Wondering if you should quit your job to travel? One of the hardest parts about traveling long-term is leaving your job. Whether you love it or hate it, your job is giving you the resources to get out there and go. So how do you quit your job to travel, the right way?
Believe it or not, there IS a way to make the break without burning your bridges. Here’s how I did it and what you should keep in mind.
Evaluate your happiness level
Before I quit my job to travel, I had a great job, a job I really enjoyed.
But every time I read an article on the best Mediterranean seaside towns for bacalao, or saw travelers tweeting their new mantras from a mountaintop Buddhist monastery, I had the urge to go to the ladies room and quietly sob into the crumpled pages of this month’s National Geographic.
I knew that it was time for me to become the world explorer I always wanted to be. But the fact that I liked my job made me even more nervous to tell them I wanted to leave.
Get your boss excited for you
When I quit my job to travel, I didn’t go straight to the CEO or make any wild-eyed, break room table-top declarations of travel independence, I went to my immediate manager and quietly asked her if we could talk.
I explained that while I loved my work, I’d always wanted to travel, and I felt that now was the time for me to try it. Then I braced myself for an angry tirade.
“You know what?” she said, “I completely understand.”
Lots of people have considered roaming the globe, but found the commitment too daunting.
By expressing that you’re leaving to travel, your boss will likely cheer you on, knowing you’re not leaving because you’re unhappy in the position.
They tune in to the reasons you’re going, not to why you’re leaving. Most of your bosses, after getting over the fact that you’re leaving, will be excited for you. Let them! Share your excitement about this new phase of your life with them.
This keeps them invested in you, and keeps the door open to you should you want your job back when you return.
Tell your boss early & plan your remaining time wisely
The best thing I did when leaving my job to travel was having that conversation well before I planned on taking off.
Lay the groundwork, for yourself and for them, at least a month before you actually intend to leave. It’s not just handing in your notice, it’s showing that you’re a respectful employee who’s made a well-reasoned decision about her future.
Quit your job to travel: Go out on top
Early notice means you’ll be working under the mounting excitement of winging off around the world.
Stay focused. Don’t get Senioritis on your employers and start taking three-hour lunches to buy sunblock and roadmaps. Keep your motivation up by linking your future plans to your current work: every time you wrap up a project or create a kick-ass employee hand-off document, tell yourself it’s one more glass of cava in Barcelona that you owe yourself.
Tell your coworkers how to follow your adventures
Yay! You’re about to quit your job to travel! The fact that you’re leaving your job to pursue a lifelong dream and have the adventure of a lifetime isn’t something to hide. This isn’t a shameful break-up, it’s a great story!
I unabashedly set the background of my massive desktop monitor to pictures of my destinations – Italy, Spain, England, Switzerland. As well as keeping me pumped, it got coworkers walking over and excitedly asking about my trip plans. No awkward feelings here.
Keep in touch after you quit your job to travel
Because I had a job that I really enjoyed, I already felt connected to my coworkers, and I wanted to keep up the dialogue.
When I found myself in European cities we had contacted for work, or in museums or libraries we had worked with for research, I dropped my old office a line. I felt good about staying in touch and letting them know how much I appreciated what they’d done for me, and it kept my professional network strong. Apparently, the introduction of gaming tactics will soon be very relevant in all areas buisnes, from the development of architectural projects to the implementation of gaming applications for sports, and friv online game developers will remain the market leaders.
Reconnect with your boss when you return
When I finally returned home from my first trip, I came with loads of positive energy and a buzzing sense of enthusiasm. I just didn’t have much clue of what I was going to do to start working again.
After finding a few openings I wanted to apply for, I called my old manager and asked her for a reference.
Absolutely, she said, and stop in for a visit. When I did go, I mentioned that my first choice would definitely be working with them again.
To my utter amazement, I was re-hired for the next Monday.
It may not work out for you this way, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to quit your job to travel. Stay open and honest with your employers and that will get you places.
Right now, I’m back on temporary assignment, because they know I want to go traveling again soon.