Do you spend ridiculous hours at work? Do you do loads of overtimes that nobody appreciates? Does your boss drive you nuts and there’s no way you gonna get a rise? Do you feel like every day is the same and there’s nothing interesting happening in your life? Do you dream about adventure and about visiting places you’ve only read in Lonely Planet books so far? If you answered at least 4 times yes..then I think it’s time for a Career Break.
Loads of questions might come to your mind. Like what I am gonna do? Where and with who will I go? Will I be able to afford it? How long the travel preparation will take me? Should I quit my job or just ask for non-paid leave? As soon as you find all the answers, you are half there.
Step nr. 1: Should I quit?
First of all, you should talk to your boss and find out if it is even possible to take few months of non-paid leave. Don´t be scared – just ask. Some companies might not have a problem with it at all. If they say yes, then you´ll be a very relaxed traveller because you will know there´s a place where you can return. If your boss says no, then just quit. Just make sure you have enough savings which will cover your costs even after coming back. Well, if you ever come back. To quit can have its advantages as well. For example: while travelling you might find a better job, or you will fall in love and then you don´t need to bother with any commitments. I handed my notice and have thought that will never come back but before I had the chance to start to worry that I´ll have no work after coming back, I got a call from my previous employer who offered me my job back.
Step nr. 2: Where and with who?
Just go alone! It´s the best thing you can do for yourself. Really.
Are you worried? I was as well, but if you are not planning to visit a war area where is a treat of kidnapping, then there is absolutely no reason for you to be fearful. If you get lost, you can ask where to go and you are intelligent enough not to walk alone in the middle of the night in dark areas. From my own experience I would say that Southeast Asia is pretty safe.
Step nr. 3: How much time will I need to get ready?
It all depends if you already have an idea about your journey. If you travel outside of Europe, you´ll most likely need a vaccination which takes some time to get. I got two shots of hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever in 6 weeks time. You can get the third hepatitis shot within a year and then you´ll be protected for the rest of your life. There are various vaccination schemes so the best will be to contact your doctor and find out all the essentials. You´ll also need some time to gather all the paper work necessary for obtaining your visa.
Step nr. 4: How much will it cost me?
Again, depends where you wanna go and what you wanna do. You can even work as a paid volunteer but in most cases be ready that you will work completely for free. I have worked as a volunteer myself in Thailand, but the NGO paid at least for my visa, work permit, accommodation and bike rent. I had to cover the rest from my own pocket. I have spent about 400 USD per month excluding health insurance.