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Advice on quitting your job and travelling for a year
Embarking on an extended adventure often means taking a leap of faith and
leaving key responsibilities behind. But those that have done it say the experience
is more than worth it.
Adapted from:​ ​
Most of us see the world in snippets at a time – a long weekend here, a two-week vacation there. But
when wanderlust grows beyond what those trips can contain, a longer journey might be in order.
Embarking on a six-month or year-long adventure often can mean taking a leap of faith and leaving
key responsibilities behind, like arranging for an extended leave of absence or resigning from a job.
But those that have done it say the experience is more than worth it.
We sought out some of those brave, inspirational souls on the question-and-answer site ​​,
asking: “​what should I know if I want to quit my job, leave everything behind and travel for a
From the logistics of planning such a trip to the difficulty of managing others’ expectations and
re-entering the workforce, the Quora community chimed in with their most useful advice.
Expect people to worry on your behalf
Quitting a job may seem like a huge risk to others around you. ​“​People will bring up the dangers to
your career, dangers of getting hurt out there, dangers of not finding a job when you come back,” said
Kyle Pennell​, who recently left a marketing career in San Francisco to live in Oaxaca, Mexico. Those
dangers can be real, but according to Pennell, “the places you see, the people you connect with, the
pace of life, the person you might discover yourself to really be – it is amazing”.
"​It’s easy to keep doing what you’re doing, and it’s hard to go do something completely different,” said
Julia Lam​, a former Facebook employee who left the San Francisco Bay area and is currently in the
middle of taking a year off to travel around the world. “You’ll probably have moments of regret or
confusion, so stay focused on your goals and why you’re doing this.”
Have a goal or theme to guide you
Although over planning an extended journey can be limiting, wandering the world completely aimless
can be equally frustrating.​ ​Andy Anderson​, who has visited more than 35 countries, enhanced his
year-long journey by finding ways to incorporate his passions. “I found a way to work at an Italian
winery,” Anderson said. “I also spent a full season in a ski town, skiing being another passion of
mine.” Software engineer ​Marcin Czech​ travelled from his home in Poland to Malaysia completely on
land, and now finds his feat differentiates him from other world travellers.
Not sure where to start? American traveller ​Shahif Abileah ​recommended planning around big
festivals.​ “​By dumb luck we ended up in Lalibela [Ethiopia] during their Christmas celebrations, and it
was one of the highlights of our trip. It felt like walking into Biblical times,” he said. “There were other
events that we just barely missed. For the next trip we'll definitely check out the big events happening
in different countries.”
Embrace your journey, even after it’s over
While some Quora users went back to their original careers after returning home, others started new
ones. Anderson said the job hunt could take two to three months upon return, but suggested starting
to look at the end of your trip for a jumpstart.
Interviewers may question the gap in your resume, but that could also work to your advantage. ​Gary
Forman​, a marketing director from New York, used his experience to screen potential employers.
“Some of them couldn't relate; those weren't the folks I wanted to work for,” he said. “Others loved the
idea, and had taken similar journeys themselves. Those were the places I wanted to be.”
Match the words to their definitions:
● To take a leap of
a.Total chance
A snippet
The workforce
Dumb luck
To check out
b.To have a look at something
c. To take a big risk with the hope that it will turn out well
d. People (informal)
e. A small part of
f. The employed people in a country
Does Kyle Pennell believe that moving abroad is totally safe?
Did Andy Anderson improve his time by incorporating his passions?
In what way is Marcin Czech not like other travellers?
Did Shahif Alibeah plan to visit Ethiopia to see the Christmas celebrations?
How did Gary Foreman turn the resume gap to his advantage?
Responding to the text
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Where would you most like to go in the world and why?
Do you have any ethical concerns when you go traveling? (eg. For the environment, for your effect on
local tourists)
Can you add any pieces of advice to those given by the people in the article?