Throwing caution to the wind! (Or, the oft-ignored pre-planning stage)

Quit your job!

Sell your furniture! Travel the world! Become cultured and try new things and don't worry so much!


It's a metaphor.


The person that I want to be would say these things. The person I am, however, makes spreadsheets.

I did leave my job, and sell my belongings, and I'm travelling the world. But I didn't do this on a whim, and this blog is designed to help you decide whether or not you can do it, too.

Full disclosure: Normal Nomads contains affiliate links, for which you are charged nothing and we may make a small commission.

Er, think about quitting your job.

Quitting your job and potentially walking away from your career certainly sounds appealing (especially on Mondays), but it's not for the faint of heart. Does your job give your life meaning? Are you paying off debt? Will your spouse call you a failure and leave you for the uncultured untraveled worrier that you are? This Paid to Exist piece briefly discusses perceived vs. actual freedom and should be checked out if you're feeling trapped at work.

I can't answer these questions for you and when it comes down to it, neither can your (surprisingly unsupporting and critical) partner. There are a lot of blogs about quitting jobs, changing careers, or even taking a "career break" (AKA I can't handle this awful job but please take me back maybe when I'm broke?). Give it some thought and do your research.

Before even considering the logistics, decide if you're really OK with quitting. If you aren't OK with quitting, stop fantasizing about it and be happy with your life :)!

Once that emotional rollercoaster has leveled off...

I can do this! Wait, can I do this?

Now you've got to worry about money. How much money do you spend? Are you a picky eater? Soft sleeper? Are you willing to ride on budget airlines and sketchy local buses? These aren't hypothetical anymore, and they'll determine how much money you really need.

My biggest cost killer is that my partner and I are not 20 anymore and we don't want to stay in hostels or a morgue ("capsule hotel"). The plus side is that I have no dietary restrictions and I'm OK with scary transportation (Jesus take the wheel, amirite?).

A great resource for basic cost of living around the world is NomadList.com. For accommodation costs, I like doing a quick AirBnB.com search (sign up here for a discount on your first booking) with filters applied to get a ballpark idea of costs. If AirBnB is expensive, hotels will be similar. Many hostels also post on AirBnB, so you can get the genuine range of cheapest-of-the-cheap to luxury villas. Pro-tip: check out long-term discounts by applying a date rang of 4+ weeks and AirBnB will show any monthly discounts applied.

There's lots more to consider here but I will post separately about some extra costs and considerations.

I QUIT!

With your emotions under control and basic finances worked out, you can do it.

Walk into your boss's office and put them in their place! You create your own destiny! NO MAN IS THE BOSS OF ME!

Or maybe, write a nice letter and bring it to their office. Tell them what you are planning, and ask if there is a convenient time for you to leave. You will leave your job in exceptional standing if you offer to e.g. hire and train your replacement or wrap up a long-term project. If you ever want to come back to this job, or this industry, or you jut need a nice recommendation, it's critical that you leave on good terms. If you leave on excellent terms, then they'll remember you, even if you don't ask for that recommendation for many years. Check out this post on thebalance.com for more considerations.

Wrapping up your job may take a few months, but you can live frugally and read through my visa and finance info in the meantime.

Since you now know how much money you need to live while travelling, every day you work can be considered in terms of travel time. Trust me, it makes Mondays a lot more palatable!

Pro-tip: take advantage of any work-sponsored health insurance before you quit. If you have dental, turn those pearly tans into pearly whites. Grab an extra pair of glasses. Make sure your insides work. Get all your recommended vaccinations. This gets a lot pricier when it's your own insurance or completely out-of-pocket.

Congratulations!

You are officially an unemployed wanderer. Are you homeless? What now? Where to? Check out some other posts for ideas of your next step. Good luck!

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