10 reasons NOT to quit your job for travel: why we won’t travel full time!

by | Jan 29, 2016 | Blog, Inspiration and Tips, Latest Posts

With our crazy travel schedule, a travel website that pulls in almost 100,000 visitors a month and the internet awash with tales of full-time travel it’s a question we get asked almost daily: when are you going to quit your jobs and travel full-time? Well guess what? We’re not! It might come as a surprise but not everyone wants to quit their jobs and travel full-time. We certainly don’t. Let us explain why!

1 | Money, money, money!

Let’s start with the obvious. Whether we like to admit it or not money helps to make the world go around. And travel costs money for even the most super budget conscious travellers. Flights, transport, accommodation, food, drinks, cameras….until someone discovers a way to travel and have an amazing life with lots of fun all while paying with fresh air you’ll find us at the office.

Money well spent!
reasons not to quit job and travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

2 | Careers are fun, challenging and important to us

Despite how it’s portrayed in popular media these days, a corporate career is not an enemy that we’re all desperately trying to escape from. Drum roll please… we like going to work. Now we’re not saying every Monday morning is a dream but overall we enjoy our jobs very much.

As an added bonus, our careers have provided us with the opportunities of our dreams. It was our careers that allowed us to live in New York City for two incredible years, an experience which we can only describe as some of the best days of our lives so far. They’ve sent us to countries far and wide and introduced us to countless inspirational and amazing people, many of whom we count as close friends scattered across the globe. We’ve learned a million things about both our areas of expertise and have been taught an abundance of life lessons. Best of all, our jobs continuously challenge us, inspire us and teach us. We feel privileged to have them. It might not be a fashionable opinion but we’re sticking to it.

Not every day…!reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

3 | We like having a permanent base

Our apartment is awesome. It’s filled with all of our favourite things, the walls are lined with pics of our best memories and our bed is super comfy. There’s absolutely nothing we love more than turning the key in the lock and spending quality time in our own space at the end of a trip. Being at home grounds us and reminds us that travel is not the only important thing in our life. We love having an endless stream of family and friends dropping by, having our favourite people stay over, having a little dog almost hyperventilating with excitement every time we walk through the door and having somewhere to call home. If travelling full-time means giving up our own space you’ll still find us in the office!

4 | Travel is special

If you do something every day it quickly becomes routine. Unless it’s the gym. I still struggle to make the gym a routine part of the day!! We want travel to remain a treat and something that we anticipate with excitement to the point where we almost get butterflies thinking about our next adventure. After months on the road it’s easy to become at least one of the following: templed out, churched out, beached out you get the picture. We never, ever want to get complacent about travelling or get tired of seeing the world and for us that means travelling part-time!

Dear travel, never stop making me feel like this!
reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

5 | Luxury travel rocks

What’s life without a little luxury? Unless we win the lottery any full-time travels will not involve at least one of the following: fancy hotels, business class flights, Michelin star meals and rooftop cocktails. We love our incredible travel adventures and splurges and we’re prepared to work incredibly hard for these luxuries.  Travelling on a budget does not suit everyone: our days of shared hostel dorms and counting every cent are long gone. Until someone finds a way to travel in style without any money you will still find us in the office.

Infinity pools and views, bliss!reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

6 | Does anyone really ‘travel’ full-time?

We think of travel as constantly moving around the world, seeing new places and meeting new people. We’re yet to meet anyone who truly does this on a full-time basis outside of the ever popular year out/gap year/career break. Sure, there are lots of people who travel loads but most full-time travellers spend a good part of the year in a destination with a low-cost of living and work, in some form, features along the way.  Chang Mai, Eastern Europe or our home towns: what’s the difference? Work is work and we’re happy to do ours in the office.

Working along the way!reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

7 | There’s plenty of time to see lots of the world

‘I can’t travel enough with a full-time job. Quitting my job is my only option to see the world’. We have to respectfully disagree on this one. We’ve written about how to travel while working full-time already. We’re not digital nomads, we don’t work remotely when we travel and we turn up to the office every day. We still made it to 18 countries last year and spent over 2 months on the road. If you want to travel while you work full-time you most certainly can. There are 104 weekend days in the year. There are public holidays. There are vacation days. Not having time to travel is a myth. If you want to you can make it happen.

One year, two full-time jobs…reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

8 | The travel dream is blurred

We often hear people say they ‘want to travel full-time’ when what they really mean is that they want to be location independent and work from anywhere in the world. Or they got sick of the corporate world and want to quit their jobs and be their own boss. There’s a huge difference between digital nomad and full-time traveller and you’ll do well to remember this when you read the million articles about full-time travel.

