To Drop everything at 30
Back to my first ever board that i read on this site.
It has really been a good influence on me.
As of Friday last week 16/3/12 i QUIT my comfortable well paid job.
As of April 16th i am on the road to who knows where as posted earlier.
Since my last post i went and got a TESOL certificate and did some bar refresher courses.
Updated my resume made copies of my passport and accounts etc.. bought a backpack got a working visa skydived read a thousand books went to motivation seminars (tony robbins is a champion) saved a shit load turned 30 and now i wait.
London is first stop then Budapest.. From there..... where ever..
Thanks again for such a great thread.
I'm 29 years old now, and went to ivy league schools and have a well paying job. However, the last 2-3 years I slowly came to a realization:
Why on earth do I work 12-14hr days to afford travelling for only 2 weeks per year? I get 5 weeks of vacation, more than most in the US. However, 1 week's gone visiting family for Xmas, 1 week's gone snowboarding to keep in touch with old friends, 1 week's gone because of random stuff (weddings, etc.), and that leaves only 2 weeks to travel. Even if I had more, it wouldn't matter, because my job won't let me leave for more than 2 weeks at a time.
Sure, the money gets you a nice car, nice pad, allows you to not look at the bill when eating out...but if your true passion is travelling, the tradeoff is pretty horrible.
Now I could just pack up and slum it for 2 years...got enough savings. But then what? Start all over again with the rat race I hate so much (fyi, I actually like my job...just not as much as travelling)?
So for the past 1.5yrs I tried to come up with solutions. No matter what I pick, if being a "nomad" is my goal, my current field of work wouldn't be possible. I wanted something that gives me 100% mobility as long as I had occasional access to the Internet. Working at a place as a teacher wasn't really something I wanted to do, unless it's a dive instructor job (I'm certified), and even then it would be temporary.
So that left a few options:
1) Become a blogger and start my "travel your way to financial freedom" blog where I give "advice" to people while having a ton of affiliate links on my site. Some people might like this, but in my experience most of those sites are dishonest and pure ad platforms.
2) Info site about travelling. Sure, being a travel writer sounds romantic...but if you scout the web you realize competition is MASSIVE. Maybe something I'd do on the side, but not as my main source of income.
3) Affiliate marketing. Offers great mobility, easy for someone who can write convincingly and has a bit of web design experience. Very few sites manage to offer good content while making enough ad revenues. It's generally heavily skewed towards being a (slightly) disguised ad platform. I didn't want to become a marketer.
4) Online poker! Tons of fun, a lot of people do it professionally and live in nice houses in Thailand for example, great community of people. I did this for a while, and it's good money if you study hard...but for me, poker is a hobby and something I enjoy on the side. It loses its charm when you do it full time and HAVE to make money from it. Still a good option for some people
5) Online trading. Given my background in finance and real estate, this made the most sense. It meant however that I left my niche behind and had to start something relatively new. I looked into stocks, but didn't like that a lot of the info isn't public (Facebook IPO is a great example of that), looked at options (again, dependant on those stocks), commodities (lots of fun), and lastly currencies.
In the end, I decided to trade currencies online as the market is option 24/7 and huge. There's also some great charting and trading software around, and I can access everything through my tablet (remote desktop connection to rented server). I enter trades manually, but once I'm in, the trade is managed automatically and will exit on its own. I tested this over thousands of trades and it works. The nice thing is, I can just walk away once I enter a trade...more free time
Now, of course I didn't quit my job and simply "gave it a shot". For 6 months I traded on a demo account...and the first few months were brutal. I had to develop my own system when it came to analyzing charts. Won't go into details, but it took me 5 months until I was happy and profitable. I then deposited £1000 and tested it with real money...mainly to figure out the psychological stress. Anyway, I deposited more after another 6 months and since then started making enough to start thinking about doing it full time. Right now, I do it while working, and I will work another year before going full time. This will allow me to have 2 full years saved up, and enough trading capital to live of without having to count every $.
For the last 2 months I made more trading currencies than working 12hrs/day at my full time job! Keep in mind though that this required 2hrs+ every day on top of my work for 1.5yrs to get to this point. Right now it's down to checking the charts several times per day, probably adding up to 1hr tops. Once I head off, I will turn into a PT (perpetual traveller) to avoid having to pay taxes...
Anyway, I could have picked something completely different if my skillset was different. If you're good at IT, there are tons of jobs that don't require a fixed location. You can get paid as a writer even if it's not for some prestigious magazine. Many bloggers pay for their articles. Might not be much in Europe/US, but that money can get you far in SE Asia. You could get certified as crew and work your way around the world on ships. Work as a diving instructor (get certified first ofc), teacher, waiter...anything you can do.
In the end, the goal should be to put life first and work second. Ask yourself what you really want, if the answer is "travelling", you should do everything you can to get there...no matter how old you are. You'll gain experiences you can't pay for with money.
Cliff notes: I hope 30's not too late, because I'm about to do it in a year
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