21 Reasons You Should Quit Your Day Job And Travel The World


“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

I discovered Maya Angelou when I was 15 because one of my favorite artists, Fiona Apple, loved her. Thanks Fiona and thanks Maya for providing such a powerful quote.

Most people are born with an interest in travel that never subsides. The fact that blogs like Chris Guillebeau’s, Gary Arndt’s, or this one (on a much much smaller scale) are as popular as they are is proof of this fact.

The problem is that most of us, and I fell into this trap too, put it off. Either for 1-2 weeks at a time on a yearly vacation or “until some day when X happens.” Whatever eXcuse (get it?) you have for continuing on living a life you’re not thrilled with, it’s unfounded. There is always a way. (I just set myself up for a slew of “but, but, but my situation is different” comments/e-mails.)

As you already know from Lesson #13, you’re not as different as you think. Whatever situation you’re in, someone has already been there and still made things happen.

In another post I will present to you the “how.” Here now, I present to you the “why”: 21 reasons you should quit your day job and travel the world …

  1. You’ll become more open minded and learn to treat people with more respect. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Unless, maybe, you stay in sanitized resorts. But since not many people can afford to stay in sanitized resorts long term, this isn’t even an issue.
  2. Your job is dragging you down. (In very rare cases it’s not, and that rules.)
  3. You’re unhappy.
  4. Slaving away is getting in the way of your dreams.
  5. Traveling long term is cheaper than living wherever you’re living.
  6. It will stretch you to do things you didn’t think you could do.
  7. You might not have any big “revelations” or “aha moments” but you’ll have a blast anyway.
  8. If you have kids it will set them up for a life of independence instead of setting them up to be cogs in a machine. We need more children who are exposed to how most other people live instead of sanitized first world society. I met a British family, 5 kids aged 6-16 and their Parents, on the train up to Chiang Mai. The kids were having a ball experiencing all these new things and I could already pick out leadership qualities among each of them. In addition, they were incredibly respectful, which I’m finding less and less among children.
  9. You can eat your favorite foods in the countries where they originated.
  10. You’ll experience new foods that will quickly become your new favorites.
  11. The best fruit in the world, Jakfruit, is plentiful and cheap in Thailand. (OK, so that was a specific case for why you should travel to Thailand as opposed to anywhere. Whatever, Jakfruit is the best fruit in the world. I discovered it while in the Daintree Rainforest in Northern Queensland, Australia.)
  12. Even when it’s dangerous, it’s not as dangerous as some people would have you believe. I’ve felt more fear walking the streets of Detroit with $10 in my pocket than walking around Mumbai or Bangkok at night with thousands of dollars in gear and cash on my person.
  13. You will stumble onto awesome events like Holi and Songkran. Who doesn’t love a week-long water fight? :)
  14. This site makes a lot of good cases for saving your tax dollars by living elsewhere.
  15. You will meet, and make friends with, people who you would never have met staying where you are. Most of us only associate with people in our immediate geographical areas. I call it Friendship By Geography, and it’s incredibly sad.
  16. Facing your fears is good for you. And you will face all of them, sometimes in a single day, when traveling. How many fears do you face on a daily basis at your day job? How much do you grow as a person at your day job?
  17. You will no longer have to participate in office politics or water cooler gossip. If that’s the kind of thing you enjoy then why are you reading this site in the first place? :)
  18. You will have more time for your family, friends, and maybe more importantly, for yourself.
  19. You will become a master of fake sign language. Also known as Traveler’s Sign Language. It’s frustrating for a spell, but when your communication is finally understood it’s an awesome feeling.
  20. Even if you never become fluent, learning and using a few words in new languages is fun. My favorite thing in the world is now the Thai bow/greeting. I know the way I say it is probably horrible, but the old lady who runs the best veg restaurant in Chiang Mai (Save Thunya on Nantaram Rd just outside Chiang Mai Gate) always treats me like a king when I come in. I know she appreciates my limited Thai because she speaks approximately 3 words of English so we’re in the same boat. I wonder if I can use the Thai greeting everywhere I go? :) If you think it’s difficult learning new languages, Benny at FluentIn3Months.com has the best course available on the topic: click here to get the Language Hacking Guide.
  21. You owe it to yourself to be Ridiculously Extraordinary. Most day jobs would not be categorized as such.

What have I missed? I know there are many more good reasons to quit your day job and travel the world so leave them in the comments below …

Also, no excuses in the comments. Only positive thoughts please. ;)

Photo Credit

{ 154 comments }

adam

You made me laugh with the ‘Traveler’s Sign Language’, I’ve had to defer to that on many an occasion. Great post, as always!

Karol

hehe, thanks Adam. Learning TSL is a must when in foreign countries and sometimes even at home. :)

Marko

Ahh Jakfruit – never heard of it before. Definitely have to try it after you raving about it. Thailand, get ready. :-)

Karol

I’m pretty sure you can get it almost anywhere if you’re willing to pay the price. In Australia I believe it was $15/kg. Here it’s much less…and it’s cut and ready to eat for you. :)

William

Awesome post, very relevant to me right now. I’m quitting my day job at the end of summer and heading out on an adventure of my own, and this is just more inspiration to make it happen. Cool.

