Work-addicts aren’t strangers to late office hours, Saturdays spent glued to a computer, obsessive emailing during family holidays, skipping vacation days — work easily becomes the #1 priority fostered by our GO-GO-GO society. But, if the daily grind grates your nerves, your physical health and your mental well being, and you’re dying to ditch your cubicle for adventure, perhaps it’s time to quit your job and travel. Seriously. Why not? If you’ve always wanted to take a cooking class in Italy, go to language school in South America, build a house in Africa, or just get away from the desk and live a life not centered around work, travel provides a vehicle to explore those passions and interests. It pulls you outside of your comfort zones (and your cubicle).
But, you have to start somewhere and admitting you’re ready (even secretly aching) to go is step one.
After speaking to hundreds of would-be travelers, myself and Amanda Pressner, Holly Corbett and Jen Baggett, (authors of The Lost Girls: Three friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World) put together a list of six questions to ask yourself before you quit your job and travel. If you answer YES to three or more of these questions, it’s probably time to hit the road and pursue your unlived bucket list. No one wants to wake up at age 65 and realize they’re burnt out, retired and unsure what things in life have meaning besides the job that consumed their adulthood.
So take our test, and figure out if it’s time for you to quit your job and travel.
1. Do I spend more time with my co-workers than my friends and family?
2. Do I skip over vacation days (except for my honeymoon) to make sure I’m not swamped at the office?
3. Do I feel guilty or stressed if I don’t check my work email at night and/or on the weekends?
4. Has the recession made me worry about my job security and career advancement?
5. Is the career path I’ve chose the right one for me, or is there more to life than this?
6. I feel like I’m on automatic pilot, is it possible to find time to pursue my real passions?