Author Topic: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets  (Read 10714 times)

zsmith

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Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« on: August 31, 2015, 02:00:22 PM »
A cautionary tale about why you can't quit your job/stable income and travel the world. You will have to work odd jobs and live on crackers.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/reality-check#.up6Vj47a5 

jinga nation

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2015, 02:06:10 PM »
South Africa is a beautiful country. There's no need to quit jobs and travel out of the country to scrub toilets. If they wanted to learn humility and provide community service, Soweto isn't too far from Jo'burg. There's a ton of townships over SA who would appreciate their service. And you get better food at shebeens (such as braai) instead of jam crackers.

Cookie78

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2015, 02:08:44 PM »
You say 'can't', but they still don't regret the choices they've made.

But it's not for me, I'd prefer to have a steady stream of passive income coming in before I quit to travel the world. :)

MgoSam

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 02:13:09 PM »
I don't mind this, it is good for them to work their way through this all. It doesn't sound like they are complaining, and while the work may be unpleasant, they seem to be enjoying themselves. I know a couple that traveled around the world for 3 years about a year after they got married, and during it they had to spend time doing odd jobs to raise some more money. They didn't mind it and though they've been back for a little over a year, they will cherish their memories forever.

This isn't something that I would want to do, but world travel isn't for everyone.

Kitsunegari

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2015, 02:25:03 PM »
I don't mind this, it is good for them to work their way through this all. It doesn't sound like they are complaining, and while the work may be unpleasant, they seem to be enjoying themselves. I know a couple that traveled around the world for 3 years about a year after they got married, and during it they had to spend time doing odd jobs to raise some more money. They didn't mind it and though they've been back for a little over a year, they will cherish their memories forever.

This isn't something that I would want to do, but world travel isn't for everyone.

+1
They are living a more humble lifestyle to do the experience they're dreamt about. They're ok with the sacrifices. Not really a cautionary tale, it's more a "behind the scenes".

teadirt

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2015, 02:28:24 PM »
Quote
So far, I think we’ve tallied 135 toilets scrubbed, 250 kilos of cow dung spread, 2 tons of rocks shovelled, 60 metres of pathway laid, 57 beds made...

If my top priority in life was traveling the world (it's not), this workload wouldn't really deter me. Honestly I would prefer the variety to 10-15 years at a full-time office job.

"So far, I think I've tallied 20,000 hours looking at a screen, attended 1,500 hours of meetings, became inflexible, became addicted to caffeine, traveled 6500 miles commuting to and from the office, cleaned the toilet in my apartment 28 times, shoveled 36 feet of snow off the driveway..."

bacchi

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2015, 03:07:52 PM »
"So far, I think I've tallied 20,000 hours looking at a screen, attended 1,500 hours of meetings, became inflexible, became addicted to caffeine, traveled 6500 miles commuting to and from the office, cleaned the toilet in my apartment 28 times, shoveled 36 feet of snow off the driveway..."

and am at risk of forgetting who I am...

okits

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2015, 07:34:58 PM »
"So far, I think I've tallied 20,000 hours looking at a screen, attended 1,500 hours of meetings, became inflexible, became addicted to caffeine, traveled 6500 miles commuting to and from the office, cleaned the toilet in my apartment 28 times, shoveled 36 feet of snow off the driveway..."

and am at risk of forgetting who I am...

Gained 30lbs, became bitter, fought with my spouse 45x about work-life balance, skipped/shortened 10 meaningful family events due to work considerations, got high blood pressure, taped 800 Dilbert comics to my wall, consumed 30,000 alcoholic beverages...

okits

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2015, 07:37:25 PM »
Oh, and about the couple in the news story: if that's how they wanted to finance seeing the world, that's cool.  I'm with Cookie78, I'd skip the working-for-food and do it on passive income.  :)

Cookie78

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 09:42:13 PM »
Three different articles about this couple popped up in my Facebook feed today. This one had the funniest title. Their blog seems much less pessimistic than any of the articles.

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/08/31/couple-who-quit-their-jobs-to-travel-are-now-broke-and-blame-soc/21229683/#

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2015, 10:38:01 PM »
We are on vacation, and as we drove about the island today, we say a young couple hitch hiking. We stopped and offered them a ride, and they jumped in the back of our minivan. First thing out of our 4 year old's mouth is, "What smells so bad?"  Yes, they stunk. They were camping, after all.

As we drove, we learned a little about them. They are from Quebec and have been traveling most of the summer.  They picked cherries in the Okanagan Valley earlier in the summer, are now roughing it in the gulf islands off Vancouver Island, and are thinking about what to do next. Probable next step is to go back to the Okanagan to pick apples, then when winter rolls around, find their way to Australia for some more work-funded travel (more apples), then maybe to Thailand for a while.