Karol

Awesome William! Let me know how your travels unfold.

poch

Only hip people can like Jackfruit inspite of its reeking odor lol.
When I can afford to travel the world, I’ll follow your wise advice.

Karol

Hmm, I’m far from hip and I’ve never noticed jakfruit to smell. :) Also, don’t tell yourself you can’t afford something, ask yourself how you can afford it. I’m pretty sure I wrote a bit about that in the How To Make Things Happen article linked above.

Moon Hussain

Bottom line is: if you’re unhappy where you are at with your life now, it’s time to do something different, whether that happens to be a new job or traveling.

Good list, Karol!

Karol

Thanks Moon… I’d suggest travel first, find a new job after you get back (or while you’re traveling)! :)

Abhishek

I have known people to immediately buy a house when they move cities for jobs. They dont even rent and test neighborhoods in a large city. Your method is very anti that behaviour. I think some people find security in a permanent residence. Sort of the reason why your thought your April fool’s joke was half-believable.

Karol

Hi Abhishek, I find that odd as well. Setting roots immediately in a new place isn’t a good idea on so many levels.

andi

Though I need no convincing in this respect, this is a great list of reasons to pick up and head out.

I’ve met quite a few people in the past couple of months actually who were raised traveling. I didn’t think it was such a common thing. None of them were children from military families either. But overall, the people they have become are so aware of other people and their differences and similarities.

The biggest thing that attracts me to them is the ‘children of the world’ sense that doesn’t seem to leave. Having been raised without boundaries, they are some of the most confident and curious people I have met.

Karol

Thanks for commenting Andi!

I actually never met people who were raised traveling until I started hanging out with CouchSurfers 2+ years ago. It opened up an amazing new world for me. :)

“Having been raised without boundaries, they are some of the most confident and curious people I have met.” Exactly. Confidence, independence, leadership … it all goes hand in hand. Even if you’re young and traveling with Parents, it seems you’re essentially forced to develop these quality qualities. :)

carlos

someone with any sense of intelligence doesnt have to travel thousands of miles to know about a different cultures, customs, or styles. Now if you want to experience them, than thats another story and you should go for it and travel. I dont have anything against traveling but i met a lot of people that think traveling to other places is the only way to experience the culture that lives there, and i think just half of that is right.

Karol

Hi Carlos,

Thanks for commenting. I respectfully disagree. Reading about what an apple tastes like and actually eating an apple are 2 completely different experiences. You would agree with that, correct?

It’s true that you can learn a lot about a place or people by reading books/magazines/blogs or listening to radio/TV/podcasts. But it’s completely different to actually be in the thick of it.

Karol

Abhishek

you haven’t learnt anything about a new country till you have eaten some local foods. Karol would never have known about Goa till he tasted some Dosa and coconut juice. I agree with Karol. Reading about a place is not even 1% close to knowing about it.

loganp8000

what about motivation to build a better life and save some money to have more options? Can everyone just live a gypsy vagabond lifestyle?

Karol

Hey Logan! Thanks for commenting.

You’re making the false assumption that living a vagabond lifestyle is somehow not a “better life” (whatever that means) and that it’s not possible to save money doing so.

loganp8000

i realize i sound snobish, i just know so many people that want to just travel now and sort their lives out later…I’m just suggesting that possibly people can work hard now and then, later, have enough money, time and options to travel more comfortably and to more places with friends family and more.. but if we are just going to travel with the only goal being to travel.. that seems like giving up on life to me. Why does everyone insist that you must quit your job and travel while your young, broke and clueless? What about feeding our kids, getting educations, working toward goals? I would love to read an article about how extra ordinary it would be that someone can work on those things while traveling…..

Karol

I don’t think you come across as snobbish, but again, you’re making assumptions. Who says everybody who reads this blog or who wants to travel is “young, broke, and clueless”? http://www.soultravelers3.com – check them out for your extraordinary example of a family traveling the world. They’ve been doing it for 3 years! And last I read, their yearly cost is only about $25k. Another example is http://www.manvsdebt.com – Baker and family are currently settled for a bit, but they spent most of 2009 and part of 2010 traveling.

soultravelers3

Thanks so much for the mention Karol & of course I agree 100% with this post!

Hey Logan-

I hear ya! I know it’s hard to believe from some perspectives, but travel doesn’t have to be running away, sometimes it is running TOWARDS a dream!

We’ve been traveling the world non-stop as a family since 2006 primarily to educate our child in the best possible way and the blessings have astounded us. We are monolingual parents raising a very fluent trilingual child ( who speaks some of many languages as well). She was 5 when we began & is now 9. It’s been priceless!

We do have MUCH more time together, we do live MUCH, MUCH cheaper ( even in “expensive” Europe) & find it an amazing & free way to live while we grow our nest egg.

