Why we quit our jobs

| June 1, 2012 | 79 Comments

To realise our travel blogging goals and travel like we want to travel, which is a LOT, we need freedom. So today we did what most people will never try.

We took a risk. We pursued a passion. We stepped out of our comfort zone.

We quit our jobs.

Seeing those four little words written down just sent shivers down my spine. Seeing them written down somehow makes it seem real. It now feels like a tangible item that we can reach out and grab a hold of.

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about how we want to travel for a few months around Europe this summer from our base in Edinburgh. It always seemed like a bit of a distant dream. But the one thing that we knew was that there was no way that we could travel properly with jobs holding us back.

Sure we have been travelling around the world for over 2 years already and have seen a few sides of Europe. Including a long weekend in Paris, the madness that was Oktoberfest in Munich and even peep show in Amsterdam.

And even though the adventures were fun it wasn’t travelling like we wanted to travel.

Mt Rushmore

We like to travel slow.

We love to take in the culture and experience how locals live. Getting under the skin of a destination is what makes travel so special for us. By quitting our jobs to travel we now have the freedom to do it our way.

So in one week we are setting off on a trip through Italy and Spain. For six weeks we will travel through Italy with very vague plans.

We promise to outline our trip itinerary in more detail next week (with a few exciting announcements). But as a start we will be ticking off the ruins of Rome, trekking the Cinque Terre trails, winding through the waterways of Venice, eating pizza in Naples, cycling and get tanked in Tuscany and swimming on the alluring Amalfi Coast.

You think that after all that we would be looking to slow down and enjoy the siesta lifestyle of Spain. But you would be wrong. Three weeks of madness in Spain ensues from there.

We will be risking life and limb by Running with the Bulls in Pamplona. And when, if, we have survived that we will be surfing our way along the San Sebastian coastline for two weeks.

But then what…

To be honest, who knows?

Most likely we will end up back in Edinburgh as we have fallen in love with the place. Plus it is super handy to travel through Europe from.

But I am hoping that this is the end of the road for me sitting in a cubicle and working the normal 9 to 5 job. Four years I have toiled away as an Environmental Planner helping local farmers and businesses around New Zealand and now in Scotland construct Wind Turbines.

Adela has kindly offered to support me by returning to her cubicle while I pursue my newfound passion. I will try to take this travel blog to the next level and continue to grow it for you.

So thank you!

Because everything we have achieved so far has been as a result of you, our readers and passionate travel community. If you haven’t already then join the rest of us on Facebook and Twitter!

But not only will I continue to grow our blog I will also be pursuing a new career with all the skills I have learnt since we began this adventure travel blog. So if you are looking for a new Social Media specialist or blogger for your business then I am here to help. Just drop us a line via email or through our contact page.

Taking the plunge into the unknown is really exciting. And just a little bit unsettling.

Do I think I will end up back in a cubicle in a few months? Maybe.

But you know what? For now I am content knowing that we have two months ahead of us with nothing but our packs on our backs, jandals on our feet and a pocketful of opportunities in front of us.

Reader question: Have you ever taken the plunge or rolled the dice of chance on a dream? How did it work out? Any advice or tips for us?

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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  1. Why I want to tear up your Bucket List | August 28, 2012
  1. Good luck gusy, I’m sure you won’t look back. Plus you have an in demand skill that I’m sure is pretty portable. I made the transition more gradually, through a combination of opportunity, timing and general frustration. I’ve been focussing on building my freelance profile up while doing the occasional trip, instead of a full time life on the road, whcih I’m not sure would suit me yet anyway. Anyway, well done and I’ll hoist one to you soon I hope!

    • Thanks Jools! Its always nice to chat with the likes of you, Jane and Kash so that we can follow in your footsteps. Will need to pick your brain sometime soon on how to make all this work for us so will meet up for a drink in August hopefully when we are back!

  2. Congratulations to you both – sounds like you have a fantastic summer lined up! I’ve quit my job twice now to travel and the adrenaline rush never wears off! First time I did a 16-month RTW trip then came back and found another job fairly quickly. Second time was last year when I went freelance and have been mixing work and travel ever since. I always thought that the worst that could’ve happened was that I had to get another office job and that’s where I started off anyway! Hope it all works out for you and happy travels.

  3. Andrea says:

    Good luck Cole! I’m sure you’ll never regret it and your site will really take off with the more time you have to spend on it. I can’t wait to seeing how things work out for you. 🙂

  4. Feels great, right? Good for you guys and welcome to the world of untethered travel! Since finding a niche that will keep you productive AND on the road is part of the challenge I just want to point out that I’m fairly certain NGOs around the world would love to hire the services of an Environmental Engineer to assist with wind turbine and other projects around the world on your terms. Just sayin’.


    • Thanks so much Karen. Having the support of the likes of you guys is a huge help! Will definitely keep the idea of working around the world with wind turbines in the back of my mind 🙂

  5. Erica says:

    Congratulations! Exciting isn’t? Sometimes you will just have to take the plunge and go for it! I am sure you will find a way to stay out of that cubicle.. Good luck!

