Hey! It’s me again. Have I started my fabulous and life changing travels yet? No, not quite yet. There are still a few more steps to take before you become a real life Instagram superstar and world traveler.
Check out steps 1 & 2 here.
Step 3: Leaving your job on good terms
So this is always a tricky one, because unless you’re a trust fund baby or got rich quick in Silicon Valley (I am neither) then you definitely have a job that you’re probably a little terrified to leave behind since, you know, job = income.
I would suggest taking a few different routes: you could quit, take a leave of absence, or see if your job will let you work remotely. I can already hear you shouting, “But Lindsey, my job will never let me do that!” – well, you never know if you don’t try!
When I finally decided I wanted to take on this adventure, applied and got into my program, I approached my boss and asked about a leave of absence, which to my delight they do allow! Unfortunately, for a “personal leave” (which I would be taking) they only allow three months.
Here was my boss’ advice: quit, then if you really want come back, interview when you return, keep in touch with everyone you met along the way, and with company x already on your resume, you won’t have a hard time getting another interview. Plus, the company will surely want you back.
But the real question is, will you want to return?
I’ve had several developers ask and be granted permission to work remotely for weeks or months at a time since in this day and age an internet connection = an office. The time to quit is never right or you’ll probably never feel comfortable walking away from a steady income. But alas, you can either sit in a 45 degree office or glance at glaciers in Iceland in 45 degree weather – the choice is really up to you.
Step 4: Start researching what you’ll need to get there, and stay there
Luckily I’ve been to Spain, so I have a good idea about the weather and what to expect. Thankfully the wardrobe I have will suffice, but if you’re going to Russia, England, Central America, or anywhere else with extreme weather, you will obviously need to cushion the clothes you already have with a little extra somethin’.
Research is also super important in terms of visas and other important paperwork. Most European countries will give you a three-month tourist visa so you can avoid trying to get a work permit, student visa, or finding a hot Spaniard to wife you up to avoid getting kicked out of the country (although the last option has crossed my mind), but make sure to find out the rules for your specific destination.
Will you be going to a country where women cover their hair? Do you need any special shots or vaccines? Does the population largely not speak English? (better get some Rosetta stone and start studying stat.)
Though, when I first traveled to Spain at the tender age of 16, I only had a few key phrases in my back pocket like “Where is the bathroom?” “How many dogs do you have” and, most importantly, “I’m hungry.” But after about three months, my host family and I were playing charades I can comfortably say I was basically fluent. There is literally no better way to learn a language than immersion, but it never hurts to be prepared!
Stay tuned for the next steps for preparing to leave your job to travel the world. Have specific questions? Send them to [email protected]!