Why I didn’t Quit my Job to Travel the World… (yet)

Spoiler Alert: I am obsessed with travel.

I spend most of my waking hours planning and plotting future travel and while I am unconscious, my dreams are filled with far flung and exotic locales. I have a giant scratch map of the world above my office computer so while I am answering calls about training programs, career progression, e-learning software, and what to expect at an upcoming conference – you can be sure that I am simultaneously memorizing the layout of Africa.

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Uganda – photo credit: Katie Smith

I do my very best to travel as much as possible. However, there is a defined limit to my adventures. I have a full-time, fixed location job. So then, one may wonder Why don’t you quit your job to travel? That’s a fair question. Many travel bloggers do travel full-time and live a mostly nomadic existence. They find ways to make money online through freelance work, blogging, or virtual employment. While this is immensely appealing for obvious reasons, it is something that I have considered, and decided against.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

I have dipped my toes into the pool of long-term travel once before. I spent 8 months in Europe from September 2005 to May 2006. It was a dream come true! I fell madly in-love with Europe and I keep going back. But, even during those months abroad, I made a home-base, twice in fact. I spent 3 months in a sleepy mountain village in Austria and 3 months on the beach in Spain. Even though I am a go-go person who finds it exhilarating to wake up in a new bed every few days, I also find it exhausting.

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Schladming, Austria

I know that perpetual motion would get me so much closer to my travel goals but I worry that it might suck the life out of me along the way. You see, I never want to take travel for granted. I want to be able to savour each experience for what it is and not let comparison or fatigue steal my joy. During my prior forays into long-term travel, I found it near impossible to be wonderstruck every day, even in the presence of greatness. I was unable to maintain the energy and travel stamina required to truly appreciate the incredible things I was seeing every day. My solution to this issue has been taking shorter trips more frequently. Yes, this way of travel does cost more money. I deal.

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Athens, Greece

I’ve also managed to create quite a beautiful and inspiring home base in a city that has become my favourite place on earth. I love my neighborhood, my apartment, my social network… and most of the time I cannot imagine ever moving away for good. I love throwing together a quick duffel and taking off for a weekend getaway. I love the tingly feeling I get when I land at YVR airport. I love the familiarity of a city that fits me like a glove. This is home for me and I really like having a home.

Vancouver Skyline

Vancouver Skyline

All that being said… I never say never. I have fallen in love with several cities that I absolutely could see myself living in one day – I’m looking at you Barcelona, Paris, San Diego and Vienna. And if I fall in love with Australia next month… I may try to take advantage of some youth visa opportunities that are expiring shortly. Who knows?

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Barcelona, Spain

The fact of the matter is that there is no right or wrong way to travel. I have tried out many different strategies over the years and this is what works for me right now. That could change tomorrow but the one thing that remains the same is that I travel. I do it because I don’t know how not to.

What’s your preferred way of travel?

Do you have insatiable wanderlust like me?

Leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Why I didn’t Quit my Job to Travel the World… (yet)

  1. I love traveling and the thought of dropping everything once I graduate and go pick fruit in Australia for a year has hit me more than once. Every week really, especially when I’m stressed. I really identify with what you are saying about traveling long term being exhausting though. I travelled for a month straight last Easter and while that was great, the constant moving around and seeing new things every day eventually made us slow down the tempo and not do much exploring at all. I totally get what you are saying and I fully believe that it is possible to travel the world, one country at the time in between working! :)

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  2. I love the questions you add at the end of each blog post. It engages the reader pretty well.

    It’s pretty clear you and I both adore traveling. And I totally admire the way you do it; for someone who has a professional life established in a city like Vancouver, that is obviously something you want to maintain.

    The only reason I do it differently (essentially living in a new country for a year at a time, and exploring around it) is because my profession allows for it. Teaching English is an option pretty much anywhere.

    And I am so excited to do it in Europe. And to be honest, I think the proximity of Europe will change the situation compared to my experience in Asia and South America. Everything is so close, and those weekend getaways are so doable. So on the travel spectrum I think I will definitely have more a Whitney-style in Europe.

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