Don't quit your job to travel the world.
Yes, I know it is all the rage these days. It's a rebellion against what is perceived to be drudgery and an embrace of what is perceived to be freedom.
The problem is that it's not all it's cracked up to be. And this is from a guy who has done it.
In fact it's downright dangerous to the development of authentic masculinity.
Does that sound like I'm taking it a bit far?
I don't think so.
The whole essence of manhood is sacrifice and providing for others.
The whole essence of quitting your job to travel is about escape and avoidance of hard work.
I'm not against travel per se, I've done a lot of it and it's awesome. What I'm against is the attitude that sees travel as a way to extend your adolesence, avoid responsiblity and avoid the real world.
That attitude only hinders you in the long run.
The Importance Of Career And Work
Humans are hardwired to be productive. We are happiest when we are working and producing.
A life of leisure sounds attractive when you are feeling fatigued at work but in reality it is tough.
Just ask eary retirees or stay at home parents. Idleness is not pleasant. We get satisfaction from meaningful work.
A job isn't a way to keep you down and suck the life out of you. It's a place where you provide value to others.
Work is not just about clocking in and cashing a pay check. It's about doing something useful. You get a benefit in wages or salary but you are providing something as well.
Our culture doesn't respect work anymore. We have become so wealthy that we forgot how it happened. It's trendy to care more about idealistic things such as fulfillment, finding yourself and discovering your passion. In progressive thinking, work is something for the unenlightened.
I got seriously down when I quit my job. It took me a while to realize why but it was amazing when I figured it out. For all the bullshit that comes with having a job I realized that I was actually happier with a job than without one.
Stop Trying To Escape Adulthood
It wasn't that long ago that children helped out on the family farm. Later on they went to school for a few years, but still did meaningful work around the home. Then they left school at a young age and started work as a teen.
Now it is expected that you go to school all the way through your teens. Then most young men go off to college for a few years. Ostensibly to get a college education, but just as importantly for most is the chance to let their hair down and have a good time.
It's little wonder that young men in their early twenties struggle to adjust to the world of work and want to escape it. Without a work ethic being built from a young age it's easier to be lazy and avoid getting your hands dirty.
Throw in a bit of Marxist indoctrination at college about the evils of capitalism and making money and you have a recipe for disaster.
Instead of trying to escape the world of work you need to accept that a degree of sacrifice is necessary. A roof over your head and food in your belly only comes through labor and the sweat of your brow. Get used to it.
Stop trying to escape adulthood and learn to embrace it.
Stop Living Off Wealth You Didn't Create
Quitting your job to travel is a form of geo-arbitrage. That is earning and saving in a strong developed economy's currency, e.g. US dollars, and then spending that money in a developing economy where your money goes much further e.g. Thailand.
There is nothing wrong with geo-arbitrage in principle.
The problem is that young people did nothing to deserve this advantage and it creates a sense of entitlement.
You have done nothing to create the foundations of Western prosperity and are living off the fruits of the generations that have gone before you who did work hard and didn't frivolousy squander their hard earned money. By luck of your birth you have been born into a wealthy country and can go and spend that money in South East Asia or South America and live like a king.
But that will do nothing to develop your character or help you appreciate the value of work and money. Now that the east has thrown off the yoke of communism they are growing faster becaue culturally they understand the principle of hard work. The West has forgotten that and their bloated economies struggle under the weight of government largesse where everybody wants something for nothing.
The whole phenomenon of quitting your job to travel only exists because society has become so wealthy that this luxury is a possibility.
Don't be part of the travelling bum fraternity. Get a suit, have a shave and get a job.
The Novelty Will Wear Off
I loved not having a job for about 2-3 months. After that the novelty wore off.
It wasn't as though I was completely unproductive. I was like many travellers in that I ran an online business. In fact I ran two - this one and one that was an affiliate for boring household hard goods.
I have nothing against running an online business.
Using the internet as a means to communicate is awesome as is using it as a means of commerce. And yes, if you are a solopreneur, this means you are not location bound.
All of that is fine, if you seek to build a legitimate business that adds value.
The problem is that my head was in the zone where I was trying to escape "having a real job" as if that was something worthy. As I have mentioned, it isn't worthy, it's pure escapism and it doesn't make you happy. Working hard, providing value and enjoying your leisure as you bask in your work will make you happy.
Having complete freedom over my day, no boss and the ability to go anywhere whenever I wanted was cool only for a short while. It is no way to live in the long run. Sure, I needed a good holiday after several years working, but that's all I needed. I didn't need a new lifestyle.
Eventually it got downright depressing. Always being on the move, with no stability and no fixed place of abode. I couldn't handle it.
I went back home, got a job and became happy once again. And boy am I glad about that.
It took a while to adjust to the new paradigm. After all I had spend many years dreaming of the day when I would throw in the cubicle for a permanent life of freedom. It was strange to go back to work because I wanted to. But it was the right thing to do. It's much better having an online business as a side gig than as the main event.
Build A Deep Life At Home
The Art of Manliness has an awesome article called Against The Cult Of Travel.
I can sum it up simply by saying that many people who take to travel do so because they are unhappy. They expect the travel to solve their problems and it doesn't.
If you are unhappy with your work or your life quitting your job to travel is not the panacea you will expect it to be.
Work and production is one of the most important parts of human existence and is incredibly important to our self esteem. Don't shy away from it or shrug it off. Find something worth doing and commit your time to that in the form of a job or career.
Going on a trip does nothing but push the problem into the future, where sure enough you will have to confront it once again. Don't be a coward and put it off. Confront it now by facing your fears.
You can build a deep life at home full. Family, friends and place are incredibly important. Put down those roots and nuture your domestic life. It will be much more rewarding than globetrotting in search of yourself.
This whole idea of quitting your job to travel is incredibly overrated.
It is a youthful, idealistic and naive attempt to hold back the responsibilities of adulthood and extend adolesence.
If you truly care about developing yourself as a man then you should embrace the challenges that come with being a man.
That means work, marriage and family. Not backpacking, hostel bars, travel flings and a never ending childhood.
Travel isn't the problem. It is the attitude that you don't need to work and are entitled to a life of leisure. All that will cause is a weakening of your moral fiber.