Why we decided to quit our jobs and travel the world

Earlier this year, after months of weighing the pros and cons, Daniela and I looked at each other and agreed: we were really doing this. We were going to quit our jobs, pack up our things, rent out our home, and travel to Asia with little more than two backpacks and a cocktail of fear, anticipation, and excitement.

But why, you may ask? And that’s a question we’ve asked ourselves many times. After all, we’re both in great, satisfying jobs with successful career paths ahead of us. Why take the risk given the unknown that awaits us? It came down to a few key reasons, and the more we have time to reflect on our decision, the more we’re sure it’s the right one for us.

First: you only live once (or: tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us).

It’s easy to spend your life working for the next big thing – the next big job or paycheck, or that cushy retirement. But there’s no contract out there guaranteeing that if you make all the “right” decisions now, then you’ll actually have the chance to take advantage of them down the road. So many people who are retired or on the back ends of their careers have told us about friends or colleagues who spent decades looking forward to retirement, only to have health issues, family issues, or worse prevent them from taking advantage of it. So sure, we might be delaying our retirement by a couple years—but we’re betting that a year of adventure now, relatively unencumbered by health or other issues, will be worth another couple years of working down the road.

Second: If not now, when?

We plan to travel throughout our lives, and hope to instill in (future) children a love for adventure and travel and the wider world. But no matter how good we’ll be at exposing our children to travel, or blocking off time for vacation, let’s be realistic: kids change things. It’s hard to imagine traveling with just two backpacks in remote areas with little ones in tow. So however much we intend to make exploring the world a part of our family life, if ever we were going to take an expansive trip—with the flexibility to go from place to place on our own schedule and at our own whims—it’s now.

Third: There’s always work.

This was the hardest thing for me (Jeremy) to accept, and I’ll likely share more about my thought process on these pages. I’ve always been particularly driven by my career, and found myself in an interesting, exciting job with a fantastic team and promising future. But what I was finally able to internalize, and what so many others have reminded me, is that work will always be there. Whatever our career challenges ahead—and we’ve both been truly blessed to have good jobs that afford us fulfilling work—we may have decades of work ahead of us. So no matter the job market or job opportunities that await us (or even if not) when we return, we will go back to work. We will spend year after year working. So given the chance to explore the world, why wait? And if we do this trip right, using it as an opportunity to broaden our perspective on the world and what role we want to play in it, then this trip will make us much better employees and teammates and managers and agents of change than a year’s worth of “normal” work ever could.
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As you can probably tell, as much as we’re increasingly sure of our decision to quit our jobs, this isn’t something we’ve come to easily or without struggle. But we’re excited for what awaits us, good or bad, and thrilled to share the journey.

10 thoughts on “Why we decided to quit our jobs and travel the world

  1. Saba

    Jeremy,

    I am so excited for you and D! I will be living vicariously through this blogpost. Enjoy this time and there will always be work. Safe travels!

  2. Cynthia Puryear

    Jeremy, this is by far the coolest thing I’ve ready today, better yet, this year!! So excited for you guys and looking forward to following your adventurous journey! Safe travels!

  3. Cynthia Puryear

    Jeremy, this is by far the coolest thing I’ve read today, better yet, this year!! So excited for you guys and looking forward to following your adventurous journey! Safe travels!

  4. Karen

    What a lovely blog, very inspiring! I wish you both the best of luck. I will be following your new exciting adventure.

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