9 | Full time travel is not the answer to all of life’s problems

If you’re not happy in everyday life there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t be happy as a full-time traveller. Travel does not solve every problem and it can even exaggerate many of them. A rubbish relationship will still be rubbish 20,000 miles away. Travel will not suddenly expose your inner peace and happiness. It took us some time to realise that travel will not fix our problems or suddenly make us love ourselves or each other a million times more than we already do. Instead, we seek ways to ensure our every day lives make us happy.

10 | A travel blog is not the magic ticket

For anyone who thinks that starting a travel blog is the answer to a life of full-time travel let us fill you in on the realities. The competition is fierce, so fierce we wouldn’t be surprised if ‘starting a travel blog’ makes it to the top 10 most googled terms in 2016.

Don’t get us wrong, travel blogging is awesome and our inbox is constantly pinging with travel offers. This is all well and good but not all these opportunities would allow us to travel the way we want to or maintain our website the way we want: filled only with stories of OUR experiences. Structured trips and group tours are the stuff of our nightmares and we’re not prepared to sacrifice our travel style. A travel blog is incredibly hard work requiring many, many hours of commitment and a successful, money-making one is even harder work.

We’re fans of taking off on epic road trips, moving location every few days, sneaking an extra country into a weekend adventure… this is only possible because we do what we want when we want. If that means travelling part-time it has our vote!

Crazy faces! A non-stop 13 hour drive to the Arctic Circle…because we could!
reasons not to quit job for travel ©thewholeworldisaplayground

But…isn’t full-time travel the dream life?

After an epic trip and in the midst of a severe case of the travel blues we totally understand the temptation to jack it all in and set out to travel the world. We have huge respect for anyone who wants to and does make it work on the road. But full-time travel is not everyone’s dream. It really irks us when we read another irresponsible inspirational article jumping on the ever popular ‘quit your job and travel full time’ bandwagon.

Take our advice: 100% quit your job and travel full time it if it is the right thing for you but be sure to consider the flip side, the realities and the 10 reasons above when making your decision. Just remember, it’s not all cocktails and sightseeing!

Inspired by this article? PIN IT FOR LATER!

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What’s your thoughts on full-time travel? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

28 Comments

  1. I think you definitely have some valid points. Alex and I have been traveling full time for the last nine months. It’s been absolutely fantastic and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Having said that… We are totally broke right now and are returning to the states in March in order to work for eight months, save money, work on our passion projects in one place and then take off again. We definitely love the idea of working for ourselves and having a career. Either way you are going to have to have a job while traveling full time if you want to live! We love eating out and going for drinks and those past times are not cheap. I think it is all about finding a balance and figuring out what is right for you!

    And congratulations on doing that ?

    Reply
    • Thanks Ashley! Totally agree that it’s about balance, it’s just the case of finding a balance that works.

      Elane

      Reply
  2. I love the idea of full time travel and like you I love my full time job so I won’t be quoting anytime soon. It’s not easy to travel full time unless lotto allowed it lol. Such a great post, I too am getting annoyed at the drop everything and travel full time without putting ALL the facts out there etc

    Reply
    • Thanks Anosa! I think it’s fab that people manage to make a career from travelling but it’s important to think about the realities! Hope that lotto win comes soon!

      Elaine

      Reply
  3. I have to agree with you. Travel is great but you need a job to get the money to do it.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Peter!

      Reply
  4. Great points. There is something to be said for coming home and sleeping in your own bed.

    Reply
    • One of my fave things about coming home Theresa!

      Reply
  5. I agree very much indeed. There is nothing better than your own bed. Let´s face it when you have money there is independent freedom, no need to do anything for anyone other than yourself. That´s just the best. I have to accept being back in Norway and Europe after half year of South America, gives me the opportunity to discover Europe in the weekends, if I make it happen 🙂 It´s all about what you choice to do!

    Loved this article, thank you for sharing!!

    Reply
    • Thanks Pauline, glad you liked the post!

      Reply
  6. Very well written and yes, career is as important to me as it is travel. I would travel the world for one or two years non-stop yes, but as a career break or something like that. I’d never give up comfort and luxury just for the shake of travelling. I wouldn’t do those low paid or working in exchange of accommodation type of jobs for the long term. That would be fun for some months though. I’m not a backpacker myself and I hate hostels. Nevertheless I save a lot of money when travelling too as I don’t drink or party and then while I do have my standards when it comes to comfort, I don’t always need a luxury hotel or a fancy restaurant. Street food is freshly made, cheap and tasty. It’s about finding the right balance between career and travel. Thanks for the article. I really needed this.

