General Question

Deepness's avatar

What does it take to quit your life and start a new?

Asked by Deepness (1145points) July 13th, 2009

I went out on the town tonight and met a gorgeous Australian woman. She quit her job and purchased a one year round-the-world ticket and just began her journey. New York City is her first stop lucky me!, followed by a month in Canada and 5 months backpacking through South America, etc.

I’ve been considering doing the same for the past year. She’s inspired me mainly because she’s a few years younger than me not because I want to run away with her. I’m 33. She’s 29. I don’t really know what’s holding me back. I don’t really have any long term commitments here. I have a steady job. Decent pay. Medical benefits. I don’t currently have any ailments for which I’d be dependent on the medical benefits.

Has anyone here ever backpacked or gone a really really really long trip away from home? Has anyone here ever quit and began a new life? What does it take (besides huge cahonas)?

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35 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

Do it when you have the chance. It would be something you would never forget!

lilgiraffe's avatar

I left my job in Asia which I had for 5 years, and went to Europe to study French and travel around for 7 months. I met amazing people and learnt that there are so many ways to live your life. I would never trade that experience for anything. Now that I’m back home (been back a month) I’m looking for a way to live differently from how I used to. What to do next and when I can go back to Europe are the main questions for me now.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

some big cahones my friend.

Real answer: Simply put, just passion…

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Me and my brothers took a trip all over europe one summer, saved for it forever, since we were all young. the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life and I’ll never forget it.

ckinyc's avatar

Take the Blue pill! Or is it the Red one?

whatthefluther's avatar

I did it once, but it didn’t quite work out as planned. With a Bachelors Degree secured and the college experience behind me, I decided it was time to really see America and perhaps points beyond. I quit the job that paid well enough for me to save a decent amount with which to travel. A friend with a van had similar ideas, so in the summer of 1977 we hit the road. We did not have a schedule or particular destination. We did not know how long the trip would go or if/when/where we would settle. But we did set a goal of seeing every National Park that was in our path. About six weeks in, a phone call to family revealed that a dear friend had become very ill and required surgery. This person had “been there” for me many times and I felt it appropriate to reciprocate in their time of need. And besides, I was just off screwing around. So I returned to L.A., saw my friend through their surgery and recovery, got a offer to return to my old job with a nice increase in pay and settled back in. It was fun and exciting while it lasted and if that friend had not become ill, who knows where I might have eventually settled. Incidentally, the friend with the van continued on the road for about two years, settling here and there for short periods of time and eventually settled for an extended time in Eugene, Oregon. See ya…

RareDenver's avatar

@ckinyc fuck it, just take both, see what happens!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

“It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.” according to Chuck Palahniuk in Fight Club…

DarkScribe's avatar

A Police pursuit with helicopters and cameras?

Lupin's avatar

It takes money. Or in many cases, rich parents and the knowledge that your future is secure no matter what you do.
Think about it. At 29, how much equity did she have in the house? Do you think she owned it outright? Did she end up with a great divorce settlement? Last I heard most folk are underwater if they bought homes within the past 5 years.
She had cash -and lots of it.

JLeslie's avatar

I think this is a great time to do it, especially if you are American. Previously, there was ridiculous pressure to NEVER have time between jobs on your resume/CV. This always was annoying to me. Now that we have been going through significant lay-offs on and off for the past 10 years, I think companies are more forgiving about these things. If you have the money I say go for it, and I think better before you are 45. Once you start getting into your 50’s it is more difficult to get hired into a job.

SirBailey's avatar

“I don’t currently have any ailments for which I’d be dependent on the medical benefits.”

You can get run over by a car or fall down a cliff the first day you get to wherever you’re going. I would not think about my health insurance in terms of how I THINK I am now.

I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m just saying that you should not feel you have no need for health insurance and take that into consideration. If you’re wealthy enough to pay out-of- pocket should the need arise, go for it.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It takes love. That is how my partner and I after meeting on the internet got together though we were married to other people then. We broke things off with our spouses, he dropped everything and moved from IL to NY and started a new life with me.

JLeslie's avatar

You can get catastrophic health insurance that is not very expensive, just make sure it covers out f country ifyou are going to travel. Basically, you will pay for regular doctors appointments, and have a high deductable, but if you have something horrible happen, God forbid, that costs $40,000 you will have coverage for a significant portion.

SirBailey's avatar

And don’t forget dental work possibilities.

Deepness's avatar

@Lupin I did bluntly ask her how she got the balls to do such a thing and her reply was “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do plus I’ve ex-bf back at home whose trying to kill me” in that delicious Aussie accent.

