You know some weeks back, I had written a post (read here) about the potential for the twentysomethings of this world to drop everything and go travel for some.
Come enjoy the world the nymphs of YOLO calls, and you’d be better for the experience. And you can get paid for doing all of that! Or, at worst you can find resume bulking work along the way to sail around the globe. Then when you are done, you can always return to start your life of work drudgery, paying off that student debt (if you are in the US) or take on the role of debt slave making mortgage payments (especially if you are in Asia, perhaps Europe as well).
Well, sometimes it is good to see things from another angle. Ben tells it from another perspective. You know, we do love to travel and by now you should know that Mel does not really like to do business travel. Unless, it is mixed with some personal travel (“bleisure”). And it is not like we like to travel all the time. We have other hobbies and interests too! More web reads here.
The allure of dropping everything and just go travel is that there you also drop your obligations and commitments. But then you might find it hard to get someone obligated to go along with you too! And that living in uncertainty for weeks and even months on end can be psychologically taxing. You may find that quitting your job to travel becomes a job in itself!
And then there is financial aspect of it all. Sounds sexy to teach English somewhere to help you pay for your journey. Get freelance work here, here and here? It can be a lot harder than you think! And be careful where you think you can work. You might run into trouble with the local tax authorities. In Singapore, there is no short term work visa for foreigners. So unless you want to break the law here…you should want to know the consequences here in the little red dot (no we don’t cane you for this).
I guess it is ok as a sabbatical, when you know how long you wish to take a break from the rat race. But for perpetuity, that could turn out to be a chore or some folks would call it a mistake. Besides, would anyone really plan to be on the road till they are in their 50s or even 60s? This all sounds like the hippy guy with a long lock of hair who never went back to ‘normal life’ after Woodstock (antique reference huh?). It’s more probable that even the hardest core nomad will eventually settle down. Somewhere, especially when you find ‘the one’ or worse, have children (lol).
On the bright side there are success stories, folks who successfully built a life around being on the go for sometime already. A good place to start the research for the aspirants.
Funny thing is that in these few weeks of researching this subject, I came across more blogs and articles that positively promote quitting your current life to go travel. As opposed to those who moderated or refuted. Perhaps I need to start trawling the web in other languages as well.
Maybe it is the dearth of opportunities for social mobility and sense of purpose that we are seeing worldwide.
But here in the eastern hemisphere, things can be really different. First of all, comepetition here is intense. It isn’t easy to convince most employers in this part of the world with your two or three year ’round the world trip’ experience is all that valuable. It’s a pity though, but no amount of huffing and puffiing is going to change these bygone attitudes very soon. Unless you are in some niche area for which such experiences do count.
Journeys need not be long. Ours are not just travel, it’s a series of journeys with a purpose. You don’t need to quit your job for that.