3 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Travel Around The World

I’ve been traveling for a long time.  I’ve been to most countries in Eastern and Western Europe.  I spent a summer living and studying British Literature in London. I’ve been to Isreal and Malaysia and traveled throughout most of the United States and I lived for nearly a year and a half in New Zealand and Australia.  I’ve been a lot of places, but whenever I think about where the road will take me next, I still get flush with waves of wanderlust just like I did in those early days on the streets of Barcelona, with an empty wallet and only my wits and my Lonely Planet Guide book to show me the way.

When I look at a map of the world, I feel dizzy from all the possibilities.  And when I find myself wandering the through the streets or hiking through the jungles of foreign lands, I still feel that same rush of excitement I felt so many years ago.  Thats how I know I’m not ready to stop traveling, and I probably never will be.  Travel has a special way of grabbing hold of you — and for some people, it  never lets go.

It certainly hasn’t let go of me.  It grabbed me many years ago and it still regularly shakes me until I fall, flailing from my comfort zone and breaks me right down to the core of my personal insignificance and reminds me of my inherent smallness  in this big and wonderful world.

It keeps me grounded.  And I know I need it.

And if that’s not reason enough for you, then here are 3 more reasons why you should quit or job, leave your life behind, and travel around the world!

  • #1 – Because Rolf Potts knows what he is talking about.

Rolf Potts is a travel writer who has written for practically every travel mag from National Geographic to Conde Nast Traveler and he is the author of Vagabonding, a book about long-term, independent travel.   He’s a proponent of Slow Travel (he walked across Israel) and he encourages people to travel for long periods of time (He taught English in Korea for a few years).  Besides all that, he’s a great source of inspiration for would-be travelers.

Check out this Video of Rolf Potts talking about travel for The Do Lectures.  He’ll give you plenty of reasons to quit your day job and try out life on the road!

  • #2 – Because There is So Much to See.

The world is a big place (that it’s a small world theory doesn’t work for me, Disney!) and there are so many amazing places to see.  From London Bridge to Bangkok Thailand, www.1000awesomeplaces.com has a simple list of some of the most Awesome places in the world, with some beautiful photos to get you excited about the journey!

How can you stay home when places like this are just waiting for you out there in the world?

  • #3- Because You Can.

Seriously.  You can.  People are always saying things to me like, “I wish I could trade lives with you for a year!”  Maybe it’s because they don’t think that they have what it takes to travel the world.  Well, I’m here to tell you that most of you DO have what it takes.  If you’ve got kids and a mortgage, then yes – it’s going to be a bit more difficult for you, but there are still plenty of short-term travel opportunities out there for you too.

I’m not special.  I’m not rich. I wasn’t born with some kind of traveler’s gene that makes me better at this than any of you (though I do like to think I’ve got a little Bessarabian Gypsy blood in me).  You’re probably better than me at fixing cars or cooking dinner or whatever it is that you’re are good at (we’ve all got something).  Learning to travel well is like learning to type or learning to play the guitar, or learning to speak another language.  It might not be easy at first, but it certainly gets easier with time.  The trick is to just do it.  Just dive in and do it. You’ll never get started until you get started – so get started!

If you’re reading this article, and if you’ve gotten this far, then there is a good chance you’ve been thinking about whether or not you should quit your job, pack your bags, and hit the road – if only for a short trip.  I can’t tell you it will be easy, and I can’t tell you it will be all sunshine and sex with attractive foreigners (although there is a bit of that too), but I can tell you that it will be different.  And if you’re looking for something new and exciting in your life, then I assure you – it’s out there.  You’ve just got to go looking for it.

Travel well, and travel far, my friends.  I’ll see you on the road!

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  • http://chelseatalkssmack.blogspot.com/ Chelsea Talks Smack

    Love this- fabulous post- my Dad collects painting from wherever we go, only if he SEES the artist in action, painting the picture, we have one of Ponte Vecchio in our living room :)

  • http://www.kylehepp.com Kyle

    I guess I’ll be the devil’s advocate here. I would never, NEVER quit my job. I love it. It drives me. I wake up every day looking forward to doing what I’m doing.

