Should you quit your job to travel, take a leave of absence, or a short vacation?

I personally decided to quit my job, but maybe that is too harsh of a step for you. I devised some questions to help in the decision making process. I hope they will give you a new angle with your decision to travel long term or short. Some of the questions may not apply to your situation, but for those that do, it’s important to think carefully and be honest with yourself:

  • Is my current work environment something I want to return to? Is my current job my passion, or just “a job”?
  • Am I traveling to feel completely free with no deadlines or obligations to return to? Will I feel fulfilled throughout my trip if I have an exact return date on my mind?
  • Define your priorities. Not to take this post into a dark place, but if you were about to take your last breath on earth, which decision would likely make you happier in the end?
  • Have I saved enough money to allow myself to travel for as long I feel its necessary to reach my travel goals?
  • Am I ok living on a decreased budget in order to travel for an extended period of time?
  • How willing am I to give up the comfort and security of my job?
  • Is traveling a life goal?
  • Am I timing this trip properly? Looking forward, is this the best and most reasonable time for me to travel for an extended period of time?
  • Is the pain of keeping my job and living my current life worse than the pain of seeing it all in the rearview mirror as I leave to travel the world?
  • Is there anything that would persuade me to keep my job? More money? A promotion?
  • Do I care about the opinions of my friends and family if they think I’m making a big mistake by quitting my job to travel?
  • What am I looking to get out of my travels? Educationally? Experientially? Socially?

     

If there are additional questions you feel should be on the list, please comment or message me.

Thanks for reading!

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Best credit cards for international travel – Don’t pay foreign transaction fees

The average credit card will charge you a 3% transaction fee. So $90 for every $3000 you spend.  For this reason, you should take a serious look at getting a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

I suggest either Capitol One Venture or Chase Sapphire for your no fee credit card. They also have some great travel rewards, as they cater to those going abroad.

To go into some further details, if you withdraw cash from an ATM, you will be charged a “cash advance fee” which is either 3.0%  of the amount withdrawn or $10.00. Whichever is greater. But, if  its a transaction at a business, there’s no fee.

Nerd Wallet does a phenomenal job breaking down the advantages of Capitol One Venture and Chase Sapphire.

I used a Capitol One credit card in 2008 for a previous round the world trip that took me to 14 different countries. I had no issues with it in any location and NO FEES!

Make sure you let the credit card companies know which countries you are visiting. If you don’t, your card will likely be deactivated due to fraud protection.

Further credit card tips from experience:

  • Best to travel with two cards, just in case one is deactivated, lost, or stolen. I travel with my capitol one credit card and my local debit card.
  • If you are traveling with a card that has transaction fees, you naturally want to take out more cash than needed when you withdraw, so you don’t need to take out money as often. From my experience, I did not feel comfortable walking around the streets with often a few hundred dollars in my pocket, depending on the destination.  Much better to withdraw smaller amounts, so you don’t have such a large portion of your budget sitting in your pocket.
  • Make sure you don’t withdraw too much of one countries currency if you are thinking of crossing the boarder into another currency. Never fun the have the currency converter take a good-sized chunk out of your cash.
  • Write down the credit card contact number and the last 4 digits of your card in case your card is lost or stolen. You need the ability to cancel your card a.s.a.p. I see a lot of tips saying you should make a photocopy of you credit card, but don’t like to have copies of sensitive info (excluding copies of my passport).
  • Be aware that many overseas merchants will ask if you want your foreign transaction to be converted from the foreign currency into US dollars (so you have a better idea of how much you’re taking out). As nice as this sounds, it is much cheaper to do your own calculation. Often, they will charge up to 7% for the transaction inquiry.

Can I afford travel? Is it feasible to leave my job and/or other responsibilities?

Yes! Its may take some time to get to that point, but absolutely, yes! If traveling is what you want to do, you will make it happen. Always remember that you have one life to live and you can adapt to a lower cost of living while you save if you are determined to travel.
Lets cover some of the reasons people say they cant travel:

  • I’m ill or sick and I have high medical bills

    Two words for you. Medical Tourism. But don’t think low prices equals low quality. Many of the best medical facilities in the world exist outside of the United States and many cater to attracting US citizens. Check out the prices for having procedures done in the US as opposed to medical treatment abroad.

    Many Americans are already opting to go abroad for medical treatment. Click on Gallup poll to read more.

  • I have loans

    Student Loans – If you’re just about to graduate, you typically have 6 months before you have to start paying your loans. The average student loan debt is $24,000. This means you will be paying a few hundred dollars each month. Be sure to add this to your monthly travel budget accordingly, but don’t let it dissuade you from possibly traveling the world and stumbling across and industry or passion that you would have never been exposed to if you picked up the first job you came across after graduating.

    Other loans – Look into the possibility of differing your loans or lowering your cost of living, pay off your debt, then travel.

