Waking up to email’s like this really grind my gears. “How to quit your job and explore the world”. Don’t get me wrong, viewranger is a great app. I use it all of the time when I’m in the mountains. But having this in my notifications got me thinking. How many people will believe that they have to be unemployed to live an adventurous life? Let me tell you why you don’t.
If you have opened this post, the chances are you are like me. Working in a full-time career with little time and space to head off on epic around the world adventures. I often sit in wanderlust at the adventure types that don’t have an employer or a career that requires you to work from an office in a particular location. There are pros and cons to both sides of these lifestyles. For me at this moment, I have chosen to be employed. To receive a wage and deliver a required set of results to my employer in exchange for the money into my bank account. This all sounds very boring but this is the lifestyle I have chosen to live.
Finding your purpose
Luckily I enjoy my job. Being an Officer in the British Army is genuinely a privilege. I get to command the most amazing people and I’m able to see, do and achieve things I never thought was possible. There are good and bad days for sure but on the whole, I bloody love it.
To quit or not to quit…
Quitting your job and travelling the world may not be a viable option for you. Children, families, disabilities and money are common reasons to stay put. I completely get all of these. And maybe your right. Is it worth giving up your security and the life you live for uncertainty? To that question, I do not have the golden answer.
What I do have though is my own life plan. Instead of travelling the world all at once before I’m 30, I’m going to do it in small chunks throughout my life.
Planning adventures with a full-time job
If you have a full-time job and want to cycle around the world, you may need to quit your job. That is unless you are Mark Beaumont and can do it in under 80 days. Still, most employers would have a hard time giving you 80 days paid leave. There is more to adventure than simply following the crowd and feeling that the only answer to adventure is cycling around the world.
Making the most of the weekend is a great way to plan adventures when you have a full-time job. Between now and January, my calendar is pretty much full to the brim. I’ve got weekend trips booked to Poland and Israel to look forward to in the next 6 weeks. These weekends don’t have to cost much. My return flight to Israel was a £29 return. That’s less than a single train ticket from Bristol to London!
As a tight-fisted Yorkshireman, I am always looking to keep the costs down. To keep it cheap, book as far in advance as you possibly can. Once the flight is booked, the rest will fall into place from there.
I have to balance spending time doing silly and often arduous adventures with spending time with the people that want to see me (wife, parents, family, friends, dog etc). It’s difficult to get that balance right and I am still working on it. Sometimes I want to spend all of my time off on the arduous adventures. I’ve never actually done that and so far I’m so glad I haven’t. Spending time with my friends and family also means a lot to me. As I get older, I appreciate that time much more than I did in my early 20’s.
The key is finding your balance.
This Christmas time I have just under three weeks off from work. I have decided to spend 6 days (about 1/3 of my leave) on a solo adventure in the West Bank. I’ll also be spending 4 days with friends/family and the last 6 days of my leave on a not so arduous but equally fun trip to Iceland with Lucia.
Adventure doesn’t just mean expeditions
This trip to Iceland wouldn’t usually register as an adventure in my mind. However, it does to Lucia. To her, the rugged landscapes, northern lights and epic Geysers definitely ticks the box of an adventure. She has shown me that adventure doesn’t have to be a miserable human-powered journey through rough terrain in remote places. Adventure means different things to different people. You don’t have to live to other peoples standards and definitions. If a trip to Iceland sounds like then adventure you would enjoy, so be it.
There will always be that motivation for me to complete the more challenging adventures but not everybody has to have that motivation.
Don’t quit your job to follow the crowd. Do it if it is right for YOU!
I’ve mentioned it before but I hate it when other adventurers and travellers peddle the advice for people to quit their jobs and travel the world. That advice can lead to many people thinking that it is the only option.
It isn’t. It is one option of many.
My advice to those with a full-time job that hate it is to try and find your purpose. Without purpose, any work you do will lack meaning. I recently listened to an interview that Tim Ferriss did with Richard Branson and this quote from Richard stuck with me:“Nothing ventured, nothing gained” Richard Branson, 2017Click To Tweet
Go and live your life in your own way. Full-time job or travelling nomad, happiness isn’t found in either of these roles. It is something much deeper. It’s a combination of plenty of things. Family, friends, purpose.
There’s nothing wrong with being unhappy at times. Most of my fondest memories are when I was cold, wet and miserable with the army or on an expedition. Without being occasionally unhappy, how will you know how happiness feels?
Having a full time job does not mean that you can’t live a life of adventure. If anything, it makes the adventures even more worthwhile. They become an escape from normal, day to day life.
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