    Reply
    • Thanks Carmen, so happy you found the post useful! Writing it was a reality check for me too!

      Reply
  7. I am the part time traveler. I very much need to have my home somewhere and my bed 🙂 I also like an idea that travel is something special. If you do it every day it becomes not so special anymore. Still people are different and they have different preferences. I guess one of the reasons for leaving job for traveling is very short holidays in US. You can do not much traveling in two weeks a year.

    Reply
    • Thanks Anita! We lived in the US previously and were lucky to have 15 days holidays and lots of opportunity to work remotely. It was still hard to squeeze in travel as we spent 2 weeks visiting home as well!

      Elaine

      Reply
  8. We agree with you. Me and my partner travel a lot, but we can’t simply give up our jobs. We have financial and family responsibilities that prevents us from long-term travel. However, we are still quite happy we have a chance to travel and go adventuring every weekend. Or, we just strategically our leaves to align with non-working holidays for longer trips.

    Reply
  9. I have to agree with your points! I’ve been seduced by the idea of full time travel but I think in the end of the day it’s not really me. I like nice hotels, dinners etc but also love the comforts of my own home. I Hate blogging on the road as it’s quite stressful and no way can I homeschool the kids. Nice dream to be a permanent explorer but I think I’d hate the reality.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the comment Shobha! I’m sure having kids and school adds a whole other perspective to the decision! At least the summer hols are long!

      Reply
  10. Yes, yes, yes, I agree with your points entirely! Part-time is a great way to travel and I think you probably appreciate the experiences even more than sometime permanently on the road. I love seeing the world but I also love coming home – it’s the best of both, right? 😉

    Reply
    • That’s what we think Keri!

      Reply
  11. Great post! Well written, and I absolutely agree with you 😀 I love to travel but if I was on the road everyday, it’d be hard to appreciate it and look forward to it as much as I do. Travel planning and the excitement of leaving for a new trip are part of what makes travel fun. And I wouldn’t want to leave the comforts of my home entirely – the comfy bed, pillow, pjs and midnight snacking while watching tv. I guess having a balance makes you appreciate both home and travel more 🙂

    Reply
  12. I have to agree! We have been traveling for 18 months now and while we have our blog and social media business making us location independent, we are both ready to settle somewhere again and travel when we want.

    Reply
    • That’s the dream Shelly – be able to travel when we want! So fab that you are able to be location independent from your own business!

      Reply
    • Hey Hannah! Fab that you’ve been travelling so long! I think it’s awesome when people can make it work but I do believe that those outside the travel blogging community should know how hard of work it is! Unless you have a different experience. If so would love to know your tricks!

      Reply
  13. A very realistic post. My husband and I fall into that “full-time traveller” category–we’ve been on the road with no permanent address since 2011. We love our life, but you are correct, full-time travel doesn’t mean full-time holiday. And we make that clear to anyone who wistfully tells us we’re “living the dream.”

    Reply
    • Thanks for the full time traveller perspective Larissa! I think it’s fab that you’ve been on the road for so long, it must be incredible! Good to understand the reality that it’s not just a full time holiday!

      Reply
  14. As someone who quit her job to go on a year-long trip with her husband … this is SO dead on. I’m glad I did this trip because I won’t have that “what if” voice in the back of my head for the rest of my life, but I’m completely cured. I don’t feel the need to do this ever again! I miss my office and my job, I miss my apartment, I miss stability. I’m sick of having adventures every day instead of looking forward to them for a few weeks at a time and squeezing them in when I can. I miss relaxing – truly relaxing, like at home, on a couch, where I live. I miss it all! We’re only 3 months into our year long trip and we’ve already been talking about cutting things short!

    Reply
    • Hey Lia, glad you liked the post!

      Long term travel has its ups and downs but we found taking a few days out with no sightseeing and just chilling by a pool helped us get over the times when we were traveled out! I definitely miss having our own place when we are on the road! I remember being in a camper van for a month or so in New Zealand and arriving in our hotel in Sydney and having a bathroom of our own was such an incredible experience haha!

      Embrace the trip, having a year to explore is amazing and remember everything will be waiting for you back home and you’ll appreciate it a million times more when you get back!

      Looking forward to following your travels!
      Elaine

      Reply

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