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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 10:37:21 AM

Title: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 10:37:21 AM
I've been at my job for over a year and while it's okay, it's not what I want to do. I'll be here until spring to cash in on a $5k bonus and $5k fully vested 401k match, but after that I'm thinking about quitting without lining anything else up. I think it would be great to do some bike touring with my dog, spend a little time taking Spanish lessons in Central America, and generally work on figuring out what I want to do next.

I save 40-50% of my take home pay, and I want to find work that's stimulating and feels meaningful. I think taking time off could give me the headspace to do that, and I have enough connections in the field I want to move into that I think I could find something without too much heartache after taking time off. I was thinking I'd plan for 3 months off, having 9 months of expenses in an easily accessible savings account so I don't have to worry about finding a job while I'm traveling.

What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Dee18 on October 20, 2015, 10:49:57 AM
I say go for it. I traveled around the world for a year when I was 21.  I am so glad I did it when I was young. (I still love traveling, but really can't stand to stay in hostels now!)  You are at a perfect age to enjoy it and you will treasure the memories the rest of your life.  It sounds like you have thought this through.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cookie78 on October 20, 2015, 11:51:31 AM
Do it. I think it's a great idea. I've done it a couple times (except I never actually quit, I just negotiated the time off) and had great experiences. The last time I came back and within a week I realized I needed to change the course of my life. I got a new job within 6 weeks and discovered MMM a few months after that. In that respect it was life changing. The previous times were more about travel and experiencing the world and much less about figuring out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. 

I second allsummerlong in that you should make clear expectations about what you'd like to accomplish. You might need some time for decompressing, but it's easy to get stuck in that head space and 3 months later wonder where all the time went. 
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: jeromedawg on October 20, 2015, 12:05:37 PM
If you've never done anything like this before, I'd wholeheartedly say to go for it. Exploring the world is a good way to open your eyes up to what's out there. Do it now especially if you're single with no kids. You won't regret it.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 12:17:31 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! I went on a trip for a few weeks this May, spent 6 weeks in Guatemala a few years ago, and studied abroad in college. But I haven't done something as unformed as this yet. I'm starting to feel really excited at the prospect of it.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Rightflyer on October 20, 2015, 12:25:53 PM
Yes. Do it. I did this years ago. Best decision I've ever made regarding career.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cookie78 on October 20, 2015, 12:32:13 PM
You should also come back here and write about your experiences so we can live vicariously through you. :)
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: YK-Phil on October 20, 2015, 12:36:57 PM
At your age, you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. Not just because travel is fun, but also for your own personal growth and development, and possible new career paths and interests you may discover along the way. Go for it, please. For all of us who didn't have the opportunity or the guts to do it when we were your age.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: jeromedawg on October 20, 2015, 12:39:13 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far! I went on a trip for a few weeks this May, spent 6 weeks in Guatemala a few years ago, and studied abroad in college. But I haven't done something as unformed as this yet. I'm starting to feel really excited at the prospect of it.

If you can, you should try to circumvent the globe!!! I studied abroad in Italy for a few months during my 3rd year in college. It was a great experience and I tried to travel to a different city or country every weekend (mostly by train but sometimes by air) to make the most out of it. Recently went back for a 2-3 week trip a few years ago with my wife and re-visited the town I had stayed in while there. It was so neat. Don't think we'll be able to do this again at least for a while now with a baby.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: alexrcraig on October 20, 2015, 12:45:17 PM
generally work on figuring out what I want to do next.

What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?

This is probably one of the worst reasons to go travel the world and quit your job. Trying to "figure it out" is too vague.

People who quit their jobs to go and "figure it out" rarely ever do any figuring out. They almost rarely think about the problems that exist because they are busy doing so much else.

The other thing is that "figuring it out" cannot be done by thinking. You need to gain experience in different things. This will help you make a better decision. You will learn what you like and do not like.

If you want to quit your job because you want a new experience then great, but do not quit because you need to figure it out
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: alexrcraig on October 20, 2015, 12:50:26 PM
At your age, you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. Not just because travel is fun, but also for your own personal growth and development, and possible new career paths and interests you may discover along the way. Go for it, please. For all of us who didn't have the opportunity or the guts to do it when we were your age.

