You’ve probably asked yourself that question once. Maybe you’ve sort of semi-seriously entertained the possibility for a while. Hell, you could be reading this in a hammock in Thaïland for all I know.
I’ve noticed a certain glorification of travellers in the news recently, thanks to the countless headlines about miserable cubicle dwellers waving adios to their boring job and moving to *insert exotic country here* to see what ~ real ~ life is about. As if they had a sudden epiphany. This raises many questions: How can they afford it? Don’t they get bored of not doing anything remotely cognitive? Why are these people always in a bathing suit? What about their retirement?
But most importantly… is this what life should be like?
Are we all missing out?
The long-term travel lifestyle, just like any other type of lifestyle for that matter, has upsides and downsides that are infinitely debatable. Nothing, not even travel, is perfect, regardless of how people choose to portray it on social media. It’s important to understand that you are not less of a person, or that your life isn’t as great simply because have a job. It’s all about choice. Choosing which side to show. Choosing to leave. Choosing to stay.
It’s no different for me. Being a travel blogger means that on some level, I travel more than the average person. But compared to other travel bloggers, I’m a homebody. I can’t win! They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and whoever “they” are, they are absolutely right.
It took me some time to accept the fact that I am not a digital nomad at heart – it was a harsh reality to face since it’s not the norm in my field. But I finally feel comfortable in the lifestyle I’ve chosen for myself. Perhaps that has to do with the natural ageing process, too; fewer and fewer fucks are given as I get closer to my thirties. I found a balance that suits me, in which I travel roughly once a month – sometimes to exotic locations, sometimes to familiar European cities – and spend the rest of my time at home blogging about my trips and working for various clients as a freelance writer.
That’s my balance. I *could* sell everything I own and move to a trendy developing country here like so many travel bloggers – but I don’t want to.
So… should you quit your job to travel the world?
The truth of the matter is this: in the end, there is no simple answer to that question. As with everything in life, there is no one-size-fits-all. Maybe the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, maybe it’s not. AND THAT’S OKAY.
A life of perpetual travel isn’t cut out for everyone. It’s not realistic to think that anyone can sell their belongings, start a blog, live a dream life and be an overnight success by snapping their fingers. Like fellow blogger Earl said, “You can try, and you’ll probably get pretty darn good at snapping, but it just ain’t true.”
The important thing in life is to be happy. For some people, that means working small jobs in every country of South-East Asia. For others, it’s going on one lengthy European getaway every summer. And I know a few people who can’t be bothered by the idea of leaving their couch for longer than a few hours. And that’s okay too (although slightly less glamorous, I’ll say that!).
So, should you quit your job to travel the world? That is for you, and only you, to find out. Whatever the answer, if it’s one you’re ready to stick to, then it’s the best answer – because it’s yours.
P.S.: There are plenty of ways you can have a job *and* travel the world. Buzzfeed lists a bunch of them here.