Author Topic: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.  (Read 6647 times)

GreyMatters

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...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« on: October 16, 2014, 12:43:49 PM »
Greetings!

Things sort of hit critical mass yesterday at work and I decided to resign and take a year off WAY ahead of schedule. I'll be submitting my resignation today. For context, the sudden decision was inspired by a combination of variables related to moving toward change and getting away from my current role/organization. I've been eager to mix things up for a while and someone at work said something to me that synthesized all my thoughts into the conclusion that it was time for me to move on.

My intention for my gap year is to decompress, give myself some mental space to reflect, and discover what's next for me. I'm open to 'what's next' being anything. I'm very excited about the unknown possibilities that lay before me! In fact, the only thing I'm concerned about is health insurance.

I'm a 31-year-old single male with virtually no responsibilities (no debts, no leases, no dependents) and about $8,000 in my savings.

For anyone who has navigated a gap year (even ERE), do you have any suggestions or recommendations for me in general?

« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 01:27:45 PM by GreyMatters »

James

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 01:08:35 PM »
I don't really understand what you are doing, why, and the link didn't work for me. Just post your thoughts here if you want to share something, don't post a link to file in drop box.


Taking a year off with $8k in savings? Might be a great idea or horrible idea, but right now I have no idea.

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 01:27:21 PM »
I don't really understand what you are doing, why, and the link didn't work for me. Just post your thoughts here if you want to share something, don't post a link to file in drop box.


Taking a year off with $8k in savings? Might be a great idea or horrible idea, but right now I have no idea.

As already, my intention for my gap year is to decompress, give myself some mental space to reflect, and discover what's next for me. I'm open to 'what's next' being anything. I'm very excited about the unknown possibilities that lay before me!

The link was a seven page read. I removed it from the original post, since it seems extraneous.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2014, 01:29:01 PM by GreyMatters »

Gone Fishing

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 02:51:32 PM »
I walked off a job with about $8k in savings when I was fresh out of college (not married but engaged) because they were not paying me for OT I had worked even though I was hourly.  Everything worked out fine, but it was not a real happy time for me.  I looked for work pretty aggressively with little in the way of luck despite having a 4 year business degree and decent GPA from a good state school.  My now wife's uncle took pity on me and set me up with an entry level job at his company.  Fortunately, there was growth opportunity in the company and I was able to move up and launch the career that would take me to FIRE.   I count my blessings on a regular basis that it all worked out, as things could have gone much worse.         

Can you make it a year on 8k?  Certainly doable for a single person with no debt, but do you have your budget in place? I certainly wouldn't borrow money to explore what's next. Did you just pay off a bunch of debt?  Is that part of what motivated you to quit?  If you were in debt before be careful not to get there again.  Do you have a network you can tap? If I were you my, hair would be on fire to find a job.  If you really need some time off, maybe you can get an offer with a delayed start date.  Like everyone says, the 1st $100k is the hardest.  Be aware that living a year off your meager 'stache at this point in the game will set back your FIRE date by several years. The early years are the most important and the most fragile.   

Everyone has to do what is best for them, I hope it works out well for you.   

arebelspy

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 03:28:49 PM »
Sounds like fun!  :D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Gray Matter

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 05:10:56 PM »
Are we related?  Both our first and last names are so close, but not quite the same.  Uncanny.

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 05:52:31 PM »
Haven't done it but it sounds cool. My thoughts:

Don't get sick if you don't carry insurance.
Don't spend > $666/month. The devils #. Kind of interesting.
Housing will be the toughest hurdle. Unless you already have that covered think camping or roomates.
Be open to earning some money if an opportunity arises that won't prevent you from finding out "what's next?"

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 06:17:00 PM »

I walked off a job with about $8k in savings when I was fresh out of college (not married but engaged) because they were not paying me for OT I had worked even though I was hourly.  Everything worked out fine, but it was not a real happy time for me.  I looked for work pretty aggressively with little in the way of luck despite having a 4 year business degree and decent GPA from a good state school.  My now wife's uncle took pity on me and set me up with an entry level job at his company.  Fortunately, there was growth opportunity in the company and I was able to move up and launch the career that would take me to FIRE.   I count my blessings on a regular basis that it all worked out, as things could have gone much worse.         