  6. Lee Carter says:

    We did the same thing just over a year ago, Its an unconventional lifestyle but its what we want to do :). Fortune favours the brave.

  7. Excellent itinerary for Italy – Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are two of my favorite destinations. The food, the wine, the people and the sights are incredible! Best of luck with your upcoming endeavors!

  8. yahoo!! and congrats! that is awesome – and scary, and life-changing, too! i am so proud of you, and excited to follow along on your journeys. we like slow travel, too. 🙂

  9. Good luck guys! That is a big decision, but like all the others have also mentioned, I’m sure you won’t regret it! And we should catch up in Pamplona then 😉

  10. Ayngelina says:

    Oooh six weeks in Italy? Make sure you post lots of food photos.

  11. Oh wow, good for you! I’m particularly looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Pamplona–because running with the bulls really was one of those rare life changing experiences for me, and in San Sebastian–because it’s on our short list right now.

  12. Awesome!! You will have such an amazing time. Good for you. It’s not easy to take the risk to pursue your dreams but you will never achieve them unless you do.
    Your Europe trip sounds so good. As we head into winter here I am so jealous!

    • Haha your winter is so much nicer than the UK summer 🙂
      You guys are role models for us so thanks for helping us realise our dreams (without even knowing it). Should be a fun few months as we try it out.

  13. Good for you guys! I hope you’re able to pursue your passion long-term. I’ve also just taken quite a big risk of my own — I’ve given my notice, too! My last day will be June 29th at a job I’ve been at for four and a half years. I am leaving to pursue a second Masters degree and change careers AND so that my husband and I can move to China later this year for his job. It’s a time of big change for us and much is still unknown. I’m quite nervous, as it’s been so long since I haven’t had a job. So we’re in this together, I suppose! Cheers!

  14. WELL DONE!

    Congrats-big move but sometimes you got to step out of the comfort zone and then see how far you can go……I just went nomadic so I’m on a similar journey as you guys. Will be an interesting few months ahead. Look forward to following your travels and meeting you on the road sometime in the near future.

    Stay in touch and enjoy the freedom of the road.


    • Cheers Kash. You don’t know how great it is having a support network like you and Jane that we can call upon if we need to. Definitely looking forward to catching up again soon towards the end of summer.

  15. It’s a big step so well done for doing what you believe in. Taking a chance is what life is about. I quit my job to go to England, travel and be with Craig. We married the following year, he quit his job, we had a 1 year working holiday…now nearly 8 years ago. It was an experience I recently wrote about http://fouritchyfeet.com/relationshipsimmigrationpart1/
    There’s nothing better than being able to wake up together in a new place, explore and travel as a couple, without the constant stress and routine of 9-5 jobs. Good on ya both and we wish you all the best 🙂

  16. Moss says:

    Proud of you bro! Awesome that you have got to this level and taking the next step! Can’t wait to catch up with you in Pamplona!

  17. You might be quitting one job, but looks like you have a full-time career to focus on – travel writing. Happy travels!

    • I think I have worked more on this blog than all my other jobs put together! But it has become a passion so the extra work is worth it 🙂 Hopefully we will see the success come from it.

  18. I wish you both good luck for the future. It is good to see people living the dream.

  19. Good on you, Cole! I walked away from the traditional life of employment more than a decade ago, and it’s definitely the best move I ever made. The freedom of being your own boss is at once terrifying and incredibly liberating, but as long as you recognize that true security comes from within, you should be fine. Congratulations on the big move!

    • You don’t realise how big an influence you guys and other successful bloggers have on us so thanks Bret! Totally daunted and semi shocked that its all happening now but no matter what happens it will be one helluva ride!

  20. Michael says:

    Another great post guys and very inspirational. Here is my experience doing the same thing and I have included tons of great tips and helpful sources as well. I would love to hear your thoughts too!
    Warm regards,

    • Thanks Michael for your post. We read a lot of those blogs already and they have been helpful for us as well. Good luck with your continued digital nomad lifestyle 🙂

  21. Kieron says:

    Good luck mate, love that you’re taking the plunge! Really hope it all works out for you and we can use you as an inspiration to follow down the same path one day…

    My work contract finishes in 3 weeks time so hopefully we’ll be traveling through Europe during the summer and can meet up with the newest full-time bloggers!

    • Cheers Kieron. Not sure if it will last but it will be a nice challenge to see how we go over the next few months. Great to hear you are hitting the road again! Let us know your travel plans because definitely keen to catch up with you both.

  22. Cheryl says:

    Congrats on taking the plunge! All the best. And enjoy the next 6 weeks, it all sounds amazing … two wonderful countries.

    About running with bulls, check out http://girlsrunwithbulls.com/. A bunch of female travel bloggers are going to do it … so Adela may like checking out their page or you guys could even meet up with them! 🙂

    I still owe you a response to your email. Will reply today! Sorry for my delay.

