If you're thinking of quitting your job to travel the world, there's probably not a better time to do it than in your 30's. By the time you're 30, you've gained enough life experience to know what you want out of life. (If you didn't, then you wouldn't be considering quitting your job.)
You know you want more in life than just a normal job with a normal paycheck. You know you enjoy traveling and seeing the world. The world is a big beautiful place and you want to see and experience it.
The only thing holding you back at this point is either fear or you're not sure how to start traveling the world full-time. If it is fear that is holding you back, we're here to dispel those fears with these five reasons you should quit your job and travel in your 30's.
I'm not saying that traveling full time is for everyone, but you're here reading so you're at least interested in why you should quit your job to travel.
Well, let's get on with it already and get to those reasons!
5 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Travel
1. You're Not Getting Any Younger
2. Live a Meaningful Life
3. Being a Digital Nomad is a More Secure Lifestyle
4. Builds Confidence and Life Experience
5. Build Relationships and Make Memories
Don't Let Your Life be a Monologue of what Could Have Been
Traveling the world full-time is an amazing opportunity, and while you can still travel when you're older, it becomes harder and harder as you age. If you choose not to travel in your 30's with the idea that you'll do it when you retire or some other time down the road - chances are, you never will.
As a 30-something-year-old, you probably face a lot of pressure to grow up and settle down. I don't think I would consider settling down as growing up, but what do I know? What I do know is this, you have no guarantee that you'll either be healthy enough to travel or that you'll still be around by the time you make it to retirement.
That might sound extreme, but that is reality. In our twenties, my older brother often talked about the things we wanted to do. We continued to push them off thinking we could do them when we were older with more money. He was killed in a car accident at 29.
If you have goals and aspirations you want to accomplish in life, time is not on your side. If you want to travel, you need to start taking purposeful steps to do that regardless of your age.
Age is relative. Looking back, at 28 years old, my brother was an old geezer. It doesn't matter how long the average lifespan is or how long you think you'll live all that matters is how long you will live.
I am a big advocate for living your life as if you'll die within the next five years. You might not live a life full of possessions or even income (although you can) but it will be full of memories and experiences - and perhaps a little lighter on regrets.
If you only had five years left in life, what would you do? How important would it be to you to settle down? How important would your 9-5 job be?
A recent study found that only 53% of Americans only somewhat agreed or disagreed with the statement: "I feel like I have purpose in my life; my life has meaning." This statistic doesn't surprise me. It is hard to find meaning in life when everyone you know is doing the exact same thing as you.
Since we were babies we've been told we were unique and important - there is no one else like us. So we went to school with people just like us whose parents and teachers told them the same thing. Then we went to college with our peers because that's what everyone does. When we graduated college, we got a job and promptly went to work from 9-5, or more, every day because that's what responsible adults do.
Suddenly, we find ourselves in our 30's living very not unique lives surrounded by very unimportant people just like ourselves and we're asking ourselves where we went wrong.
I'm one of those rare adults that actually believe we're all unique and important. The problem most of us have is that we stopped being our unique selves and started following the crowd, whether because of pressure to do so or because it was just easier.
Again, I'm not advocating everyone quit their job - that's a unique decision that only you can make. However, you're reading this post, so clearly, your job is not giving you meaning in life. You need to ask yourself: is a settled life giving you meaning? If it isn't, perhaps living a nomadic lifestyle is for you.
This might sound counter-intuitive, but becoming location independent nomadic lifestyle is more financially secure than living a settled life. Traveling is more minimalistic than settling down and living in one place.
You can save more money and live a more fulfilled life on your schedule as a nomad than you could by settling down and staying put.
Before selling our house to travel, we were spending around $2,100 in housing costs a month - that includes the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and utilities. The home was under the average home price for the area in central Texas. We also had two cars that added about $700 a month, including maintenance, to our expenses.
Compare that to the before Covid monthly rates on Airbnb for a 2-3 bedroom flat in Athens of between $1,200-1,900! That might not seem like it is saving you much, but you don't have to furnish the apartments or pay the utilities. Off Airbnb you could probably find a better deal.
Secondly, you don't need your car(s). The payments, maintenance, and registration costs on that alone are significant savings.
If that's not enough savings for you, consider our plan of sailing full time. You can purchase a good 40' sailboat for as little as $50,000 (often for a lot cheaper than that). If you financed it for 10 years at 6% with a 20% down payment, your monthly payment on the boat would only be around $450 a month.
You could find a liveaboard marina which, in Florida, on average, would cost around $1000 or less a month. You could even go cheaper and live at anchor, where it is often free. There are other considerations involved with liveaboards - this applies to RV life as well.
Living a more transient life is more affordable than living a settled life. The lower cost of living can actually help you save for retirement and retire earlier. It is the best of both worlds, you can live your dream life and retire earlier than your peers - talk about unique.
If you can find a sustainable source of remote income, working for yourself is more secure than working at the pleasure of someone else. The key is finding that remote income source, but there are thousands of ways to make money online, and doing so is within your reach. You are unique after all.
Traveling full time presents unique problems that need to be resolved that you'd normally not be exposed to if you live in one place. Dealing with these issues will build your confidence over time.
It's not that these problems or issues are big - most of them are small. But just figuring out how to use the transportation system in a new city or getting from one place to the next will build your confidence over time. The biggest decision you have to make during your commute in the States is what coffee you're going to order from Starbucks.
This confidence also comes from the life experience you've gained over time. Contrary to popular belief, experience doesn't come with age it comes from... wait for it... EXPERIENCE!
If you want to experience life and have experience in life, then you need to go out and live life. That means living life your way and on your terms not someone else's. Again - be unique.
Traveling allows you to meet new people that you would not have otherwise met. Often these people have similar interests as yourself and friendships bloom.
When looking for excuses to not travel or to stop traveling many people state that it would be hard to form and maintain relationships. This may be true for some people but it doesn't hold true for me. I've always had trouble building or maintaining friendships when I settled down and stayed somewhere.
I've always known I can't stay in one place very long and my peers were always in a different place life. I was always looking towards the next place - the next destination, both geographically and professionally. I've been able to build and maintain better relationships with those I've met while traveling than those I've met at "home."
The memories you make together while traveling produces more bonds than meeting someone for coffee or going to a party in your hometown. Just because you part ways doesn't mean you'll never meet again or can't keep in touch. This is the modern world we have phones - just FYI.
If not now when? If you want to spend your time traveling then go travel. If you don't go now, chance are you never will. You don't want to look back on your life and wonder what life could have been if you would have just started in your 30's. So go. Have fun. Live your life.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is becoming more remote oriented than ever. If you are in your 30's and you're asking yourself if you should quit your job and travel, there honestly isn't a better time to do it than now.
Making changes during a disruption is almost always easier than making a change when things are normal. Covid-19 is probably as good as an excuse to become a digital nomad as you will ever have.
If you can't quit your job yet, start some online side gigs and grow your business online so you can start working remotely. If you want to travel in your 30's and beyond, you need to make the right decisions now. Start with finding an online income source.
I quit my job in my 30's to travel the world. I know what it is like from personal experience. If you'd like regular tips, suggestions, and advice on how to become a digital nomad, consider subscribing to our email list where we share the lessons we've learned along the way.
Until next time, Happy Coddiwompling!