It took me almost 10 years to finally find the courage to quit my job for the first time. Then my freedom lifestyle began and I started to travel the world.
I became an expat in Sydney and never came back.
Now, after 3 years in Australia, I did it again:
I quit my job for my second round-the-world trip!
Flashback to My 20’s
I’m following a pretty conventional path in Germany, hopping from agency job to agency job, and climbing up the career ladder. I’m living a reasonable and responsible life – but it feels like there’s always something missing.
My first glimpse of doubt happens after I’ve spend my first solo trip abroad: 3 weeks in South Africa all by myself. It kind of changed my whole world view.
The country changed me;
it healed my perfectionism,
my need to control everything and to plan everything ahead.
This is when I felt for the first time that Germany simply might be “the wrong place” for me. Realizing this was the first step, but, what to do, where to go, and how to pay?
Things that were holding me back from quitting my job and following my dreams:
- A strong urge for stability and security.
- The inner critic’s voice, “You can’t just quit your job!”
- “I need more money before I can do this” – without setting a clear financial goal.
“That’s not realistic” or “You will simply have to settle down and work, like everyone else” or “You will end up in the gutter with those crazy ideas”!
- Fear of the unknown.
- Fear of making the wrong decision and regretting it.
- Fear of losing all my money.
- Fear of never finding a job again.
- No trust that things will work out somehow.
I grew up with completely different core values.
My parents believe in deciding on one job after school and sticking to it until they retire. Travel and self-fulfilment is something to take care of later in their opinion. It’s not their fault though. They were brought up in a different time where they didn’t have as many options, whereas we live in a time with the internet and technology at our finger tips.
We have far more opportunities today then they had growing up.
How I Overcame My Fears, to Travel the World
It wasn’t easy to change my lifestyle, but after I took the first step, each step after that became easier. I began to feel excited about my decision.
Here is a list of things that helped me take the plunge into my new life:
- Getting detached from “things”
I sold my furniture when I moved to another city, and de-cluttered my belongings. After “having less” and noticing that I need less, it was much easier to let go of everything and only take a backpack.
- I knew that I couldn’t ignore that feeling of consistent nagging, “someday I have to do it”.
It didn’t seem to go away so I knew I just had to go with it.
- My 30th birthday
The kind of anniversary where you take the time to question what you are actually doing with the one and only life you were given!!
I felt like I was really stuck on the wrong path! Money and a career, did that really matter to me?
- I took the worst case scenario into consideration:
“I will regret it, cry, be broke and just want to go home”.
Then I found a solution for it: “I would move in with my mum for a while and look for a new job”.
- Seeing others quitting to travel the world.
After a few weeks of inner struggle around my 30th birthday I decided “against it” and to “save more money first”. (What a lame excuse out of self-sabotage).
On that day I came to the office and a colleague of mine quit her job to travel Central America for 6 months.I felt so proud of her and so shitty about myself, like I was denying my truth.
- Start trying instead of staying stuck with doubt!
I decided if this wouldn’t make me happy, I’d try something else. And after that, something else.
- I made a plan. A VERY detailed plan, which gave me security.
I found out how to travel Africa safely as a solo woman, I checked bus connections on continents I wasn’t even on yet. I did calculate how much money I would need.
- I planned fixed “home base” projects.
I started in a language school in Cape Town and I booked 2 volunteer projects in advanced where I knew I would stay longer.
Planning that much in advance surely isn’t for everyone – but it’s just my style and make me feel comfortable.
- A shake up moment to reconsider what truly matters to me.
Now I don’t wish this to anyone!
However sometimes things happen to us for a reason – so we can take the chance to readjust our journey and direction in life.
If You Can Do It Once, You Can Do It Twice!
When I arrived in Sydney during my Round-the-world trip, I got a job and fell in love with the Sydney Lifestyle.
I left the office at 2pm each day to enjoy the sun, the beaches and the laid back Australian way of life.
And suddenly 2 years had passed. I kind of settled down. I got a partner, a cat, an apartment… but the urge to travel and explore was still there.
I have a coaching business helping others to live a digital nomad lifestyle – because that’s my big “Why”, however I felt still stuck in a 9-5 (which was connected to my visa). I wasn’t sure if my partner would join me to travel the world either.
“I wanna quit my job and travel the world again” she said.
“Ok, let’s go!” he said.
I am truly blessed, loved and can’t believe I found someone that’s happy to do this with me. We both quit our jobs to embark on my second round-the-world trip in 2017 (after I never returned from the first one).