Leave Your Job and Travel; 7 Stories from Real People

Have you ever thought about quitting your job to travel? It sure has a nice appeal. You get to leave the office, the coworkers, the working hours. You can go somewhere exotic and discover a new culture. There’s nothing wrong with that. But how to make it a reality? Well it’s possible. I’ve encountered plenty of people who have shown me that you can quit your job to travel, and it’s easier than you think. Here’s how they’ve done it.

Paul from Quebec

Fifty pounds overweight, his belly travels in a different time zone than the rest of him. It betrays his job: a truck driver. Every year Paul works fifty or sixty hour weeks for eight months straight. He lives on a budget, and then he takes a leave and travels for four months. I met him in Malacca and we talked about places that we had both visited in Thailand.

David from California

I met David in Singapore and he said I was the first American that he had talked to in six months. His story is a good example of  how to quit your job and travel the world. After graduating from University he bought a pallet of wine and moved to China. It took him six months to sell it all, then he moved to South Korea to teach English. After two years he quit that job and took a one way flight to Singapore. He’s in no hurry to find more work and has enough saved to live leisurely.

Mark from Quebec

I checked Mark into the hostel I was volunteering at in Ukraine, and in the process I learned his story. He worked at a high level job at a brewery in Canada. Realizing that youth provides the best opportunity for freedom, he embraced the quit work and travel movement. By the age of twenty-eight he had saved eighty-thousand dollars. He allowed himself $2,000 a month, and planned to travel for two years straight. I met him halfway through his journey, and the last time I saw him he was on his way to Hong Kong.

Tim from England

Tall and skinny, I met Tim in Malaysia. He was travelling through Southeast Asia with his South Korean girlfriend. Earlier he had worked as an English teacher in Seoul, but had decided to quit work and travel. He had enough savings to live half a year in the ridiculously under-priced Malaysia and he was making his best go of it. I liked his girlfriend better, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was happy with his choice to leave his work and explore the world.

Kenny from Buffalo

I don’t know what Kenny plans to do about his crushing student loans, but that’s not stopping him from travelling. We first met in Moscow and we’ve kept in touch since then. Currently Kenny works in South Carolina for an insurance firm. In August he’s quitting his job to travel to Hungary to teach English. He might end up paying the financial price later on, but that’s always better than living with the regret of knowing that you could have gone out into the world but didn’t.

Jack from Australia

Jack checked me into my favorite hostel in Vietnam and he was a constant figure at our four o clock, drunken volleyball games. Tired of working in Australia, Jack saved a small amount of money and bought a one way ticket to Asia. Living on a budget, he made it work by volunteering at a hostel in Mui Ne, and drinking slightly less than the rest of us. Volunteering at a hostel is a fantastic way to make your money last, and I’ve written a post on the subject.

Andrew from New York City

A schoolteacher in the Bronx, Andrew is one of the most dedicated travelers that I’v ever met. I met him in Ukraine where he was staying for just a few days before going to North Korea. I don’t know what the stop was after that, but it certainly wasn’t home. Not content with just travelling during the summer, he recently quit his job and has now found work in South America. He’s visiting half a dozen countries before he gets there.

No Excuses

These people are all real, and none of them are geniuses or million dollar entrepreneurs. They simply made the choice to make exploration a priority. As a result they were all able to quit their job and travel. Once you look at it from their perspective it’s easy to see that it’s really not that difficult. Places like Ukraine and Southeast Asia are absurdly cheap. I spent a month in Ukraine on $350 and a month in Vietnam on $500. That’s a month of living for the cost of a new television. Get out there and do it. Save some money, tell your boss you’ve had enough, and buy a ticket to somewhere you’ve dreamed of going.

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