Should You Quit Your Job To Travel?
The topic of traveling long-term and the way many online travel personalities glamorize the perpetual travel lifestyle has been on my mind quite a bit lately. As you know, we are huge advocates for finding a balance between a healthy home life and wanderlust.
Let me start off by saying I’m not judging anyone who chooses to quit their job to travel. Our goal here is to present a different side of the coin from our personal experience. With so many articles advising others to quit their job to travel full-time, we think it’s important to note that it’s not the only option.
5 Reasons NOT to Quit Your Job to Travel
You Want The Best of Both Worlds
Just because you have a job or a home base doesn’t mean you can’t live a life filled with amazing travel experiences. We have yet to publicly announce this, but we just bought a house in coastal San Diego and as someone who has been fighting against the traditional American dream for the past 10 years of my life, this was a HUGE life-changing decision for me.
The main reason we started this blog was to show people that you can still live a “normal” life and travel the world. After traveling nearly 6 months per year for the past 5 years, I’ve grown to love my routine at home. I’ve surprisingly found a massive amount of joy in remodeling and DIY plans for our little beach cottage — in between trips to places like Canada and the Philippines.
Having a home base and a career you love doesn’t mean you have to give up travel. We’ve managed to travel to over 40 countries in the past 5 years — all while paying astronomical prices to live in a beach town we adore, Scott working a traditional full-time job, and both of us running this busy online business. My point is, it’s entirely possible to find a balance. You really can have the best of both worlds.
I think life is all about balance and I feel we have found our perfect balance between travel, pursuing creative endeavors and having a home life in San Diego.
If you are unhappy where you work, I definitely don’t believe in staying somewhere where you feel miserable. However, most people love the security of a steady paycheck (which is completely okay!) and would find themselves unhappy living with the uncertainty of where their next dollar will come from. I think it’s important to know which one of these people you are before you decide which path to take.
On one hand, we know travel makes us extremely happy and on the other hand, we can’t imagine giving up our lives in San Diego. It’s been empowering to finally realize that we don’t have to choose just one of these things and we really can have it all.
Read more: 5 Secrets to Finding the Best Flight Deals
You Want To Have Long-Term Relationships
Because we decided against selling all of our possessions to travel, we’ve been able to keep close ties with our dear group of friends — and for this, I am eternally grateful.
I’ve heard far too many perpetual travelers express regret over losing friendships after bouncing around for long periods of time. At some point, almost everyone realizes the value of long-term relationships and most even eventually find comfort in daily routine.
Travel Won’t Fix Your Problems
In my experience, if you are using travel to avoid a big emotional issue (been there, done that!), then it’s probably not going to fix anything in your life. Deal with your problem first, with a clear head, and then hop on a plane to an exotic location — ready to take on whatever adventures life throws at you.
Read more: 10 Biggest Travel Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
Social Media is Only a Highlight Reel
Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. I mean, drink it if you want to — I’m not here to tell anybody how to live their life — BUT… remember that people only show their best moments on social media. I’m not saying all long-term travelers are unhappy; just take it with a grain of salt if someone’s life on social media seems perfect.
You Don’t Want To Live With Your Parents
In many cases, the brutal truth is that many long-term travelers wouldn’t be able to afford a lifestyle of jet setting all over the world if they didn’t have a comfortable place to crash in between trips. Long-term travel is exhausting. Even taking 1-2 trips per month like we do is taxing and it’s nice to have the luxury of coming home when you get tired. And you WILL get tired.
I moved away from home at 17 and I can’t imagine relying on my parents to provide a place for me to live when I’m in my 20’s and 30’s — especially if I’m just choosing to spend all of my money on travel versus going through a tough time for other reasons. I would much rather find a balance of supporting myself AND traveling than crashing with my parents until I’m 40.
Now, if you’ve gotten to the bottom of this article and you still want to travel full-time, then more power to you! Just because this lifestyle is not right for us, that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for someone else. As a full-time travel blogger, I’ve written quite a few resources on how to make a living while traveling, which may help if you are looking for a way to make a living while you are on the road.