It’s not for everybody, but it works for us. We live large on just 23 dollars a day per person & could do it for much less. That grants us a LOT of freedom. We’re case studies in the 4HWW & have to agree with Tim Ferriss that “you don’t have to be rich to live richly”. Love this quote too:

“Being rich is having money. Being wealthy is having time.” ~ Bonnano

Travel is not expensive, maintaining “stuff” is. Family travel rocks! Today, we can all work and school ANY where.

I have a HUGE list on my website of other families that have done extended travel from one with 8 kids to single parents. If there is a will, there is always a way.

soultravelers3
Karol

Thanks so much for adding your thoughts here! I love what you’ve been doing with the family. You all are an inspiration to so many people, including single dudes like myself. :)

Mary De Bastos

Not all those who wander are lost. You are assuming a “vagabond lifestyle” is not as good as being a slave to your mortgage. My husband and I travel all the time are are living in Scotland right now. We will choose another country to live in soon. We have a wonderful lifestyle and are saving money while we travel the world. When we travel we never come back the same. I always want to be changing and getting better. Traveling does that. But we are saving, and we still feel like we have the best life already! We aren’t saving our life for a rainy day.

Susan

I think it’s great! I love to travel, although I don’t do much of it. How is it that traveling is cheaper in the long run? Just curious.

Karol

Hi Susan, thanks for commenting!

It’s not necessarily always cheaper. But if you go to fun countries in Southeast Asia or South America it’s nearly impossible to spend a lot of money. My rent in Chiang Mai is $300/month including high speed internet and weekly house cleaning. I could pay even less if I moved a few kilometers outside of the city centre.

Tim

Itching to go Karol. I’ve only got two more must be in CA events on my Calendar and I’m free. I wanted to set up some sort of income stream before I left but I realized I’ve been using that as my last excuse to stay home. Keep up the good work.

Karol

Thanks Tim! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures. :)

Ashley

Love this post :) After I complete my two years of Vet tech certification here at my local college, I plan on joining the Peace Corp and do non stop volunteer traveling for a long time :)

Karol

Hi Ashley,

That is so cool all-around! Vet tech + Peace Corp. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Isaac Dudek

I’m about 4 to 6 months out from following the title of this post, and I’m absolutely thrilled! I’ve ingrained all of the reasons you’ve provided–and others–having been an avid reader of these topics for a while. By my deadline, I’ll be completely (or nearly) debt-free, unshackled from owning anything I can’t carry on my back, secured by a healthy travel budget, and (hopefully) earning a small passive income which I will expand while on the road. Your ebook, “How To Live Anywhere,” is helping me achieve that last part, along with the resources of many other very generous people in this space. Many thanks!

Regarding the discussion around alternative upbringing for children, watch this fantastic TED talk from entrepreneur Cameron Herold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCar_sFfEf4

Karol

Thanks for commenting Isaac! That is so great to hear! Thanks for being a positive force in the world. :)

And thank you for the TED link. I haven’t seen this vid before. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Shea

You said “no excuses,” but this is also a question. I love traveling, and would LOVE to prioritize it–but you do have to have either money saved, or have to have a “day job” (like teaching English) while traveling. I am not quite making ends meet with pieced-together part-time jobs at minimum wage, with more than 100K in student loans… In the end, I earn about $12,000 dollars a year, so travel costs of “only” 25K a year is well out of my budget.

Roughing it is fine by me–I love me a good hostel–but I would be concerned about safety if I were relying solely on hitchhiking/dumpster diving… And I can’t just let my loans default to my parents. Any recommendations for the TRULY cash-strapped?

Karol

Hi Shea,

Thanks for your questions and thanks for not being negative. :)

Yes, my recommendation is to move to a low cost location (maybe even with your Parents), keep the part-time jobs, look for a full time job, AND start a very small business. There is tons of info on this site and sites like farbeyondthestars.com and artofnonconformity.com to get you started on the path to a low cost small business.

When your inflow is greater than your outflow then put every penny towards debt using the http://www.manvsdebt.com Debt Tsunami.

You might also consider is taking drastic action right now and moving to a place (like Thailand) where $12k/year is an incredible sum of money. It’s easier to save when your cost of living is tiny.

The example of $25k/year was a for a family of 3, btw. It’s much more expensive for a family of 3 than a person of 1. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Benjamin Barnett

Hi Shea,

If your loans are from the USA, check out this link: http://www.ibrinfo.org/

If not, nevermind, and good luck! :)

Ben

Abby

I am, like William, quitting my day job at the end of summer to begin my life’s travels. I graduated college in May ’09, and started my first, full-time, 9-5 job 2 days later. I decided a few weeks ago now is the time – why am I wasting away inside all day? Anyway, this article is awesome and just makes me more confident in my decision. Thanks!

Karol

Yesssss! That is so cool Abby! :)

West

A quote that you may enjoy and is rather pertinent to what you’re discussing from Sterling Hayden.
http://sailingclub.tribe.net/thread/1f75cead-ba2c-45de-8db8-8d980b6c2b56

Karol

Thanks for sharing West, that’s a great link!

