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Old 12-11-2003, 08:27 PM   #1
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Ok, so my buddy just dropped a bomb on me today, he's quitting as VP of a software development firm to take off and travel around the world. He's 28.

Ever since I took my first overseas trip, I've been flirting dangerously with the idea myself.

I met so many people on my trip, mostly non-Americans, of course, who had no qualms about just quitting a job and taking off -- but most of them were students who hadnt quite started their careers yet or those who decided they hated their careers so it was easier to leave.

Thing is, I absolutely LOVE what I do for a living, I have a great career and it's only going to get better. It's a hard gig to crack into and my future is promising here. But at the same time, my hugest fear in life is, forgive my dramaticness, dying without really getting to see the world. I mean, at 25, I barely took my first trip out of the country! At the same time, my parents are really pressuring me to save up to buy a house, but I so do not want to saddle myself with a mortgage right now. I don't see the point. There is nothing more I want right now than to take off for a year or two and live out of my backpack and hop from country to country.

Tentatively, I'm thinking of working here another year, save every frickin dime, sell my car, and GO! After a year or two, I can come back, a little older, with absolutely nothing in my back account to show for anything...and hope that I'll land on my feet somewhere... am I crazy?

Maybe I'm suffering from what they call quarter-life crisis.

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Old 12-11-2003, 08:44 PM   #2
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I know exactly how you feel! You are not crazy...But I'm not going to tell you what's best for you...Only you can decide!
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Old 12-11-2003, 08:59 PM   #3
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totally! i know ultimately, the decision is mine to make, of course. i just wanted to know if i sounded crazy, is all.

B)
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Old 12-11-2003, 10:01 PM   #4
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You are definately not crazy!!! The decision is up to you, but let me throw out a few more ideas......

Options:

1) Work for another year or two and save up enough money, then buy a house, and rent it out and let the rent money pay off the mortage while you are traveling....put most of the excess rent money into a savings account just in case if something needs to be fixed....This way, when you get back from your travels then you will have a house that brings income and has gained value too...

2) Go to some European country and set up shop....You can always get a change of venue...for instance, you could get a decent paying job in another country and become more of a local instead of just a tourist...you can travel to other places on the weekends (many European jobs dont work on Friday, so that means a three day week).....you could work for a year and then travel a few months while over there and then come back home....you could find a job, apply for it, and get it at online at websites like Monster UK , Overseas Jobs , European Careers , or one of the million other websites like these....I dont think you really truly understand a place unless if you become a local....

3) lie to your company and say that you are pregnant and go on Maternity leave for a few monthes while you travel and then come back to your job hehe....

Personally, I would do both 1 and 2....that way you have a GREAT investment that makes money to come back to, you get to live and become a local in another country, and you still get to travel...

I hope this gave you a few more ideas....if you need any advice on the buying a house as an investment then talk to me....If this is your first house then you can qualify for first time home buyers mortage and recieve like a 4% interest rate on the mortage...so lets say you buy a $120,000 house...you have to put up 10-20% as a down payment...so thats about $20,000...so your $100,000 loan will have interest of 4,000 a year, but lets say you get $900 a month for rent then you make about 11,000 a year...which is more then enough to pay off your mortage, maintenance, and then some...plus your property will appreciate at at least 4% a year, so after 2 years of travelling your 120,000 house will be a 130,000 house.... How does that sound???

Hope I didnt get too lengthy...but yes, like Moc said, the decision is yours..... :D
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Old 12-12-2003, 01:09 AM   #5
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would I do it????

the question for me should be "Would I stop doing it?"
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Old 12-12-2003, 07:04 AM   #6
 
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Two years ago I quit my job as a supervisor for a bank here, and went to the UK. It wasn't quite VP level on the pay scale, but it was a big decision. You never realize how trapping office jobs can be until you just walk away from them.
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Old 12-12-2003, 09:16 AM   #7
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Well my dad/stepmother want me to get a degree in something to get a career, my mother wants me to get marriend and buy a house and make little rugrats, my job is promoting me at the 1st of the year and about a year and a half after that will be another promotion. However, by the time that 2nd promotion comes around, I will be politely declining so I can walk away from it all and travel Europe for a year.

I've made this decision based on the fact that

1) I am only young once. I will never be this age again.
2) My dream has been to travel the world, and when I am old and grey I would rather tell my grandkids about the days of me hiking around Europe and the people I met and sights I seen, then how I decorated my cubicle better then everyone elses.
3) Nothing like the thrill of just letting go.

However I won't be completely broke when I return. I do have investments that will continue to grow while I am gone. So I will have some money when I return.