Do not go for it. You have a lot to lose. This is a serious decision and one that should not be taken lightly just because you want to explore the world.

I am all for travelling and I have visited many places. I have traveled all over Russia and Europe.

But travelling for personal growth, careers and all that is just a load of BS. There are so many other ways to grow personally. If you feel like you are growing stale find a new job, pick up a new hobby, invest in a relationship. [Mod Note: Spam link removed.] It is okay to hop around job to job when you are young to test different careers until you find the right one.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: jeromedawg on October 20, 2015, 12:54:32 PM
Or perhaps, try to arrange an extended leave or sabbatical with your work? That might be hard though considering you haven't been there that long. Perhaps another strategy would be to look for another job and time things so that you can quit your current job, do a short travel stint, and then when you come back move into the other job...? I realize this is probably a lot harder to negotiate and arrange but it might be worth considering if there are concerns over cash flow, etc. It certainly wouldn't hurt to consider this as an option for added security.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 01:11:42 PM
generally work on figuring out what I want to do next.

What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?

This is probably one of the worst reasons to go travel the world and quit your job. Trying to "figure it out" is too vague.

People who quit their jobs to go and "figure it out" rarely ever do any figuring out. They almost rarely think about the problems that exist because they are busy doing so much else.

The other thing is that "figuring it out" cannot be done by thinking. You need to gain experience in different things. This will help you make a better decision. You will learn what you like and do not like.


I have a master's degree in public health and work in my field for a tech company now, but want to work part-time in active transportation. I started a blog several months ago which has gotten fairly popular in relevant circles, so one way to 'figure it out' would be to meet with all of my new contacts and talk about possible opportunities to work on active transportation projects. I've found that my blog alone can get me job offers and has led me to get some freelance writing gigs.

Figuring it out would not involve just thinking. It would involve more investment in my blog than I can muster when working full-time, and bike touring would give me a lot of content to write about. It would also involve pursuing freelance writing opportunities, and brainstorming business ideas.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: FLBiker on October 20, 2015, 01:18:24 PM
But travelling for personal growth, careers and all that is just a load of BS.

What a bizarre statement.  Seeing the world, experiencing different cultures / ways of living, is a great way to grow.  Sure, it's not the only way, but it certainly isn't BS.

I spent most of my 20s living in Asia, and it was awesome (even when it was terrible).  Your 20s are a great time to travel, pre-house, pre-kids, etc.  I wholeheartedly recommend it!

And bike touring is a great way to go.  When I was living in China, I did a month long tour of the Tibetan Plateau.  It's really fun to just head out in a direction, not knowing where you're going to end up.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 01:23:41 PM
But travelling for personal growth, careers and all that is just a load of BS.

What a bizarre statement.  Seeing the world, experiencing different cultures / ways of living, is a great way to grow.  Sure, it's not the only way, but it certainly isn't BS.

That commenter seems like a troll. Only 7 posts, 23 years old, talking as if he has all the wisdom in the world. \_(ツ)_/
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: cliffhanger on October 20, 2015, 01:36:09 PM
I'm seriously considering doing something like this too. It's great to see all the positive feedback here. Best of luck!
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: ShortInSeattle on October 20, 2015, 01:49:29 PM
A friend did this and it worked well for him. He resumed his career when he returned and it went well.

There is a cost of course. You'll spend money, stop earning for a time, and all that has an impact. Our friend who traveled for a year in his twenties is happy with his choice but he did end up "behind" a few years from a financial perspective.

Take money you'll spend + loss of income. That's how much the experience will cost you. Of course what you gain could be worth much more. That's up to you!

Tell us how it goes.

SIS
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 01:53:28 PM
Can you explain what you mean by "active transportation"?  I'm kind of assuming it is about encouraging people to move around more by foot or bike, but curious to hear more.   

Sure! So yes, a lot of it has to do with improving urban infrastructure. Much of our urban environments were designed for cars at the expense of other modes, like walking and biking. If we can improve the infrastructure, we can make it easier for people to choose healthier options. And walking and biking are by far healthier for communities when it comes to health, pollution, and economic costs. I'm not an urban planner, but I do have a background in public health and behavior change. The purpose of my blog is to showcase the different experiences of being a cyclist, to encourage new bikers to get started biking by seeing they can do it.