Mercedes Hazard

How on earth did you afford to go to chiang mai? im trying to get there to play with elephants over the summer but the airline prices are staggering. I cannot for the life of me find round trip tickets less than $2000

Karol

Hi Mercedes,

I used Frequent Flyer Miles: http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com/frequent-flyer-master-review/

I also get 1 way tickets. No sense in a return ticket if there is no planned return. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Kristin Brown

Good post, Karol!

I’ve seen a few blogs lately about families traveling with older children, like the ones you mentioned, which seems very doable. What about single parents traveling with young children? Have you met anyone in that situation? I’d be interested to hear their stories, too.

Thanks!

Karol

Hi Kristin,

Thanks for posting!

http://www.soultravelers3.com
http://www.manvsdebt.com

They’re doing it with young children (2-5 years old) although they’re couples, not single.

But whatever situation you can come up with there are people who have been in the same situation and made things happen. And even if, for some reason, you can’t find examples, why not be a trailblazer? ;)

Cheers!
Karol

Sid Savara

Hey Karol,

Really enjoyed this point:

“Friendship By Geography”

Interestingly, when I was younger practically all my best friends had last names that started with R, S, or T – because my last name is Savara, and that was who I sat next to in class

If something as simple as classroom assignments can affect people I become friends with, then it’s no stretch to similarly say that georgraphy likewise has a huge impact on who we connect with

Though connecting online helps, it’s no substitute for really traveling ;)

Karol

Thanks Sid!

I’ve thought a lot about Friendship By Geography over the years in its various forms. Including schools and sports teams and other things we do. I’m a little bit fascinated by it.

And yes, connecting online is bridging the gap, but it’s not nearly the same as meeting in person. :)

Karol

Diggy

Hey Karol!

Very cool list Sir. One video that really inspires me to travel is on Youtube called: Where the hell is matt.

A guy called matt travels to 42 countries and did a dance and compiled it into a video, very very cool!

Cheers!
Diggy

Karol

Thanks Diggy! Yes, Where The Hell Is Matt rules. He also wrote a book about the experience, although I haven’t checked it out.

Benny the Irish polyglot

AND he’s awesome in person ;) Check out his most recent and best dancing video (now more views than his original ones) and look for a crazy guy in a bright yellow jacket in Montreal :D
There were about 80 of us there, and after 2 hours he remembered all of our names still! I was very impressed by that. Mega nice guy – being well travelled is one thing, but being down to earth, approachable, and nice to many people is something much more noble to work towards. :)
Great list btw Karol and thanks as always for the honourable mention :D The guide will be ready in May for sure.

Karol

That’s awesome Benny. Great dance moves. :)

G @ Operation Backpack Asia

lol Benny I didn’t know you were in that video, that’s awesome! I have them downloaded to my iPod I like them that much. :)

Karol great article; I’m new here but I’m gonna be checkin out more of your stuff for sure!

Also for anyone who was wondering about instead of traveling, being “responsible” and “paying for the kids” or travel for reasons other than being broke and clueless, I’d also add http://www.gotpassport.com to the soultravelers3 and manvsdebt mentions you had. Check their story and their stuff out. Inspiring to me as a mom – and I don’t even plan to be one for the next decade, if ever! ;)

I met Aye at a Chris Guillebeau meet up in Bangkok where I met Benny too. Man there are some really awesome people out there doing really awesome things! Lol and definitely for bigger reasons than just being broke, clueless and having no direction otherwise in life. But I’m glad people ask, instead of just assuming that’s the only reason people would quit their jobs and travel.

Karol

Hey G!

Thanks for checking out my stuff. :)

Yes, I definitely should have added http://www.gotpassport.com as well. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

Karol

Kelly

Karol, you know we all cannot quit our jobs and travel the world living off a blog or savings.

If the pilots who fly the planes took that course — how would you travel the world? If the mechanics that keep the planes flying just up and quit — well once again how would you travel the world? Any job or career viewed from a certain perspective can seem boring – even pilots. It’s about attitude. It’s about perspective. It’s about Ubuntu.

Many people perform their daily job (many quite boring) so others can quit their jobs and travel the world.

Karol

Hi Kelly,

If someone wants to make something happen they can. This article is not for people who don’t want it.

Cheers!
Karol

Jamie

This post was shared with me via FB today and was just what I needed to get me back on track. I am a former “child of the world” who spent the first twenty years of my life traveling with two very young and very ill-paired parents. That said, I lived ALOT. Now after another ten years of being married to a great (but firmly rooted) guy and raising three young children, I find myself stuck in a world I cannot recognize no matter how long I’m in it or how committed I am to “making it work.” This surburban role is so foreign to me it has become suffocating to pretend. I’d love nothing more than for us to shave down the debt we’ve accumulated, sell this home and wisk our children off to some third world locale to humble them all and open their eyes to a world beyond this bubble, …a beautiful, simple world beyond all this “fluff.” Knowing that there are still people out there that feel the same way, it helps so much. I can see that there will be some tough compromises ahead for us, but it is inspiring to be reminded of what is possible in the not so distant future.

