It’s actually quite a trendy debate, and you see lots of articles on why and how to or not to quit your job and travel the world. A dream job. People imagine that working in hospitality or being a full-time traveler is like being on holiday. It’s not.
You have your day to day activity (job) and once in a while you do something different (the holiday), which you are excited about and wish it would never end. Because it brings something new, a fresh breeze in the hot summer. You think this way because you compare it with your regular life. If your day to day activities were different, in a resort or tight up to a laptop, guess what, you would still need a holiday from it. Of course, there are lots of pro’s and con’s in both cases, but the thing is, people cannot be happy all the time and ironically, the sooner one understands that, the happier he/she will be.
It’s not for everybody
I like routine and stability, but I also like a bit of adventure and unknown. So I try to integrate both in my life. And I believe this helps to keep a balance and allows me to enjoy the diversity.
Quitting my job to travel the world… I won’t deny that I thought about it, and not once. I’m an experienced solo traveler and I could afford to be on the road for months. I also searched for all kinds of opportunities and there are plenty. Yet, I didn’t pursue any, and I’ll explain some of my reasons.
A stable job has many benefits that bring me psychological comfort. A (slowly) growing income, savings, medical insurance, just to name a few. It makes me not to worry about future or unexpected events. On top of that, I enjoy going to the supermarket knowing where all my favorite products are placed, catch up with life-long friends, go to the same restaurant I like etc. Enjoying something you already know you like can be as good as trying something for the first time.
The holiday illusion
I was talking to a friend who rounded the world in one year, and he was saying that at some point, you are not excited about the new anymore. “The new” becomes the routine, and you start thinking you need a “break” from it. So when you go on a week holiday in… let’s say, Thailand, you are all day out, visiting, trying new food, enjoying every bit of it. Your only concern is how to fit all those great activities in your schedule. All the rest can be dealt with when you go back home.
If you lived there for a few months, while having lived in the region for another couple of months, it will be way less exciting. You would not feel the rush to explore, you’ve got time, and you are already used to it. And more importantly, you start noticing/experiencing the not so nice aspects of the place. Imagine you get ill, short of money or a victim in need for authorities, a few extreme examples.
This can happen everywhere and should not discourage you from exploring new places. I am a huge supporter of travel for personal development. To take a month or a year off to explore the world, at some point in your life can be very meaningful. But doing this as a job, and flood the internet with “how awesome I am for traveling and how you should be like me and quit your job” is a bit much.
Passion vs job
You hear a lot about how you should chase your passion and turn it into your dream job. My personal opinion, a passion doesn’t (and shouldn’t) necessarily turn into a dream job.
For example, I love to travel. I’ve been on work trips and I’ve been on holiday. They are not the same. Of course, work trips can be nice and fun. But for me, part of the excitement is to choose my destination and plan my activities as I wish or feel in the moment. Or have no plans at all. Or travel solo. And you would imagine how often that happens on a work-related trip.
I discovered recently that I also love writing about travel. I enjoy writing my blog. But if I had deadlines, or had to live out of it, I would probably stress about it. And that would affect the quality and how much I enjoy doing it. And I think this applies to any other hobby or passion you have. If you love playing football in your free time, doesn’t mean you would love being a professional football player, or train for it every day.
If you do it because you have to, because someone tells you when and how to do it, it’s not fun. Or, at least for me, it’s not. Just because you love doing it as a hobby doesn’t mean you would love to do it as a job.
The grass looks greener
I believe this is because holiday itself it’s supposed to be a great time for each of us. Or we have memories of having a good time related to it. All the materials produced by the professionals in travel industry should be attractive in this aspect, with stunning backgrounds and smiley people having the time of their lives. It’s what they sell, I don’t argue that.
But “traveler” is being promoted as a full-time job way more than other (actually needed) jobs. This full-time job is sometimes basically just convincing people to go on holiday somewhere. Or book their holidays via a specific website.
“The dream job” is only looking at what looks like an amazing job as an individual. But what about the individual as part of the society? Why is it not “the dream job” to be a doctor assistant, a waiter, a train driver, the list is so long. We all know how much we need them every single day and how affects our mood their absence. If a travel blogger doesn’t work one day, guess how much it would affect people’s daily life…
What I’m trying to say is that no, not everybody should quit their jobs to travel the world (indefinitely). Just because the jobs in the travel industry are covered in sugar coat, doesn’t mean they are better than other jobs. Or that the ones doing it are happy all the time. It’s just a matter of perspective, I guess.
We all have many ups and downs, even within a day. But I think about the whole picture. I like my life overall, let’s say it’s on a pink background. But even pink can be boring if you look too much at the same picture, so what I do, I add some colorful sparkles to it. And those are the travels. And they do the trick, they make me feel it’s a different picture for a while. Then I get bored again, so I buy more sparkles, spread them, shake the picture, and so on.