Yep, I sure know how to pick’em!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Deepness :) it was and has been quite a story, a romance, a passion

nebule's avatar

um… I have no idea… but… I would say the following are absolutely necessary

over-brimming self-confidence
either; a lack of fear or,
an amazing ability to embrace it
lots of money,
advisably… no children
a good strong body
a well thought out plan
organisation skills
beneficial would be intuition and map reading skills

good luck!!!...but if you do go..don’t forget to say goodbye first :-)


Deepness's avatar

@lynneblundell I found this blog online. It’s a bout a guy who quit his job a little over a year ago and did the round-the-world backpacking thing. He detailed as much as he could with photos and entries. It’s so amazing. You’re right about having a well thought out plan and great organization skills. His pre-trip plan and the costs are so incredibly detailed. It’s fascinating. I don’t have those kinds of skills. sigh I guess I can always dream.

CMaz's avatar

Go for it! So much I could have done and should have done, that now it would cost too much and am now tied down with responsibilities.

nebule's avatar

@Deepness if you set your mind to it…you could do it… it would be much better though to do it with someone I reckon.. (;-)) my cousin went to Australia for three months with her best friend last year… said it was amazing!!

benjaminlevi's avatar

Punch your boss in the face and get evicted from your home. Once you have burned down all your bridges there will be no reason to stay where you are.

Sariperana's avatar

I did that 3 years ago…

I did it because i was desperate to leave my life.

It was the best thing that i have ever done for myself…

No regrets!

Deepness's avatar

@Sariperana What did you do? How’d you go about doing it?

Sariperana's avatar

@Deepness I live in Australia, i had recently gone through a bad break up that involved my then boyfriend sleeping with my then best friend – i went through a really depressed stage, and i didnt go out anywhere – i needed to get out of my life, so one day, i qiut my job, bought a plane ticket and caught a flight overseas.

I have family in Europe, so it was a bit easier for me. (Even though i had never met them before) I went to Croatia and stayed over there at my cousins house for a few months, then rented an appartment in a little magical place called Trogir, where i stayed for another 8 months. There i met a wonderful guy whose smile i fell in love with!

I couldnt find work over there though, so i ended up running out of money and going back home – but back home a changed person :)

I have been back every two years since!

Here, it is very common for young australians to pack up and move to the UK or USA – as most of them can get visa’s etc qiute easily .Once they are there, they work in a pub or something and travel around!

P.S i dont have big cahoones?? haha

Sariperana's avatar

@Deepness and lastly, the only thign i can really say is: What are you waiting for? Just do it!

Strauss's avatar

In 1977, my then GF and I sold everything we could not fit into a van and went off to “look for America”. The trip lasted for about 6 months, and we split up. We went from the Midwest to San Diego. She stayed there, I packed up my stuff and went on from there by thumb. My journey lasted a couple years, until I landed in New Orleans.

Cartman's avatar

I have done things like this a few times. Just packed up everything and gone. To study abroad by myself, backpacking across Asia, going to a, for me, unknown country (India, Ukraine) and bought a motor bike and tried to get home (When living in Europe naturally, bike to the US is hard. Hard.) quiting my job flat out to start a company, again and again and again in different fields.

The question I ask myself and that I think anyone in your position should ask themselves and really (no I mean it REALLY) consider the answer is: WHY NOT?

trailsillustrated's avatar

it takes money money money. Im australian and met lots of women doing that. sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t

SABOTEUR's avatar

Oprah Winfrey’s money or Tiger Wood’s mistresses.

Coloma's avatar

Go for it! I have started ‘over’ several times in my life and the unknown always DELIVERS more than you could imagine!

Get travel health insure just in case, and go for it. Besides that IS what lifes about…standing 5 feet away from a Cobra! lololol

Let the adventure begin!

Coloma's avatar

Besides…the health situation..IF you are really seeing the world, 95% of your journies won’t be near sustainable medical care. Big cities yes, but…last month in Taroko Taiwan it would have been 4 hours to the nearest medical facility..I’d have just gone for the opium cure! lol

Infact.. was joking with my health provider..asked them if an Opium overdose after being bitten by a Banded Krait, Cobra or Bamboo viper would be covered as an ‘emergency!’ lololol

SufiClown's avatar

An incredible amount of loathing for you current life. It will lend you with just the perfect amount of vulnerability mixed with confidence, which is required to do something like this. However, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons; differentiate between a “break” and a “new life”. Its not a new life if you come back from a month of backpacking doing the same old things the same old way.

nebule's avatar

hitting the bottom and trying with all your might to get out

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