How To Travel The World Without Quitting Your Job

Adele Miner says giving up your life at home isn't the only way to see the world.

There’s a worrying trend going viral on social media at the minute. Video after video is being made of people encouraging others to give up their lives and go see the world. The videos are often backed by the mantra ‘money will come back to you, but memories won’t’, which is a good slogan to base your life on, if you have money.

What these videos fail to address is the grey area between quitting your job and hopping on a plane. It might look like these videos with millions of views are dripping in spontaneity, but realistically you can bet that a lot of planning was behind it. You don’t just hand in your notice and a few hours later you’re on the other side of the world with a new group of friends you just made.

There’s a safety net that so many of these vagabonds don’t talk about. As we know, social media is simply a highlight reel of someone’s life and not the full picture. We see people dancing at Full Moon parties, but we don’t see the breakdown they had in the middle of an airport when they couldn’t find their boarding pass.

low-angle photography of two men playing beside two women

Like this, we also don’t see the amount of planning and prep that goes into taking the leap to go travelling. It’s pretty likely that the person sharing their travels with the world put in a lot of hard graft to make it happen. We’re talking tonnes of extra shifts, missed nights and occasions to save money, and a solid plan of action for when they return back home – a parent’s house to live in, job opportunities lined up etc. 

Because of the ever-increasing cost of living, many people favour stability over dropping it all to seek adventure. My point is not that you won’t make the best memories of your life by travelling, you absolutely will, but rather not everyone is in a position to do that. Social media posts pushing the agenda that you’re not truly living if you’re not quitting it all to go to the other side of the world is dangerous. It ignores the possible consequences of doing it, you could find it difficult to get a new job in a challenging market, without money you can’t pay rent or buy food to eat.

These things may only happen in extreme circumstances, but they’re still possibilities that should always be considered before acting on a whim because a TikTok video empowered you to. Sure, scooting off for pastures new is easy in your early twenties and you have parents who will keep a roof over your head and your belly full when you return home at the end of summer, but when you’re older and have real life responsibilities it’s not so do-able.

flat lay photography of camera, book, and bag

Which brings me to my argument, that actually, you can hold down a full-time job and feed your wanderlust at the same time. If you want to see the world but at the same time are not in a position to throw everything you’ve worked for down the drain, there are ways to make memories and money at the same time. Of course, the last two years has seen remote working become a big part of corporate life.

Whether your company adopts a hybrid model or a fully remote lifestyle, this opens up some room for travel that might not have been there before. Chat with your boss to figure out their flexibility on where you can work from. Realistically, you’ll probably need to work on a similar time zone as your colleagues, so figure out somewhere you could go for a week or two that’s not too far a field but foreign enough to make you excited.

airplanes window view of sky during golden hour

You could spend a fortnight in summer working from an Airbnb by day and drinking a beer on the beach come the evening. If you’re in a more stringent work environment that doesn’t accommodate remote working, this is where your annual leave is your best friend. The key to making your annual leave stretch is planning way in advance.

Take a look at 2023’s calendar and work out when there are bank holidays, this is the best way to make your annual leave stretch as far as possible. Plan trips around those dates, so if you have a weekend off and a Monday bank holiday, you just have to use 2 days of your annual leave for a 5-day trip. Planning where you go and what you do is important to making the most of your time off too.

If you’re heading somewhere for a week next summer and want to see as much of it as possible, do your research. Through Google, Instagram, and TikTok you can create an itinerary perfect for you. Sometimes knowing you’re in a place for a short amount of time is motivation enough to get up and out every day. Sometimes, being truly adventurous means squeezing in little escapades inbetween the hustle and bustle of life.

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