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The Leap – Why I quit my job to travel the world & Earn money abroad
When I look back at the last year of my life, it’s all been pretty surreal. So much has happened in such a short space of time that it seems crazy to imagine myself in my own shoes 12 months ago.
So what inspired all of this dramatic change in my life? Something really very small.
Something that over a year ago started as just an idea in my head has now manifested itself into reality. The power of the mind is a wonderful thing and it’s great to see what a difference 12 months can make.
But it wasn’t just the idea of traveling that caused me to take the leap and quit my job to travel. To earn money abroad had always been something quite appealing to me, but in the end there were quite a few factors involved in actually making the decision.
The last 12 months have thrown some challenges my way
This has been a year of challenges and change. In December I made the decision to leave the flat that I’d been living in by myself for 3 years. I moved into a houseshare for the first time with three complete strangers (luckily for me those three ‘strangers’ are now some of my closest friends).
We also had some really tough news as a family at the start of the year, when my nana got taken into hospital on Christmas day and sadly a few months later passed away. We were lucky in a lot of ways because we got to spend a lot of time with her before the end, but it’s something that affected my family and my mum very heavily. It left us all with lots of questions.
To make matters worse, later on in the year we had more bad news when we discovered my older sister had a tumour on her kidney. It was a testing few months with a lot of upset and worry throughout the family but luckily, my strong capable sister come through. She had her kidney removed and has since had the all clear.
Whilst attempting to deal with our family traumas, I started questioning the morality of my day job. I knew that what I was doing (selling sofas) was something that was needed, after all everybody needs to plonk their arse somewhere after a long day right? But the whole money grabbing approach of modern companies had me asking myself what it was that I really wanted in life.
Did I still want to be a part of the corporate machine? Something that before I had no issues with doing – serving customers, up-selling products and generally being successful in a sales job, was now leaving me doubting myself. Was I just doing what needed to be done, or was I exploiting people to better myself financially and to a much larger degree bettering my company’s financial position?
These questions started off small in my mind, but as I travelled more and spoke to more people who had left corporate 9-5 jobs and had already seen more of the world than me, I began to question further the morality of what I was doing.
This thought process came back to me again recently whilst watching Game of Thrones (Spoiler alert for Episode 5). When Varys – the spider, is chatting to Tyrion (two of my favourite intellectual characters in the show) they are discussing how Daenerys is hard to control and how Tyrion needs to find a way to make her listen…
What really stood out to me was when Varys spoke about his time with the Mad King. He mentioned how he used to ‘find the traitors’, but would tell himself that he wasn’t the one burning them alive. In essence, he told himself he wasn’t responsible, since he was merely following orders.
I drew a few similarities from this exchange to my own experiences with work. While I told myself I was just doing my job, I knew deep down that in convincing people to spend extra and thus earning money for this corporate giant, I was simply making the rich people at the top even richer. I was a part of the problem.
The final straw
As if all off these things that I had going on in my mind and my personal life weren’t enough to push me over the edge, I had one final issue that is ultimately what made me decide to quit my job and travel.
Not being valued.
It sounds like something so small, but for me personally this was one of the biggest factors as to why I left my job. There are some people within my team at my job who I would have done anything for. My store manager who had done so much for me in the last 12 months of my job was a shining pillar of everything you could ask for in a manager. He respected me, valued me, wanted me to progress and put his neck on the line to try to do just that. Similarly my older store managers were excellent in this, especially my earlier store managers who were integral to my progress early on in my career.
However what pushed me over the edge was an issue to do with my job. I had been asked to move to a different store, under the premise of a promotion. Upon landing at that store I discovered that the promotion didn’t exist, not in the short term anyway. Naturally I was frustrated but decided to ride it out and see if I could make it work. A few weeks after this bad news with my promotion was when my sister’s cancer was discovered.
