Why I am Not Crazy for Quitting my Job

Why I am Not Crazy for Quitting my Job

Despite the title of this article, I am not writing it to defend my decision or even my sanity, but instead to inspire anyone on the fence to take the leap and live their ifs.  We had many questions and concerns as we prepared to put our careers on hold and leave everything behind for a few years to travel the world, but it kept coming back to what if we didn’t do this?  The answer to that question was obvious to us, we would regret it, possibly forever and that is how living if was born.

There is a lot of pressure in America to live the “American Dream,” which means getting on the treadmill early in life with a good job, buying a house and having children.  If you don’t fit into this mold you become an enigma to most observers working so hard towards this dream, in fact most of them think your crazy.  So, I have put together what I feel are the three biggest myths about the leap we are about to take:

#1 Take the time to travel now will de-rail your life and you will never catch up

I think this trip will help me grow professionally as much as it does personally.  Not only will I be one of the most interesting people to talk to at a networking event, but I will have experience in world markets that few others even know how to pronounce.

#2 You will be kidnapped, imprisoned, robbed or worse…

If you really think about it these same risks exist at home.  With my daily commute I am more at risk of serious injury due to an auto accident then I will be on the road walking around rural streets in Cambodia for example.  I would be lying if I said that I don’t have any concerns about travelling, but most of the things that I have been told to fear are from people that have never travelled to the places we are going.  As Helen Keller once said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

#3 You can travel later in life, like when you are retired

Yeah, you can, but we are planning on doing travel that will not be very easy to do later in life.  As you age you have less tolerance for high altitude trekking or hostels in third world countries that go for only $3 a night.  Now is the time to see the corners of the world that few ever see in life.  We can always do Europe, but Angkor Wat may not even be in the shape to receive visitors when we are retirement age.

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Comments

» Donna Seline :
Dec 21, 2010

I love this!! IF works both ways … I many times wonder what my life would have been like if I had NOT moved to Germany to work for three years after college. I can’t even comprehend it because the experience changed my life more than anyone can imagine. Not only did it change my life … it also played a small part in changing yours … with your parents’ trip to Europe in ’81, and the Seips’ visits here in the early 90s. And your surprise visit to them in Nierstein after your studies in Scotland.

I have never regretted those three years and, as you know, Europe and especially Germany and Austria, are like my second homes. I feel like I’ve come home when my feet touch their soil. You’re doing the right thing and while there may be experiences that will be unpleasant or even ugly, they are all learning experiences if you let them be.

Be aware of this one major factor upon your eventual return to Minnesota: your world will never be the same … you’ll never be able to look at the kids on your block and just think of the kids on your block … they will be part of a bigger world … your world. It will be much bigger than your back yard for the rest of your lives. BUT the winter snow will still be here to greet you back to Minnesota! And so will we! Safe journeys, frequent updates and just tons and tons of fantastic great experiences!

Donna

» Tim Morrison :
Dec 21, 2010

Erica – great points and you know where I stand on this. I’m looking forward to my own trip in the very very near future.

» Flow :
Dec 24, 2010

You are the best!

» Lori Raduenz :
Jan 7, 2011

Erica,
When I was in business school at the U of M, I knew people who said “I want to make a million dollars by the time I am 30.” I said “I want to go places, meet people and gain knowledge.” They all thought I was simple and probably stupid. One of my friends from back then told me I was the only person she could think of who did exactly what I said I was going to do.

I, like you, was driven to explore the world and see what’s out there. When I look at my life, I always say that the travel experiences I have had have far exceeded the expectation I had even back then in college. And that’s just the time I could steal away to travel while having a career.

So I salute you and admire your quest. I have no doubt that you will never regret your choice and that you will become a fascinating citizen of the world. Have fun, eat everything and stay safe.

LOCAVORista Reply:

Lori, thanks for the comment and encouragement. We are enjoying all the lessons on the road and don’t regret our decision for a second!

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About the Author

LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.

About the Author
LOCAVORista: A curious adventurer exploring the culinary delights and local traditions around the world. Currently on a 3 year round-the-world trip discovering amazing cultures, must-eats and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
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