Is a Career Break Just What the Doctor Ordered?
When I was backpacking in Indonesia I was amazed by all the other backpackers taking time off to travel the globe. Since then I’ve come across many more Americans that are taking the same leap of faith. They’re enjoying a career break to gain a new perspective on their lives and their careers.
Some globetrotters believe that extended travel has reduced the stress in their lives to what was once dangerous levels. Americans work 100 to 200 hours per year more than their parents. That’s less time with family, friends, and asleep in bed.
I recently read an article on The Traveling Yogi that discussed all the aspects of dropping it all to travel. Is it time to take a break from your job and travel the globe? Here are a few issues to consider:
What’s Your Financial Situation?
Sometimes traveling can be cheaper than living at home but if you have debt that’s a totally different story. You’ll want to take a long, hard look at your finances and calculate a plan for getting out of it.
The key to good budgeting is to avoid over complicating the issue. Make a budget that includes all your fixed expenses like rent or mortgage, utilities, cable, car payments, cell phones, etc. Basically, all the expenses that remain the same every month.
Next, decide how much you can spend on food, eating out, entertainment, and gas each week. Be realistic about what works for you. Then decide how much you can spend on extras every month. These can include wedding gifts, travel expenses, pet grooming, or a new outfit. Keep all your receipts and at the end of the week calculate what you spent on both food/entertainment and extras. Figure out how long it will take you to get out of debt.
After you're out of debt and onto saving, calculate your day-to-day costs while traveling. This could include accommodations, food, transport, toiletries, and necessities. Give yourself a daily allotment and then decide the cost of getting the places you’d like to visit. Decide how much you have to spend and for how long.
How to Gather Cash
Often times you think that you don’t have the money to take a career break but taking a second look at your finances may prove otherwise. Where can you trim the fat? Your diet is one of the easiest and most efficient ways. Check out this firsthand account of how cleaning up your diet can save you cold hard cash.
Decluttering your life is another way to earn cash. If you’re taking a career break to travel the globe, you’re not going to need all that “stuff.” You can place those items that have personal meaning in storage or take them with you, but for the most part, it’s an exercise in cleansing. And it’s another way to gain extra funds.
A Mental Break
According to The Traveling Yogi, taking a career break can help you to gain a new perspective on life, a gift that can be priceless. But just because you break up your career doesn’t mean you’ll be a vagabond for life and it doesn’t even mean that you have to give up your career. More than anything else, giving yourself space from the everyday stresses of life and the monotony can give your career the boost that it needs.
According to Meet Plan Go, "[i]f you are traveling in a group or with a travel partner, take some time to yourself...Travel is an emotional and personal experience, so take the time to hang out with you and channel the creative side lying within."
It’s an investment in yourself that allows you to push out what does not serve you, take a look at your strengths and weaknesses, and stoke your inner creative fire.