You mention you love your career, perhaps you could mention it to somebody and find out if they might be willing to bring you back once you return. But to have such an oppurtunity, to me, it's a definate go.
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

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Old 12-12-2003, 01:38 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
3) Nothing like the thrill of just letting go.
Couldn't agree more
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:03 PM   #9
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katdawg,

I have a friend that did that, and lived in amsterdam for a whole year, found a job in amsterdam, he just came back from amsterdam for the holidays, and he will be traveling back to amsterdam for another year.

At first he was scared, and had the same feeling and thoughts you are having right now, and after it he did it, he came back and said he love the decision he made.

I would have loved to do that, that is all I can say now.
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:06 PM   #10
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I'm doing the same thing. Finally I've got a job that I not only love but pays well and I'm throwing it in to head overseas. I guess its a decision only you can make yourself. I've even sold my house to pay for my trip.

My mates thinks i'm crazy to do it and that i'm 'wasting' money by travelling but to me its something i feel i have to do for myself. I am so primed for this trip and I have no regrets at all about uprooting and just taking off. Half of the money from the sale of my house is going to be invested, the rest is my 'play' money.

Sijuki has summed it up in his 3 points - couldn't agree more. Best to do what you want now while you can - plenty of time to settle down later in life.

What i'm doing in the few months before i head off is strengthening my contacts with the people in my organisation that have some major pull so that when i eventually get back I'm going to get in touch with them and see if they can line me up with a similar job that i have now. Like everything in life its not what you know but who you know.
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Old 12-12-2003, 08:51 PM   #11
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You know you've found a wonderful group of people when you can bring up the idea of quitting your job, selling your house/car/etc., and wanting to just travel around the world to see who and what is out there, and they all think its a great idea! Why can't any of you guys be my parents? :D

Although my dad supports my idea, I think only cause he always told me growing up that, "it's my life, and I can do anything I want as long as I am happy, and he will always be there for me."

My mother is the typical negative parental figure.

Thanks for agreeing with me Beta and Cliffo. Glad to know I have some idea what I am talking about. :D
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

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Old 12-12-2003, 11:18 PM   #12
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a day late to the party.. but i just wanna drop my 2cents!!

i have a good job that pays me well.. i'm a programmer and i sort of like what i'm doing... most people think it's a boring and geeky job but i like to stimulate my mind so it kinda works for me... although it can be really tiring and stressful...

hey katdawg, i am in exactly the same situation!! so if people think you're crazy.. then that makes us 2 crazy asians!! hehe.. and the thing is, i haven't even done any backpacking as yet.. i have "inspired" of leaving my job and just take off by merely reading travelogues and checking TP evryday!! this site has played a big part of it... ..so now i am dying to get out of this comfort zone!! and just let go!!!!

i will soon be going on my first solo trip in January next year and really looking forward to it.. i'm sure when i get back the urge of quitting my job would multiply exponentially !!!

anyway, if you really love your job and really keen on taking off to travel and see the world.. maybe you can work on getting yourself a sabbatical leave.... you can take a year off and still be employed by the same company when you get back... and if you're single and independent, it would simplify things some more.. i mean, if you quit your job it will just concern you... you don't have to worry about anyone else... and if you like the idea of uncertainty then i say you should really go for it!!!! it will be very exciting i bet..

as sijuki has said.. we are only young once so seize the day!!! and party hard!!!

ooops.. it's a bit lengthy... i hope i didn't bore you guys.. hehe
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Old 12-13-2003, 07:16 AM   #13
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Man, I did just that! I worked at a job for 3 1/2 yrs making good money and saving here and there. Then, BAMM! I quit, went to Spain for 13 months, then came back crashed at my parents pad for 6 months (to concentrate on my project) and now, finally, back in my pad in LA.
For me, I can´t stay at a place for too long without working on something. We were busy filming a movie guerilla style, so I kept myself busy. Also, I had a small gig teaching english for a couple of months, but it was really just to get out of the house to meet people.

Now, after almost 2 yrs of not working I'm plugged into a 50-60 hr/week job and don´t have much time (no time to travel ), but making money is back on my priority list. I will do it for two years max, unless I'm really making the big duckies!
I´ll try to fnaggle a week or two vacation here or there, but it may not be likely.

Goals: Get a directing deal. Have this site reach critical mass, then find an office building to house the Travelpunk.com head quarters and employ 1,000´s . Travel and make movies...is that the life? OR is that the LIFE!

