So you want to travel for longer than the average vacation. That’s awesome and you’re in the right place. I quit my hodgepodge of part-time jobs for a year-long round-the-world trip and it was an amazing experience that I now use to teach other solo female travelers craving big adventures. But there’s one question I hear that seriously holds a lot of girls back: How do you know you’re ready to quit your job and travel? If you’re feeling plagued with uncertainty or bogged down by a million questions and doubts, settle in and let’s figure this out together.
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How I Personally Knew I Was Ready for Long-Term Travel
While I totally understand why this question could be a big obstacle for you, it’s not one I struggled with myself because of my financial situation. When I first learned about long-term travel and round-the-world trips, it took me a full year to figure out a process to save, plan, and go on that dream trip. (I’ve since streamlined it into a fully teachable system inside Round-the-World Roadmap so you can quit your job to travel wayyyy faster than I managed.) And then from there, because I was only making $25,000 a year, it took me almost two more years to actually get enough money to quit my job and travel. So this more emotional “feeling ready” journey took place on the back burner over time. Those of you who are lucky enough to be more financially stable have different considerations, but because I’ve worked with other solo female travelers like you, I’ve learned certain signs that point to the difference between “this sounds like a dream you’d like to have happen” and “this is a real deal goal you can pursue.” These 7 questions should help you identify whether you’ve entered Goal Mode.
How Do You Know You’re Ready to Quit Your Job and Travel?
Do you know whether long-term travel is right for you?
First things first, let’s clear a little something up: long-term travel is not the best fit for every traveler. This is a no-judgment zone — there’s zero shame in leaning into your best vacation self and enjoying a relaxing, fun escape from your real life. But if that’s the way you prefer to travel, then the challenges that come with long-term travel might not make you happy. Go read this other blog post on whether long-term travel is right for you and then if the answer’s yes, you can join me back here. (I’ll wait.)
Do you make enough money to start a travel savings fund?
Most of us mere mortals get that knee-jerk reaction to our “travel forever” dreams: “Ugh, there’s no way I could afford that.” But here’s an ugly truth I’ve learned: a lot of people feel broke regardless of their income. I have heard the exact same “I can’t afford to travel” woes from people making $30,000 a year as I have from people making $75,000 a year. There are folks making six figures and up complaining about not having enough money. At the same time, I know that travel isn’t accessible to absolutely everyone. So here’s where we’re going to draw the line. You need to carefully examine your own spending and consider each item on the list. Ask yourself not just where you could make changes, but where you’re willing to change something. If you’re able to find an opening for some monthly amount that goes toward your travel savings, that’s a good sign you’re ready to make moves on this whole “quit your job to travel” thing. On the other hand, if you are truly doing everything you can just to make ends meet, then I feel for you, that tough situation is not your fault, and I hope things get better but for now, you’ve got bigger fish to fry than an ambitious travel goal.
Are you willing to make some sacrifices for the sake of your travel goals?
Gooey, melty cheese incoming, brace yourself: if you want your life to change, you have to change your life. Yes, there are things in the world that are beyond our control and you do not have to beat yourself up over them. I’m not out to make anyone feel bad. It’s okay if you decide you have other priorities. A major at-home commitment like caring for an aging relative or working on a three-year contract is a totally valid reason to table the travel dream for now. But to successfully quit your job and travel, at some point it will need to be your top priority. If you’re willing and able to put your travel goals first and potentially give up other things you value or enjoy, then you are definitely ready to pursue long-term travel.
Are there certain travel experiences you’re especially excited about?
Time for a fun one, yeah? Lean into what’s inspiring you and motivating you to quit your job and travel! If there’s something about this goal that you are so excited about that it will keep you going through any challenge that comes your way, you’re in a really good position to be successful.
Do you feel capable of coping with challenges?
Speaking of challenges, make sure you’re prepared for them. If you’re picturing an easy, luxurious travel experience where nothing goes wrong, you are not ready for long-term travel. I mean, really, most of us don’t get vacations where nothing goes wrong! There’s no way to travel long term and not encounter challenges. Some of the things you might need to cope with are logistical hiccups like a missed or cancelled flight, emotional moments like loneliness or anxiety, and bigger travel challenges like culture shock. The less travel experience you have, the more you need to consider these kinds of issues.
What is your support system like?
One of the biggest things to help you with those challenges is a good support system. You need two qualities from at least one person in your support system: a cheerleader and an expert. Your cheerleader should be someone who will cheer you on and root for you. Whether or not they share your travel goal for themselves, they believe you should follow your dreams and can give you emotional support when you’re struggling with something. Your expert needs to be someone who has personal experience with long-term travel and can give you advice on the practical pursuit of your goal. They don’t have to be an in-person friend, but it is more helpful to have someone you can call on for direct one-to-one advice when you need it. (If you don’t have either of these people in your life… hey there! I aim to be both a cheerleader and an expert for my Round-the-World Roadmap students.)
Are you starting to consider the practical logistics of long-term travel?
It is a-ok if you don’t know what steps it would take to make your dream a reality. Lack of clarity re: the logistics does not mean you’re not ready to quit your job and travel! This stuff is all “figure-out-able.” If you’re starting to ask those questions like how will I decide where to go, how much money do I need, what if I need to return home for an emergency, what happens to my career, how do I get insurance, how will I do laundry… that is a big whopping neon sign that you are ready to quit your job and travel. It’s not just a dream of something you’d like to happen. It’s a real goal you’re prepared to make happen!
Still not sure whether you’re in Goal Mode? Click here to book a free 30-minute call with me. We’ll go over the different types of long-term travel, dig into that question of whether you’re ready to quit your job and travel, and determine what your next steps should be.
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