I'm on the Bicycle Advisory Committee for my city, which advises the mayor and city council on bicycle infrastructure projects, have done research with a local bike advocacy nonprofit, and am soon to be on the board of 30 Days of Biking. I think there are ways that I could monetize the work I am doing, but need a little more time to explore those paths.

Here are a couple things I've written if you want to explore more:

http://www.bikinginmpls.com/make-the-right-choices-easy/
http://www.bikinginmpls.com/how-people-get-started-biking/
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: mtnbikes on October 20, 2015, 03:00:45 PM
I say GO FOR IT!! I travelled extensively after college and had many great experiences and met some wonderful people. Do it now before you get settled into a career, get married, and have children. Im still able to travel, but it is a lot easier when all you have to worry about is yourself. Also, go before the MN winter really kicks in!!
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 03:10:33 PM
Also, go before the MN winter really kicks in!!

I like winter! And I'd be giving up a bonus and 401k match if I leave before March. But March is a good a time as any to get outta town.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Quinn on October 20, 2015, 03:10:45 PM
Go for it.

Make sure you plan it properly tho - you don't want to end up not doing what you intended.
https://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_sagmeister_the_power_of_time_off

Dr. Doom at livingafi has a great post on this (in short, taking a gap year is great and only slightly pushes back your FI date)
http://livingafi.com/2015/08/04/taking-a-gap-year/
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: mm1970 on October 20, 2015, 03:26:47 PM
generally work on figuring out what I want to do next.

What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?

This is probably one of the worst reasons to go travel the world and quit your job. Trying to "figure it out" is too vague.

People who quit their jobs to go and "figure it out" rarely ever do any figuring out. They almost rarely think about the problems that exist because they are busy doing so much else.

The other thing is that "figuring it out" cannot be done by thinking. You need to gain experience in different things. This will help you make a better decision. You will learn what you like and do not like.

If you want to quit your job because you want a new experience then great, but do not quit because you need to figure it out
I see his point though.  If you have a reasonable expectation that you'll be able to figure it out, and enjoy the experience otherwise, then go for it. 

I've worked with 3 guys who did this.  One asked for a leave of absence (which was a company policy) but was denied because "we don't feel like it".  So he quit and went to Central America for 6 months, truly enjoyed the experience.  One just flat out quit to work for the Peace Corps, or something like it (also in Central America) with his girlfriend/ wife, for a couple of years.

You've been at your  job for a year, in some ways it's not "enough time" (although I agree that honestly, now's the time to travel.)

The third guy - maybe it was just his personality.  He wasn't the best worker (late to work often, not particularly motivated, he's the reason I got bigger raises because he was always underperforming...more money to go around). 

He quit to travel around the world for a year.  He made it 9 months before he ran out of money.  I enjoyed reading his blog (this was back in the early 2000's, maybe 2003 or 2004).

And then...?  He moved back in with his parents in Indiana.  Didn't really work, started taking yoga, working on his spirituality. (I have nothing against yoga and spirituality, but damn man, you are 30, get an effing job and stop living on your parents).  Then he moved back to CA because a friend was starting a company.  He worked at that for a few years, but I don't think the company went anywhere.  Last I hear a few years ago, he was back living with his parents.  He must be late 30's now.

I by no means think that this is you.  But I don't think he thought it was him either.  He wasn't particularly excited about using his master's in engineering, but I don't think he figured he'd come out of the travel with no real goals. 

I think it's okay to have no real career goals - when my parents were growing up, life was about LIFE and work was simply a means to pay for it - not necessarily something that would "complete" you.

When I was in the Navy, I lived in DC.  I was on a co-ed volleyball team.  4 of the 6 of us were Navy, and all driving desks. The other two were a woman who worked for a consulting firm, and a guy who worked for the EPA.  Man, those two lived the life.  They had lived all over by age 30, volunteering, working, traveling...so many great stories.  My best friend and I looked at each other and said "man are we boring".

