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Why 'Quit Your Job and Travel the World' is the Worst Advice Ever

01/05/2016 04:52pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Quit your job and travel.
Just leave your job, pack your bag and travel!

It's a quote said by many travelers who've been on the road a while -- by some expats, travel bloggers, and others in between. You've seen it as their status updates, maybe they've told you face-to-face. It's even become a meme.

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Why are travelers advertising this as if it's a real possibility!? They need to stop.

Before I go any further, let me first say, I'm a long-term traveler. I've been traveling and living abroad for nearly five years. I'm also a travel blogger, and I think the above idea is a huge steaming pile of crap. Travelers need to stop encouraging people to "just quit their job and travel."

That's not the way life works. That's not reality.

First and foremost, let's get this out there: traveling isn't for everyone. It takes a certain person to really travel. Sorry, but that all-inclusive resort trip to Jamaica for 8 days isn't really considered traveling. That's a luxury vacation.

Next, just quit your job? Worst. Advice. Ever.

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Don't just quit your job so you can travel. There's this thing called money, and you're going to need it to travel. How about saving first? That seems sensible, doesn't it? Are you wanting to travel for a while? Awesome! You're going to need to save more. In fact, try getting a second or third job so you can make that saving process go quicker.

How about all your stuff? If you're traveling for an extended period of time, that stuff is going to need to go into the depths of an attic or get sold for cash stat. There's no sense in wasting money on rent if you're going to be gone for months on end.

So what if you're leaving to travel for only a few weeks?
1) You're probably not quitting your job.
2) You don't need to do anything with your stuff.
3) This doesn't really apply to you because you're essentially just going on vacation.

But for the rest of you who are getting mystified by bloggers and long-term travelers who advertise "just quit your job and travel," let me apologize on their behalf, because they are leading you to a false reality.

You can't just quit your job and travel. It's not that easy. If it was, everyone would be quitting their jobs and buying a plane a ticket.

So what does it take to really travel?

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In a nutshell, it takes hard work and dedication, to working A LOT to save and THEN quitting your job to travel with the intention of finding work overseas.

That's the reality.

Unless your bank account resembles the serial number on the MacBook I'm typing on, you'll need money before you jet off. Furthermore, you'll need a job at some point during your travels depending how much you've saved and how long you plan on wandering the world. This is the truth.

How do I know all this? Because I've lived it and still do. I worked three jobs for two years, paid my debts off, got certified to teach English abroad because I knew I was going to need work to live in another country (Duh! What world do you live in that doesn't require work?!) THEN I quit my job and flew one-way to Bangkok.

That's how it's done. (The teaching English part can be substituted by another form of work.)

I started my time abroad by getting a job a few days after landing just to be sure I could actually work in another country. Turns out, it's not as difficult as you think to get a job abroad, but you will need a job unless you've saved up a boatload of money.

After working as a teacher, I found out about working online and then started traveling and working abroad wherever I felt like putting up "my office."

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How to travel, live AND work abroad: this is what I preach. A bit here, but mostly on my personal blog, as I believe it's essential for people to understand "just traveling" actually takes lots of hard work and I'm here to help you through that.

So unless you have a sugar daddy, inherited millions, or are just planning on a one week getaway, you're going to need a lot saved and will have to obtain a job before you've drained every dime of your savings.

Stop believing the false fairy tale that others portray; traveling takes work.

If you're not willing to work for it, you won't be traveling very far.