We spend our school years desperate to move out and go to university then our uni days dying to join the world of work to make some cash then spend our days in these jobs staring at other people’s Instagram pictures of Bali and Bolivia. Why live a life of misery? Hit pause on your career, save up, take the plunge, apply for a career break.
5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Career Break to Travel
16 countries, 17 months. Eat ceviche in Peru, cycle Death Road in Bolivia, dispel the cocaine myths of Colombia, dance salsa in Cuba, visit Niagara Falls, elope to Austin, hit the spas in Hungary, chase the dragon in Ljubljana, hike Mount Trebevic in Bosnia and Herzegovina, party in Serbia, mooch along the cobbled streets of Romania’s Bucharest, eat tapas in Spain, sunbathe in Portugal. Life is more than your local pub and supermarket. During our career break, we didn’t just see stunning sunsets; we lived with locals, met business people, immersed ourselves in culture, learned a language (well, tried), ate new food, got engaged, married and vowed never to live in Scotland for the rest of our days. Travel changes lives. It will change your mindset and your money will pay wages and keep businesses thriving. Change is good.
Learn to Appreciate
We are so consumed with plastic and crap that it is not until you are selling your life belongings that you realise the worth of them is tiny. Try selling your stuff at car boot sales for 50p and then you will think twice about buying yet another pair of shoes. This also helps get into the mindset of living a minimalist life of a traveller.
20kg. Maximum. That’s how much you can check in with most airlines. It’s definitely the maximum weight you can carry for most travellers. Living from a case or a rucksack puts a reality check on your wardrobe. Pack colours, not prints, dresses that can be worn with sandals or tights, a decent raincoat and leave the nail varnish at home – it explodes at high altitude (believe me, I know!) Lads – here’s a review of the best travel trousers on the market (some sleek, some safe).
Depending on how long you take a break for you will probably miss the routine of work. I know we dream of never having to hit the snooze button but in reality, we are programmed into routine as soon as we shoot out of the womb. Why not consider volunteering while travelling? You could teach English in Guatemala, wash and feed elephants in Thailand or clean the loos at a hostel? There is usually some kind of exchange for skills such as a bed and meals. Websites such as Workaway, HelpX and Hippohelp connect volunteers with hosts, each site has a review section so you can suss out what others say about the experience. Volunteering is a great way to get off the beaten track and learn about the culture of the country you are visiting.
Develop new skills
Why not start a website to share your travel stories? Not only can you document your beach pics and boast about hiking to Machu Picchu but you may develop a new business out of the site. Content creators juggle hundreds of jobs – writing, editing, photography, videographer, website building, social media and scary new skills such as coding and search engine optimisation. It is thrilling to learn as an adult, it fires up the brain and passion for life again. I’ve now developed my second business supporting other bloggers and businesses drive more traffic to their websites. I’m a teacher to trade! If you can do it, so can you (but be prepared to work your socks off!)
The concept of asking your employer for a career break may be daunting but do you really want to spend the next 55 years working for the man and dreaming of Caribbean beaches, Costa Rican rainforests, and Italian gelato?
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