Karol

Jamie, wow…thank you so much for sharing this.

As far as the house, and the debt, and the suburban lifestyle: know that if you focus on tackling those issues you will. It won’t happen overnight, but with a clear objective and consistent focus it will happen.

Thanks again for sharing. And let me know if I can help.

Cheers!
Karol

Jade

Jaime, I understand you completely. Once you have lived a free life it’s hard being tied down to one place n to the “stuff” and it’s even harder making our families see that. My child’s father couldn’t understand me either in that regards so we went in separate directions. I hope you guys don’t get to that extreme. If you need an ear, I’ve got two of them if you want a new friend, lol. After traveling the third world countries in living in Malaysia n Thailand, I can say I’ve seen poverty n happier people than I have seen in the whole of the US. The world is a beautiful place, even with all the downsides. Stay true to yourself and find like minded people. We”re out there, trust me. :D

Ivelina Nikolova

Hi Jamie,

I also want to thank you for sharing that b/c you’re confirming the outcome of one of my most feared life scenarios.

Not long ago I was in love with, and wanting to marry a man who like your husband was firmly grounded in his “plan”. It did not include suburbia at the time, but who knows, in the future I think it would have.

I had always thought to myself that I would be with a man who can take our family anywhere and value the little simple, most beautiful things in life (I grew up in many places as well). However my b/f, after 7 years with me, still wanted to buy me a diamond ring as an engagement present…. Oh, and it had to be expensive b/c otherwise what kind of man would he be….

REALLY??? A diamond ring for the girl who wants to travel the world with our babies on our backs…. good intentions coming from a good man, but in a totally different mindset than mine.

Well, your post makes me feel great about the decision I took, so thank you again. I sincerely hope that you will find the guidance, wisdom, and especially the strength to figure out how to bring your life around. I wish with all my heart that your husband will experience an epiphany, see your pain, and rise up to heal it.

be well,
eve

Gabe

You missed one thing… Financing. Traveling is expensive, and if you are moving from one place to another, there is not way to make any money.

Karol

Hi Gabe,

I actually didn’t miss it. #5: Traveling long term is cheaper than living wherever you’re living.

Maybe I should have explained long term travel: it’s about setting roots in each place for an extended period of time. That timeframe is up to you. 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 2 years, etc. And if you get bored after 6 months and want to go back home, that is always an options as well.

Karol

Mary De Bastos

That’s what my husband and I are doing! We pick a place, get jobs, travel the country and surrounding countries for as long as we like. When we are ready to move on we do! There are so many places in the world we want to see and experience.

We are still saving money, and are developing our own secrets of cheap travel! We have become more respectful people and find those who have never been anywhere are less tolerant of people who aren’t like them.

My mom hasn’t been anywhere. She is 57 yrs old and her uncle is dying, but he’s been so many places and done so many things. My mom asked me for help in quitting her job and living her life. She doesn’t want to miss out on things anymore. I don’t want her too either.

Karol

Congrats Mary! And congrats on helping your Mom as well.

Erin

Great post Karol – I agree with everything except for the jak fruit! We´ve just visited Brazil and discovered açai – mmmmm.

We quit our jobs a few months ago to become perpetual nomads and have not regretted it at all. My partner´s a web designer so that helps to earn an income on the road but there are so many options.

Karol

Thanks Erin! I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh acai, but I’m itching to do so!

“there are so many options” – If only more people realized that.

David Tran

Hey Karol,
Love the post. Just wondering, I’m new to your blog and was wondering what you do to maintain financial freedom? basically, how to you achieve your income quota?

Karol

Hi David,

Thanks for commenting!

I work online. Please explore the site a little bit more and you’ll learn more about that.

Cheers!
Karol

John Bardos -JetSetCitizen

Life abroad really does make you a better person. It forces you to question all assumptions you previously took for granted.

Early experiences abroad usually have you criticizing the ‘problems’ and cultural ‘inferiorities’ of your new culture. As you learn more of the language and meet more people you start to see that those cultural differences are not inferior at all. Different doesn’t mean worse. You will soon start to see many things that your own country can learn from. You can only gain those insights by first escaping the social and cultural biases you probably don’t even know you have.

The best thing about life abroad is that it gives you a much greater appreciation of your home country and city.

Karol

Thanks John. You made to excellent points:

1) Different doesn’t mean worse.
2) The best thing about life abroad is that it gives you a much greater appreciation of your home country and city.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Karol

Earl

These are all spot on! And I would give anything to enjoy some jackfruit right now or ka-noon as they say in Thai! Beyond being the best fruit in the world, it ranks quite high on my favorite food of any kind list….

Karol

hehe, you’re the first person who has agreed with me that jakfruit is the best in the world. Want to form a club? :)

Lilian

Most are definitely true but I guess #5 depends on where you are coming from. If an Asian country, then well, travelling to a European country may not be cheaper =)

Karol

Very true Lilian, very true. But the large majority of the readers of this blog are from first world countries and this was directed at them. :)

Financial Samurai

I’m all for it Karol! I had the blessing to live in multiple countries growing up, so I’ve been focusing on my career more. But you’re right, diversity and experience is just awesome!

