The question of "should you quit your job" is a major one if you're thinking of long-term travel. These days it's everywhere: Become a digital nomad! Make money with your travel blog! Take cruises for free! Is that all hype or is quitting an option worth considering?
It's both, actually.
A lot of it is hype, promising you a world of riches if you only quit working 9 to 5 and start an online business. Or blog. Or consultancy. Fact is, all this COULD happen. You can make money, buy freedom, see the world.
But if you know your grammar, the word could is conditional. It's not definitive. It might happen. And then it might not.
It's a scary decision. Will I find a new job when I return? Am I too young to be taking a career break? Am I to old to get back into the workforce? Can I afford to do this? Am I crazy? What will everyone think? Will my family suffer?
These are normal questions and will inevitably cross your mind as you think things through.
After all, why should you quit your job? You may like it a lot - it's your financial lifeline and your pension is tied up in it. And you might never find one as good...
You may be able to get both.
For some of us, the pull of travel is stronger than the need for stability or money. If that describes you, all other reasons will fly out the window.
I was one of those. I had a well-paid and secure job with a good future when I decided it wasn't for me. My friends tried to dissuade me, telling me I'd never find something as solid, that I'd veer off my career track (what little track I had), and that it simply wasn't safe for a woman on her own.
I did quit, thinking that a few months on the road would wean me of the long-distance travel bug. Well, it didn't. My trip ended up lasting more than three years.
When I returned home, I found a new job, better than the one I had left. Had I not followed by heart, I never would have known.
A lifestyle of long-term travel isn't for everyone.
Some people have family ties they cannot stretch - a partner who won't or can't travel, elderly or ailing relatives, children they don't want to take out of school, or they have insurmountable financial constraints.
If you live in a rich country, you may be able to save money to travel (these money-saving tips might help). If that is an impossibility, there are still ways to travel relatively cheaply - but you will need some funds.
Do any of these thoughts keep showing up in your mind?
You may not find all the answers before you go, but you'll be better off for having asked the questions. You have to feel comfortable with your decision..
When I began raising all these issues myself and eventually decided I needed to 'get away', it took me a year to get things in order, make a flurry of color-coded lists, talk to people who had done this before, and so many more things I had to plow through before actually getting on the road.
I didn't leave empty-handed, either - I had some savings, and I had work as a freelance writer, so I wasn't just casting myself into the universe to see what would stick.
It's perfectly normal to feel all sorts of fear and anxiety when deciding whether to quit your job to travel.
If you want to fly off into the sunset, that's fine. But if you're a little more cautious, there are plenty of things you can do make sure you don't cut yourself off completely from the world as you know it.
While a lifestyle of long-term travel may seem highly glamorous - it's often not, and you should be absolutely clear of the pitfalls before you go.
I can only speak for myself but much as I loved my full-time travel, there were low moments, and plenty of inconveniences and disadvantages.
In the end, the reasons why women travel are as numerous as they are personal. Should you quit your job to travel? Only you can make that decision. Just know that thousands of women have made that decision before you, and many of them have come back grateful they were given the opportunity to step out into the world for a while. But not all.
Have you ever quit your job to travel? What was that like for you? Please reply in the comments below.