There are hundreds of travel blogs out there encouraging you to quit your evil 9 to 5 and abandon the corporate world. I receive lots of emails asking how I afford to travel or how I make enough money to fund my trips. You want to know the secret?
There is no magic formula, short of winning the lottery or coming into an unknown but elaborate inheritance, I can only afford to travel because I have a job which funds it.
Working full time and travelling as much as I do is completely possible. It's a balance between making the most of long weekends, strategically planned annual leave and buying a plane ticket instead of those new shoes I want.
I work in finance for a global company, and this has played a big part in my ability to see the world. With offices all over the world I have been fortunate enough to transfer between the New Zealand, Czech Republic and UK offices.
In the past 12 months I have visited 15 countries including The United States, Norway and Slovenia. None of these trips have been for work, instead all just to satisfy my endless curiosity. Whilst my job brought me to central Europe, it didn't force me to visit neighbouring places. Living anywhere in Europe, travel is so accessible. Grab a cheap Ryanair flight and go somewhere you can't even pronounce because it was only £30 and well, why not?
Or get the train to Paris or just jump in the car and drive for a couple of hours to see somewhere you've never seen before. After living in New Zealand for 2 years, I will never take for granted the proximity of so many amazing countries in Europe ever again. I think living somewhere so remote has encouraged me to make the most of my time in Czech Republic and see as much as possible. Even if you don't live in Europe, explore what is near to you and sometimes that doesn't need to involve visiting another country. Instead, you can explore your own.
I cannot count the number of people I have met over the years who have seen more of Scotland than me. I guess you never really travel what is right in front of you and instead we go in search of the unfamiliar. Although after 5 years away from Scotland, I cannot wait to explore and discover my own country and hopefully fall in love with it the way so many other travellers have. I just need to see it from a different perspective, one i didn't have until I visited the other side of the world.
If you do want to quit your job and travel, then do it. I done it when I was 20 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Back then, i could afford to be reckless. However, I'm not 20 years old anymore and I am at a different stage in my life now.
So, if like me, you happen to like your job and don't want to compromise your career for your travels, then that is okay. Who says you can't hold down a full time job and travel? It's okay to want the security of a job and somewhere to call home. When I backpacked Asia for 8 months by the end of it, I was tired. Beyond tired. I wanted somewhere to stay that was for more than 2 nights. I wanted to cook. I wanted to stay in one place long enough to make lasting friendships. And ironically, staying in the one place for long enough enabled me to get the job I have now which means I can travel more than ever before.
There are hundreds of different paths for those of us who have an insatiable appetite to see the world. Quitting your job and living nomadically is just one of them. For now, I enjoy my job and although I would never have believed it 5 years ago, it has given me the freedom to travel in ways I never thought of possible.
So, to my reckless, 20 year old self. The years on the road with no plan and no cares were some of the best. But to the next chapter, on learning to be happy in the one place and finding the balance between having somewhere to call home and endless discovery.