It's any avid traveler's dream – quitting your job to go around the world and never look back. But it's easier said than done, right? Unless you've just inherited a fortune, financing the trip is the first and biggest impediment of them all. Do you have enough in the bank to keep you on the road without that regular paycheck coming in? Hooray for you! If you don't, but you still find yourself wanderlusting on a daily basis, there are other, more realistic approaches.
Fortunately, you don't have to quit your job to travel the world! All you need is to have a great plan and stick to it. There are basically two ways you can do this. Either you make the most of your days off, or you find a location independent job. Let's start with the first scenario.
Make The Most Of Your Desk-Bound Job
All you restless desk-jockeys out there, quit your whining and start living! So you don't want to, or simply can't quit your 9-to-5 job. That's fine, you can still do a lot of traveling if you put your mind to it. Think in days rather than in weeks. For example, you can make your trips longer if you leave Friday after work and return on Monday morning. Do the same with your holidays.
It doesn't matter where you live, the world is your oyster. And we all have to start somewhere. Avoid long, exhausting trips when you are under time pressure. You'll end up spending the little time you have recovering from jet lag. It's important to expand your horizons, but sometimes you just have to narrow your search and look for beauty in our own backyard. Visit the neighboring cities, find historical sites, hike the nearest mountains, explore natural parks, or have a swim in a local lake. These little things that give us great joy can be done in weekends, even afternoons if you are really determined.
Look for opportunities to swap locations and you could move halfway around the globe for a given period of time. Some professions even offer opportunities to exchange positions with a person with the same qualifications in another country. Or simply search for a job abroad. This is a great chance to see new places and get acquainted with interesting cultures while living like a local.
Last but not least, some employers are willing to hold your job for up to a year if you wish to take a sabbatical or a leave of absence. Unpaid of course. But if you save and plan wisely, it could be the solution to your problems.
Now let's move on to the next scenario. Fed up with desk-bound life? Struggling to climb that career ladder and feel it's going nowhere? Remember, success can be measured in other ways too, such as finding a job and lifestyle you don't want to run from. If you've decided you want to escape the rat race, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to give up your work too.
Take Your Job On The Road
Traveling is time consuming. That's why people believe they need to quit their job to do it in the first place. This is where slow traveling comes in, the art of going at an easy pace. It means spending more time in each place you visit and becoming a part of the local culture.
The first thing you need to do is make your job location independent. If you already work from home, this should be easy. If you don't, find a job you can do remotely. It can be online freelancing, or you can try to reach an agreement with your employers to take your projects with you around the world. What are your top skills? Do you have any secret talents? Can you put them to good use in a digital environment? Be advised that the online industry is sadly a good place for all sorts of scams. Make sure you find companies you can do a background check on.
Become A Digital Nomad
Welcome to the 21st century, the age of connectivity. We bow to you almighty Internet for opening new doors and helping us live out our dreams. With the advances of technology, more jobs are becoming portable. All you need to do is have the willpower to step sideways and work from an unconventional office anywhere you choose on the map. Start somewhere cheap and see how it goes. It will also make the transition to becoming a digital nomad much easier. While on the road, you might want to consider trying your luck at writing. Start a blog, share your travels and adventures with the world, inspire others to take the road less traveled. Think of it as your business card, it could open new doors, help you get launched and make a name for yourself.
Bare in mind that a location independent job also means flexible hours, which can easily turn against you if you prefer wandering instead of working. You may wake up to a lovely sunrise over the Pacific, start the day with some yoga and a swim, but you still need to get the job done, otherwise it's bye-bye paycheck. Just remember, self-discipline is the key to success.
Find A Co-working Space For Travelers
One of the best ways to get into that office mode from back home is finding a coworking space. There are loads of them around the world, some specifically targeted toward travelers. Offering an office environment on a temporary basis, they have desks, printers, Wi-Fi, coffee machines and a friendly atmosphere in some really cool hangouts. Some of them include accommodation, while others are simply office spaces where travelers can get their job done.
Set Up Your Own Office
Maybe a coworking space is not within reach where you are traveling. Or perhaps you enjoy working alone, in complete silence. No problem. You can set up your own office anywhere! And I stress “anywhere". Search affordable accommodations on Airbnb and make sure there's a desk and good Wi-Fi. You can even rent your own home while on the road and earn some extra money to keep you on the road even longer.
Find an inspiring place that brings out the best in you. It can be on the beach in Bali, in a hammock in Thailand, by a grapevine in Italy, at a desk by a small window in an attic in downtown Paris, the list can go on forever. All you need is a laptop, unlocked phone so you can swap SIM cards when moving to different countries, a Skype account and a decent wireless connection.
Where there's a will there's a way, so stop making excuses and start finding solutions. Think outside the box and step out of your comfort zone. Who knows where a life committed to travel may take you?