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What does everyone do about their jobs?


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 3
Joined: March 11th, 2012
Location: upstate NY

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2012
Feel free to direct me to another post if this has already been addressed...

I'm curious what everyone does about their jobs while travelling around the world. Are you between jobs, do you quit, use vacation leave?


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Extra Pages in Passport
Posts: 3786
Joined: August 20th, 2003
Location: Edmonton, Canada

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2012
While frequently discussed, I'm not sure there's a dedicated thread to the various options.

I've only done a couple of multi-month trips. The first was 2 months in Ireland, done while I was a university student, and conveniently had summers off. It was supposed to be 4 months, but I ran out of money early...the downside of student travel.

The second long trip, 5 months to overland from Egypt to Hungary, plus some stops in Malta, Paris and London, was a year after I finished school. I worked a crap job for exactly 50 weeks while living with my parents. Then I quit and went traveling. When I came back, I found a better job that put me on a career track, and have had golden handcuffs ever since, taking at most 3 weeks of vacation at a time.

Mid-career, you really only have two options for long trips:
- Talk your boss into giving you an extended unpaid leave
- Quit


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 16
Joined: September 29th, 2011

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2012
I had 2 options:
  • I talked to my manager (A long time before I planned to go) about unpaid leave and they offered me a 2-3 month break aslong as I fitted it in between projects. The benefit to this is that I would have a job to come back to when I was done.
  • I could resign and find a new job when ever I come back, this is the option I went with, this has given me a lot more freedom, I'm not going to be travelling around thinking that I've got to be home by a certain date or worrying about how things are going back at work.

I'll likely have to move back in with my parents when I come back to the UK but atleast I've got the freedom to do what I want while I'm away, I could even find a job out there and never have to come back.


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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
Posts: 2026
Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: March 19th, 2012
I waited until I sold my business to go on my RTW.
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 4
Joined: March 29th, 2011
Location: Sydney

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2012
Last Friday i quit a very comfortable well paid career orientated flexible job.
I have given them 4 weeks notice and on April 16th i am leaving Sydney to London.
From there i have no idea where and what i am doing, i just know i have to see the world. I am 30 years old, i have very little travel experience except for a 5 week Europe holiday 2 years ago that made me realize that travelling is something i MUST do.
I spoke with my boss also about unpaid leave and he was happy for 3 months unpaid plus 6 weeks of paid leave. I nearly accepted it..
Lets face it 4 1/2 months travelling is plenty of time to do a lot.
There were literally thousands of reasons why i should of taken it. But another two thousand better reasons why i didn't.
I suppose it is personal preference. I need to be free from work and all that is associated with it. I am at a period of my life where CHANGE is a must.
It has taken me 2 years to finally take the plunge and seriously it is an amazing feeling but also a bit of anxiety is creeping up.
As for you, people will tell you that you are crazy to leave your job, that it is irresponsible. It is entirely up to you, however i weighed it up and thought if i want to see the world then i have to be free of any responsibilities. 5 weeks was great but it added a real bad depression when i got home.
Anyway good luck in whatever you decide to do. Life is very short. So live for the NOW.


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Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 136
Joined: January 29th, 2009

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2012
The economy crashed in 2008 & 2009 and for the first time in more than 15 years with my company I didn't have task coverage (meaning, I didn't have a contract to support and I was at risk of being laid off). I asked if I could just take a year off without pay (sabbatical) if I committed to returning to my job afterwards, provided that I could find coverage (i.e. a project that would take me on). I took exactly a year off & when I came back I found a project in Maryland. I left my stuff in storage, found someone else to rent my house, and brought my backpack to Maryland. I have been here for 13 months now and debating what is next.... ;-) In exactly 2 weeks I leave for Guatemala. Yay!


Lost in Place
Posts: 59
Joined: February 15th, 2008

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2012
We had been planning a trip for a long time, but when my husband got laid off the time seemed right to go. I quit my job not knowing what I would do when I returned.

