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These People Quit Their Jobs To Travel The World: Here’s How They Did It

It can be done.

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You’ve read the stories, you’ve seen it happen: a colleague or friend dumps their job for an epic, life-changing adventure abroad. Our stint on this earth is short folks, and in the end it all comes down to the experiences you make the most of and the people you’ve shared them with – which is why taking a leap into the void for an extended bout of freedom and wanderlust is always the best way forward.

We chatted to a bunch of people from all corners who ascribe to a now or never philosophy. They quit their day jobs to travel, and in some cases, move for good overseas – take it from them: anyone can do it, and make it work. Even you.

Have No Regrets

After working as a reporter for the Hack current affairs program on triple j, Irene Scott left to take up a volunteer position at Paoa FM, a cheesy commercial radio station based in Honiara, Solomon Islands. In the five years since, she’s travelled the world far and beyond, and needless to say, made it work and work well.

“It’s been such a great adventure! I’ve filled up several passports, had adventures all over the place and I’m really proud to have friends and a pretty great network of couches to sleep on all over the world.”

A self-confessed ‘serial job quitter’, Christy Nichols up and left her jobs to travel on countless occasions. Initially from the US, she moved to Brighton, UK for seven years, before embarking on fresh lives in Columbia, California, Melbourne, and more recently, Nicaragua, with countless trips and journeys in between.

“I have zero regrets for any of my moves,” she says. “Each change has only lead me down a path that has proven better than the last – challenges, for sure, but I have no regrets about where I have lived or where I have left.”

Be Bold

Whether or not you’re moving to travel and work, or just travel solely, the principles are more or less the same: be bold, and embrace the freedom. Cash helps too – a decent bank balance is par for the course, and a bit of prior knowledge on where you’re planning to head. Often, the hardest bit can be the lead up to the act of ‘job quitting’ itself.

An accomplished creative producer and program director, Marz Zaibak left her gigs for the open road three consecutive times – initially from Melbourne to London, back to Melbourne, and more recently, an extended stint living and working in San Francisco.

“It took me about two years to make the first move,” she says. “The first year I started researching where I wanted to go and the second year I was saving up the capital and trying to convince myself.”

Embrace Challenges

For Zaibak, a decade of travel since has meant an ever-shifting sense of place – something that she recognises may not have an end date.

“Life is different. I am a different person. I no longer am attached to physical objects and can up and move any time. I feel somewhat nomadic, as I have not yet found the country I want to settle in. This feeling is both empowering and frightening.”

For Nichols, regular movement has become her lifeblood, delivering incredible experiences each and every day.

“I go to land blessings in the forest, I drink fine wines, and I live in a paradise resort location. Internally, my life is richer than staying in one place would ever allow. I needed room to grow, and leaving one lifestyle and moving to another gave me that.”

Taking the plunge and veering from the 9-to-5 can feel like a huge risk, but the pros of global adventure, and the many experiences within it, always outweigh the cons.

Still, hitting the global road is not without its challenges, but according to Scott so much of this has to do with the return leg home.

“When you come back, I think the reverse culture shock can be much more difficult to deal with […] You have adventure sizzling under your skin and you want to tell stories, but you don’t want to be ‘that person’ who always comes out with, ‘that’s just like that time I was in (insert far off land here).”

Nonetheless, she attests, the no-regrets factor is paramount.

“What’s that ad, ‘you’ll never, never know if you never, never go’? Take the dive. You never know what you might learn about yourself. Also you might hate it – but if you do, just come home and get on with it, that’s probably a valuable lesson too.

Nichols’s advice, meanwhile, is a little less complicated.

“Just go”.

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