Adventure, Adventure Prep, Ask Me Anything

Advice for a confused dreamer?

Diego asked:

I just decided to take a break for four months to go travelling in Asia. My younger self applauds my decision, but at 29 I have this niggling feeling at the back of my mind that I’m somehow trying to escape. I’m not one to be influenced by others as we all leave our lives differently, but I still find it difficult to fully ignore the fact that others now seem to have it “sorted out”.

The question is, what advice would you have for this slightly confused dreamer who’s about to leave a pretty stable job to try and find some adventure and maybe even some purpose?

Are you really trying to escape? I felt this way when I started but very fleetingly—mainly just because other people told me I must be “running away.” But I never really felt that. I felt I was running toward something.

My advice for someone about to leave their stable job is to make very, very sure you have enough savings to make your new start. I left my old job on a deadline I had set for myself, but it would have been smarter to wait one year longer. I wasn’t willing to do that, and I don’t regret it, but I probably wouldn’t have regretted having a better starting situation either. It took me two years to build up a good freelancing income and finances are still precarious sometimes.

Adventures are always more fun when you know you can eat, sleep somewhere safe, and survive a few months between jobs/clients.

But ultimately it’s all up to you. If you believe the time is right, then no one else can tell you it’s the wrong time to go.

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3 thoughts on “Advice for a confused dreamer?

  1. When I left the US, it was at about the same age, 9 years ago now. Best choice I ever made; at home there were no jobs or opportunities, while overseas I could be a successful professional (and I have my mom off my back for “lack of ambition” and now wishing she could be closer to her grandbaby). If you want to travel for longer than 4 months, get TEFL certified and pick up English teaching jobs or volunteer opportunities to fund traveling. You should have no trouble doing that in Asia, though if you’re going to be somewhere short term be clear about it (unless you’re really desperate); “backpackers” give the profession a bad name.

    Regarding money, you should really have a backup fund of at least $2000 that you do your best to not touch over there; that’s for medical emergencies or a plane ticket home. After that, a lot would depend on where you’re going; I’ve heard of people doing rural India on $2/ a day. You can travel on very little, but it might mean some missed and regretted opportunities along the way, so make sure, when you’re working out a budget, that it includes occasional splurges as well as the possibility of getting scammed or pickpocketed.

    Btw, I strongly recommend having some travel health insurance and being familiar with the basic symptoms of common diseases in the areas you go through, and know you’re going to spend some time sick along the way and that’s just part of traveling.

    Bon voyage!

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