Choices, Travel Tips
comments 34

Why I Quit My Job To Travel

Smiling faces

Last week, I took a wee trip to Rishikesh – the land of sadhus and of many people’s spiritual rebirth. I have a personal affection, some attachment to this place. This is where I once spent two months, practising meditation and taking spiritual lessons.

But this time, my arrival was accompanied by a sense of unexpected realization. I wondered, as I grabbed myself walking along its frenzied, confused walkways, that how lucky I am to experience places like Rishikesh again and again. And yet, it is never the climax of my journey. It is always the beginning.

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls” Anais Nin

It has been a few years now since I have been travelling full time, or I should perhaps say a few years since I’ve made travelling my life, and my source of income, yet I never shared here why and how it all happened. It would be nice to say that I wanted to understand myself and find my inner consciousness, but frankly speaking, it’s not true.

The only part which is true is that was bored of the monotonous 9 to 5 corporate job and I didn’t want to keep continue doing it until I turn 60, ready to be retired. I wanted something more than that. I wanted to see the world. Meet new people. Learn better ideas. Find out what’s wrong with this system of corporate culture, that it never made anyone happy – no matter what they achieved in their life. Simply put, I wanted to educate myself in a way that no school, no job ever did before. And I wanted to do that by breaking free.

traveller

But one thing is saying that I want to do this and the other thing is realizing I am actually doing it.

Travelling is no less than a pursuit of happiness for me. Yet, throughout this time, I’ve often stumbled upon questions like “Why I quit my job to travel” or “How did I manage to make such a decision” or “What’s next”. And I think with all these questions, what people actually wanted to ask me was why did I not go for a two-week calculated holiday (or a couple of month’s sabbatical, if I am being pretentiously brazen about it) to quench my thirst of travel, as an averagely sane person would otherwise do.

The truth is, there is no fun in that. I have taken enough of those recreational holidays – as people often term them – in my life. When I was working I found myself escaping the boundaries of New Delhi almost every weekend, with a couple of friends, drinking a bunch of beers and returning with an unsatisfied soul. And I remember, the minute I entered the premises of my office, after completing that sweet, sally trip, it always felt as if it actually never happened.

So I realised that I wanted something more than that. Something bigger. Something permanent. I wanted a life of uninterrupted travelling, of permanent movement.

Further Reading: 6 Reasons To Start Travelling Today

Discontentment Is Good

Discontentment is the very first step to a new beginning. My discontentment towards my job forced me to quit my job and start travelling. I had always loved India, but I never loved my life in India. I always loved my profession (of writing), but I never loved my job. It seemed I was just accepting things as they came because everyone around me told me “this is life and you got to learn to deal with it.”

But I think I wasn’t good at it. Though I tried to suppress my unsatisfied soul the traditional way, by changing jobs and running after money, it was just not enough. My audacious, fertile mind – discontented and grumbling – kept pushing me until I shifted focus.

writing

The Journey That Changed It All

I took my first solo trip back in 2014 (you can read about it all here), while I was still working, and it was a life-changing experience. Though there was nothing extraordinarily great about the journey, the freedom in travelling solo was, in fact, most addictive. And that was it. I spent the next few months, saving as much money possible from the job I was doing, having a very clear focus in my mind – to leave this lifestyle behind and travel the world.

“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” Mary Anne Radmacher

Though it is true, when I quit my job in 2015, I had no idea that I will soon start blogging, but I had a belief that something good will follow. I remember during the initial few months of travelling and searching for a better life, I tried seeking a way to become a community journalist (I even wrote a few articles addressing social issues but couldn’t find the courage to get them published somewhere) and make it my permanent career, but I couldn’t. And I think it was because I tried and failed that in the end I decided to be a little easy on me, and chose a more freestyle kind of writing – travel blogging.

So the point here is, if you’re discontent, wanting a little shift in your life, there is no harm in quitting what you’re doing and trying to change the present. Because if nothing else, you can always return to the same present and say to yourself “I at least tried!”

Three Years Later Since I Became A Full-Time Blogger In 2016

Update: It has been nearly two years since I wrote this blog (and three years since I have been travel blogging) and I am fortunate to still be able to travel full-time and make money from it. Though my journey as a full-time traveller has had many highs and lows when I look back and think of what travelling has given me during all this time, there’s just one thing that comes to my mind, and it is – the satisfaction and the thrill in waking up every day!

And speaking of what’s next, I think now that I’ve got good riddance of my corporate career and have attained the financial stability, I’ll continue travelling for as long as my heart will desire, and if I ever wanted some stillness in life, I can always go back and resume what I was doing. But this time, I will only do it a little better!

Respect my decision? Like my lifestyle? Then why not follow me on Instagram or Youtube.

Filed under: Choices, Travel Tips

by

After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

34 Comments

  1. Tanushree Desai says

    Hi Dev, your story and many other travel bloggers seem like a dream to me. The only difference being that the dream has come true for you all. I think no one would disagree on how corroding corporate life is. And sadly enough I too have been a part of it. But since I became a mother, I have got quite a bit of break from that senseless life and currently I am travelling around Europe with my husband and one year old daughter staying mostly at Germany. I am on a sabbatical 🙂 which u rightly pointed out is never enough. I have recently started travel blogging. It’s just 20 days old. Do check it out if you have time – http://www.footinstincts.com Your feedback would add a great value. But as my family has not seen me ever this way, all are worried if I would get a job here etc. And sometimes it breaks my confidence of making it in this space. Being a mother I can’t completely ignore the finances and take risks. But people like you keep people like us going and chasing our dreams. Thank you!

  2. Varad Wazalwar says

    Hi Dev, U r an inspiration to me.. Recently i travelled to Runn of Kutch & nearby villages.. it was solo trip.. i was travelling alone…it was Great Experience of my life… i met new people, traveled new places….

    Thanks to you…. I hope someday …. i would met you in this journey called Life…..

  3. Manish pandey says

    Bro, you’re an inspiration, reading your article is like meditation which leads to the fact that if you have clear focus in mind you will actually get whatever you are looking for, difficulties and failures will always be the part of it leading to some great experiences and learnings.
    Even i quit my job for something i wanted to do which sometimes makes me feel good about my decisions.
    Cheers!
    Keep travelling!

  4. Ruchita Sirwani says

    Hey Dev I just feel that happiness reading your blog thinking that atleast one employee is happy in this world. Because​ myself being an employee can feel how my freedom has been curbed. I really wish some day I get the courage and confidence to do what you did for yourself. It’s just that I am not confident about what I should do if I quit my job. I would be glad if you suggest me how to go about this.

    • Hey Richita, thanks for stopping by. I wish I’d a formula for ‘how to quit the job and travel’ but unfortunately I don’t. You’d have to find your way out of this and convince your family (if that is another point to consider personally). But I’d say, work a little and save as much money possible. Because if you did this, and left everything behind, even as a full-time blogger you may need a few months (or possibly even a year) to survive unless you ended up writing for magazines and getting paid in return. I’m running a workshop around blogging and taking your first few initial steps in New Delhi soon, find the EVENT on my Facebook page (facebook.com/footloosedev) and see if you can join. I’ll be answering all the questions, in person, there. Good luck 🙂

Leave a Reply