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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40

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How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World After 40

Have you dreamed of traveling the world? Totally changing directions and quitting a job for someone else? If you’re savvy, organized and willing to embrace the simple life, it’s easier than you think.

You might be wondering how you can be part of the digital nomad phenomenon. Especially with the increased focus on curated travel photos that seem to feature everyone under 40. Fortyhood in a world addicted to youth can seem scary and isolating. People treat you like 40’s not old – if you’re a tree, type of deal.

First is to ditch that thinking and anyone around you who implies it. There are many vibrant forty somethings out there traveling and creating change. Plenty of us who have chosen to create a life full of travel, living our bucket list and feeding our travel addiction. Just check out these forty something bloggers making it happen.

Quitting your job and traveling the world takes some planning. And after 40, you’re in the perfect position to make your leap. Realistically, it depends on what you want to get out of your travels. Are you taking time off? Do you want to make a living traveling? Do you already have resources in place? What mobile skills do you possess (or are willing to learn)?

Whenever I talk about travel and people ask how I do it, it brings to mind the words of author Brene Brown:

“I define vulnerability, as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”

When is the last time you did anything big that didn’t include those three things, travel or not? You have to be okay with uncertainty to travel for a living.

Travel is important for recharging creativity and rebooting ours minds. And here’re plenty of reasons why you should quit your job and follow your dream. So, here are the best tips to making it happen for you:

Plan Ahead – Get Simple and Flexible

If you already have the financial resources and you’ve been planning this for a while, you’re already ahead.

I recommend others give themselves a year to simplify their lives. That includes logistical items like defining a budget, selling belongings, subletting or selling property, itineraries, list of contacts in each location, country visas, travel insurance, possible work permits, bank notifications, auto bill pays, spare debit card, extra passport photos, mail services, unlocked cell phone, electronic equipment and more.

It pays to be organized in travel and have back up’s and redundancies. The confidence of having a backup if something goes wrong can relieve a lot of stress. Travel can be stressful, even for the most laid back person.

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Trust that you’ll meet a lot of people along the way and most of them want to help you. I’ve had the most interesting experiences with locals, from finding the best hidden food spots, to secluded beaches, and authentic rituals.

Being open to share your time with locals in balance with being a tourist can offer you the best viewpoints. And if you’re looking for connections, this is a great way to do it. Attending local networking events, expat groups, meet-ups and parties can lead to job offers, volunteer opportunities, travel buddies, training options and even romance if you’re looking for that.

Create a List of Top Destinations and Budget

It’s good to dream, so don’t hold back. Decide on a destination list, ranked by importance, interest, convenience, cost and time. Dig deep, there are a lot of destinations out there, and it’s key to have an idea of what you want to accomplish in each.

If you’re planning to travel the world, staying out of larger cities and hitting lesser known countries allows you to travel further for your money and experience that is truly new. Why not the Himalayas or Bolivia, instead of Barcelona or Iceland? Forego Costa Rica for any of the Stans – Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, or Krygyzstan. Who wants the same instagram photos as everyone else anyway?

I recommend having a contact list of tour providers in each location as a backup, but to talk to the locals for great deals. Utilize travel apps to track and plan trips, miles, Sygic App , Matt’s Flights , Lounge Buddy, Trippit, Trip.me and Waze for starters. All of which I’ve used.

Now what is this all going to cost you? That depends on how you like to travel. The average world travel costs $2,000 USD a month, for a simplified lifestyle. You can get away with $1,200 USD in some countries like Portugal and Dominican Republic.

This is a good number to start with, but I did mention back up’s right? So add 25% to that. You can have this is that bank, or have a start with plans to take your work remote, earning along the way.

Go, but Not Everywhere

You may not want to hear it, but it’s likely you’ll get tired of traveling. You’ll miss your familiar town, your local coffee stand, friends, family and being able to snuggle in your own bed and binge on Netflix. So keep it flexible but be good to yourself. This is not a race around the world.

Consider the seasonality of countries, high season is more expensive. What’s the weather like where you’re going? Do you have the gear for it? What’s the best time to visit your favorite spot?

