The question "should you quit your job" is one every backpacking woman contemplating long-term travel considers.
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?
These are normal questions and should cross your mind as you think this 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, you might not find another one as good...
But if the pull of travel is stronger, all these reasons will fly out the window.
I know they did for me. 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 travel bug. Well, it didn't. My trip ended up lasting three years.
When I returned home, I found a new job, better than the one I had left. I realize not everyone is as fortunate, but it can happen - to me, to you, to anyone. Had I not followed by heart, I never would have known.
It's your decision - and don't let anyone else make it for you.
Here are some of the feelings people have expressed when thinking this through:
And hundreds more. Thinking is a major part of the process of leaving, of letting go. You have to feel comfortable with your decision. You may not find all the answers before you go, but you'll be better off for having asked the questions.
"Should you quit your job to travel" often covers an underlying fear and insecurity. If you still want to go but are afraid your life is about to take a less constructive turn because of your trip, there are a few things you could consider doing to 'keep your hand in', so to speak.
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 most of them have come back grateful they stepped out for a while.
Have you ever quit your job to travel? What was that like for you? Please reply in the comments below.