  • I have kids

    Look into homeschooling.  Keystone School Online is one of the many good options for online schooling. Also, check out the stories of several traveling families with this incredible blog by Annie Andre

    If you think of any other scenarios, please share!

Applying for visa with an online visa and passport processing agency

I’ve been looking at different online travel agencies to help me get my visa for Vietnam (my first destination).  I used http://www.traveldocs.com/ when  I was on Semester at Sea with University of Virgina back in 2008, but wanted to see if I could find a better deal somewhere else online.

After about 2.5 hours of research I found that it’s a very competitive business and they have a good price in comparison with their competitors. Also, when I visited some other sites I was warned of visa scams which can find you by way of email, post, over the phone, or on a website. Scammer watch site explains one example in Australia: http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/805700

I was able to call traveldocs.com and talk to a representative today (8/21). I feel very comfortable with them and they give an exact time frame of when you will have your visa.

Quitting Job to Travel – Only a month away from departure and its time to tell the boss I’m leaving / quitting.

Telling your boss that you’re quitting to travel, as opposed to going to another company requires some unique wording. No matter what you think about your job, it’s a good idea to make sure you don’t burn any bridges when you let them know you’re leaving to travel.  If you word it correctly, it can be an easy and friendly transition for you and the company.

Below I have some essential tips and specific examples to make sure you and the company you work for are as happy as possible with your decision to travel.

▪   Attitude – Even if your boss doesn’t remember what you say, they will remember your attitude. Don’t quit when you’re angry.

▪   You want to show your professionalism, sincerity, and maturity.

▪   Even if you cant stand your boss and hate the company, do not show it when you leave your job. It could hurt your chances with other jobs in the future, and you never know where you may come across you boss in the future.

▪   Mindset! Honest, but not too honest – Whatever you say when leaving, tell the truth, but you don’t have to share everything. You don’t have an obligation to tell them where you’re going.

▪   Professionalism – When your being professional about your decision, they will have more respect for you.

▪   Show concern for the company and its well being. They can make it difficult for you if you don’t show concern and care.

▪   Check company policy and make sure they require a 2 weeks notice. Some companies require more. If it is two weeks, it typically a good idea to give them 3 weeks notice (more on this below).

▪   Don’t discuss with anyone at your job. Your boss should be the first to know (more on this below).

▪   A Letter of resignation is suggested. A short letter thanking them for everything and explaining that you are moving on.

Now, lets work on some specific examples. How to tell your boss your leaving to travel the world!

▪   Ask your boss for a one on one conversation/meeting. Make sure you schedule it when he/she is in a good mood. i.e. Friday afternoon as opposed to Monday morning.

▪   Make sure you are confident, but not arrogant. Be on the same level with your boss.

▪   Don’t get too scared.

Phrases to use in three steps:

Step 1. Announce you are leaving (you don’t have to be clever):

Boss: What would you like to discuss?

You:   “I wanted you to be the first person I tell the news to.” Look your boss in the eye and sit up strait and show sincerity. This will make them feel important (because they are).

Boss: Ok

You:   “I have made a decision to move on from the company to pursue my goal of traveling abroad” 

Or

“I’ve decided to peruse my own interest and passion for travel and at this point in my life it’s the best option for me”

Or

“I have come across an opportunity to travel that I cant afford to pass up” (This is the one I chose)

Step 2. Gauge their reaction and see what they say. They may ask:

Boss: Why?

You have already answered, but it’s a natural proceeding question. You will show gratitude with a slight sense of regret (wish i could stay, but cant). At this point you can elaborate with:

You:    “I feel its the best option for me in my life at this point, as it has been a goal of mine for some time and it will allow me to grow as a person.”

There are many ways to elaborate, but basically you want to make sure you don’t imply the company is the reason you’re leaving. It’s that you have found something that you love and want to pursue.

Step 3.

▪   Explain that you do enjoy your job, then:

You:   “Here’s my letter of resignation. It’s my two weeks resignation, but I’m happy to work that extra week to make sure the transition goes smoothly” (shows concern and respect).

Also, feel free to suggest people in the company that can take over your projects (if this applies). This shows you have given it some serious thought and concern for him directly as your projects are now going to fall upon your boss to delegate.

Don’t go off and tell all your coworkers after the meeting. Ask your boss if you should hold off from tell your coworkers that you’re leaving.

That wraps it up! If you follow these steps and tips for telling your boss that you are going to TRAVEL THE WORD (as everyone should!), you will be able to leave with a clear conscience and the ability to use them for a reverence in the future.

…AND you never had to use the word, “quit”!!!

The book that inspired me to take this plunge and help plan of my departure, is:

 

This was a life changer for me and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Quitting your job to travel around the world

Today is the day! I decided to pick up the can Ive been kicking down the road for a year and a half and  travel the world as i please. I have been thinking about it more seriously over the past few months and Ive made my decision. I feel the anxiety of not knowing whether i should stay home or travel was weighing down on me and now that i have a plan, its full steam ahead.