34 and plotting - what to consider?

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34 and plotting - what to consider?

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Joined 2016-03-17

Hi everyone,

Hope you can help me with a couple of questions - and maybe inspire me to make my mind up and just go travelling…

I’ve not long turned 34. Fortunate to have a good job, but no longer happy at all in the city I’m in, and want to move away anyway. That would mean a new job, but few options really appeal me. And I am absolutely itching to go and do something different with my life. (This - http://cdn.zenpencils.com/wp-content/uploads/2012-11-13-chrisg.jpg - is what frightens the hell out of me…wink

At the moment, my dream is to pack it in, work out my notice - and then maybe volunteer in India for a couple of months (through Workaway or the like), and then hit the road and see where things take me.

It’s what my heart wants, but my head wants to make sure I’m not doing anything stupid either.

The big one is the career break. I (loosely) work in marketing. First, it feels like that’s the sort of career where you’d benefit from doing something different (rather than just looking like a slacker). But I’d love to hear from anyone who has some experience of what it’s like trying to get back on track after a break (say, 12 months). Bottom line - I’m happy to sacrifice a bit of career progress for overall happiness, but just want to check that taking a year away isn’t totally dumb.

Another big one is earning on the road - and being able to travel flexibly to help do that. I’ve seen about sites like elance to do some flexible work while travelling. Ideally that would mean being able to earn a bit from anywhere in order to help fund my adventure (just enough to pay for me to carry on travelling). But a looming question is about how flexible I can be - how important is it to have all flights booked when I set out? Or is it generally OK to be flexible with this sort of thing?

And the last big one I want to think about is regret. I’m well aware of the human bias in being over-optimistic about future plans - so I’d just be curious if anyone reading this (especially in my sort of situation) has headed out and run into any difficulties. Point is - I’m doing this to actually have fun with life (not the case at the minute!). So I’d be interested if anyone has had similar intentions, but maybe a couple of experiences to learn from.

I was going to ask if 34 is too old to travel - but reading a few threads has assured me that’s not the case!

I hope that doesn’t all seem too negative! Like I said - I just want to make sure I’m making a good decision for myself, before I go follow my dreams.

Thanks so much for any thoughts and wisdom - really appreciate it!

     
Avatar for Nightingall
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Joined 2016-03-24

I want to post a reply but it stops me for spam! Perhaps if you post your email I’ll send it over. Sorry!

     
Avatar for Gijonno
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I’m in the exact same boat as you. I’m plotting my escape from work and I’ll be going in 6 weeks. I’m currently 32, I’ve been away for extended travel a couple of times before and it just gets more addictive, so for me travel/experiences are the only thing I don’t mind spending £1,000s on.

I’m obviously going to say go for it. Life really is too short and you need to do what you need to do to be the happiest you can be, that goes for relationships/jobs etc. You never know what could happen and where your trip may lead you.

That picture is brilliant by the way.

     
Avatar for Matt_F27
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Joined 2015-12-02

im in the process of sorting it all out and will be going on a year long trip around the world later this year. currently saving my arse off and either renting or selling my house with the possibility of staying in new zealand

im 32 and have a good paid job here in uk, but life is all about risks, and as far as im concerned your never too old, life is short and precious and no room for regrets, take the chance and risk it or you will never know

ive done a little bit of travellinf but only for 1 month on 4/5 seperate occasions, and each time ive wanted to come back less, so since september last year ive set my sights on saving as much as possible and living out that dream

     
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Joined 2016-03-17

Hi all,

Thanks for your thoughts, and sorry for totally neglecting this thread… was away (for reasons less fun than I hope to away for soon).

What you’ve put has of course only encouraged me even more to go…

Will leave this here - in case anyone else stops by, would love to hear any further thoughts on if there’s anything to consider first.

@Matt and @Gijonno - are either of you going to try and earn a bit of cash on the road? And if you’ve done that before, how did it go? Was it difficult to find work?

