Firstly, travel is not for everyone. This post is not to pass judgement on those who spring out of bed on a Monday morning and genuinely enjoy the job they do, but is for those of you who already have that niggling need for adventure or constant urge to punch your boss in the face. In other words, you want some career break advice but don’t know where to start.
Secondly, sorry to disappoint but this post won’t teach you how to write your resignation letter but instead discusses the excuses holding you back and how to overcome them.
So, if you’re ready to trade your commute for a camera, sandwiches for street food and boss for a backpack then find your top excuse and make mine a pint.
IF YOU’RE A “I’LL DO IT TOMORROW” TYPE PERSON
Have you ever wondered what the number one regret is from those on their deathbed?
“I wish I lived the life I wanted, not what others expected.”
As society likes to take charge, travel may be pushed further down your priorities as excuses like promotions, pregnancies and partners overtake.
However, there is no time like the present as the future will always be uncertain. Redundancies could be around the corner, she might secretly fancy your best friend and well, heart attacks happen. Stop making excuses for what could happen at the control of others and focus on plans to make something happen for you. Not to mention, the longer you wait, the more you will accumulate that will be harder to leave behind.
IF YOU’RE A “I CAN’T AFFORD IT” TYPE PERSON
Firstly, get a pen and some paper and learn how we saved our adventure fund despite our Millenial, avocado-toast loving ways.
Secondly, it is not money holding you back, it’s fear.
For some, it’s the fear of what others will think. At the end of the day, it is your money so if you choose to spend it on a trip to Malaysia rather than a mortgage then go for it. Those who question it? Cross them off your postcard list. Pack the sunscreen, post the Visa application and hold a polite two fingers up to those who tell you how to spend your hard earned pennies.
For others it’s FOMO: a Fear Of Missing Out. Stop the Starbucks, the subscriptions and the Saturday night splurges and suddenly you can afford your first flight. Being a hermit for a couple of months will be worth it when you’re hash-tagging blessed from a beach in Bali.
Finally, it’s a fear of hard work. Compared to spending money, saving is bloody hard work. Whether you do the overtime, chuck your stuff on eBay or get a second job it’s time to roll your sleeves up. So, turn up the volume on the voice telling you “It’ll all be worth it” and turn the “Treat yourself” voice on mute.
All together now, “Work, save, travel, repeat”
IF YOU’RE A “WHAT WILL I DO WHEN I COME BACK” TYPE PERSON
Sorry to break it to you, but travelling is not forever.
Whether its two weeks or two years, eventually your trip will end and reality raises its ugly head. For the majority, your bank balance will be as sun beaten as you are and employment is your next destination.
If you are in the twenty-something category and assuming your “Gap yeaaa” expedition was funded by your previous job and not your parents, then the likelihood is your career had only just started. In essence, you were at the bottom of the career ladder so in reality, your job will always be there. Not literally same office, same desk but nowadays employers value life experience as much as actual work experience.
Whether you survived the lowest rated hotel on TripAdvisor or simply learned to put up with the “LADS, LADS, LADS” on your bus tour, these experiences have taught you far more than a year more of Excel would have. Giving you the skills to climb that career ladder much quicker than the colleagues you left behind.
Not to mention you got to see the world and you might even find your dream job on the way. Just like we have. The best piece of career break advice we can give you is to try Workaway. Volunteer work abroad not only adds some sparkle to your CV thus heightening the chances of employment when you return, but allows you to travel for free and meet incredible people along the way.
Who wouldn’t want to spend a grown up gap year on a vineyard in New Zealand? Far more exciting than a week in Benidorm. Agree? Sign up here. Intrigued? Read our honest review on our Workaway experience for further tips and advice.
Are you ready for a cultural exchange by working and staying in 170 countries around the world?
IF YOU’RE A “WHAT WILL OTHER PEOPLE THINK” TYPE PERSON
From experience, our bosses could not have been more supportive about our decision to take a grown up gap year. In all honesty, most decent human beings would be.
They respect your honesty and ability to act on ambition, not to mention the new skills and experiences you will gain which could benefit the company later. In a world that has never been more connected via social media it has never been easier to stay in contact, find jobs on the move or even work remotely.
Parents naturally want to tell the world how fabulous their children and yes, “he’s currently slumming it in a hostel in Thailand” may not have the same ring as “he has just been promoted.” However, your travels will enrich you with memories, experiences and friendships that are a little more fulfilling than adding another bullet point to your CV, which fingers crossed your parents/grandma/boyfriend/cat support.
So before your next dose of Monday blues, it’s time to finally click print on your resignation letter, phone your mum to tell her your new life plan and get the selfie stick purchased.
This Post Has 20 Comments
Brilliant Lauren, you should get a job as a travel writer, or is it Darren? xx
Brilliant writing Lauren/Darren, I absolutely love it and will be following you all the way through.
Brilliant. So glad you are doing what many people would like to but for the reasons you have put up won’t do it. Sending you hugs from Scotland. xxx
Yeowwww, this is so true! Hit the nail on the head.
Thank you so much…hope we’ve inspired you to pack your bags (if you haven’t already!)
Love this, I used to want to travel the world, but arrive having kids I love being able to settle down.
We are 4 months in to a 18 month trip and despite our love of travelling there is nothing we love more than being home and being able to pop the kettle on in your own home ha…it’s the little things!
Great read and everything that you said is so true!! Traveling has taught me so much more life skills than I would have ever learned in school. So happy you guys went for it and looking forward to following your adventures.
Thank you so much! We are 6 months in to an 18 month trip – after that hopefully we’ll decide what we wanna be when we grow up 😉
The volunteer work abroad is a great idea! I’m definitely one of those people who have a constant need for adventure, whether it be in my home country or abroad. I always hear friends complain they can’t afford it and are envious of people who can – but really it’s mostly comes down to priorities!
We’ve volunteered through Workaway and LOVED it! Definitely to do with priorities, but as long as they’re your own priorities you’re following and not what other people are telling you to do then that’s the best you can do!
Some inspiring tips here! I think everyone should take at least a few months to travel if they can – you learn and experience so much!
Great post! Having taken two long-term trips funded in the most part by redundancy money from two separate jobs (when society thought I should’ve spent it on a deposit for a house), I’m totally with all of these points.
And I agree that travel gives you so much life experience – how to budget effectively, how to be independent and think on your feet, how to overcome challenges, and how to better cope under pressure and in situations that fall outside of your comfort zone 🙂
Couldn’t agree more! I’m very much a believer in fate, so things like redundancies are the universe’s way of telling you to pack your bag and head for the airport 😉
Love this! Good on you for taking to the leap, it’s admirable! 🙂
Thank you so much! It hasn’t been easy, but it has definitely been worth it!
Your bosses sound so understanding and if you do come back to work, you’ll have so much more skills to bring to your role. Travelling makes you smarter and resilient!
What we’ve also noticed is how understanding we’ve found bosses in Australia – we found jobs out here quite quickly despite being here temporarily. They also understand that travel makes a more productive work force! So it’s been a win, win really!
just… thanks <3
Great post! Thank you! But what if I am a “WHAT WILL I DO WHEN I COME BACK” type person and i am over 30? 🙂