Only you know your own personality.  I think the first two guys?  It was probably one of the best things they ever did. 
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: peeps_be_peeping on October 20, 2015, 03:50:17 PM
I am about to do something very similar. I am quitting my job and want to be "funemployed" for 3-6 months before I get another job in a new field. I have a tentative plan.

I am well into my late 30s and feeling stagnant where I am in my life. I have a decent net worth, though not enough to retire on. I just cannot fathom putting another 10-20 years into the work I am currently doing. I am excited about taking a break and changing careers.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Blueskies123 on October 20, 2015, 03:50:25 PM
I am always amazed how many people on this board say go for it.  If your goal is to retire early you need to work as hard a possible and save as much as you can.  Yes you could die in a car crash tomorrow but odds are you will live into your late 80's if you do not smoke and engage in risky behavior. 
$10,000 invested today for the next 30 years is much better than $10,000 invested 10 years from now.  As a hiring manager I was always uncertain of young people that took time off to travel the world when they should be building their career.
Work all the overtime you can and invest the money.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: monstermonster on October 20, 2015, 04:10:47 PM

I have a master's degree in public health and work in my field for a tech company now, but want to work part-time in active transportation. I started a blog several months ago which has gotten fairly popular in relevant circles, so one way to 'figure it out' would be to meet with all of my new contacts and talk about possible opportunities to work on active transportation projects. I've found that my blog alone can get me job offers and has led me to get some freelance writing gigs.

If you're a transportation dork, world travel does awesome stuff for professional development- I've done it quite a few times and it was amazing. Lots of trains & bikeshare systems out there to check out! I'm in active transportation (and have been for 10 years) so if you want to talk, PM me. I can give good recommendations for people & places to visit. My long-term big quest is to ride on every subway system in the world. Just 47 left to go!

My advice: go on the trip, but frame at least part of it as a "professional development" trip and make a plan for how many blog posts/etc you're going to do in each country. Pretend it is a fellowship and fund it like you won a fellowship out of your savings.

Also, if you have a dog (which it seems you do)- where is your dog going to stay while you travel?
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on October 20, 2015, 04:18:20 PM
My advice: go on the trip, but frame at least part of it as a "professional development" trip and make a plan for how many blog posts/etc you're going to do in each country. Pretend it is a fellowship and fund it like you won a fellowship out of your savings.

Also, if you have a dog (which it seems you do)- where is your dog going to stay while you travel?

I think that's a good plan about having structure. This is a very new idea so I don't know where I'd be traveling or for how long. I don't think I would do one continuous trip. One thing that's been in my mind for awhile is traveling to South/Central America again to work on my Spanish. I would also like to do an extended bike tour with my dog in the US. I've done some bike camping with her and it's pretty awesome. My parents could probably watch her as long as it doesn't conflict with their post-RE travel plans.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Telecaster on October 20, 2015, 04:27:33 PM
I say go for it.    The reality is that it is _extremely_ difficult to take an extended period of time off and travel, and it only gets harder as you get older.  Most people never do, and the best time to do it is when you are young.  When you are older you won't enjoy sleeping in a hostel or in a tent most nights.  But that's when you have the best adventures!  I did a month backpacking in South America.  I should have gone for a year, but I was worried about job and money and all that so I cut it shorter than I could have. Mistake.     

To the naysayers that it will delay your FIRE:  BFD.   We live life to have experiences.   
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: BigBangWeary on October 21, 2015, 02:23:02 AM
My wife and I have traveled to 50 countries, most of it when we were in our 20s. We are well on our way to financial freedom, but in our 30s now it has gotten harder to travel as much with children and commitments beyond ourselves.

You can never travel, the way you can travel, when you are young. Be smart, be sensible, have a plan, but do not miss out. We are who we are today because we went out and saw the world.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cork on October 21, 2015, 01:56:30 PM
This is my daily tug-of-war.  Good job, good field, but traveling while young also highly recommended. 

I am always amazed how many people on this board say go for it.  If your goal is to retire early you need to work as hard a possible and save as much as you can....
$10,000 invested today for the next 30 years is much better than $10,000 invested 10 years from now. 