Thanks again!

     
Avatar for Matt_F27
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not looking at working no, should save enough to last me a year no problem

currently looking at selling my house though and keeping it away in case i like it in oz or nz and fancy staying there long term

     
Avatar for Gijonno
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I don’t really need to work but if an opportunity turned up to start a business abroad I’d have a bit of cash to start up.

I think there are alot of opportunities abroad to work, maybe not to earn loads of money but enough to keep the travelling going longer.

     
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Joined 2016-03-17

Cheers both. Have found a couple of freelance sites that might be promising. Like you said Gijonno, would be just to prolong it! And to find out what’s possible.

Will pop back when plans develop smile

     
Avatar for Juan1980
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Hi

I went travelling back end of 2014 for 4 months. I had a good job with very good pay, but i always had this thing in me that wanted more out of life than just working.

I was unhappy and bored of the same old mundane thing…. i woke up one day sold my car, walked in to STA to get some information… but ended up spending £1600 on ticket to dubai, thailand, singapore, OZ and NZ. Went in to work and gave in my notice and flew out 4 weeks later.

I took a risk, as i was worried about finding a job when i got back, but i had a job offer before returning home and was back in work within 3 days once i arrived home!

Even while I was away I was networking on Linkedin and just keeping up to date on what was happening… 18 months later I am earning 6K more a year than i was earning before I left!

Most employers worth working for appreciate that a large percentage of their work force won’t stay with them in the long term, mainly due to the opportunities that are available.

My advice… BUY the ticket. Once you have the ticket there is no turning back smile

oh and i am 35 and I am looking to go travelling in Jan 2017 for 3-6 months.

     
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Joined 2016-03-17

Many thanks Juan! It was actually your post (about 33 being too old for a career) that I found a few weeks ago, and which made me sign up here - so thanks for that too smile

I was wondering how things turned out after that trip - good to know it didn’t hold you back.

Next stop for me - STA.

Thanks again!

     
Avatar for Juan1980
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Hi

Glad I could help.

Its definitely the best thing I ever did. I always found excuses to postpone or not too book. Then I just walked in to an STA (Victoria Branch) and booked there and then with very little research or planning.

Looking back planning might have been better as I would have budgeted better, but I think i had a better experience by going with the flow as I met so many travellers of all ages that had such a fixed plan and not a lot of spontaneity.

I am already planning my next trip and looking to go back to Asia, OZ and NZ… its an amazing art of the world.

Where are you planning to go?

     
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As for where - I’d love to start by doing some volunteering in India through workaway or similar, and then travel more in the country.

After that - more of Asia, Australia, perhaps South America. And driving through the US would be ace.

One of my questions for STA will be about doing it flexibly - what you just said about a fixed plan is exactly what I want to avoid and I’d much prefer to go with the flow like you did! Any thoughts on how flexible you can make it would be great.

Thanks again smile

     
Avatar for Juan1980
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Sounds amazing!

The ticket i purchased from STA was flexible, so I could change the dates on my ticket. For a small extra charge I could change destination in that region, which suited me perfectly.

Id love to go india one day and definitely see Machu Picchu and to do route 66.

With my last trip i was very flexible… Id only book my first couple of nights accommodation so I could move on or extend my stay if i wanted to stay longer.

I just loved the thought of waking up in the morning and not knowing what I was going to do that day!

smile

     
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Joined 2016-03-17

That’s exactly it! May send you a direct message soon for a few tips on travelling that flexibly smile

Thanks again!

     
Avatar for Juan1980
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Yeah no worries.

happy i can help.

     
Avatar for Poolio
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Joined 2016-05-10

Glad I’ve read a few of these posts, I’m going to quit my job end of this month and work out my notice until end of August! Feels strange to have made the decision but also a weight off my mind as was getting very fed up with corporate life. Have plenty of time to plan and think will go either Central / South America or SEA but I have seen alot of that region already.

Any starter advice would be great!