The next few weeks were very bad for me at work, my head was in completely the wrong place and my work performance suffered heavily. I struggled to build up the motivation to even speak to customers and sell for myself, let alone inspire my new sales team to a higher level of performance. After a few weeks of struggling in the alien environment of a new shop with all of my personal issues going on, I approached a senior manager and explained the situation with my sister. I asked if I could go back and work in my old store in my old position.
I was told I couldn’t go back to my old position, as it had been filled, but they reluctantly agreed to let me return for a few weeks in order to get my head straight with all of the things happening at home.
After 2 weeks of being back in my comfort zone with a supportive team around me once again, I realised that I didn’t want to go back to the other shop. Moving to that store under the illusion of a promotion had tainted the experience for me. I would only ever see that shop with a negative viewpoint. I explained this to my senior manager, as well as how with the issues with my sister I wasn’t happy to go back to that store. I reminded them I had only agreed to move to that branch due to the offer of a promotion which hadn’t happened.
What happened next shocked me.
I had given five and a half years of faithful service to this company, a company that had invested thousands of pounds into me with training courses, being put up in hotels and being developed as a manager for the future. I had spent three years commuting 100 miles a day to a remote store because it was in the best interests of my career and for the betterment of my company and my future within it. And on countless occasions I had put myself out on a limb and covered the management of stores for no extra pay, miles away from my home for extended periods of time, having to stay in secluded hotels to help the company and look out for them when they were understaffed.
After all that, the first time I needed help and support I was dropped like a stone.
I was told if I decided not to stay in the new store, then I would forfeit all management titles and was informed in no uncertain terms that my career within management would be over.
After my initial shock and discussing it with the manager I trusted and my family, I decided I didn’t want to be bullied into taking a position which wasn’t right for me, especially when I had opened up about how vulnerable I was in my current situation. I decided to return to my old store as a salesperson and forfeited my management titles and responsibilities and decided there and then that I would be leaving the company.
The next steps
To be honest, when I talked to friends in the next few weeks after this realisation about the possibilities of what I could do, many people did advise me to quit my job and travel. In the past 12 months of taking short trips away by myself as a solo traveller, I had had some amazing experiences and made some incredible friends, and I want to explore that in a much deeper way.
It was around this time that I stumbled across my blog again and decided I was going to put more effort into taking the leap of travelling and quitting my job. Shortly after I started blogging again I got invited into ‘The Paradise Pack’ in my weekly emails (to check out how the Paradise Pack started me off on my journey for location independence check out my post series here). The Paradise Pack not only gave me the tools to work from my laptop and earn money anywhere in the world, it connected me with a group of other like-minded people.
We were all striving to achieve the same result;
to become location independent.
I’m now on the cusp of leaving the country, to be honest it’s been a little daunting leading up to the leap. Luckily for me I’ve had the support of my friends and family and an amazing online community from The Paradise Pack & Location Indie who are helping me figure out all the details and get sorted for my trip.
If you want to know where I’m likely to be heading on the trip you can check out my post;
What to expect from this blog going forward
This blog up to this point has been very much focused around helping me begin my journey of starting up a lifestyle business. Going forward the focus will be shifted on helping my readers.
I’m going to be introducing all sorts of great content to this blog such as:
- Blog posts on the locations I’ve visited whilst travelling – After all this is still my blog, why not make it a little personal!
- Blog posts to help people start making income online – When you earn your first £1 online it makes a huge difference, it helps you realise that this making money online thing could actually change your life! I’m planning to help you guys connect the dots so you can either make a little extra money on the side (we will call this a side hustle!) or growing a blog for yourself which could eventually lead into a business.
- Online webinar sessions to help you on a number of topics – I’m talking starting a blog, improving your relationship with your readers, how to sell to your audience. There will be a number of different topics I’ll try to cover and even regular old Q&A sessions so I can help you guys with whatever it is your struggling with.
- Guides on how to grow your site and what tools to use to become a pro – How do you get people to come to your site? How do you get people to engage with your content? What ways are there to get readers coming back to your site? I’ll help you with all of this.
I really look forward to having you guys join me on this journey and if you want to sign up to receive regular updates please click on the link below!