Best,

Samurai

Karol

Hey Samurai!

Thanks for stopping by. That’s awesome you grew up in multiple countries. And to be clear: I don’t see a problem with someone focusing on career if that’s what they want to do. Lots of people hate their careers and want something else.

Cheers!
Karol

henk

heyhey. first of all, i think your absolutely right..

but i just wonder how do you get around if you have no money at all? i assume you want to keep travelling….

can respond to email aswell.

Karol

Hi Henk,

I’ve set up my business so I can work from anywhere that has an internet connection.

Karol

henk

your a genius ^^

thanks for your fast reply.

i wonder how it is possible to control and how to start up something like that ^^.

also you have internet banking isseus and such to solve i assume 0.0

i am very interested in this ofcourse.

i hate my job…:P and i hate the fact im stuck in one of the smallest countries in the world while the world is so big…

Michael Michalowski

Hell yeah! Thank you for this one! That’s EXACTLY why I will never start a fulltime day job in my life! I’m leaving school soon and I’m going directly into your direction. This freedom is priceless!!

Karol

That sounds awesome Michael! Thank you for stopping by. :)

Kunal

Hey Karol,

I just got word of your blog from Pat’s SPI blog. Your blog is pretty eff’n sick, bro! Your iphone app is gonna mint you a billion bucks! Way to go!

That’s also why I am leaving this comment, cuz I was hoping you can let me know of a good iphone developer that you’ve used – cuz the ones I have contacted are mafia extorting me on the price.

Thanks Karol, and I’ve got you RSS feed now etched in my iphone’s rss app.

Kunal

Karol

Thanks Kunal. Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll pass you along to my programmer.

Steven Ponec

Hmm Karol. Do you think this applies to traveling the US? I’ve been abroad so many times with my family I’m almost sick of it :) If that doesn’t sound spoiled, I don’t know what does.
I also have a feeling that this question is moot. “Travel wherever you want, or don’t”
Anyways, loving your site as always. Keep up the fantastic work.
This….is…..FREEEDOM!

Karol

Hi Steven,

Obviously some of the specific things don’t directly apply to the US, and going on vacation is much different than extended travel, but that said…I’m no elitist. If your idea of freedom is to travel the US, then travel the US. I have plans to travel the US myself next year. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Steven Ponec

I see. Well I want to live in an RV and travel the US – or live around the US. However you want to say it. :)

Chris @ nomad4ever

Nice article again, Karol! And I agree mostly with #1 and #5. You really become more open-minded and also learn to care less about all money matters. You will value personal human relationships more than material possessions. It also will become much easier to simply let go of worries and go with the flow than chasing all those materialisms. ;-)

Karol

Thanks Chris. It’s definitely easier to go with the flow and practice minimalism when you’re constantly around people who do the same. Whether that be people who actually live in a country or other backpackers.

Cheers!
Karol

detroitgirl

Just saying, Detroit is really not that Dangerous

Cool article tho :)

Karol

:) I’ll let statistics and my own experiences speak for themselves.

loganp8000

hehe… you are really growing on me Karol!!

Ricardo

Nice article.
We also have a lot of Jakfruit here in Brazil. Delicious fruit indeed but very messy to eat.
Here’s you reason to visit Brazil as well.
Happy travels.

Karol

Ahh, very nice. Yes, it is a messy fruit. :)

Fungeezer

Great post! I can’t wait to read more I am most interested in number 5. I am not sure how traveling is cheaper than where I live, but I want to learn!

Karol

Thanks! It depends on where you currently live and where you plan on traveling to, but SE Asia (for example) is far cheaper than virtually anywhere in the US. Especially if you’re trading big city for big city.

Jade

Wow! haha, my daughter is 17 months and already she’s seen most of Asia :)
Traveling is a great beautiful gift that we all should enjoy. I’ve been traveling the world since 2000 and in 2003 I joined the US Navy and spent 6 years traveling the world with them. It’s been awesome. Oh I dont want to quit my job: I just love what I do, shit, I live for what I do:

Underwater Demolition Team Rocks!!! Where else do you get to do see a sunrise off the biggest baddest ships, shoot off some of the best fighter jets, see the coolest ports and catch a sunset then watch shooting stars on a black deck without city lights? It’s very time consuming but I love what I do: and I am a single parent, I take my daughter where I can or allowed so she can also be a world traveler, just like mom.

All very true I agree, you dont need lots of money to travel the world, even with a family, :) I was doing in on 15k a year. you just have to be creative

Another great post, since I like your blog, Im subscribing to your RSS Feed, consider yourself special, this makes only two blogs I suscribe to, lol :)

Karol

hehe, thanks for making me the 2nd blog you subscribe to Jade!

So awesome that you love your job and it allows you to travel so much. Most people aren’t in such a good situation.

