7 Grim Realities of Quitting Your Job To Travel the World

Quitting your job to Travel

As travel bloggers, it’s our sworn duty to give you the truth and nothing but the truth! Since there are already hundreds of blogs highlighting the quitting your job to travel phenomenon, we wanted to give you the real deal based on our own experiences. In 2015, we took the leap and left our full time jobs to go backpacking around the world. We ended up starting a travel blog to document our adventures abroad and share tips on backpacking with all of you! We don’t regret it for a second, but we’d be lying if we didn’t say there were many ups and downs along the way. Here’s some things to know before you drop everything and travel the world! 

Essential Backpacking Tips

1. Quitting Your Job to Travel the World 

The first step and crazy reality of long term travel is literally saying goodbye to everything in your life that matters. Imagine five years into your career deciding to leave your family and friends and go on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a risky choice that few dare to make, and a million questions will go through your head.

Will I be able to find a job when I come back? What will I do for money… And will I survive in general?!? Okay maybe thats a stretch, but it’s only natural for you to freak out before deciding to make such a life altering decision. Just be ready, because quitting your job to travel comes at a cost.

Quitting your Job to Travel and Starting a Travel Blog
How to Book a Cheap Flight 101

2. Staying on a Tight Budget

This brings us to our next important thing to know if you’re planning on backpacking around the world. This obviously depends on your own situation financially, but be prepared to live on a tight budget.

Especially for those attempting to travel the world for one year, you’re going to need to make that money last! Now this isn’t to say traveling can’t be done for cheap, but over months it will inevitably add up no matter what you do.

For instance, Brigitte and I saved up a decent chunk of change for our year long trip, but the entire time we still had the sinking feeling of being broke! I’m sure we’d all love to stay at famous resorts like the Connaught in London, or the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Yet, the reality is unless you’re loaded you’ll be experiencing plenty of budget accommodations.

Nothing Familiar Venice on a Budget
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3. Weeks of Planning

Now we’re big supporters of “the best plans are no plans” motto. Nevertheless, you need to have countries, cities, and somewhat of a general timeline to go by.

Not to mention the prices of flights and hotels will jump up depending on the dates. What we’re trying to say is you can’t just quit your job to travel without thinking ahead.

Imagine pulling into Rio de Janeiro with no place to stay during Carnival? That would be a disaster! Whether it means endless hours of research or chatting up every local you can find for information, planning is essential for even the most adventurous backpackers.

Nothing Familiar Mount Fitz Roy
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4. Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you’re even remotely considering telling your boss to screw off and packing your bags, you may want to think about what type of personality you have first. There’s no way to really explain the culture shock you will experience in places like Honduras and Cambodia if you’ve never left your home country before.

In addition, there’s some things you can count on in your normal everyday life that have become so routine. Leaving them will be a shock in itself!

The 9-5 job, Netflix marathons after work, and even your alarm going off at the same time every morning gives you a certain sense of security you will lose on the road. Be primed to move far out of your comfort zone when backpacking around the world. It’s time to immerse yourself into the local communities, street food, and new cultures.

Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple
Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple in Bali Indonesia

5. Getting Sick is a Real Possibility

The next unfortunate reality of backpacking is the gruesome travelers sickness. Most likely this isn’t a question of if you’ll get sick folks… Just when and how!

Since starting a travel blog we’ve documented many times how we’ve gotten food poisoning across the world. Unless you’re restricting yourself to the most luxurious and safest parts of Europe, you will probably have to experience it, too.

We wont go too far into detail. Yet after spending three straight days sick in Cusco unable to eat or drink, we can honestly say we’ve seen better days. The absolute worst part is wasting money and time in an incredible place, and being too sick to enjoy it. Out of all our backpacking tips this may be the most serious one. Be careful of what you eat! 

From Street Food to Starting a Travel Blog
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6. The Return Home

First of all, no one will care about your trip backpacking around the world (just kidding!). In all seriousness though, the return home is the scariest obstacle for most people yearning to travel the world for one year or more.

The worst part of any vacation is when it’s all over, and it’s 100 times worse when you have no job to come back to. Considering most employers will not be willing to give you consecutive months off in a row, the best way to set yourself up for your return is to save a bankroll to come back to.

It’s important to give yourself some time to not only find a new source of income, but actually adjust back to the real world. Set the amount of money aside you’re comfortable coming home to. The lock it away, and hide the key until you get home. You’re definitely going to need it!

Quitting Your Job to Travel Backpacking Tips
Get Familiar with San Diego California

7. Having the Time Of Your Life

Now that you’ve heard the grim realities of quitting your job to travel the world, we’re here to say it’s all 1000% worth it! No matter how crazy this may seem, we would pack our bags in a second and do it all over again. You’ve just heard the worst of the worst, and the extreme truths of what you will face on this expedition.

Still, the people, things, and places you will experience FAR outweigh the negatives mentioned above. Please take these backpacking tips as a precautionary warning instead of a deterrent to going on the most amazing journey of your life. The memories and experiences you gain on your journey will be invaluable. 

P.S. Here’s a little secret for you: The world won’t stop spinning. Things will probably be exactly as they were when you left them. People will still be sitting in their cubicles, doing the same thing, day in and day out. All we can say is buy a one way ticket and don’t look back. The world is waiting for you!

Travel the World Starting a Travel Blog and Backpacking Tips
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Have any questions on starting a travel blog, or want to share your own backpacking tips with us? Leave a comment below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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  1. August 7, 2016 / 8:45 pm


    Is the top photo of you at the midway stop on the Mekong going between Luang Probang and Thailand? Did you try the Indian restaurant there? Amazing.

    Just landed in US after year of travel with my family.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      August 7, 2016 / 9:30 pm

      Hi Malone! The photo was taken right when we got on the boats after we left Thailand and were heading to Luang Probang. We didn’t try the Indian restaurant at the midway stop but if we every make it back will be sure to check it out! Hope your travels were as amazing as ours!

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