Why I Left my Desk Job to Travel the World

September 27, 2018
Girl photographing sunset in mountains

From Corporate to Unconstrained

I didn’t have much experience traveling growing up and by the time I got to college as a journalism major I was on a very specific track: finish as early as possible and start working in magazines asap so when my mom suggested a semester studying abroad I pushed it aside. Fast forward a few years and I’m an unhappy, recently laid off writer in New York City who gets the opportunity to visit Europe. The wanderlust set in and I began to travel the world as much as possible, but it was difficult working in a corporate position with only a few vacation days allotted per year.

Journalism didn’t work out for me – I hated the instability of frequent layoffs and was disillusioned with the industry after witnessing many unethical practices. I left my studio apartment behind and moved in with my parents in Florida figuring I would just need a few months to regroup and then I could find another job in NYC maybe in marketing, or as a personal assistant or even customer service. In the meantime I took a job bartending at a local craft beer joint and suddenly found myself with little time to work on applications or study for law school (another desperate idea I came up with after leaving the field I’d put so much stock into).

Despite feeling ungrounded, I was making good money and started saving for a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I realized that with the long flights it would be best to do this type of trip while I still had a flexible schedule and before I returned to the limited world of 10 vacation days a year. I initially tried to convince friends and family to go with me but found that it didn’t really work with anyone’s schedule, budget or general interest so I decided to go alone. I’m very comfortable doing things by myself. I moved to NYC with a job offer, but no friends or acquaintances. I didn’t let that hold me back: I started eating out solo, visiting museums by myself and relaxing in Central Park sans company. I spent several months abroad and it changed my life. Before I left I’d set up a job working at a ski resort, following the suggestion of a friend, figuring it would be some income for a few months when I return to the “real world” and buy me some time to get hired at a respectable job in NYC. Life had opposite plans. I loved ski instructing and signed on to work at Snowshoe in the summer as well, deciding that I could make this my career. I don’t think I was meant to work in an office anyway.

Currently I teach skiing and snowboarding in the winter and spend the summers teaching English online. There are so many ways to work remotely and travel more. It’s even possible to be a traveling teacher. Although having seasonal or freelance jobs can require more financial planning, I’ve never been happier.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I can totally relate to you. I have long said goodbye to my corporate career and couldn’t be happier with my decision. I also feel I am not meant to be inside the office. Thank God for all these options and opportunities to explore more.

  • Reply
    Sinjana Ghosh
    August 11, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    So refreshing to read an honest heartfelt piece like this. In a way the layoff was goof because it helped you realise your passion. Personally I am. Not ecstatic with my job but it pays for my living and travels so m just going on with it.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Wow, what an awesome story! It sounds like you took a tough situation and used it as an opportunity to figure out what you truly loved! It’s truly inspirational how you pushed yourself to try something new like traveling and all the other activities that you learned to love solo.

  • Reply
    August 12, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I read research somewhere that the average person changes their career three times in their life. I find that reassuring. Love that you have not settled on something that doesn’t make you happy and I’m wondering how difficult it would be to get a job as a ski instructor in Switzerland 🙂

    • Reply
      August 12, 2019 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you so much!! I’m really not sure about Switzerland, but here in the U.S. it is not too difficult to get a job as a ski instructor! Even if you aren’t that great of a skier it is possible to improve a lot during the training period and you can always teach newer skiers without having to tackle very hard terrain. There’s a difference between a great technical skier and a great teacher. If you aren’t able to get hired as an instructor I would recommend working for a season somewhere at the mountain such as the rental shop as a tech or as a server/bartender and meet some people in the ski school that can recommend you!

  • Reply
    Adele Gee
    August 13, 2019 at 12:46 am

    I admire that you realized early on that what you invested in was not going to make you happy and did something about it! I draw inspiration from you that things work out in the end and to just go with Life’s plans. Its a challenge learning to do things on our own but I guess these are just preparation steps towards your moving to live in New Zealand someday! You got goals girl!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Your story is so inspiring! I’ve been blogging for a while and have a full-time job and I know how exhausting it gets. I just took a step towards full-time blogging as I’m moving from full-time work to part time. I hope to do this one day (hopefully very soon) as well.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2019 at 10:09 am

      Thank you! That is wonderful I hope that your blog continues to be very successful and can turn into an amazing career for you 🙂

  • Reply
    August 14, 2019 at 4:17 am

    I can totally relate to this feeling. Having left the corporate job for some time, I was also quite restless not quite knowing what to do. Believe me, at one time, I also had the thought of filling us the application for a law school! 🙂 Good to read about your journey. Keep travelling and blogging!

  • Reply
    Amar Singh
    August 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    I must admit the thought of leaving a full time job and venturing out to travel the world has appealed to me a few times but with little kids tougher. It is great to know how you managed to take that leap and one you certainly have enjoyed and made great memories out of. Blogging with a full time job is very difficult and I can say that from my own experience. Your story is very inspirational and wish you all the best.

  • Reply
    Parnashree Devi
    August 16, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Wow …that’s quite a story. Loved reading about your unsettling life. Its always important to follow your heart and do what you do the best. I can so relate to you. I left it too to take a break and the break is still on after 4 years. Keep on dreaming and traveling.

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