I know a few people that have quit their corporate jobs and are traveling right now and loving it.
So go...and do likewise
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Old 12-13-2003, 08:52 AM   #14
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TP, pick me pick me!!!!
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Old 12-13-2003, 01:06 PM   #15
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ah, i LOVE the way you TPunks think!!! Adam, wow, what a fabulous idea... Sijuki/Taps/Cliffo, so right, gotta do it now while we're young and able (and while I can still pass for a bright-eyed college kid) .. but the biggest reason i have to do this is because if i DONT, for the rest of my life I am going to always have that nagging feeling, the "if only i had..." regret.


hopefully i won't lose my nerve and get cold feet come time i gotta cut loose.

by the way, TP, you better hire my ass if you ever open up TP headquarters. my dream is to parlay my reporting career right now into travel writing ... somewhere soon down the line!!!

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Old 12-13-2003, 01:17 PM   #16
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Glad we all could assist you in making your decision. :D
Have fun seeing the world.
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2009-2014: February - Mexico (Cancun x 3, Cozumel x 1, Mazatlan x 2

2014 : Europe: Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Rep, Germany, France, England

2015 : US:Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Joshua Tree NP, Salton Sea, Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Mt. Rushmore. 20 states. Europe: Stockholm, Barcelona, Madrid, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw, Ireland (month driving around), Northern Ireland, Edinburgh.

2017 : Dublin, South Africa, Grand Cayman (planned)

Need a Railpass for that Trip to Europe?
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Old 12-14-2003, 08:53 AM   #17
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A reporter, eh Kat? My degree is in journalism, so I understand what you say about breaking in being hard to do. Not to be a cop out, but you have to go where your heart is, Kat. Everyone has chimed in, so far, saying "go for it!" And I would be the last one to dissuade someone from travel.

Just one counterpoint, though: It IS possible to still see the world and work a 40-hour a week job. You just have to get "tastes" instead of big gulps of a foreign country. Many of the places I've been have been 3-4 day trips, in essence, "long weekends." You should be able to do those AND use your scheduled vacations at your job to at least partially slake your travel thrist.

Prices are incredible on some "last-minute" travel sites, like www.go-today.com or site59.com. So, that would be a middle road to take between ditching the job or nailing yourself to the states. Take a year where you jump on every long weekend or travel opportunity and go. Then, at the end of the year, sit back and ask: Would I be satisfied doing this? Remember, you'll likely get more and more vacation as your time in your position accumulates.

worldwidemike (40 hours a week and 52 countries)
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Old 12-15-2003, 02:56 PM   #18
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Well katdawg, I have been in somewhat of a similar position for a while. I've been in the position where I could move to a better paying job and start the process of buying my own home.

However, I decided not to go for either
I've organised my visas and airline ticket and here I go off into the wide world of travel

Basically I had the same thoughts "If I didn't do it now, I would probably end up regretting it when I am 70 !"

Then again I think I always knew I would travel someday - even when I was very young !

At the end of the day, it's your decision and your decision only.
Something that encourages me is that I read somewhere that most people on their deathbeds (sorry for being morbid!) usually regret two things the most :
- Not spending more time with their loved ones and,
- Not seeing more of the world.

Some 'food for thought' !

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Old 12-15-2003, 03:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by TapSiLog@Dec 13 2003, 01:18 AM
the thing is, i haven't even done any backpacking as yet.. i have been \"inspired\" to leave my job and just take off by merely reading travelogues and checking TP evryday!! this site has played a big part of it... ..so now* i am dying to get out of this comfort zone!! and just let go!!!!
I couldn't agree more .... Thanks is really the least that I could say to show my appreciation for this site. This site has totally inspired me to "just let go!"

I can't wait until this coming Spring, at which point I am going to be leaving my job (I'm a Russian linguist for the US govt.), cashing out whatever $ I have, packing my nessesities, flying to Berlin, and just hanging out in Europe. And, I'm not even sure that I plan on coming back to America any time soon. Maybe I'll be gone for 10 years - who knows!

It's such a scary thought - primarily b/c I will only have a few thousand $$$ - but I don't care! I don't want to regret my life in the least. And I know just how much I've always wanted to do this - so I am going to.

My suggestion to you, "Just follow your heart!"
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Old 12-15-2003, 04:16 PM   #20
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Gee I'm glad i read this topic...

In 5 months i'm quiting my current job, selling up and going on a 3 month (or more) holiday in Europe. After that we (my wife and i) are planning on finding jobs somewhere over there. (She should finish her PhD then and i hate my job and was going to quite about then anyway).

I'm looking forward to the holiday part, but i'm seriously stressed about getting a job over there. any advice ?

We've changed our plans quite a few times - we were saving for a house, but now we're going to blow that money on this holiday / move.

It helps that i've got an Australian passport AND a British passport -(we got married so that my wife (gf of 8 years) can work more easily).

We're going to start a course in german (is there a better language for us to learn perhaps ? ) mainly cos a few of our friends speak it so we can practice it.

*stress stress*

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