How I Get Paid to Travel the World
How to Start a Travel Blog: A Step By Step Guide
What do you think? Have you ever fantasized about leaving everything behind to travel the world indefinitely?
The Best Travel Tips To Save Money & Travel Like A Pro!
The 10 Best Getaways to Take This Fall
How to Save Money on Transportation Costs While Traveling
How to Choose the Best Luggage for Your Next Trip
5 Things You Should Never Forget Before a Trip
As someone who has been full-time traveling for a decade now, starting as a kid, I have to say… there’s a lot of bs in this post, frankly. I grow tired of the insinuation (and in this case an outright statement) that people who travel don’t and can’t have “real” relationships and community. Most of the travelers I know are still in regular contact with their group of friends at home and maintain those relationships as they travel. For me at least, travel hasn’t damaged my relationships and it’s actually greatly broadened the horizons of my friend group. Stability, community, and routine are something that 95% of full-time travelers DO HAVE. Please stop speaking for us.
Also, travel won’t fix your problems, but some space can help with approaching the solution with new perspective and a clear mind. Sometimes you need to get away for a bit in order to tackle an issue calmly. And hey, there’s nothing better than leaving the country to help you get away from and over an ex.
“In many cases, the brutal truth is that many long-term travelers
wouldn’t be able to afford a lifestyle of jet setting all over the world
if they didn’t have a comfortable place to crash in between trips.”
Really? Do you want to give us an example of the long-term travelers you know who crash with their parents at the end of a trip? I’d love to know how you learned about their incomes. Because I can give you a list in the hundreds of them that don’t. Long-term travel doesn’t necessarily mean constant-moving-every-day-travel. Most travelers who are in it for the long-haul settle in a cozy furnished apartment or some other home-like setup for a few months at a time in a new country and use it as a home base from which to do day trips. A large number of long-term travelers are families, some quite large families, and are responsible, fully self-supporting adults.
Don’t speak for us until you’ve done your research and know what you’re talking about. Thanks.
After reading more about you, you guys seem weirdly bitter at full-timers in general. There are many ways to do things. Travel full-time, travel when you feel like it, everyone has a different life and that’s great. But please don’t spread misinformation about a lifestyle you clearly don’t know the ins and outs of in order to promote your own. That’s gross.
This article has some wonderful advice. Thank you for the honesty and the aspect of balance.
Second post I read in this direction and the truth is, it is certainly indeed all in the balance. The question though what it the time frame you’re looking at as it is not always easy to find that balance on monthly or even yearly basis , unless having flexible work. Thanks for sharing thoughts and good luck with you new ”home routine” =))
Thanks for reading! No doubt, my travel schedule is very extreme considering I need to travel in order to make money. However, most people with full-time jobs can still find a balance between travel and work. 🙂 I do realize some employers are not as kind when it comes to vacation days, but you can still experience quite a bit with a 2-3 day weekend and over the holidays.
Hi Christy! Congrats on the new home! Such an exciting time for you two 🙂
I am a creature of habit and thrive on routine and appreciate having stability of a traditional full-time job. Are there are days when I fantasize about my husband and I traveling full-time? Yes, but I recognize that it won’t be the same or feel the same as the travel while having two full-time jobs to pay for those trips. I also have to remind myself that it’s not all glamourous. Long-term travel can be HARD, heck even two weeks away in a foreign land can have me clamoring to get home to my own bed. When we were in Thailand for two weeks our last meal was at an American fast food chain because we just couldn’t do another Thai meal (can’t believe I just admitted that, hahaha). My point is, it’s nice to have a home – a place of respite and solitude that I can return to after an adventure.
For those that have the wherewithal, resilience, and savvy for full-time travel – go for it or keep it up because it is truly inspiring. Especially you Christy, I love following you on instagram and reading your posts!
Haha. We did the same thing when we traveled to Thailand, which is odd considering how much I love Thai food! Thank you so much for following!
Thank you for sharing and being honest and letting others who don’t travel as much what they are really missing / not missing. I agree with your take on social media. Why do people waste so much time about nonsense? Keep up your website though, it does let people like me see where we may want to go next.
Thanks, Bill! Glad you enjoyed the post.