A quick google check can lead you to weather patterns and likely seasonal crowds. You may dip into your budget for new clothing or technical gear to experience a spot, and then pass it on to the locals.

I like to look for extreme sports to add to my bucket list, stay in warmer weather, get lost in the anonymity of a language I don’t know, and experience local festivals. That all goes into my trip planning. From La Tomatina in Spain to the Spirit Festival in Bali.

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Whatever your passion may be, I recommend implementing it into your travel planning, and possibly making it part of your remote work structure. Curious souls who want to travel the world are usually multi interested, multi talented explorers, so I’m sure there’s no shortage of goals in your planning.

Embrace Slow Travel

Career and family landscapes have changed across the world. Travel tools are more accessible including Uber and other convenient technology.This has allowed us to make career changes in our 40’s, fly solo or take our families on the road. It has also allowed us to integrate into almost any country and enjoy what some call slow travel. I call it the right way to travel.

Spend at least a month in a location. Get to know what the locals do. Dress like a local, learn some key phrases. Bypass the tourist rat race of those who need to crunch everything into one week a year, and remember the day you decided to leave that.

We don’t just travel to take photos with iconic backdrops, we travel to see what is different from us, and how it is also the same.

Slow travel includes renting a house, enrolling in a course, volunteering, studying a language, finding your roots, lounging in a cafe and taking stock of your life, writing your book, or making those dolla dolla bills online.

There are plenty of options to stay long term, including the obvious Airbnb, House Swap and VRBO. But checking the local papers and walking the neighborhoods is likely to really get you into the heart of slow travel.

Remember the movie Under The Tuscan Sun? If she can do it, so can you.

Leave Possessions and Habits Behind

Remember when I mentioned uncertainty, risk and vulnerability, well here it is. Leaving behind all those things you accumulated as a “need” and realizing they are really unnecessary shifts your thinking. You’ll become a minimalist.

One suitcase, preferably a backpack is the way to go. A check-in bag, and a day pack will become vital in your travel habits. The amount of your gear is commensurate with your stress level. Fitting everything into a backpack and carrying your gear provides convenience, more safety (from theft) and ease.

While it seems only kids travel with backpacks, it’s not the case. Think of attempting to pull along a rolling suitcase through remote spots, dirt roads or jungles. You don’t want to find yourself there. Plus they are just as convenient in the city.

A sleek backpack is not going to get a second look checking into a Four Seasons to do that brand review you were just hired for remotely. Besides any extra space, you have most likely houses your electronics that make it possible to work online. Again, take me word for it. Own your travel.

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Little by little, you will also shed away habits like worrying about what you wear, collecting things, and rethinking your personal impact on the planet.

Yes travel has a big carbon footprint, but along the way you can volunteer, drop the habit of using plastic and eat unprocessed foods, all with a positive return.

Pro tip:

Pack 2- 3 interchangable outfits in mid tone to darker colors that are comfortable and durable. Things like “adventure” pants that keep you dry and can unzip to shorts, repeats of lycra or cotton t-shirts, yoga pants and scarves go a long way for the ladies, and a good pair or walking shoes and flip flops for starters.

Carry a basic first aid kit and repair kit with sewing items, gear aid tapes and patches.

Make Money Remotely

You’re 40 and just quit your job to travel the world, are you crazy? The majority of bloggers make an average $2 a day, while a few in the top make a six figure income.

If you’re looking to make money while you travel online, it takes persistence, stamina, flexibility and good ol’ fashion hard work. Most of the beautiful photos online are done by travel writers and flash packers who come in for a week or a weekend. Not the same as traveling full time.

Don’t worry, you can still make beautiful content (while still immersed in travel). It will just take more creativity.

Bloggers make their money in freelance writing, social media posts, brand partnerships, ad posts, coaching, speaking, e books, affiliate income, photography, licensing and product sales. The doors are open, you just need to walk through.

