10 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job and Travel for a Year! Like 0 Twitter Melissa Gittelman Follow Nov. 23, 2016, 3:56 p.m. in Life and Styles Views: 1124 Like us on facebook This coming July, my fiance and I plan to get married and quit our jobs to take a 6 to 9 month honeymoon. We are flying to Argentina and working our way up to Mexico. When we tell people our plan, most people react with confusion and surprise. It is not a common concept in America to take time away from working in order to travel. In other cultures it is completely normal, but Americans are very career driven. So most people here think we are crazy. This isn't even the first time I've done it. I took a 4 month break after college to travel through Europe. I took a 10 month break in between AmeriCorps and my next step to travel to Australia and SE Asia. And this trip won't be the last time either. Why would we take a career break to travel for so long? I'll tell you why. Life is unpredictable. We never know what will happen in life. We could wake up one day and it could be our last day on earth. Who knows if we will live to a 100 or die tomorrow. So, why waste our days stuck in a cubicle dreaming about vacations we will never take? Instead, I choose to live life every day. I don't wait for anything, because it could all end tomorrow. Or we could become injured or paralyzed and travel won't be an option down the road. Carpe Diem! Life is meant to be lived. Work is work, it is a means to an end most of the time. People become robots performing the same tasks day in and day out that the days seem to melt away and they never truly live. When people are asked about their lives on the their death bed, they rarely talk about the work that they did. They speak about the exciting memories they made or their regrets for not living more fully. I read a quote once that said, "when you die, your life will pass before your eyes. Make sure it is a film worth watching!" Why are we on this earth if not to live our lives to the fullest. Go have those adventures. Say yes to exciting new things! See the world! Don't live and die at your desk. Travel enriches your life. Every time I travel I learn more about myself and the world around me. Traveling teaches you self reliance, resilience, and understanding. You are faced with different cultures, different foods, and different levels of comfort. I've had to learn to adapt to peeing in a hole, eating odd foods, and interacting with people who have different values than me. It always teaches me a lot about who I am as a person and how to be more patient and understanding of others who are different from me. You will learn way more on your travels than you ever would in school or in work. It helps you gain independence and self-reliance. As mentioned above, travel changes you. When you are at home, you can rely on friends and family to help you. In other countries, you must put yourself out there and ask for help from strangers. You are also in control of your own plans and destiny. You don't have a routine or work weighing on your shoulders. Every day is in your control. So you can be independent and pave your way each new day. You also must take care of yourself and your needs without the help of loved ones. It teaches you strength and to trust your own instincts. This is especially true when you travel alone. These are life skills that you can only learn out in the world. Vacations aren't long enough. Most Americans look forward to their one to two week vacations each year and then they are over before they even get adjusted to relaxing. Let's face it vacations are too short. In Europe, they at least allow a one month holiday to all employees. Here in America most workers don't ever get vacations and those that do get the standard 14 days. That is not enough. We work so hard our whole lives, we deserve a longer break. Stress wreaks havoc on the body and without a proper break, stress will continue to build. A lot of over achievers never even use their PTO or allotted vacation time each year. This is crazy. We all need to take mental breaks. Why not take one that is longer than 2 weeks. Why not a year? Or at least 3-6 months. A break of this length will allow you to fully relax and rid yourself of stress. This is for your health! Traveling is ten times better than vacationing. Don't get me wrong, vacations are great. You get to lay on a beach somewhere and sip drinks with umbrellas in them. My issue with vacations is that you never really get to know the country or culture that you are visiting. You are a tourist checking off boxes on a list or you are lazing around a pool that could be anywhere in the world, because most resorts look the same. Traveling is a whole other story. You are rubbing elbows with locals. You are able to be spontaneous and go on adventures you never would have gone on. There is no rush. You can take time to relax and you can take time to explore all that the country has to offer. You can also volunteer, work for free room and board, and even spend time on a local's couch. There are so many ways to travel when you have extra time to do it. Most employers won't allow that much time off, so what they hell, jobs come and go but your ability to enjoy the world is fleeting. Vacations are expensive. Travel is priceless. When you vacation, you spend lots of money on recreating the comforts of home. You pay extra to have the nicest hotel rooms and resorts so you don't have to feel the real experience of that country. You splurge on food that isn't local. You waste money in gift shops instead of paying locals for their wares. The costs of vacations are exorbitant. In contrast, traveling is very affordable. You have time to save money, so you eat from street carts, stay in hostel beds, and the more time you have the more money you can save. If you have a year, you can work for a few months and get free room and board. You can travel more leisurely, so you don't waste money on expensive hopper flights or luxury transportation. You can travel slowly and save your money for the real adventures. In addition, travel is priceless. It is the only thing you spend your money on that will make you richer, as it was once said. Instead of a possession, you gain memories and experiences and life. So, take the time to travel and you will gain so much more than if you just vacation. Travel has the ability to end xenophobia. People who are xenophobic haven't left their home. They judge people based on the lies and stereotypes they hear in the media. If someone were to take a year to travel the world and witness the kindness and generosity of strangers from other cultures, they could not continue to be xenophobic. People must leave their comfort zones, and come face to face with people who are different from them. This is the only way for them to truly accept and love all human beings regardless of different races, religions, or cultures. We must challenge our beliefs about others. Travel can educate the close-minded into understanding and compassion for others. This is the only way. Unfortunately, some of the world's wonders won't be around for much longer. Due to the rapid destruction of the earth via global warming and over population, there are species going extinct at a rapid pace, natural wonders being destroyed, and man made wonders deteriorating. In the next 100 years, we may lose the Great Barrier Reef, the icebergs in places like Glacier National Park, and World Heritage Sites like Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. I don't know about you, but I want to see these places before I die. Sadly, they aren't holding up well to this changing planet and humans aren't changing their habits fast enough. These wonders are enriching to the world and worth having on our bucket lists. I wouldn't wait too long though, because they are disappearing faster than we know. You need to stop making so many excuses. Because I said so! Retirement is too far away to wait that long. Money comes and goes. Jobs come and go. You are young and full of energy now, you don't know how you will feel down the road. You have less responsibilities when you are young. You don't have kids yet, and if you do, take them with you. Kid's should also experience the world. You don't want to be a robot and work until you die. Life is meant for living!! Just do it! Published by Melissa Gittelman Share Mail Messenger Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Comments Related Article Life and Styles Frugal Fashion Is Not Fast Fashion Life and Styles Brazil 2003 Travel Diary: Trekking in Itatiaia National Park Life and Styles I Call It My "Groove List"