It's the dream, right? To dump all responsibilities, throw away all your cares and jump on a plane with a one-way ticket to some far out land. That really IS the dream. And actually, I've done it myself. More than once now. But do I think you should do it? HELL NO. You really shouldn't (hear me out on this one), there are plenty of other ways to travel without letting go of everything you worked hard for. All of these articles you see being shared on social media don't tell you the whole truth - they always have a happy ending, and quite frankly that doesn't always happen. There are a lot of risks involved in giving up everything to travel, and I feel somewhat responsible to let you knows these, and show you other ways you can travel that doesn't involve sacking in everything you own.
Ask for a sabbatical (a long period of leave)
Yes, this really is a thing. And how do I know? Because I asked for one myself. A sabbatical is when you ask for an extended period of time off work (outside of your annual leave) either paid or unpaid. It is down to your employer if they agree this time off or not, but more and more companies are open to the idea as it becomes increasingly obvious how travel can benefit and help someone grow. I originally asked for a sabbatical for 3 months from my job in a bank, which they agreed to - un-paid. This meant that I had the security of returning back to my job after my time was up and I didn't have to leave everything I owned to afford to travel.
Make the most of your annual leave
Failing the approval of a sabbatical there are always the 25 - 30 days of annual leave you receive a year. First off, ask if you are allowed to take those all at once, or the maximum amount you can are. If you are allowed to take a block off then start planning your adventures. An extended holiday that lasts longer than 7 days allows you to really explore a city or town, and gives you enough time away to really get into the swing of things. You may find having 2 weeks away from work cures your travel bug - for a while anyway.
Adaptability: the key to travel. 🔑 When you travel to new places you have to find a way to adapt. Adapt to the culture, the language, the food. You must not go in with expectations and you'll have to learn to go with the flow. Expect nothing, and you'll come back with everything. I promise you if you do this your world will be open to so many more opportunities. Don't be a diva. 📸 @scubaomar
Take a gap year from life
Don't know what you want to do in life? Have no idea what you should study? Join the rest of us. Some of the best people I know still don't have a clue what they want to do in life. Let it lead you where it pleases - enjoy the ride. Take a year off. From education. From work. From whatever you need. Don't feel guilty for it. Just do it, it's your life, and you can press the pause button whenever the hell you want. 23 years old or 63 years old. This option may still involve some sort of quitting your job or selling some stuff, but set yourself an end date. Don't go out planning to never come back (although that may just happen).
The one I told you not to do
And the last option... the one I told you not to do. To quit your job, sell everything you own and go out into the big bad world with a back pack and an open heart. This is the one I finally chose, after trying all the options above. This option is the most fun, the most nerve-racking and the most fulfilling, but you really have to understand that it does not mean you will be roaming the world care-free for the rest of your life. You'll have to earn money at some stage, and some crazy people even look for stability after a few years (there's no stability on the road).
The reason I wrote this article wasn't to persuade you not to do this option, but more just to help you realise there are other ways to travel long term that doesn't mean 'giving it all up'. But, if you ask me, and my reckless heart, I'd say just go for it whatever way possible. See this beautiful world we live in, and join me for a coffee one day!