We recently read this quote by Charlotte Eriksson: “Find what makes you happy and go for it with all your heart. It will be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.”
She basically summed up what we’ve been attempting to express to every person with whom we’ve discussed our plans. We found what makes us happy and we have decided to go for it, completely. And yes, it has been hard already, and we haven’t even boarded our first flight, but we truly believe it will be worth it.
In those conversations where we’ve tried to explain our plans, usually to a disbelieving pair of ears, we tend to get a variety of questions and concerns but we’ve noticed there are some common questions we hear. If you are planning to make a huge life change like ours, chances are there are going to be a few questions and they are probably the same questions you asked yourself while coming to the decision in the first place. Throughout the process of planning, selling, booking and packing we have learned quite a few things about ourselves and we feel able to answer those questions based on what we‘ve done so far and where we aim to be in the future. Hopefully our answers will provide an understanding of our decision and help those who are thinking of making a major life decision themselves.
What about money?
Understandably so, this is generally the first question we hear. When you tell someone you are quitting your job and travelling, you have to expect that finances are going to be a concern. We definitely have our concerns and worries but we believe that there are many ways to save and make money while abroad and with some research and an open mind the possibilities can be endless. But first, to prepare for what we wanted to do, we began saving and budgeting our finances in a couple different ways. First we cut down on expenses like eating out (we love our sushi and it can leave a pretty big dent in the wallet when the bill comes), we budgeted our finances strictly (see our post on the budget jar method), we liquidated our assets by selling basically everything we owned (we held two garage sales, posted items on Facebook, and asked around to family and friends). On top of that, we’ve researched ways to invest and earn interest on our savings.
But how do we plan to make money while we are there, you ask?. That’s a good question and one we are continuing to find ways to answer. We don’t have unlimited funds, we can’t actually work in another country without a work visa and no, we didn’t win the lottery but while researching we found many different ways to generate an income while staying mobile, save on travel and accommodations and minimize our overall expenses. From freelance writing to house sitting, WOOFING to passive income websites, we plan to tap into all of our abilities to save money and generate an income that can sustain our travels. As we go, we plan to discuss, review and evaluate the ways in which we travel savvy and earn money.
So you are quitting your job?
This had to be one of the hardest decisions. We both had pretty cushy jobs at two pretty great companies, and to leave these jobs and travel the world seemed very unconventional and sometimes (okay let’s face it, a lot of the time) irrational, but we figured that we should take the chance and do what we’ve always dreamed of: we, quite suddenly, turned our more conventional lifestyle into a travel lifestyle. It wasn’t easy handing in our resignations. We both built strong relationships with our coworkers and valued all the opportunities both of our companies had afforded to us. But in order to fully jump into what we wanted to do, we had to resign. If there is one piece of advice we can offer when resigning, it’s that it doesn’t get easier no matter how long you wait. Of course, there are some timing issues you may need to take into account, like any other major decision in your life, but to delay the inevitable is to just add stress and worry to an already high emotion situation. It’s going to be tough, people will be sad or disappointed or even angry, but you’ll be surprised that the vast majority of people are very supportive.
One important thing we like to point out is that for us, this travel lifestyle means that this blog, as well as our blog on fitness and fitness routines (intertox.org), IS our job now. We have already put an immense amount of time and work into them and the work doesn’t stop just because we’ve left our 9-5 schedules behind. Sure our workspace may change location frequently and hopefully to some pretty amazing destinations, but it’s still a large amount of work. The upside is that we are paid in something more valuable to us than just dollars: the ability to travel and experience the world.
What about your apartment and your things?
We gave our landlord a pretty substantial two months notice and began to sell all of our things, well not everything, but our plan was (and still is) to minimize as much as possible. Living minimally is something we both appreciate and value but have realized it is not the easiest thing to accomplish. Because we needed to get rid of our stuff in a hurry we understood we would have to price things lower than we would have liked so, like we mentioned before, we sold what we could on Facebook to our friends and family. We figured if we were going to give a pretty good deal on stuff we’d want those closest to us to have the first chance. Things like game systems, unused or gently used appliances and even furniture were bought quickly. We’re not sure if those who purchased items understand that they were supporting our dreams as much as they were buying a Play Station or a blender, but we hope they do. After that, it was garage sale time. Like we had mentioned, we ended up having two as we managed to unearth more of our things when we actually moved out of our apartment and had family and friends who supported our cause by donating stuff to sell.
For the rest of our belongings which we either need or are just not ready to part with, we are fortunate enough to have family who are willing to store them at their place. Even if you don’t have anyone to let you store all your things in one place, there are other options available like renting a storage space or asking several people to hold a few boxes each. Overall, we feel like a weight has been lifted without all of the stuff we formerly owned. We are down to bare essentials (plus a few “just in case” items) and we are actually quite happy about it.