I’ve been asked by many people, many times since publicly announcing my new journey exactly how to quit your job and travel the world. Not that I’m an expert by any means (I only just did it, we’ll see how successful I am!), but many people want to know how I think it’s even remotely feasible that I’ll be able to travel full-time after leaving my career as a lawyer. In some ways, there was a lot of thought that went into it; in others, barely any thought at all. Regardless, in this post, I’d like to give you some basic overview steps on how to quit your job and travel the world. Hopefully getting an idea of the steps I took to begin my journey will be helpful to you as you start to think about your own!
1. Think about if traveling is what you really want.
Sure, this seems obvious, but in my experience, this is a step many people miss in planning their lives. I’m guilty of it myself – I went to undergrad, then law school, then started practicing law without ever really thinking critically about how I wanted to live my life. Ultimately, I realized I needed to work for myself, but more than that, I realized I really wanted to see the world, meet new people, and discover new ways of connecting us all. If you are thinking about how to quit your job and travel the world, make sure you actually want to travel first!
2. Research ways to make money on the road.
Research, research, research. This is a theme you’ll see consistently in this post because it is, quite frankly, one of the most important things you should be doing! First and foremost: research ways to make money on the road. It’s the rare few of us that has enough money saved up to travel endlessly without working, so looking at tools to earn an income while traveling is immensely important. For me, it was easy – I had been writing since I was in undergrad, even working at The Huffington Post for a while as a front-page editor, so I knew that I wanted to develop a freelance career to put my passion to work. While it may not be as cut and dry for you, there are lots of ways to make money on the road – you just have to pick one that is right for you.
3. Research accommodations that will work for you.
Speaking of “right for you” and more research – the next thing you should do is research accommodations that you want. The last part is critical – there are a range of accommodations you can utilize for full-time travel like hotels, hostels, AirBNB, work exchanges, but the key is to find accommodations, or a mix of accommodations, that you can see yourself really liking long-term. For me, it will be a mix of all of these things – some cities I’ll stay in an AirBNB, some cities I’ll do a work exchange and sometimes, I might just park myself at a hotel for a few days. The key is to remember this is your life now – not a vacation – so you should be making sure you’ll be happy with your accommodation plans as long as possible.
4. Quit your job – respectfully, with notice, and without burning any bridges.
So, of course I quit my job as a lawyer – I had to in order to follow my dream! What I didn’t do, however, is do it disrespectfully. I’m a big believer in trying your hardest not to burn bridges (after many youthful mistakes along the way) and this situation was no different. I spoke to my law firm about why I was leaving, gave them plenty of notice to hire my replacement, and am continuing to work hard until my very last day. There’s no need to add a sour note to anything when beginning your new life – so try to make leaving your old one as positive as possible.
5. Start to work on some of your on-the-road money-making while still employed.
Although I’ve seen several posts where people bought a one-way ticket to Thailand with $1500 in their bank account, that’s just not me. I’m too much of a planner, too much of a Type A personality and way too stressed out to be that lax about my travels. Instead, I worked really, really hard (and am still doing so!) in the weeks leading up to my leaving – not only have I been working full-time at my law firm, I’ve also been working round the clock to build up my freelancing career, and learning new skills like content marketing and video editing for my blogs and YouTube channel. You might not need to do exactly what I did, but starting to build up some income while you still have the support of your old job will never be a bad idea.
6. Make lists – lots of them!
Evernote is one of my favorite organizational tools and I’ve been using the heck out of it in preparing for my new life! I have a list of resources for accommodations, I have a list of puppy-friendly travel websites, I have a list of online freelancing markets where I can work – and that’s just the beginning! I also made a “To Do Before I Leave” list and a “To Pack” list, among others. Organization will be your friend when making any dramatic change – especially when you’re learning how to quit your job and travel the world!
7. Don’t forget the basic essentials.
Health insurance, your prescriptions, car insurance, cell phone plan, passport renewal, driver’s license update – these are all unfortunately very mundane things that you need to have set and ready before you leave for full-time travel. Forgetting even one of these important things can spell disaster – so don’t let your excitement of traveling run away with you and don’t forget that you are still an adult, that needs to do at least some adulting, in order to make your dream happen.
8. Just do it.
Yep, after all the thinking and research and preparation – the only thing left to do is to get up the gets and do it. Sorry, no words of wisdom here other than this: if it’s truly your dream to quit your job and travel the world, don’t let anything stop you.
P.S. Want to know more about how you can start living the travel lifestyle? Check out my book, “Quit Your Job & Travel The World”, available now on Amazon!