Should I work or travel?
Many people with aspirations to see the world will at some point find themselves in a dilemma, faced with opposing aspirations that can at times feel like damning dichotomies. On the one hand, getting the most out of a travelling experience requires quite a substantial long-term commitment, and with that, long-term financial security. On the other hand, many fear that if they choose to get stuck into the world of work first, they may become ‘trapped’ in their job, and never be able to realise their travelling dreams. This is especially true if the job you end up with is one that holds genuine prospects for the future, and isn’t just a stop-gap.
A big part of balancing these opposing forces is simply adjusting your perceptions. For reasons unbeknownst to us, many anxieties felt by those of us who wish to travel but also progress along a prosperous career path stem from presumed societal pressures that, due to the nature of the current global job market, simply no longer apply to modern life.
The first way you can travel without having to fear for your professional life is by doing so in an interim period between two separate jobs, or even two separate careers. If you feel you need to build up your savings and experience before enjoying the fruits of your labours, then by all means do so! The average person is reported to change their entire field of work as many as five times in a lifetime. Choosing to travel at a pivotal moment where you know you will be changing careers anyway is a very healthy decision – you’ve already built up a foundation of skills, and you’ll be starting afresh anyway when you settle again, so there’s no need to worry about being left behind in terms of experience.
If you’re only looking to travel for three to six months, it may be worth looking into roles that offer sabbatical schemes. This often allows employees to enjoy up to a year of travelling in some cases, before returning securely to their previous job position.
Another way you can get the best of both worlds is by working abroad. With the shared economy at its strongest, and the world of digital also continuing to expand, the scope for remote working has never been greater. If you can snag yourself remote freelance work in your field, or even a fully online job, this could be the perfect way to not only get job security and experience while you travel, but ensure you continue to earn while doing so – meaning that you won’t have to slum it with all the other campers if you don’t want to!