Leaving Work To Go Travelling
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For us to go off on our family travel adventures, both Dan and I had to quit our jobs. Now that we are the other side of our last days at work I thought it was a good time to reflect on this experience.
Dan had been employed with his company for nearly 16 years, so this was a big step for him. Over the last few years, he has been able to change his hours and take short breaks away to work around our childcare arrangements.
For me, I have been teaching in the same school for the last nine years. Again, I have had some time off to have our children, but for both of us, these jobs have been a big part of our lives for the majority of our working lives.
Dan is not one to get emotional about these things, but he has made some good friends over the years. We met when I also worked there, so many of Dan’s colleagues have seen us grow together and create our family.
It will be strange for us to no longer have a connection to this place after all this time, but there are new and exciting adventures around the corner.
Dan’s employers have been good to us both over the years and we will always be grateful for the flexibility and support they have shown us.
For me leaving work came with mixed feelings. I’ve had some time away from my job over the last few years (thanks kids) and have been evaluating my career.
When I started teaching, I was filled with enthusiasm for my career ahead, but more recently I have become disenchanted and have been considering how I want to earn a living in future. In some ways, this opportunity has given me a chance to get some headspace and re-evaluate what I want to do.
However, I have made some truly excellent friends in my colleagues. Some of whom I have known for close to 13 years! We’ve watched each other grow professionally and personally, and it will be these people that I will miss the most.
It has been my privilege to work with some truly outstanding teachers and support staff. I will miss them immensely.
What Can Do About Your Job When Considering Going Travelling
We both had jobs that were very much location-specific. By this, I mean that there weren’t a lot of options for us in terms of continuing our jobs whilst we travelled, but this is not necessarily the case for everyone.
Consider Working Long Distance
If you have the sort of job that you can do from home then it could be that your employer will allow you to do this from another country instead.
Naturally, not all employers will agree to this. And not all jobs lend themselves to this level of flexibility. But, it is an option that is worth discussing, particularly for shorter trips away.
You also need to be realistic about your workload. Think about how you will manage the demands of your job whilst you travelling. There’s not a lot of point “exploring” the world if you are stuck in a hotel doing the old 9-5.
Consider Taking A Career Break
This is an option that both Dan and I talked about when planning our trip. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be an option that worked for us but that doesn’t have to be the case for you.
More and more employers are appreciating the benefits of allowing their staff to take career breaks or sabbaticals to fulfil personal goals. It creates a sense of loyalty and gratitude that means that the employee returns and is prepared to stay with the company and work harder.
Different companies have different policies on this so it could be that your employer will only let you take a few months at a time, but definitely worth a conversation.
Consider Going Freelance
This will still mean quitting your job, but it could be that this is a great time to start your own business too.
With many jobs these days being possible to run from your laptop, there’s little reason why you can’t start working wherever you like.
Even if your profession is not one that you can easily take with you, there’s always a chance that some of the skills you have could be turned into a freelance role. Even if it is not obvious to you immediately.
Consider Straight Up Quitting
If, like us, you are looking for a hard reset on life then maybe quitting your job is exactly what you need to do.
Take a reasoned approach to this, especially if the profession you are in is particularly niche, and think about what you will do when you return from your adventures.
It could be the time you need though to decide how you want to take your career forwards, even if you want to continue working in the same field. Or you might decide to start all over again in something new.
Whatever you choose, you’ll be able to have some truly uninterrupted time with your family, and that’s got to be worth a lot.
Top Tips For Leaving Work To Go Travelling
- Start the conversation with your employer early
It may be that you need to give a long notice period or it may be that there are options available to you that you weren’t aware of. Either way, it is good practice to start this discussion as soon as you can and work with them.
- Make the most of your annual leave
There’s no reason to waste all that lovely holiday pay. Even if you are leaving the company make sure that you use up any accrued leave before you go. You could leave a bit early or potentially tag it on the end.
- Keep in touch with your colleagues
Even if you don’t like them, it is nice to say in contact with people who are in the same line of work as you. They may be able to give you the heads up about vacancies in the future or help you about with a reference if you need one.
- Remove any of your stuff
It could be that picture of your kids on your desk or your digital resources, either way, take them with you. No one is going to want to clear up your stuff and you might want those spreadsheets.
Leaving Work To Go Travelling Is Part Of The Fun
It was terrifying making that decision and handing in my notice but now I feel so free. I’m not tied to a job. I’m not obligated to do anything or behave a certain way. We have no reason to rush back.
Make a choice that suits you, but whatever you choose: enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.