Now I'm all for traveling around the world with a backpack and really loose plans.  I've done it through Europe, Central America, SE Asia, and New Zealand. But like those above, I would prefer to do it on passive income, and enough of it that I can afford a regular shower!

Cpa Cat

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2015, 10:52:23 PM »
It's hardly a cautionary tale. They aren't permanently scrubbing toilets. They just do odd jobs while traveling. They're doing the same jobs as other transients - that's what's available to people who are only there to work temporarily.

I also didn't get the impression that they started mentioning it to be cautionary - they just wanted to share the other half of their experiences.

Given that they're in advertising, I'm sure that when they're ready to settle back down, they will be an asset in their industry and have no problem selling themselves and their experiences to a new agency.

kms

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2015, 01:55:29 AM »
That's hardly a cautionary tale. It's a story about a couple who chose to travel the world working in different parts thereof. That article, just like the others that I've seen in the last couple of days (yes, one can tell it's summer and news are really slow...), is pure bullshit. I've met many people who have travelled the world - backpackers, bikers, you name it - and neither of them had to scrub toilets on the road. Some chose to take a break here and there to work for a couple of weeks or months, but that was all voluntary.

My wife and I will be travelling the world next year (we're starting in late January 2016) and won't be doing that on passive income but savings. We've been saving for a while now to finance this trip and had a completely different plan initially - travel the world for two to three years by motorcycle, then return to Germany - but have adjusted our plans now that we won't be coming back to Europe but will be moving to the US instead. So we've shortened our trip to roughly a year and are now going to fly east with several stops on the way until we hit the United States.

Needless to say that we won't be doing it with any sort of organisation that'll have us scrub toilets while on the road, and since we've been saving for a much more expensive (and extensive) trip around the world we'll have enough money left to minimize our toilet scrubbing experience in the U.S. as well ;)

Left

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2015, 02:18:23 AM »
to throw a wrench into it...

how are they not "early" retired? It seems like people use it fairly loosely these days, have "some" income/side job for extra expenses while "living" free of a "job"? Not too sure how needing a side job = freedom from a job but okay... seems like people use that.

Saw someone last night post about retired at 25 on here, still said he needed to take on odd jobs to make up the difference. Seen people point out that even MMM "works" odd jobs for extra income/to trade expenses/etc.

Just wondering how people would feel about this couple, are they "retired" but still needing to work on the side for extra money?
Quote
A cautionary tale about why you can't quit your job/stable income and....
but this is MMM forums, we all want to quit jobs before we are "old" to do X hobby...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 02:20:05 AM by eyem »

Mississippi Mudstache

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2015, 07:49:41 AM »
"So far, I think I've tallied 20,000 hours looking at a screen, attended 1,500 hours of meetings, became inflexible, became addicted to caffeine, traveled 6500 miles commuting to and from the office, cleaned the toilet in my apartment 28 times, shoveled 36 feet of snow off the driveway..."

and am at risk of forgetting who I am...

Wait a second...Are you...me?

Kaspian

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 11:47:35 AM »
Got nothing against scrubbing toilets, but...

Quote
We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am

Fuck that!!! 

I love travel, but there's no way in hell I'm waking up at 5 and eating crackers "most days".   Glad they're happy but sorry, no "shit sandwiches" for me when I'm trying to enjoy myself. 

I'm pretty sure there will someday be a story of this couple getting arrested and/or deported for working in a country which requires certain permits to be in place. 

obstinate

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 11:37:57 PM »
Sounds fine to me. I'm sure it's not like in the storybooks, but it's not that much different from MMM traveling around and offering his construction help for a food and board.

Tjat

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 06:32:47 AM »
Just wondering how people would feel about this couple, are they "retired" but still needing to work on the side for extra money?

No, I think if you "retire" before being financially independent, you are more unemployed. However, rather than sitting at home and doing menial jobs to survive, they are doing it while traveling.

Left

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 06:43:58 AM »
Just wondering how people would feel about this couple, are they "retired" but still needing to work on the side for extra money?

No, I think if you "retire" before being financially independent, you are more unemployed. However, rather than sitting at home and doing menial jobs to survive, they are doing it while traveling.
does being retired mean complete fi? there are "retired" folks that still work part time for extra money. i'm talking about the social security receivers. but even i plan to work part time when i hit fi just to keep myself busy. well, plan to, we'll see if i do when i get to that bridge

bacchi

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 11:07:56 AM »
Got nothing against scrubbing toilets, but...

