Are you fucking crazy? Those were the very words spoken by my boss when I handed in my resignation. A month later I dropped off the keys to my company car, said goodbye to my colleagues and hopped onto the tube to Heathrow. The thing that really surprised me was how indifferent certain colleagues were when I told them of my plans. My boss was pissed but that's because I brought in huge amounts of money to the company. He didn’t give a damn about me as an individual. All he cared about was how he was going to replace me or replace the revenue I brought in more to the point. Certain other colleagues looked at my departure as their opportunity to rise up the career ladder. I don't blame them though, If I was in their position I would have taken the same approach. All's fair in love and war!
Even some close friends said I was crazy. Really, I’m crazy? In my personal opinion working in a job you hate, with people you hate expecting a pay rise or promotion to suddenly change everything is bloody crazy. In the month leading up to my departure, I did notice that I became a sounding board to certain colleagues. People felt they could confide in me outside of the workplace. 'I hate my job what should I do?' 'I am thinking about divorcing my husband and moving to France'. 'How much do you need to save in order to travel?' 'I was thinking of going traveling myself but I’m scared it will look bad on my CV'. All of these people who only months before sat in my office pleading their alliance and their unwavering commitment to the firm, now suddenly divulged their true feelings and intentions.
Will taking a sabbatical or break to travel effect your career?
The only way I can answer that question is like this - Are you going to let it affect your career? Because as far as I am concerned the decision lies with you and nobody else. I can only speak from my own personal experience but travel enhanced my career rather than hinder it. It changed my way of thinking about so many things in my life; friends, money, possessions, relationships and the list goes on. In fact when it came to job interviews, traveling more often or not became a great segway and initiated a conversation on a more personal basis. In most cases, you find people who have traveled themselves; which is a perfect scenario or they wished they had and are intrigued by people who have. In my experience companies that begrudge people a life outside of the workplace and don’t invest in their staff's personal growth are companies you wouldn’t necessarily want to work for anyway.
5 key changes I noticed after traveling the world
Making lots of money was no longer my primary objective in life
A better understanding of people and I took their feelings into consideration
I could more easily identify things that brought negativity into my life
I became a nicer more rounded person in all areas of my life
Knowing there is more to life than work and material wealth
Now let me clear one thing up, I am NOT saying your life and career won’t be different when you return from traveling because it will. But the changes are good changes. You will experience changes in your mindset, your approach to life and dare I say it; people you spend your time with. Perhaps even your moral values will change but I don’t want to get too deep here. To put it simply, your life will change for the better. Did I return and suddenly swap my Gucci loafers for a pair of hemp sandals? No! (I’ve never owned a pair of Gucci loafers either but you get my point). I was, however, aware of the money wasted on things that brought no value whatsoever to my life.
Another point I would like to clear up is money. Firstly I am massively driven by money. It motivates me. There I have said it! Is that a bad thing? No, If used correctly it provides a great lifestyle, and having enough of it provides you with options in life. I still love fast cars, designer clothes and exotic holidays. But money is now a by-product of me being successful. Not the single thing that makes me successful. Overall, travelling has enabled me to grow as a person, become a better person, and it is hands down the best decesion I have ever made in lmy life.
So what's holding you back from taking time out or quitting your job to travel?
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