos & inventory of everything. You’ll forget what you had while you’re gone.
Things will get damaged while you’re gone. Go with the flow. Remember, it’s just stuff!
Downsizing Your Life
There’s a reason why we were able to travel around the world with just carry-on bags – because we were able to downsize our lives. When your “excess baggage” is literal weight on your back, you will want to strip your life down to bite-sized pieces.
Sell It – I mean everything you can. Like Miss Piggy says, “never eat more than you can lift.” Sell everything that you can’t carry on your back. All of our furniture stayed in our rented house, but we sold our cars, TV’s, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and anything else we didn’t absolutely need. We sold shoes, purses, accessories, and even t-shirts for $5! Every little thing counts when you’re saving for a trip. That $5 will get you breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a place like Vietnam!
We made about $15,000 by selling things including our cars. We locked everthing left over in a storage closet in our home.
Give It Away – Think of this as the most massive spring cleaning you’ve ever done. Before we left, we gave away 20+ bags to Goodwill. We had saved things that we thought were necessary in a small area of our basement that could be locked up. When we returned, we ended up giving away 90% of these clothes we thought we’d need.
Stop Having Fun
Wait…really?! None at all? No, we’re just kidding. This next step of quitting your job to travel requires some creativity on your part and some understanding on your friends and family.
Stop Going Out To Eat – Restaurants are expensive. Plain and simple. Instead of going out to eat with friends or going out for a date night, buy food and cook at home. Try to recreate your favorite restaurant meal, cook a meal from a country that you’re dying to visit, or have a potluck dinner with friends. You will save hundreds of dollars a month.
No More Starbucks – $4 daily coffees quickly add up! Say goodbye to your coffee habit and stick to sipping your Joe at home.
Skip the Salon – Trips to the hair salon and nail salon quickly add up. Cut back on haircuts before you travel. You don’t NEED a haircut every 6 weeks. Dye your hair at home and paint your own nails. You’re beautiful as it is and you DON’T need all of this.
Cancel Your Subscriptions – Take inventory of every magazine, online, and television subscription you have and nix 90% of them. But keep the Netflix – you’re going to need it on your travels!
Research Your Route
Now that you have everything in order, it’s time to research your route. We highly recommend making an excel spreadsheet of a general overview of where you’d like to go. Once you have your list, don’t expect to hit every single country. If there is one thing we wish we could have done differently, it would have been to slow down. We tried to see WAY too much in a short amount of time. We ended up getting a little burnt out.
While it’s good to have a general idea of where you’d like to go, don’t over plan. Leave room for spontaneity and magic to occur on the road.
Visas – as U.S. citizens, we are very fortunate that we can travel to most countries in the world without a visa. However, there are certain countries that do require visas and a visit to the foreign embassy. Countries like Brazil, China, and Vietnam all require visas for U.S. citizens. Get these visas while you’re still at home. Before you land in these countries, you should be prepared.
Schengen Territory – Many Americans, ourselves included, wanted to spend a great deal of time in the Schengen Territory of Europe. While we can freely visit without a visa, U.S. citizens can only visit for 90 consecutive days out of every 180 days. Make sure you don’t overstay your visa or you can risk heavy fines or even deportation.
How to Quit Your Job to Travel The World
Rent out your house / Give notice to your landlord
Sell your car / stop your car insurance
Take inventory of your savings / Make an excel spreadsheet of your budget
Sell / give away clothes / electronics
Book your initial flights (one-way flight, anyone?)
Pack your bag! Pack half the clothes and double the money that you think you need)