‘Quit your job, and travel!’ — How realistic and reliable is this quote? Is it that easy to leave a stable job and travel? How practical is it to quit the 9 to 5 life and wander around like a nomad? Maybe all of this sounds cool in movies and quotes, but what about reality?
While we are busy questioning life, these wandering souls have already dropped the resignation letter and are living a life which is totally against the rule book.
Meet Medhavi Davda, a Mumbai-based software engineer, who quit her job last year after working with various MNCs for nine and a half years. She fondly calls herself an Adventure Traveler, and undoubtedly, her ravenous legs are proof of her wildness.
Talking about her journey to pursue her passion for travel, “I always wanted to follow my dream of living in the mountains and take my passions to the next level, and I kept waiting for a plan. But the wait didn’t end,” she says.
“I gathered enough courage to take the plunge and quit my job without any plan, and give a break to the worries of future and explore myself and places to let my life unfold slowly,” Medhavi added.
“Quit your job and travel — I was never in favour of this idea. I haven’t completely quit my job to travel the world either. I quit my job to take a break from work, to give myself time to figure out what next do I want in life. For those who have ‘quit their job to travel’, trust me, it isn’t as rosy as it looks on their Instagram pictures. They are putting extra efforts to work behind their screens as digital nomads, consultants, freelancers, along with their travels. You need to be mentally prepared, if not financially, to quit your job to travel.”
Medhavi has been traveling excessively since 2012, and according to her, she is always on a quest to make a living out of her fanatic pursuits.
Vishnudas Chapke, another wild but calm traveler, has been circumnavigating the globe since March 19, 2016. Vishnudas is a journalist by profession and was working as a reporter for a Mumbai-based newspaper.
Hitchhiking has been Vishnu’s travel weapon, “My way of traveling is real simple — I go out, ask for a lift, and plead to people for accommodation and food. In return, I try to help them in whatever way possible.”
“I don’t drink, and I am a vegetarian. I have always lived a simple life, and simple life leads to less expense. You see, that’s where having an average lifestyle helps,” says Vishnu.
“Quit your job and Travel — It is possible only in the early stage of career. It is very famous in some countries in Europe and Latin America particularly Brazil, Chile, and Argentina. Lower class and middle-class youth of Latin America take a gap of one year, and they travel in Latin America. However, in India this is very uncommon to leave job and travel. We don’t even travel on the weekends. One needs strong confidence and trust in oneself and one’s abilities.”
Vishnu’s common-man lifestyle and his simple way of traveling prove that it’s a myth that one needs to have a wild personality to travel, whereas, all one needs is courage.
Travel isn’t just a vacation, a holiday, or an outing anymore, but has become a way of life for many. Sankara Subramaniam, one of the country’s top travel bloggers, talks about how he started traveling to find himself, “To be honest, I was pretty happy with my job. It wasn’t just 9 to 6, but, a 9 am to 12 am of work, or even more. And yes, I was actually happy,” he said.
“It offered me financial stability, visibility, growth, a good role and great learning. I left because I felt I could do more, but didn’t know where to start. In simple words, there was an emptiness in me that I had to fill. I am still working on it after over a decade. I guess it was to find what my true calling was or maybe it was to carve a niche for myself. And since then, travel has become my path,” Sankara added.
“Quit your job and travel — It sounds good, but it is not practical. In fact, it is very tough, unless you have a lot of money stashed or have built a brand that people will look up to. Till then, you are a nobody. You can quit your job and travel, but do it only for the love and passion for travel, and not to make it into a career. To make travel your career requires you to marry your skills, interests with a need in the market. All of this takes a while to build. If you want my advice, think a good many times before quitting your stable job to travel. In fact, try to be smart and identify alternate ways to address this passion of yours to travel.”
Sankara embraced the active travel lifestyle in 2008. He prefers slow travel and has been known to stay away from home for months together. As a thumb rule, he travels for more than 250 days every year.
While there are individuals who travel for passion, there are few who make it their profession. Ishani Sawant, an adventurer by heart, was pursuing law before she took up mountaineering full time. “When I used to go to the court, there were all arguments and quarrels between people, whereas, when I used to work for adventure events on weekends, I realized there is so much happiness. And obviously, I would rather choose a happy life than one with huge bank balance but no mental peace,” she said.
“Quit your job and travel — It is very risky and not for everyone. But, if you are earning great but you don’t have time to spend, then for me it’s like fooling yourself. If you are passionate enough to make it happen and do whatever it takes to follow your dreams, things will start falling into place as it goes. For instance, losing stability of job for me was not much, but every relative of mine tried to convince me that rock climbing can’t be a career and it’s a wrong decision. But I was firm and I stuck to it. Now I organise expeditions in Himalayas and rappelling and climbs around Pune, I teach NDA cadets, train people with disabilities at Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation and I feel I’m living a fulfilled life.”
It’s easy to get mesmerized by travel quotes and travel movies, but it’s equally important to get a reality check. It’s definitely not easy, but not that difficult either.
Here’s a short listicle shedding light on 5 things to keep in mind before quitting your job.
Curious about other adventure travel jobs? Here is a guide to a career in Mountaineering in India.
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