Can you make it a year on 8k?  Certainly doable for a single person with no debt, but do you have your budget in place? I certainly wouldn't borrow money to explore what's next. Did you just pay off a bunch of debt?  Is that part of what motivated you to quit?  If you were in debt before be careful not to get there again.  Do you have a network you can tap? If I were you my, hair would be on fire to find a job.  If you really need some time off, maybe you can get an offer with a delayed start date.  Like everyone says, the 1st $100k is the hardest.  Be aware that living a year off your meager 'stache at this point in the game will set back your FIRE date by several years. The early years are the most important and the most fragile.   

Everyone has to do what is best for them, I hope it works out well for you.   

There's a lot of different that spurred it on. It all just sort if came together in one moment. I fully have no intention of getting back into debt. I've established good habits and a budget and I'm confident I'll be okay. I was hyper focused on getting to $100k, but it looks like that will have to wait. I'll be better off starting fresh. Novelty is on my side against burnout.

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2014, 06:17:40 PM »

Are we related?  Both our first and last names are so close, but not quite the same.  Uncanny.

I may be your evil twin.

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2014, 06:18:55 PM »

Haven't done it but it sounds cool. My thoughts:

Don't get sick if you don't carry insurance.
Don't spend > $666/month. The devils #. Kind of interesting.
Housing will be the toughest hurdle. Unless you already have that covered think camping or roomates.
Be open to earning some money if an opportunity arises that won't prevent you from finding out "what's next?"

I'm good on housing for now, but that could be change. I'm absolutely open to earning a few bucks here and there doing odd jobs.

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 06:19:34 PM »

Sounds like fun!  :D

Let's hope there's plenty of that involved!

GuitarStv

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 06:08:22 AM »
You have eight grand to your name at 31 years old, and have decided this is a good point to quit working and screw around for a whole year?


. . .

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 06:31:36 AM »
When I was 24, I worked for an IVF clinic that was filing bankruptcy. They said they definitely wanted to rehire me in a couple of months, when they had everything straightened out. I decided that it was the one time in my life that I could really do something different, as I had about $12,000 in the bank. I went to Europe for a month and loved every minute of it. I've never regretted making that decision and felt like the opportunity was an unexpected gift. About a month after I got back they rehired me.

MandalayVA

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 06:35:27 AM »
Don't spend > $666/month. The devils #. Kind of interesting.

The Monthly Budget of the Beast!  \,,/ \,,/

arebelspy

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 06:59:42 AM »

You have eight grand to your name at 31 years old, and have decided this is a good point to quit working and screw around for a whole year?


. . .

Sometimes you go enjoy life, because it's not about the money.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

LalsConstant

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 07:16:00 AM »
You have eight grand to your name at 31 years old, and have decided this is a good point to quit working and screw around for a whole year?


. . .

You just don't know. Search for the Terrible Bosses thread.  I did something very similar at age 30 with only $5,000 but I didn't take a year off either,  more like 3 months of intense job hunting.

Sometimes it's just that bad.

GuitarStv

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 07:59:20 AM »
Sometimes you go enjoy life, because it's not about the money.

Sometimes half baked ideas don't lead to greater enjoyment of life.

Stated purpose of time off was "to decompress, give myself some mental space to reflect, and discover what's next" . . . which really sounds more similar to "dick around" than "intense job hunting".  I am absolutely not saying that money is everything, and don't have a problem with journeying towards self enlightenment.  The OP doesn't appear to have a real plan, has minimal reserves saved up in case of problems (at 31 this pretty indicative of poor consideration for the future), and hasn't listed an exit strategy.  A failure to plan for the future is a plan to fail.

If you saw someone swaying on the railing of a 400 ft bridge would you give 'em a push, or check if they've thought things through?

arebelspy

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 10:26:11 AM »
Sometimes you go enjoy life, because it's not about the money.

Sometimes half baked ideas don't lead to greater enjoyment of life.

They usually don't.  I don't have enough information to judge this as half-baked or not though.

Sometimes you go enjoy life, because it's not about the money.
Stated purpose of time off was "to decompress, give myself some mental space to reflect, and discover what's next" . . . which really sounds more similar to "dick around" than "intense job hunting".

What's wrong with dicking around?  That's 80% of what I want to do in FIRE.  OP's just doing some of it a bit early.

A year of it now may be a little much.  3 months might be better, but I'm not the one making the decision.

The OP doesn't appear to have a real plan, has minimal reserves saved up in case of problems (at 31 this pretty indicative of poor consideration for the future), and hasn't listed an exit strategy.  A failure to plan for the future is a plan to fail.