Real solid counter-argument.  The FIRE lifestyle only gets pushed back by traveling while young.  Every dollar not invested today is less money tomorrow.

I'll be following this thread.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Quinn on October 21, 2015, 02:12:09 PM
I am always amazed how many people on this board say go for it.  If your goal is to retire early you need to work as hard a possible and save as much as you can....
$10,000 invested today for the next 30 years is much better than $10,000 invested 10 years from now. 
Real solid counter-argument.  The FIRE lifestyle only gets pushed back by traveling while young.  Every dollar not invested today is less money tomorrow.

Yes, but it's more like $10,000 invested this year or $10,000 invested next year. Assuming OP can find a job after taking a year off, the difference is going to be 1 year's worth of expenses, 1 year's worth of savings, and the compounded returns from that. OP's current savings and investments are still going to be there and generating returns. It's not like OP is going on a bender and reversing everything she's accomplished so far. Taking a year off will push back the FI date (probably by a year or two), but you are only 27 once. There are some things you can't get back even with money.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cookie78 on October 21, 2015, 02:18:33 PM
This is my daily tug-of-war.  Good job, good field, but traveling while young also highly recommended. 

I am always amazed how many people on this board say go for it.  If your goal is to retire early you need to work as hard a possible and save as much as you can....
$10,000 invested today for the next 30 years is much better than $10,000 invested 10 years from now. 

Real solid counter-argument.  The FIRE lifestyle only gets pushed back by traveling while young.  Every dollar not invested today is less money tomorrow.

I'll be following this thread.

But it doesn't get pushed back much (described in quote below). Take the time now when you are young or later when you don't have to return to work eventually. Personal choice I guess.

I have never met anyone who regretted traveling while they were young. Even having FI goals now and knowing I could have been done already if I hadn't traveled, I still don't regret it even a little bit.

Go for it.

Make sure you plan it properly tho - you don't want to end up not doing what you intended.
https://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_sagmeister_the_power_of_time_off

Dr. Doom at livingafi has a great post on this (in short, taking a gap year is great and only slightly pushes back your FI date)
http://livingafi.com/2015/08/04/taking-a-gap-year/

Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: frugaliknowit on October 21, 2015, 02:29:41 PM
Couple years ago I had a one way flight to Reno, NV on AA (return was on SW).

We cancelled the ski trip (to Lake Tahoe) due to lack of snow.  I had paid $180 for the AA leg. 

My choices were:
1.  Don't show up for the flight and lose $180
2.  Pay a rebooking fee for $200 plus the "new" rate for the new flight.

I walked.

This is why I use SW, everything else being equal.  SW gives you full dollar credit if you cancel (you have a year to use the credit).
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: YK-Phil on October 21, 2015, 02:36:16 PM
Couple years ago I had a one way flight to Reno, NV on AA (return was on SW).

We cancelled the ski trip (to Lake Tahoe) due to lack of snow.  I had paid $180 for the AA leg. 

My choices were:
1.  Don't show up for the flight and lose $180
2.  Pay a rebooking fee for $200 plus the "new" rate for the new flight.

I walked.

This is why I use SW, everything else being equal.  SW gives you full dollar credit if you cancel (you have a year to use the credit).

Wrong thread?
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: 2ndTimer on October 21, 2015, 02:42:33 PM
We did this and wish we had done it more.  However, we are almost 60 and my spouse still works.  So be aware of the trade offs.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: frugaliknowit on October 21, 2015, 02:47:43 PM
Quitting your job to travel when you only have a nine month reserve:  Not wise.

Stay employed, look for more forfilling work while employed, travel while employed.  You may only be able to do it 2 weeks at a time, but when you're older and rich, you'll be glad you did!! 

My guess is you will follow the others cheering you on, good luck either way!!
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Leanthree on October 21, 2015, 03:05:01 PM
I'll be taking 10 months off from a high-paying job to travel (mostly hiking, some skiing) starting in January and I did the FIRE calculations. It is either do it after retirement and retire at 36 or do it now and retire at 39. I basically decided that taking before I had kids was the best option as once I have kids even if I have no job I won't be able (/it wouldn't be fair to my kid) to do the sort of traveling I want.