    • Thanks so much Cheryl. Should be exciting, scary and fun all at the same time over the next few weeks.

      We have been in touch with the girls so might be able to meet up with them. Sounds like they are more keen to run than me haha.

  23. Sophie says:

    Good luck. It will no doubt be loads of work, but also loads of fun 🙂

  24. I quit my job almost a year ago and haven’t looked back. I’m back home for a short blip right now, but come July 1st, I’m back on the road again.

    You are going to love Italy. And the Italians. I know I do. 🙂

  25. Laurel says:

    Congrats and how exciting! It’s amazing the different directions a travel blog can lead to and the skills it develops. Enjoy your travels and best of luck with your portable new career!

    • When we started our adventure travel blog we had no idea it would lead to a life where we could take it full time. Whether that turns out to be the case or not we will have to see Laurel 🙂

  26. Laurence says:

    You’ll never know what might happen unless you try, so well done for giving it a go 😀 Have an amazing trip, and I trust that it will all work out for you – looking forward to continuing to read your adventures!

    • I just wanted no regrets and our 2 months of travelling starting at the end of this week seemed like a good opportunity to grab it with both hands. And thanks for the inspiration Laurence.

  27. I love to hear stories like this. You are on your way to living the life that you want. I recently got started with my own travel blog and am still trying to figure out what I am going to do with it.

    Good Luck. I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  28. Jesse says:

    Besides, best stories are told when you experience the most risky business in your life while you came out either strong or a changed man. As for me, it is also my dream to risk out from my office job and go adventuring out there but always “chickening out”.

  29. My boy and I did this! We quit our jobs in Australia and moved to Holland to travel around and now we are back to office jobs haha. But it’s totally amazing and we love it. Tom writes about our travels too on activebackpacker.com Can’t wait to hear more about your Italy trip – we are heading there in August and I can’t wait. Please share lots of food tips!!!

    • Will be loads of food tips and photos Trudy from Italy 🙂

      And sounds like you guys had an amazing time in Holland! Nothing wrong with going back to your jobs to earn some more money and travel again!

  30. Andrea says:

    Very exciting, guys – and congrats! You’ll love your “new” life

  31. Ali says:

    Congrats on your big risk! I’m sure you’ll do great and enjoy all the traveling along the way!

  32. Rachel says:

    Nice one guys. It sounds like you’ve got some great destinations lined up and I look forward to hearing about your time there.

    I have no regrets about us quitting our jobs to spend a few months travelling earlier this year. It showed us a new part of the world and how much opportunity is out there. We’re back in the UK now and my other half is looking for jobs in other countries. So the digital nomad lifestyle isn’t one we’re going to be pursuing, but I’m looking forward to living somewhere else and having a new base for future travels.

    • Sounds like you are still exploring though Rachel! We are loving the freedom at the moment but its hard work doing this while we travel. Shouldn’t complain though should we! 🙂

  33. Congrats! It’s a huge step. I did it 1.5 years ago and have no regrets.

  34. Bianca Remington says:

    looks like fun fun fun! Sometimes we need to decide on our selves whether we quit or stay and if we choose to put an end to our job, One Door Closes Another Door Opens.

  35. Definitely a big step forward! I’ve had to manage the blog and working full time and it’s very tough. I don’t sleep much and it can be quite stressful. Hope this works out for you and you have an awesome adventure!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Hiking Mt Tamalpais, wrong turns, and visions of Ewoks

  36. Danielle says:

    Your blog is amazing 🙂

    I just started reading it so I can’t comment too much, but I do hope you guys wrote somewhere what you do to support the travelling-around-the-world bit. I am doing a 9-6, and it is also a dream of mine to quit a boring cubicle job and do something like what you guys do!

    Meanwhile, I’ll just slowly go through the archives. Great job Cole and Adela!

    • Thank you Danielle for your comment 😀 We definitely support working and travelling around the world. It is a great experience and well worth doing! And I say just go out and do it! Good luck and safe travels.

  37. Anne says:

    Hey Cole!
    So happy to have stumbled upon your site – from Zara and Ashray of Backpack Me.
    Also – sorry to hear about the break up. 🙁 My boyfriend and I are leaving on our first big trip this upcoming January – starting in India and moving our way East. I lost my job back in July, but he’ll have to go through the whole quitting his job to travel thing sooner than later. We’ve been talking a lot about how that’s all going to go down… what a scary but liberating moment! I wish you all the best on “two jandals” and hopefully the job is going well – but that you’ll continue to stay traveling too. NZ is such a beautiful place to be!
    Anne 🙂
    Anne recently posted..6 things to do in Luang Prabang

    • Hey Anne,
      Thanks so much for your beautiful message 🙂 Means a lot. Things are going great in New Zealand actually. I am loving being back home after 4 years of travel. Not sure what the future holds yet but it’s all amazing at the moment!
      Good luck with your travels and you will be glad once you start because all the stress will leave you.

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