I very much agree with all of that.  And it's a good case for why not to do this.  On the other hand, OP is still young, healthy, and has no familial responsibilities.  An opportune time to do it.  I can see the case either way, so if the OP determines that's the better way to go.. cool.

If you saw someone swaying on the railing of a 400 ft bridge would you give 'em a push, or check if they've thought things through?

Depends on what their goals are.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Jon_Snow

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2014, 01:05:13 PM »
Uh... I wouldn't be doing what the OP doing... Quitting with 8k saved? But that's just me. Risk aversion is my raison d'Ítre.

Then again, some people would think I was nuts to stay in a job that I detested for 24 years so that I could retire early.

Good luck, GreyMatters.

LonerMatt

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2014, 06:44:27 PM »
Go to Indonesia - you can get by - easily - on about $400 a month.

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #20 on: October 18, 2014, 02:14:04 AM »
Well...I bought a one-way ticket to Sweden today ($330). I've wanted to go to Europe for the longest time and I figured now's as good a time as any. I'm not sure how long I'm going to go, but I'm going for an adventure.

I'll be traveling all over, so if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.




mxt0133

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2014, 04:33:04 AM »
Pack light, I mean that both physically and mentally.  Leave your expectations at home and you'll be looking at back at this experience for the rest of your life with a big grin on your face.

clifp

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2014, 04:34:30 AM »
$8k = $20/day plus a ticket home.  I remember when I was kid 40+ years ago my mom, the travel agent, had how lots of "how to see Europe on $20/day" books around .  I think prices may have increased a tad...

Best of luck.

Christiana

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2014, 09:02:13 AM »
I did an unintentional one-year sabbatical/gap year after finishing grad school, because I didn't find the kind of work that I was looking for.  Most of that time, I worked temp jobs (at a summer camp and printing company), so I finished with the same amount of savings that I started with.  During that time, I also did a lot of thinking and research about what my next rational step would be, but what actually happened is that one night I got a crazy (but feasible) idea, and followed through on it. 

Later, I wrote an ebook called The Serendipitous Sabbatical, which is on smashwords.com for $1.99.  It's written from an explicitly Christian viewpoint, so it may or may not be of interest to you.  According to the Bible, the sabbatical year was invented by God.  It does seem like we really need (as humans) to periodically step away from the daily grind and reconsider where we are going, even if it doesn't make economic sense.  (In the biblical sabbatical, God promises to provide through the sabbatical year and until the normal labor of the following year comes to fruition.)

BlueHouse

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2014, 11:53:28 AM »
I think it's a great opportunity.  It's pretty rare for anyone in the US to be completely free of debt, obligations, worry.  When it happens, take the time to enjoy it.  It sounds like that's what the OP is going to do! 
I did it after the company I worked for went out of business and I decided to sell my house and move.  I took off a year and spent most of that time travelling overseas.  No idea what I wanted to do when I returned.  I figured this would be the first year of my retirement and then the next 29 years would be at some much later date. 
Suggestions to the OP:  throw on a backpack and get moving.  Anywhere with backpackers' hostels -- you'll meet up with others seeking similar things.  Maybe try couchsurfing.  There's another one where you work for room and board but I cant remember the name.  Have a blast.  As long as you're not in debt when you return, you'll be better off than most people your age when you get back.  Enjoy it, but try to do something productive while you're gone so you have something for the resume later. 
keep us posted. 

GreyMatters

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Re: ...and suddenly, a gap year was sprung upon me.
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2014, 02:43:59 PM »

I think it's a great opportunity.  It's pretty rare for anyone in the US to be completely free of debt, obligations, worry.  When it happens, take the time to enjoy it.  It sounds like that's what the OP is going to do! 
I did it after the company I worked for went out of business and I decided to sell my house and move.  I took off a year and spent most of that time travelling overseas.  No idea what I wanted to do when I returned.  I figured this would be the first year of my retirement and then the next 29 years would be at some much later date. 
Suggestions to the OP:  throw on a backpack and get moving.  Anywhere with backpackers' hostels -- you'll meet up with others seeking similar things.  Maybe try couchsurfing.  There's another one where you work for room and board but I cant remember the name.  Have a blast.  As long as you're not in debt when you return, you'll be better off than most people your age when you get back.  Enjoy it, but try to do something productive while you're gone so you have something for the resume later. 
keep us posted.

Thank you for the encouraging words! I plan on working on my photography portfolio, learning how to make income without a work visa (I'm thinking online somehow), and just see what I discover out there (and inside myself). I'm looking forward to this very much and I believe I will be much better off for having done this.