A few places to post and find remote work are Upwork, Fiverr, Writers Work, Freelancer, Remote Co, Idealist and Small World. If you’re in tech, you have even more flexibility. Coders and UX developers are in high demand.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in my years of travel, adventure and writing, it’s that you can possess seemingly opposing skills — teaching yoga vs flying a helicopter, creating media content vs hosting adventure retreats – that will serve you well.

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Some of my skills above provide me with grace under pressure, discipline, focus, organization and communication skills that make being a digital nomad and traveling that much easier. Uncertainly, risk and vulnerability, right?

Time management, organization, being financially savvy, willing to learn, communication and curiosity will all be required on your world travels. Your instincts, skills and passions are fueling your travel-lust and can also support you in your new life of travel and leisure.

Final Thoughts

Take what you can here, and get ready for your own travels. After 40, each decision we make is even more vital to our overall effect on life. But we are usually a bit wiser, free’er and more apt to assess the uncertainties.

Now is better than ever to feed our crazy and live off the road. We’ve earned it.

I don’t advise lightly about quitting your job and traveling the world. It’s not for everyone, and it can uproot your life in ways you never thought of.

And if you truly go off grid and spend years focused on travel, you have to start all over again when you return home. You will most likely come back a changed person but the rest of the world will seem unchanged.

Whether you’re creating a career change, had a major life event shift your world, or are following your travel dreams after taking care of a career and children; traveling the world after 40 is more than possible.

It’s waiting. It doesn’t matter if this is your third or fourth act, the curtain hasn’t dropped yet. Forty can be the new twenty you define, and I’m here to let you know it’s possible:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

Featured photo credit: Simon Rae via unsplash.com

More by this author

Liz Galloway

I'm an idealist, columnist & traveler helping people connect through personal discovery. Stay inspired!

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Last Updated on September 16, 2021

How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career

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How to Quit Your Unfulfilling Job and Lead Your Dream Career

Doesn’t matter whether it’s a 9 to 5 job or you work in shifts; is it a satisfactory job?

Ain’t you tired of the monotony or should I ask:

Did you ever feel like quitting your unfulfilling job or changing your unfulfilling career?

Realizing your materialistic needs is important but do you love your means to earn bread?

Too many questions… I’m sure you want to answer none.

But don’t worry, most people are on the same leaky boat!

Wondering what’s wrong?

As a teenager, you dream; you aspire. You are exuberant enough to chase those crazy dreams.

But as you grow older, the zeal seems to fade away. That drop-down in intensity level sets a foundation for a compromise.

You don’t persist with even one dream.

What’s worse, you give different names to your choice to back out. You blame people and situations as per your convenience.

Alas! those vivid dreams lose to your sub-conscious mind.

But before you get disheartened, here’s an interesting fact:

The real Col. Sanders was an entrepreneur who didn’t become a professional chef until he was 40, didn’t franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 62, and didn’t become an icon until after he sold his company at 75.[1]

So yes, though it’s tough to quit your tiring job; it’s easier than you think.

And when you have realized your existing job is not leading to happiness, it’s time to change!

Desperate for super easy solutions?

Here’s a list of 19 simple actionable steps to quit your unfulfilling job and follow your aspiring career:

1. Step out of Your Comfort Zone

One big reason you are compromising today is your repulsion to challenge the boundaries of your comfort zone. You don’t want to raise the bar.

You move on subconsciously making emotional adjustments and self-harming sacrifices.

Not anymore; it’s time to challenge it!

The clock is ticking and you need to flow with time. That is how you welcome the new. It is one of the major steps in breaking the monotony of an unsatisfactory job.

Not sure about stepping out of your comfort zone still? Read this article: Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

2. Get Rid of the Memories from Your Existing Job

Most of the times, it is your past which doesn’t allow you to liberate yourself in the present. Your memories from the current job are dominant over your memories you want to create.

Come on! You are stronger than you think. You need to detach yourself from those sweet-sour memories. Only then, you could take a big leap towards self-realization.

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Here’s the deal:

A beautiful future awaits you where every moment is so blissful you’ll not recall the past to trigger a memory.

