I’m Quitting my Job to Travel the World. Here’s How.

May 5, 2020

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I’m exhausted as I write this. I’ve just finished a 10 hour late shift from 10 PM to 8 AM. I should be in bed, I should be catching up on the sleep that I’ve missed this week but I’m too excited.

Today, I have finally broken. I can’t run this rat race any more. I’m going to quit my job and travel the world. I know there’s more to life than this and I’m going to see what the world has to offer.

In this article, I’ll share exactly how I’m planning to do that. I’ll share the exact steps that you too could take to trade your corporate job for a life full of travel and exploration.

Before I do that, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Ken Bourke and I’m an engineer.

I’ve wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember. When I was small, I would build and rebuild Lego, K’nex and Meccano kits.

As I got older, I started to pull apart electronics to see how they worked inside. Unfortunately for my parents, I was better at taking things apart than rebuilding them.

I attended school for 16 years and studied to be an engineer. After getting my degree, I joined a large engineering firm. For the last 6 years, I have been racing up the corporate ladder. Like clockwork I have been promoted every two years and my title has gotten increasingly impressive.

But the higher I go, the more unfulfilled I feel.

I’m paid to follow a manual. If I follow the manual for 40 hours every week, then I get a certain amount of money at the end of the month.

Sometimes, I have a good idea and create more value than I’m supposed to. On those occasions, I get a handshake and a 0% share in the value that I have created.

Every year, the amount of money that I’m paid goes up. Every year I wonder if I really need more money.

I get it, with more money I can buy more things and nicer things. And I get it, I should buy more things because the economy has to keep growing.

But I like my current things. I like my apartment, I like my four year old phone and my TV that’s not so smart.

If I don’t need more money, then why am I still climbing the ladder? Because that’s the game.

You get an education, you get a job and you climb the ladder until you get to retirement age. Then you get off the ladder and make room for the next guy. Somewhere along the way, you find a wife, a house and produce 2.5 kids. Your kids will continue on the ladder when you’re gone.

If I’m aware of the game, can I choose not to play?

I think so. In fact, I’m counting on it. This year, I will quit my job, I will sell my things and I will explore alternative ways of living.

In the rest of this article, I’ll share my plan.

From this moment on, I’ll be documenting my journey. You’re welcome to connect and to come along for the ride.

The Plan

My plan is simple. So simple that you might scoff at it, but I like simple. Here it is:

  • Reduce expenses by practicing frugality and minimalism.
  • Create a valuable product which earns money. Iterate on the product and scale it to increase the amount of money that it earns.
  • Quit my job and travel full time when my income from the valuable product is larger than my expenses.

Let’s look at my plan in a bit more details.

Step 1: Reduce Expenses

We live in a very consumerist culture. You have to spend a lot of money to keep up with the Jones’. There’s new iPhones to buy, exotic pets to keep and private schools to pay for.

Its strange that we still look to things for happiness. Especially since countless studies have shown that things don’t make you happy. What makes you happy is experiences.

From this point on, I’ll be practicing minimalism (less, but better) and frugality. I don’t want to spend my money on shiny objects that will be in the bin in less than a year. I want to spend my money on experiences that will last a lifetime.

Minimalism is becoming increasingly popular around the world. If you’re waking up to the fact that buying more things isn’t making you happy, then it might be worth learning more about this life philosophy. Two great books to read on the topic are Essentialism and Minimalism (if you use those links to buy either book, I’ll get a small commission that will help to fund my travels).

Step 2: Create Something Valuable

I don’t feel fulfilled when I follow the process manual that was written by my boss.

I feel fulfilled when I create something new. When I bring something from my brain into the world. I feel even more fulfilled when I create something that is valuable to the world, that people want to read, listen to or enjoy.

The second part of my plan is to create more things. Right now, I want to focus on creating valuable content. I want to create text, audio and video content about my journey and experiences.

The idea is that if other people think this content is valuable, then I can earn money from this content.

The best part is that I can move away from trading my time for money. It takes a long time to write an article, but that article can continue to earn money for as long as people find it valuable. By earning income in a passive way, I can spend more time enjoying life and less time putting in hours at a factory.

By building a portfolio of valuable content, I can generate more and more passive income.

That’s the theory at least. Right now, I don’t know much about writing. I don’t know much about photography, videography or social media marketing either. But God, I am having so much fun learning and I’m learning a lot.

A lot of articles that I thought were great have flopped.

A lot of articles that I thought were great have not been read by anyone except my Mum (thanks for reading, Mum).

I’m learning how to fail and each failure is bringing me closer to success.

The next thing I need to do is to find a community of like minded people to connect with. Then I can learn from the failures and successes of other people to accelerate my growth. If you know of a community, please let me know in the comments.

Step 3: Go

I think this step will be the hardest for me.

At a certain moment, my income will be more than my expenses. At that moment, will I really be brave enough to drop out of the rat race and travel full time?

I think so. Now that I’ve woken up to the fact that there is another way of living, the standard rat race feels too painful to keep going.

Wrap Up

Quitting your job to travel the world is simple, but its not easy.

If you’re interested in follow my journey, then follow me here.

If you have already walked this path and have some advice, then please let me know in the comments.

Otherwise, thanks for reading this far.