The 'stache is in a place that given an average market year, I might have more money after the sabbatical. The key to this is to travel cheap, I will be hiking and sleeping in the backcountry for the most part or staying with family while skiing. Only have to pay for moving from place to place, food, gear and cell phone.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Left on October 21, 2015, 03:10:42 PM
i guess i'm missing something... why doesnt op get a job that is contract based? work 3-4 months, travel another 1-2 months, work another 3-4 months, repeat?

it keeps skillset up, but you are stuck in the us due to needing to work and flights overseas cost a lot more... travelling in us is nice too. and would help "figure things out" as well.

if op wants international experience, thats different... but just to get free time and a loose idea of figuring things out, doing it in the us works as well
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cork on October 22, 2015, 07:08:34 AM
...It's not like OP is going on a bender and reversing everything she's accomplished so far. Taking a year off will push back the FI date (probably by a year or two), but you are only 27 once. There are some things you can't get back even with money.

Good point.

why doesnt op get a job that is contract based? work 3-4 months, travel another 1-2 months, work another 3-4 months, repeat?

Also great alternative.  Lots of good information here :)

Windawake, let us know what you decide! 


Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: mm1970 on October 22, 2015, 12:56:12 PM
Along a similar vein...I read the blog of a woman who does long distance hiking.  She did the PCT one year and that's how I discovered her blog. Turns out she's also done the ADT and other distance hikes. She's a hiking nerd.  Has taken MONTHS off work MANY times.

So she's taken time off a lot to do these things.  After the PCT she got a job truck driving.  More distance!

Anyway, taking time to travel will affect FIRE but does not have to make it impossible.  Travel can decrease your needs.  The PCT hiker does not have rent.  She and her husband live in their truck.  Which is helping them pay off stupid consumer debt.

https://somanymiles.wordpress.com/
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: arebelspy on November 08, 2015, 03:48:25 PM
I'd love for you to start a journal here if you do decide to go for it and share with us, over the next six months or so, your preparations for this.  Sounds awesome!  :D
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Cornbread OMalley on November 09, 2015, 01:58:51 AM
What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?
windawake, I think you're an idiot. And listen to the words of Alexrcraig, Blueskies123, 2ndtimer, and frugaliknowit.  And here is my two cents from traveling all seven continents:  1) nobody gives a damn about what you're trying to learn as long as they get your dollar and 2) most countries will try to sell you sex in brothels and massage parlors.

My advice to you is go to Meetup.com, find some groups that you share common interests with, and develop ideas through them.  Save your money, keep your job, and don't squander the most financially productive years of your life.

MOD EDIT: Forum Rule #1.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: arebelspy on November 09, 2015, 03:19:30 AM
Living a deliberate life is the opposite of being an idiot.

Always going along with the status quo, not taking risks, and then regretting missed opportunities... that's the real mistake.

Whether windawake takes this trip or not, just considering something like this is a great step towards choosing a purposeful life.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: windawake on November 09, 2015, 10:07:23 AM
What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?
windawake, I think you're an idiot.  And listen to the words of Alexrcraig, Blueskies123, 2ndtimer, and frugaliknowit.  And here is my two cents from traveling all seven continents:  1) nobody gives a damn about what you're trying to learn as long as they get your dollar and 2) most countries will try to sell you sex in brothels and massage parlors.

My advice to you is go to Meetup.com, find some groups that you share common interests with, and develop ideas through them.  Save your money, keep your job, and don't squander the most financially productive years of your life.

Well, first, I reported this comment because you personally attacked me for no reason. And second, you seem to have a very cynical view of the world, one that I do not share in the least.

And I am incredibly involved in many facets of my community. I am an appointed member of the bicycle advisory committee in my city, I do (free) research and advocacy for a local nonprofit to try to increase the number of folks biking, I'm involved in a local women, trans*, femme bicycling group, I organize social group rides in my city for fun and to encourage more people to ride bikes, I'm working on developing an app to track winter maintenance conditions for a citywide study, and I write for my own blog and a regional blog with a large following. I have been developing ideas. I'm incredibly busy with all of these projects. I want a little time off from all the busy and to figure out a way to monetize all the work I'm already doing for free.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: YK-Phil on November 09, 2015, 10:17:03 AM
What do you think? Have you done it? What would you recommend?
windawake, I think you're an idiot. 