Financial Samurai

Maybe it’s best not to quit our jobs, and be productive members of society?

Just wrote “The Dark Side Of Early Retirement”. Come have a read.

Karol

You’re assuming by not having a day job you can’t be a productive member of society. Absolutely ridiculous.

Your statements perpetuate fear and the horrible social conditioning we’ve lived with for too long. It’s also dangerous: “Hey kids, don’t strive for greatness, strive to be a cog in the machine!”

Lastly: I never wrote a single word about retirement, early or otherwise. I’m going to work forever.

Financial Samurai

Why not do both?

Vic

Hi,
William Gibson was the first writer I heard use the term “mirror world” for that exhilarating and uncanny way that all the little differences between your native and host country seep into your consciousness, like the height of light switches on the walls, the electric current, the driving on different sides of the road, etc… I love that sense of displacement, but I’ve only experienced it the very few times I’ve gone abroad. This and other sites connected to it have inspired me to let loose and start traveling more. I was already getting rid of shit but had no idea why, I just got a strange urge to unload! Now I know why!

thanks!
Vic

Jeff Parker

About quitting my day job…I just did it yesterday. Was my Last Day in corporate life….now officially “retired” from a desk, at the tender age of 41. heehee!

Time to continue life from today forward as location independent.

Keep it up Karol – you’re rocking it!!
-jeff

logan

As someone who has a band and a girlfriend who is 18 years younger then me, I want you all to know how hard it is to wake up everyday to the romanticism that is the concept of this blog. As a free spirit and intelligent person I acknowledge that traveling is a part of human evolution.. We can travel as human beings more then we ever could in the past and we should relish in it… but..My girl wakes up daily and asks me when when we are going to take the leap into the travel lifestyle.. all the comments that come into my email from this post fuel her fire… I ask all of you, how someone who lives to play with his band but has a girlfriend who wants to dive head first into a travel only lifestyle is supposed to make it all happen? She has no money btw and no way to make $$, yet lives by the sword of this blog and others like it…How do you return to your life here with your house, vehicle, business and friends when you spent every penny you have to travel somewhere? All the things my girl wants, needs and crys about when we didn’t have them.. now we have a stable life and income from the band and business, and the notion to just stop it all and travel free.. yippy… it’s so romanticized.. If you don’t believe in your dreams, or have no dreams, then perhaps one needs to soul search the world to find these dreams..

Jade

Sounds like your gf is confused an you both at diff stages of life. I do have my permanent home, stable and all, for my family. Yet being a single parent, and my daughter so young, I can travel the world N mold her outlook on life a bit. Exposure to diff cultures and ways of life, that will teach respect, honor, and tolerance for other people first hand. I travel most of the year, but it’s part of my job to travel ao much. Being financially independent and traveling didn’t mean giving up a sense of “permanense” just that we have the opprtunity to do as we choose when we choose to. You can travel and still have a profitable business. As for your gf not “being able to” make any money, really? Anyone can work and make money. It’s called a job, or start your own business. These people here traveling the world didn’t just do it in one day, and not by day dreaming but by doing and making their dreams a reality. Perception is reality, what reality are you creating?

Shellie Taylor

This is AMAZING! I’m so glad to find others with an open-minded, adventurous, free-spirited, gypsy lifestyle! Write on!

Karol

:) Thank you Shellie! Glad you enjoy it.

Kelsey

LOVE THIS: You owe it to yourself to be Ridiculously Extraordinary. It gave me goosebumps!

Karol

Goosebumps?! Thanks Kelsey. That’s awesome to know. :)

Ivelina Nikolova

hehehe… yah, me too. you should trademark that line, it’s def. a keeper!

Karol

Thanks Ivelina! :)

KL

Thanks for inspiring post. I’m planning to do the traveling thing with family, though a bit different version: we’re actively searching for jobs abroad (quite anywhere) and will leave when either one gets a good offer. Job helps you settle, learn the ordinary life and get more immersed to the culture. It is not opposite of “just travel”, just maybe a little bit different approach. Maybe chosen because #2 does not apply in our family ;)

Karol

Hi KL!

I’m fully into getting settled and immersed, but I do that without a job. :) That said, I love your idea of freedom. Please let me know when you make it abroad!

Cheers,
Karol

Marlon

Karol – Great inspiring stuff – it is my passion to travel, vagabond style but, (you know there had to be a but) i’ll have to admit though i struggle with how the experience will playout being a minority – I love the idea of connecting with like minded people, but the reality is that we live in a world where tolerance and respect seems to be going out the window. I don’t think i’ll let it hold me back though – but i do struggle with it sometimes.

Karol

Hi Marlon,

When you start traveling you will see that the reality is way different than what you think. People are VERY tolerant and VERY nice. Don’t let it hold you back, because it’s just not true. :)

Cheers,
Karol

Ivelina Nikolova

Marlon,

If you live in certain areas of the US, you may feel that way. And I don’t know which minority you belong to, but why don’t you start by going to a place where you’ll be the majority :) how about that idea.. just to relax yourself, and then you’ll see, the world is big and who you are in one place has nothing to do with who you can be in another.