    That being said, I have my own business and get to travel a ton for my job and meet people from around the world (which in and of itself I consider a form of traveling) so it’s not like I’m holed up in a cubicle or anything.

  • Justin Jones

    Kyle, I totally understand where you’re coming from too! It’s good to have something that drives you and to have a career that you’re passionate about. the trick is not to get stuck in a cubicle, or to end up pushing papers in a job you hate – in that case, i recommend those people take some time off to travel and experience what the world has to offer outside of the office. but it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good gig! happy travels!

  • http://suzyguese.com/ Suzy

    Some compelling reasons to travel here Justin! I think your last point is the most important. I get emails all the time from people asking me how I travel all the time. You really just have to be motivated to make it work. If you really want to travel, it is simple to do so.

  • Justin Jones

    So true Suzy! Often the only thing holding people back is themselves.

  • http://www.fearfuladventurer.com FearfulGirl

    I’ve got another point to add: BECAUSE YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE and tomorrow, you might get hit by a car and find yourself with pins going length-wise through your femur. Do it while you can.

  • http://traveledearth.com Mike Lenzen

    Great find, I really enjoyed the Rolf Potts video. My wife and I have been inspired to travel for some time now, and this July we are making it happen. Selling the house, and hitting the road. When we first started planning things, we were very concerned with the itinerary trying to plan all the various places we wanted to see into a single year. We recently adopted a philosophy similar to Rolf’s, we are going to let our travels take us where they will.

  • Justin Jones

    Mike – I’m so glad to hear that you’ve decided to hit the road and let the travels take you where they will! I’m sure you’ll end up in some incredible places that you never would have planned for! I’m excited to read about your travels in your blog too – keep us posted!

    Fearful Girl – TOO TRUE! I should add that to the list – in fact, you’ve inspired me to do another post about reasons to travel, with input from experienced travelers and travel writers like yourself – I’ll be in touch! :D

  • http://www.pausethemoment.com Ryan – PauseTheMoment.com

    Excellent post Justin! Funny enough, I just wrote an article titled: “5 Reasons Why YOU Should Travel Now” — http://su.pr/1qxtdn — Check it out and let me know what you think.

  • Justin Jones

    Thanks – I’ll check it out!

  • http://www.placestogotheworldtosee.blogspot.com Nicole

    Oh my gosh…I want more than anything, to travel and travel and travel some more. I visited Europe for the first time this past summer and it was only for a short 2 weeks. I’ve loved traveling for quite a long time now…my whole life really, but I really want to spend my life writing about all my travels. This was an amazing post and you are so incredibly right. I would love to drop everything and just go, but my funds are not quite enough to get where I want to go.

    Great blog! I’ll definitely be following from now on :)

  • Justin Jones

    Thanks Nicole! You’d be surprised how much traveling you can do with VERY little funds – I went to New Zealand for a year with less than $2000 in my account. and when I flew to Australia, I think I had $400 cash – not even enough for a flight home! but if you’re savvy and know where to look, you can always find work on the road and make it happen. feel free to get in touch and I’ll give you some tips!

  • http://twitter.com/JacknJillTravel Jack and Jill

    We just quit our job to start our RTW trip (yay, Colombia). So this post speaks to us. Especially #3. I always feel a little silly telling people who say things like, “I’m jealous…” — “I wish I could do that too”, that “Ugh, yes you can”.

    And yes to #2 as well. The world is a big, big place. Just today I learned of that ‘Benin’ is a country :) Learning something new everyday.

  • http://www.theendlessterrain.com Harrison

    I haven’t even gotten a real job since graduating university last May 2010 … I do have that ideal career path and plan, but since it’s still not working, I’ll take traveling anytime, and plan my next adventure!