Whether what you say is right or not, no longer matters. Once you insult someone here, your point of view no longer matters. And for what it is worth, I also traveled and have family in all continents, and my own extensive experience is vastly different from what you pretend yours is. Most likely because I did not seek brothels and massage parlours in my travels.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Pancake on November 09, 2015, 10:43:04 AM
Do it for sure!! If you don't you will always regret it. Travel is not a waste of money and I strongly believe it opens your eyes and mind to new opportunities and perspectives and likely more money.

My gf (now wife) and I quit our jobs in late 2009 to do 3.5 months in central and South America. I was working a lot, traveling for work, and busy. I got inspired by 4 hour workweek and a few other books so we put our stuff in storage and took off. The first 3 weeks or so was just like any other vacation, we visited, we touristed, but it seems like that 3-4 week mark, a length of vacation most people never experience, is when you start to change. Things seemed to slow down and relax. I began reading more and learning about real estate investing. By the time I returned I was inspired. By the way we both got our jobs back with better pay and less hours. The power of quitting.  Anyway, fast forward 5 years and we are 6 months away from FIRE. I would never be where I am had I not taken that trip. It literally changed the course of my life.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: mozar on November 09, 2015, 06:06:41 PM
I wonder if you would have a hard time coming back to working? One reason I haven't traveled since my 20s is because I don't think I could make myself come back. I'm considering just getting half way to FIRE and then quitting then to do whatever, and not needing much money.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: SKL-HOU on November 09, 2015, 06:49:43 PM
I had an Australian boss when i first graduated college that had quit his job and travelled for several years. He was a mechanical engineer. If travel and seeing the work is what you want to do, just do it. It seems like good timing now. Who knows what future will bring. As a 39 year old single mom to a 3 year old i regret not travelling more when i had no dependents. Whether you find what you are looking for or not from travelling, you will most definitely get something positive out of it.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: Dicey on November 09, 2015, 07:13:08 PM
One more "Do it!" vote.
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: jd on November 10, 2015, 02:56:46 AM
If travel is what you really want, I agree that you should take the time off work, whether by quitting or negotiating a sabbatical.  As others have said, it will be a life changing experience, and this is a great time in your life to do it.  Sure it may push time to FIRE back a bit, but it could move it closer if you get a higher-paying job upon returning with new experiences (and/or realize that expenses could be cut further).
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: SimpleGuy on November 10, 2015, 09:37:15 AM
I think a lot depends on your career field and what you are willing to take, in terms of job and location, when you finish your travels.  If you are in a high demand field and getting a job won't be a problem or are willing to take any job in any location, then I'd say go for it.  But if those don't apply, I'd be cautious.  I quit a job without another one lined up, not to travel but to move closer to family, and wasn't able to find a comparable job in the area and ended up moving farther away then when I started.  Granted it was during the Great Recession, but the job market still isn't very strong.  Just something to keep in mind. 
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: stlbrah on November 10, 2015, 10:37:06 AM
This is my daily tug-of-war.  Good job, good field, but traveling while young also highly recommended. 


I can relate and am 1 year older than the OP. Also the fact that I like work and also am a gym rat and don't like going too long without the gym. However, I do feel a strange sense of guilt about not slow-traveling, as if I am missing out on life. When I was in southeast Asia in February, at the end of my 2 week trip I felt as if I was just getting started and did not want to go home.

In OPs case, it seems like she has a lot less to lose, in the fact that she doesn't even like her job. I would absolutely go for the trip
Title: Re: Quitting job to travel and figure things out, bad idea?
Post by: HappierAtHome on November 10, 2015, 05:01:47 PM
You mentioned getting offers of part-time work as a result of your blog posts - why not wait until March, quit this job, and take an attractive part-time job when you next get offered one? Then you'd be starting your "official" career in your preferred field, while having more time for your freelance writing and your blog, plus exploring other opportunities you're interested in.