Warning: reading this post will make you want to quit your job and go travel!
Two years ago, I handled my resignation letter to quit my corporate job. A few months later it became reality when I left Europe with bags of excitement and a one way ticket to South America. This was the best decision of my life. I stay for 222 awesome days exploring this wonderful continent.
Since then, many people -friends or not- have questioned me about this experience. All are curious, and I can tell many are tempted to do the same even if they don’t really dare. Today, exactly a year after I came back from this wonderful adventure, I will answer the most asked questions ever about taking a career break and go travel.
Should I quit my job and go travel?
If you are asking yourself this question, you probably already know the answer.
“At some point the dream become so big that you can’t postpone it”
It’s a bit how I felt when I quit my job. I was not afraid. I felt the excitement and relief to finally go for something I had always wanted to do. At that time, I thought a bit too much about “what if I cannot do it later”. My answer to that was “there is no better time than now”.
At home, you may feel like some kind of crazy person but once will hit the road, you will meet hundreds of similar minded people who took a deep breath and decided to just do it. And then, it’s surprising how normal taking a career break become.
But am I not too old for backpacking?
Countless drunken nights by the beach and hangover mornings, pool parties and international flirts. This is maybe the image you have of the gap year, that it is something reserved to teenagers and graduates.
But enjoying life doesn’t come with an expiration date! There is no age limit to take time for yourself and follow your dreams.
On this blog, I am talking about my experience, of hitting the road after several (4) years in the corporate world. And a brief look at our adventures will show you we spent more time hiking in the Andes than drinking margaritas on the beaches (well, we did that as well…). So called “grow-ups” going backpacking usually choose a slightly itinerary and may plan a larger budget to accommodate their wishes. For example, we choose private rooms and clean hostels instead of the ones hosting the biggest bar in town…
Depending on where you are in your life, you will enjoy backpacking differently. They are as many gap years as people taking one and the world is big and diverse enough to accommodate all. You don’t even have to go travel if it is not your thing! Some decide to focus their time of on a specific project linked to a cause, or their profession.. the choice is yours.
Will a gap-year hurt my career?
The reality is usually quite different. You will be surprised to see how going on a gap year start to be recognized. It is not about hiding it on your CV anymore but about being able to explain why you did it and how it benefit you and your job. Don’t just take my word, listen to this awesome TED talk to convince yourself.
What was the best of your grow-up gap year?
There is no better time than now!