Learn how to let go of the past: 7 Ways To Let Go Of The Past And Live A Happy Life

3. Listen to Your Gut

The problem is everyone has access to the locker of your right-wrong beliefs, but not you. You listen to everyone and lose your conscious decision.

Why don’t you back yourself?

If you don’t love what you are doing and you want to quit your unfulfilling job, QUIT.

Why do you restrict yourself?

Only you have the answers to your uncertainties. Stop seeking answers from others. Ask yourself receptively. You’ll unlock all the mysteries about yourself.

Here’s some advice for you: How to Listen to Your Inner Voice

4. Get Excited to Fail

Sounds silly? It’s not:

Success is an elusive mask covering many lifeless faces of failures.

In case you don’t know, if Thomas Edison hadn’t failed, he might not have become America’s most well-known and prolific innovator.[2] And there are even more examples like this: 10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

The pursuit of your dream career is full of struggles and failures. And unless you are ready to fail many times, you are ineligible to succeed.

Only if you settle with your current job which is unsatisfying will you be a real failure. The excitement to fail on the other side is unmatched. Worth a shot!

5. Disallow Social Environment to Control You

If there were no cameras, every soul would tell an interesting story.[3]

I’m sorry but your social environment is bullying you. You have become a puppet to people.

People define your journeys and destinations, and you are losing big time.

Wake up call!

Cut the chord with your social environment which is not only polluting your personal but also your professional environment: Managing Your Social Network Addiction

6. Do Not over Analyze, Execute

Intelligent people are particularly prone to the overthinking that can cause analysis paralysis and lead to a failure to make decisions or take action.[4]

Yes, you are intelligent but you need to be smarter! Never allow your intelligence to become a hindrance in quitting your unfulfilling job.

Thinking and planning are important aspects of a visionary, but never allow overthinking to take a toll on the execution.

Take small steps rather than thinking about giant leaps. Divide your goal into small targets; make sure you achieve them.

Here’s how: Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today

7. Make Your Family a Part of Your Dream

If you are fortunate enough to live with your family, you owe responsibilities towards them. After all, they are your father, mother, siblings, life-partner.

Maybe your dream career is something they haven’t heard about, but relax. Don’t expect magic overnight!

Be courageous enough to make them understand why you want to quit your unsatisfactory job.

You may fail big time but don’t lose hope. This is the absolute test of your endurance.

When you convince them, you don’t have to search for a support system in your failures. And a few applauds from them in your small wins keep you up and running.

8. Spend Time with Like-Minded People

To challenge the now and dive into the new, I’m afraid you’ll not find many people standing by your side.

But that’s fine!

Keep a close watch on people with whom you spend your precious time.

What you need to ask yourself:

Are these people your motivators or the ones who constantly try to put you down?

When you get an answer, trust it and go with the flow. You may lose people but you’ll discover yourself.

9. Prioritize Inner Happiness over Monetary Happiness

Possibly, there’s a big fat cheque between your unsatisfactory job and your aspiration. The choice is difficult!

You’ll agree money is not everything but the first thing to be happy. But if your job is not reviving and is killing your happiness, what are you waiting for?

Maybe your dream career isn’t as materialistically rich as your current job, but assuredly, it’ll make you spiritually content.

You have found out what will make you happy, so just go out there and get it: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

10. Learn to Say No

‘No’ is just a two-letter word, ever measured its intensity?

It is loud enough to make you a warrior. However, we don’t use it often.

Being on the receiving end of a no can be brutal, but saying yes to everything isn’t going to make up for that.[5]

Learn this art to quit your unfulfilling job! Not only with others but use it often with yourself. Any denial or a small sacrifice for your own good is a gateway to self-love. It boosts your self-esteem to disallow the negative influences to entice you. You find reasons to listen to yourself.

Leo Babauta has some suggestions on this: The Gentle Art of Saying No

11. Accompany Yourself in Your Alone Time

You encounter many moments in your daily life when there is no one around. What do you do in that alone time?

