I woke up one day feeling completely burned out from work and decided that I needed to finally give myself time. I bought a ticket, packed my bags, hopped on a place, and experienced life away from work. I didn’t have a concrete plan after my trip, I just knew I had to do this or it would have driven me nuts to sit behind my office desk again.
I walked away.
I walked away from a three year managerial job. Truth be told, being a manager at a young age is great, but it also takes a big toll on you. The highs, the lows, the pressures, the rewards, the camaraderie, the politics and everything else in between.
“Are you sure about this? Do you really want to quit your job and travel?”
This was a question I had asked myself many times. I read all sorts of articles that tell you not to do it. I get it, I understand that we live in a world where having a good job is a privilege. Sometimes it isn’t a wise decision, but when I decided to travel, I wasn’t thinking about all that. I just wanted what was best for me at that point in my life. For the many times I was selfless at work, it was time to be selfish.
What did I learn?
- Do not bring your office with you.
I’m a bit of a workaholic. Sometimes I overdo it and unconsciously take it with me. I would bring the work home and do it there. When I used to travel, I would schedule cafe visits to finish work. I knew I had to take a real break this time. This trip was going to be about me, explore new experiences, revel in the new places, and simply enjoy.
- It’s okay not to have plans.
Don’t get me wrong, having a plan is great. I’m a planner myself, but when circumstances force you to move on without a plan, it doesn’t always mean you won’t be fine. In fact, you can be more than fine. This is the time to take advantage and reflect. What do I really want to do in life? What do I really want? When your head is clear and your heart is still, something beautiful is bound to happen.
- You are allowed to spoil yourself when you travel.
Enjoy! Do something you’ve always wanted to do. You can book a five star hotel. You can eat any street food. You can buy that beautiful dress. You can go an extreme adventure. There’s nothing wrong with spoiling yourself but you have to know your limits. Just don’t let anyone dictate what you should indulge on. You are allowed to spoil yourself while you are traveling, even if you just quit your job!
- Learn as much as you can.
Traveling isn’t just about the picture perfect things posted on Social Media. There are so much in between that doesn’t make it to the online world and these are the most precious and insightful. Random conversations can provide daily learning and inspiration. Ask strangers for help and make instant friends. Some can be mean, some can be nice, but each and everyone teaches you something.You might even be able to learn about the business side of a place. If you feel like you can learn something beneficial for your professional growth then make the most out of it.
- Self assessment happens A LOT when you are on a trip (especially after quitting).
When you leave your job, it is normal to go through a phase of self assessment. Are you really ready? What can you do and what can you not do? When I traveled, I realized my many weaknesses, but I also discovered my strengths. Being in a different place allows you to meet people who will not sugarcoat things for you.This will trigger a lot of reflection with yourself. Trust me! When you know yourself better, you are able to move forward with a clearer mindset and a better version of yourself.
Giving myself a break after quitting my job proved invaluable. Sometimes, you just need to breathe then once you exhale, you are ready to roll again for another show. While I was away, I received a job offer I couldn’t say no to which is why I came back. This time, nature is my office. I guess not having a plan is the plan after all.