I Quit my Job then I tried Solo Travel
You might think that you are reading a post on how I quit my job and then travel the world. Well, this is not it. I’m sorry if the title is misleading but this is about me being bored while being unemployed and have nothing else to do. If you still want to read, here’s what happened.
Why I quit my job
It was because of my career growth….. JUST KIDDING!
Two years ago, while still training for the job, a manager told us that a career is different from a job. He asked us if it was a career for us that we can see ourselves working in the future or a job that we just want to take and do for the meantime. No one answered, according to the manager it was just a question we need to ask ourselves, and for me it was the latter. But it did not mean that I did not work my ass off for the job.
It turned out that my performance was not enough. In a big industry, doing the things expected from me was not enough even the work I’ve done is beyond my skill level. So the result was low performance equals no promotion equals burn out.
I never wanted to climb the corporate ladder. I always wanted to quit sooner but I need money to survive, then I realized that health is more important than money. Once I got the enough courage (also reasons) to quit my job, I did it immediately. It was a sudden decision, but I learned that the first step is the hardest.
I’ll be honest, I did not and still don’t have any savings. I was not prepared, but it was not a problem. At least I was stress free and relaxed for some weeks. My friends kept on telling me I was living the dream. No work to worry, more time to play. But of course, I needed to wake up and stop day dreaming.
Since I quit my job, I was out of my usual daily routine. Therefore, I lost track and I was just doing things I wanted to do. Mostly just watching Netflix. Which at first was fun and then it went boring. It was not healthy for me and I have to get out of that unproductive routine. I had a little distraction and went on a trip to a remote island with some friends, but then after that, my unwanted routine continued.
A friend of mine told me that I needed to have a job before getting depressed without having one. I knew what he meant. As a human being, we need to have a purpose, or an accomplishment to keep us motivated. Work gives us that kind of security and feeling that we have a responsibility to accomplish, so that we don’t feel useless.
I know that I am not defined according to what job I have. I know myself good enough to know that, but I was disoriented during my unemployment. With this, I needed to find connection with myself, with other, with the world, and with God.
I only knew one thing to do that. Travel.
The idea of solo travel has been in my mind for a long time. I did not have the most important thing needed for it, TIME. If you’ll ask me, ‘how about money?’, I don’t have much of it but I always believed that money can come and go. Money can be earned and I can control it. I decided to apply for a freelance job and I was thrifty as much as I can, while time was the thing I kept on setting aside even though I do not know how much time I have in this world. My unemployment gave me the freedom and courage to do the thing I always wanted to try, and that is solo travel.
It is also the best way to get out of my unproductiveness. Plus, I wanted to learn new things, and to challenge myself for new situations. That’s why, I decided to try this thing ‘solo traveling’. I actually do not want to label it that way since I always knew that I will meet a lot of people on the road, but still I was traveling alone and making decisions all by myself so that was a different situation for me.
So in a random day, I decided to book my plane ticket, asked for the volunteering gig and told them my flight details, and told myself “I’m going to do this!” Once I sorted it out, I was very excited and happy about my decision.
The Solo Travel
Solo travel, this thing is challenging, exciting and scary all at once. I was not really afraid of being alone or being lonely. I love it when I’m with people but I am also okay with my own solitude. Not to say that I was ready to do it but believing that I can do it made me more confident that I can, and I am proud to say that I did.
On the day of my travel, I thought I was prepared, but my sister told me I forgot some of my things in our apartment while I was still at the airport waiting for the plane. I was a bit frustrated the moment I knew about it, still a few things can’t stop me to continue my trip.
My first stop was Singapore. I was with my boyfriend for two days before I embarked on my solo travel.
Then, I went to Vietnam to volunteer as an English teacher in a homestay in Hanoi. It was a very brief experience, almost three weeks but a very memorable one. I met a lot of amazing people and I have a lot of stories that I want to tell you. (P.S. I will share those stories in a different blog post.)
I always want to go to the northern part of Vietnam where it is more laid back than the South. Based on my research the northern part is more traditional and I was happy to experience their culture with the locals.
At the homestay, I felt at home and went to lazy mode immediately during my first week. I did not do anything much since it was also rainy. Maybe I should blame the weather for my laziness? And yeah, I think I should.
After Vietnam, I went to Malaysia for 3 days. Here, I went on tourist mode alone. It was very challenging to me to navigate the places since I’m not good with maps. It has never been my cup of tea.
Went back to the Philippines, and spent a day in Cebu, then continue my travel to Siargao Island where I spent almost two weeks exploring the island (again).
Above is just the summary of my trip. And I want to tell other stories of it here in my blog. What I want to share with you is that things are always hard during the first time, as we experience things again and again, the situations will never be easy, but we will get better dealing with it. So my advice to those who want to try solo travel is don’t be afraid to take that first step. if I can do it, you can do it too.
Doubt is normal, being afraid is what keeps us human to survive. In everything you do, related to travel or not, just believe in yourself. And if you need a little push, whoever you are reading this post, I believe in you and I’m looking forward to hear your story.
Have you tried solo travel? Share your story on the comment box below!
Planning to try solo travel? If you have question message me on my Facebook page!
I quit a job for the exact same reason, and I wish I’d taken time out to travel back then – unfortunately, I was so frazzled by the experience that I convinced myself I couldn’t. 🙁 However, now I’ve got a job with very flexible hours, so I’m making up for lost time! Great article!
I have a similar story – I think it’s increasingly common among millennials, as we increasingly come to acknowledge that living the “dream” of our baby boomer/Gen X parents is not necessarily the “dream” for us. Good on you for taking the brave step! I hope sharing your adventures here brings you much fulfillment 🙂
Tayo - the5to9traveller
Great article and super glad about its not ‘quit your job, travel the world.’ You made some very real points of needing routine and purpose in our lives sometimes and a career (not job as you rightly said) can provide that.
You are so courageous that you followed your heart. To quit a job that brings paychecks end of every month and go trying something completely different is not an easy task. Even I want to do it at some point of time, but still don’t feel ready for it. I am really happy for you and wish you a lot more success in future.
Tanks Neha! 😀
It was just because I have nothing to do while being unemployed. It was a perfect timing! Thanks Neha! 😀
We’re on the same field of work but currently I like my project coz I can work from home. Hoping that someday I’ll have that courage like yours to go on a solo travel.
By the way, what’s your means of income right now (it’s okay not to answer)?
I’m also in the stage where I want to go freelance but it’s really hard to find one. Would love to hear tips from you. Thanks!
Hello Kesa, I know you can do it too! Like what I said in this article, only the first step is the hardest. 🙂 I’m currently doing some part time and freelance work right now. One of my job is a video editor and it pays really well! 😀 Just try to find work in upwork, there’s a lot of freelance job available. I had some few clients from there too. Good luck!