Either you retreat to the past or you drive to the future. What you don’t realize is your present requires an introspection.

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This ignorance is making you incomplete. Neither you are self-aware nor there is a clarity in your thought process.

The secret is when you spend alone time with yourself, your dream becomes your mission, and the inroads make way for beautiful roads. Your journey doesn’t need a navigator. And your questions have answers.

Use your alone time to do some self reflection: How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

12. Feel Fortunate for the Blessing

When most of us are fighting for the necessities of survival; you discovered your dream.

Where most of the people don’t get solitude time, you know what makes you blissful.

Yes… you are fortunate! How could you dump this wonderful opportunity?

There are many people who might replace you in your unfulfilling job. But make sure no one replaces you in the work you do the best.

13. Never Lie to Yourself

Confidence is imperative but if there is no transparency in your thought process, only confidence is a big disaster.

Self-acceptance is supreme in pursuance of your dream career.

You need to acknowledge your current standing and future goals.

You need to be brutally honest to yourself. Only then, there’s a clarity in your thought process.

Don’t blindly run towards your dream’s realization; walk on your aspiration-driven path consciously.

14. Become an Inspiration for Others

Amidst your uncertainties, someone is closely watching your actions and reactions.

Maybe your close friend or your younger sibling, there’s someone relating to you. They are curious about your next move.

But what do they seek from you? They silently urge you to take one brave move to open the floodgate.

Only you can break the shackles of their boring monotony. Because when you execute, they feel happy and liberated like you.

You become their unsung hero!

15. Realize Your Current Job Is Saturating You

Your current job is unsatisfactory. It cannot get worse. It is tiring and boring, it doesn’t release serotonin anymore.

And you know it!

You even know your exploration begins only when you quit your current job. What else can motivate?

Always remember:

You may do well in your existing job but you will create wonders on the other side. Go all in!

16. Segregate Your Dream into a Passionate Movement

You have a dream career in mind. But to follow it, you are not resilient to do what it takes to reach there.

You lose hope quickly!

Look:

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Neither dreaming is enough nor quitting your existing job is easy.

Only your passionate will is powerful enough to withstand the test of time. Let that fire burn inside you until your dream coincides with reality.

17. Pen down the Possible Positives

It’s super easy! But you are probably wondering:

How could such a small step be beneficial in quitting my unsatisfactory job?

Yes, it’s a small step but immensely powerful.

When you list down how quitting your unfulfilling job is a boon, trusting your decision becomes easier.

Any apprehensions at any point flush out when you recall those jotted positives of leading a dream career.

18. Break the Rules

There is no thumb rule or a particular mantra for success. It’s good to have idols. There’s no harm in following them. But what’s wrong is you compare your journey with them.

What you don’t realize is that you may share the same goal but the approach has to be different.

Never kill your originality trying to become like them.

Define your own journey. Never set a rule or a predefined path for success. Break-free!

19. Presume the Worst-Case Situation

Try to question yourself:

What will happen if you quit your unfulfilling job to lead to your dream career?

Is it your financial stability or an emotional dependency you are losing on? Whatever it is, imagining the worst-case scenario enables you to loosen up.

It provokes a nothing-to-lose attitude where there is no fear of anyone and anything. You move forward wholeheartedly with authority and devotion.

Your self-motivation is at cloud nine; you don’t fear the consequences anymore.

I hope any of these actionable techniques revive the feel you were about to lose.

Final Thoughts

You are a blessed soul who knows a couple of things more than most of the people:

Your current job is unfulfilling, and that you have a career-oriented dream.

But knowing about these isn’t enough!

Set yourself free as an individual and dive into the competition where your only competitor is you.

Life is too short to regret! Now when you have tasted the feeling of your chips being down, you deserve the magical feel to be on the other side of the table.

Always remember:

You are wrong only till the time you are struggling. But if you keep moving and taking those hard punches, one day you’ll realize your dream. With you, people realize everything about you were (and are) right!

More Useful Career Advice

Featured photo credit: Leonardo Yip via unsplash.com

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