Long story, but when we came back, the same company hired me again. I gave then plenty of notice - I told my manager months before I actually left so that we could start planning, so I left on good terms. They understood that this was a personal thing and I wasn't leaving the company because I didn't like it. I don't think quitting is a big deal, but you need to do it in such a way that you can still get a good recommendation when you return (if you want to work in the same industry).


Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 23
Joined: February 3rd, 2012
Location: Lift Maintenance winter park colorado

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  • Added on: March 21st, 2012
Leaving for a year + in April and quitting my job as Lift Maint at a ski resort. I can find a job anywhere when/IF I get back.

Drop, Roll and Go.


Squat Toilet Professional
Posts: 845
Joined: May 24th, 2007

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  • Added on: March 22nd, 2012
I've quit jobs 3 times to go off and do other things. First time, they offered me a year leave without pay. I turned them down because I hated the job and couldn't see any way I'd ever return. Murphy's law prevailed however and about 18 months later, there I was again, with a promotion no less. Quit again about 18 months later.


Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 736
Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2012
I've done my big journeys in between degree programs- I finished my BSc in January instead of May as is typical, then traveled for 6 months until starting the MSc in September. Second time around was 4 months, finished the MSc in February (after a lot of adviser harassment) and then went back home in summer when the money was running out.

Both times I basically applied for PhD programs before I left and hoped something would work out- the first time I was only accepted to my undergraduate institution so I went back there, the second time was rather down to the wire but hey you only need one acceptance. :) My current adviser still likes to brag a bit that he did a Skype interview with someone in Kathmandu though. :lol:

Edit: why is it when you type Skype it automatically links to that page? Hmm.


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Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
Posts: 314
Joined: June 3rd, 2009

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  • Added on: April 16th, 2012
I had been saving up for about a year for a RTW trip. Thought I had about 2-3 more years to go before I got lucky and got laid off (from a job that made me miserable anyway). Now I had time, severance package to immediately boost me. Just had to take the plunge and glad I did.


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Guidebook Dependent
Posts: 18
Joined: August 23rd, 2011
Location: Long Beach, CA

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  • Added on: April 23rd, 2012
I quit my wonderful government job in January 2012 to embark on my current 1-2 year RTW trip. Asked for a one-year leave of absence but was turned down. Quit anyway. Felt a bit crazy but I HAD to do this trip. I think everyone here knows what I'm talking about. No regrets. I'll find something when I get back.

Go for it!


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 10
Joined: December 7th, 2010
Location: Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia

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  • Added on: April 23rd, 2012
I have given up great jobs twice now. Once for a round the world trip and the second time to go and train as a diving instructor.

I wanted a job that allowed me to travel and that seemed to fit the bill. Not easy giving up a well paid, relatively secure job at the hight of a recession but hey oh.

Nice thing about a diving instructor is it tends to be seasonal which means if you can save enough money during that season you can travel for the other (or work somewhere else of course).

If anyone is ever on Gili Air come for a dive :)
Living on Gili Air - a small island thousands of miles from home - running a small dive shop called Karang Divers http://www.karangdivers.com - want to come for a dive?


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Lost in Place
Posts: 53
Joined: August 19th, 2011

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  • Added on: April 24th, 2012
I am no longer in a position where I can give up my job to travel. However, when I was much younger, I remember working at a shop just to make the money for my holiday, and as soon as I made it, I just took off, without notice. After my adventure, I came back missing the job and wishing I could get back. I used the excuse of sudden severe illness (details are too embarrassing) and my boss then took me back. It taught me a lesson in loyalty, as the boss was a man that I ended up really looking up to. The guilt stays with me till this day, and now that I'm older and have a family, I never take a "sickie" for any reason. It was the trip of a lifetime though.


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Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 7
Joined: October 2nd, 2010

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  • Added on: May 15th, 2012
I used to quit jobs but on the last RTW I was lucky enough to have Long Service Leave. Took that at half pay which gave me just over 8 months then backed my regular leave & 6 weeks additional purchased leave that all up gave me a year off to go travelling.

It was great to have the security of a job when coming back for once although all the same 'settling back down' after travel problems!

Am considering purchasing another 6 weeks additional leave for the next 12 month period as well that will bump my leave up to about 3 months worth about this time next year. Will see what happens on the work front.
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