You’ll grow bolder, stronger, and confident, and none of this “minority” crap will even touch your senses again. It’s sad for me to even read that you have that concern.

Karol

Thanks for adding your input Ivelina! I hope Marlon ends up reading this. :)

Calvin

I love jakfruit…..did not know you get it in Queensland…I also love the line which said the kids were more respectful…I do believe if they travel and are taught about other cultures they will be more respectful and open instead of being shitty think i know it all youngsters…..

way to go mate…

Karol

Yeah, jakfruit grows in that Australian rainforest climate. :)

Marlon

Hey Ive, thanks guys for the reasurance – i’m AA minority, but like i’ve mentioned to Karol i don’t think it’s going to deter me from traveling – but i would admit that it’s at times a concern. but you’re right, a good place to start would be somewhere where i’m not the minority!!!! – thanks again for the inspiration.

Karol

Awesome Marlon! Let us know how it goes. :)

Rachel Wolfe

Unfortunately, I’ve been “stuck” being this person with excuses. When people ask me what I want to do with my life, the FIRST thing I say is travel…and yet, this is the only thing I haven’t done. I photograph A LOT and write A LOT. I think photography and writing, some combination of these two will be my career, but have I traveled? I’ve taken a two-week trip to Australia and New Zealand after college, Mexico with family and Jamaica…but it was a resort. I was equally repulsed as I was intrigued by this odd resort atmosphere which did lead to some fairly good photographs.

ALAS! I work here, in my home studio day in and day out aching to relate to the world, looking for a MY CHANCE for X to be right. X mostly being money. But I have some and isn’t that enough? How much is enough? I’m having the sneaking suspicion I’m letting what other people want for me get in the way of what I want and that disgusts me too. I’ve had enough…and I need a good plan. Where do I find this other article you said you would write? I need to know HOW I can make this happen for myself.

Oh and by the way…my job doesn’t pay me anyway…so I really already have nothing to lose.

Karol

Hey Rachel,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Whatever you want to do you can do. Whether it’s travel or not and whether you have money or not. There is a way. :)

Cheers!
Karol

Jem

I love this post it is deffently an inspiration to me! Now the only thing holding me back is university but I think its important to get an education. Plus I know their will be opprotunities for travel while in school. I am thinking about studying abroad a bit, this way I am learning and completing my sense of wanderlust!

Karol

Hey Jem,

Thank you. :)

School is only important if that’s what you want to do. The only benefit I can think of with regards to my own degree is it makes my Parents happy, which is not a benefit at all. I feel like it was an incredibly wasted 4 years.

Cheers,
Karol

Jason

Thought I had been mis-spelling jackfruit all these years. Thankfully google & wikipedia says otherwise. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit

If you like jackfruits then you should try durians! They’re heavenly, especially the D24s & Mao Shan Wangs (mandarin, translated as King of Cat Mountain) varieties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian

Karol

Ehh, that’s now they spell it in Oz. :)

I tried durian. Almost puked.

Lisa

HOLY WOW! It’s good to know there is someone else in the world who uses the phrase in normal, everyday banter. Interesting and fun-to-read blog. Cooliecool.

Karol

Thanks Lisa! I don’t ever run into Holy Wow, but it’s so much better than Holy Cow or Holy Shit. :)

Juliana

I just simply love you. Maybe I just will get off my sucky job and go, go ,go

Karol

I love you too. Go, go, go!!

Jonathan Kraft

Hi Karol!

Came to your site after your article appeared in Mind Power News.

Really glad to have re-connected to this community online (again). Been looking to tie in with some like-minded people again… been so busy traveling and blogging and meeting touring retirees (blow it all in one week and go home exhausted types) that I’ve been neglecting to make the connections with more like-minded individuals.

Great post and looking forward to reading more!

Warmest,
Jonathan

Karol

Thanks Jonathan! Always good to connect with like-minded individuals. :)

Mat

Awesome! Great post. My wife and I are planning a 6-mo trip to SE Asia in spring, and this is exactly why!

Karol

Wooohooo! 6 months around SE Asia will be a great time. Thanks Mat!

Harrison

I love #16 and #21. It’s definitely true that the first thing: quitting job is fearful. Then to travel for long periods of time, with or without a certain plan is fearful. But out of that is rewarding experience. I can’t wait to continue to travel around the world. Awesome list! :)

Karol

Thanks Harrison! Keep doing what you do. :)

Valentina

Loved this!!! I think the backpacking adventure trip to South America is just what I need. I’ve been working for 2 years in Asia, and while I’ve had travel opportunities it wasn’t the same as being completely free. Also I was staying in comfortable hotels for “vacation” mixed in with some budget travel. I want to do the hostel and shoe string travel and explore the world. I love being able to do everyday things in completely new and exciting surroundings. I’ve learned so much about myself already traveling and about the world and the beauty of simplicity. I feel like I shouldn’t finish yet, but I am worried about financial security, getting settled after my whole adventure is done.

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