Quote
We eat jam on crackers most days, get roughly 5hrs of sleep per night, and lug our extremely heavy bags through cobbled streets at 1am

Fuck that!!! 

I love travel, but there's no way in hell I'm waking up at 5 and eating crackers "most days".   Glad they're happy but sorry, no "shit sandwiches" for me when I'm trying to enjoy myself. 

I'm pretty sure there will someday be a story of this couple getting arrested and/or deported for working in a country which requires certain permits to be in place.

It's not that much different from a lot of other post-college trips abroad: eating cheese and baguettes, looking for a hostel at 1AM because the train was late, doing some dish washing to make some extra cash.

zephyr911

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2015, 12:00:43 PM »
Seen people point out that even MMM "works" odd jobs for extra income/to trade expenses/etc.
He works pretty often, but not for extra income. That's the key distinction in his definition of retirement, which I tend to agree with.
If you have to work to get by, you're not retired. If you do it for fun, you can claim the status.

Kaspian

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2015, 01:55:51 PM »
It's not that much different from a lot of other post-college trips abroad: eating cheese and baguettes, looking for a hostel at 1AM because the train was late, doing some dish washing to make some extra cash.

^^ I love cheese and baguettes!  Or even better, a baguette with melted cheese and bacon like I had in Paris.  However, I'd go bonkers eating crackers and jam (or other purely sustenance meal) every day while I watch all the mofos on the outdoor patios eating French onion soup, beef Bourgonion, and crème brûlée for dessert.  ...Which only costs about 10 Euros. 

No beer money for Ireland?  You really might as well not even go. 

If I just wanted to "see the world", I'd go to the library and take out a book.  ...I want to actually experience it. 

teadirt

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2015, 02:24:52 PM »
If I just wanted to "see the world", I'd go to the library and take out a book.  ...I want to actually experience it. 

Wisdom!

rocketpj

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2015, 03:18:27 PM »
Quote
I am not at my fittest, slimmest or physically healthiest.

Sheesh.  I am all for fit and slim, but from the pictures those folks are extremely fit, slim and healthy.  Alarmingly so, from my crusty middle aged 6 hours in the gym and the same on my bike just to stop my waist from getting larger point of view.

lostamonkey

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2015, 03:50:45 PM »
I don't consider them retired because they have to work to survive. If you have sufficent passive income to support yourself and choose to part time you can be considered retired.

I don't think there is anything wrong or shameful with what they are doing. I wouldn't live that way though.

EndlessJourney

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2015, 07:17:25 PM »
I'm pretty sure there will someday be a story of this couple getting arrested and/or deported for working in a country which requires certain permits to be in place.

Actually, the reason why they are doing these odd jobs is *because* they don't have work permits.

There are programs in place like WWOOF where you can "work" in exchange for accommodation and food. Since no money is exchanging hands, you do not need a permit.

This is quite a popular program for travelers to cut costs. It may not mean they are broke on the road, it may just be that they are saving more of their funds for transportation, visas, recreation, etc., thus prolonging their trip.

A lot of these programs also put you in touch with locals and you can get a more intimate understanding of being in a foreign country by living and working with them, rather than staying in hotels and eating in restaurants.

But I know some people's definition of travel is exactly that, so different strokes for different folks.

Dicey

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2015, 07:32:49 PM »
Thanks, z! Loved the article and the comments it inspired here. My vote is BADASS!

partgypsy

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2015, 11:15:42 AM »
Interesting. I could have done that when I was in my 20's but as in my later 40's, like comfort and not back-breaking work.

My ideal is to have enough money saved, and a paid off house, can travel a few times a year modestly but not having to worry about working at the same time, other than say if my husband wanted to play his guitar in a subway and throw down a hat just for fun.

eyesonthehorizon

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Re: Couple who quit jobs to travel now scrub toilets
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2015, 07:55:45 PM »
I'm pretty sure there will someday be a story of this couple getting arrested and/or deported for working in a country which requires certain permits to be in place.

Actually, the reason why they are doing these odd jobs is *because* they don't have work permits.

There are programs in place like WWOOF where you can "work" in exchange for accommodation and food. Since no money is exchanging hands, you do not need a permit.

This is quite a popular program for travelers to cut costs. It may not mean they are broke on the road, it may just be that they are saving more of their funds for transportation, visas, recreation, etc., thus prolonging their trip.

A lot of these programs also put you in touch with locals and you can get a more intimate understanding of being in a foreign country by living and working with them, rather than staying in hotels and eating in restaurants.

But I know some people's definition of travel is exactly that, so different strokes for different folks.

You may have just updated my post-FIRE plans with that link, so many thanks!!