How We Quit Our Jobs to Travel The World

How we escaped the desk! The Freedom Travellers 18 months on…

It’s hard to believe that it was just 18 months ago that The Freedom Travellers began. Reflecting on how much we’ve done and achieved in that time made me want to share a bit about the journey with you guys. So here goes…

Looking back, my life was very much same, same. I’d gotten to a point in my life where I was living every single day in a boring, mundane routine. This is what my life used to look like. I’d get home from work each night, usually around 8.30, 9 o’clock. I was tired and all I wanted was to eat some food, zone out in front of the telly and then go to bed. Then I’d wake up and do it all over again. Sound familiar?

So often, we get caught in the rat race. We become defined by job titles and paychecks. Things like hiring and firing people, completing projects, deadlines, managing budgets and getting caught up in office politics take priority over everything else. We become too tired to live our own lives.

So how did I get to that point?

I’ve always been a hard worker and a very conscientious staff member. During my working life, I always strived to deliver above and beyond what the task or role asked of me. That’s just how I’m wired and how I was raised. Amongst my friends and family, I was already considered successful. And if I’d continued on my career path, I have no doubt that I would have hit my desired income of $200K per year; in fact I would have smashed it out of the park! But with that, I’d have been stuck to my desk, working my ass off. Of course, being employed by a good company means I would have been rewarded with holidays, bonuses and time off, however the rest of the time I would have been permanently attached to my desk and that would have been my life. Work would have taken up 100% of my focus. Work. It seems crazy to think that now!

I became sick of living the same day over and over again. I was seeing the same people all the time and doing the same things week after week. Eating the same meals, doing the same walk, hearing my partner at the time bitching about the same people day after day and having no desire to meet new people or do new things. I just kept having a recurring thought that ‘there has to be more to life than this?!’

Is the day you’re currently living over and over where you want to be in five years time? 10 years time? 20 years time? Because I know for me, it wasn’t. If you’re happy with how your life is going, that’s awesome! Isn’t that what everyone wants? Happiness? For me though, at that point in my life, I wasn’t happy. And something had to change.

For those of you out there who can relate to how I was feeling and are questioning your current lifestyle, you need to know this…there is another way! There is happiness out there. When you’re so stuck in your comfort zone, like I was, you can’t see beyond your daily routine and it can really feel hard, like there’s no way out of the life you’re living right now. The only way I know how to break the cycle of repetition is to step out of it altogether. My advice is to take a holiday, a weekend or a week off work and really think about where you want to be. Having that freedom and the space to think clearly will help you make better decisions about what you want.

The birth of The Freedom Travellers began when Vic and I got together. As soon as we got together we knew everything was going to change no matter what. We were so happy, in our love bubble, and as a result we were destined to change the path that our lives were tracking on. The major catalyst for change, for those of you who don’t know, was having lunch with our friend and mentor David T.S Wood. We were at a t-junction in our careers; being completely honest we were at the point where we just wanted to quit altogether! At the time, the decision we’d made was that we were going to resign from our jobs and go travelling, falling into the same trap that everyone that quits their job to go travelling does. We had money in the bank, we would go away, travel, spend it, come back, and have to find another job.

It was David who really encouraged us to start thinking like entrepreneurs and challenged us to travel without spending all of our money. In fact, the real challenge was to come back from a trip with more money than we left with. I loved the idea of that challenge! The whole concept of travelling around the world AND earning money at the same time really piqued my interest and I knew we were totally ready for the challenge. Thinking differently and escaping the 9-to-5 really appealed to us so this was even better.

That day, we took the time to pick Dave’s brain. How did he travel for ten years without having any money to start with? What were the ways he earned money? How did he find people to help him out? Like the guy who’s house (mansion) in Spain he lived in for the whole summer. How do you do that? Sailing around the world, how did he do that? I’m a pretty good traveller and have had some great travelling experiences too, but it had always been short term, the longest time I had been away was a year and a half, nothing like ten years.

During the time I was travelling I lived like a broke backpacker, not staying in spectacular mansions. For me that conversation sparked my sense of adventure and gave me permission to say YES, I’m ready to do something different with my life! I’m ready to STOP living the same day over and over; I’m ready to give this thing a good crack. So, we started looking at all of the ideas that David had given us. We looked at things like house swapping, house sitting, Airbnb, contracting, network marketing…there were so many different ways we could earn money on the road.

To test it out, we went over to Sri Lanka for a month over Christmas in 2013. It was there that The Freedom Travellers was born. We were really lazy with it at first but even coming up with the idea really helped me to remember how much I wanted to do things like graphic design and photography. When I was so stuck in my job, it was hard to remember what I actually wanted out of life, where I wanted to go and what I wanted to learn. When you’re living that same day over and over, it’s difficult to break the cycle and make time for the things you really want to do.

Starting The Freedom Travellers was a great way for us to realize what our passions were and pinpoint aspects of our work lives and skill sets that we really enjoyed. We were able to figure out how we could leverage our skills, live a digital nomad lifestyle and start getting paid for it on our terms. The 9-to-5, Monday to Friday mindset of the corporate world is so weird when you think about it. The idea that you have a set of skills that a company will pay you for so you become an employee…it’s weird! It’s not so obvious to think that if a company is willing to pay me a salary in exchange for my skills, then why can’t I be my own boss and use those exact same skills to command the same dollar amount, if not more!

The way that the world works right now leads people to think they aren’t built for the digital nomad lifestyle. The perception that we need ‘job security’ keeps people trapped in the system. The good news is that it seems things are slowly evolving. With social media and the Internet, connecting with someone who is self-employed, likeminded and who wants and needs your skills is much easier than it used to be. Knowing what we know now, we’re all about showing people how to live an incredible life on their terms. The world is getting smaller and more connected. And everyone has the chance to leverage that!

The Freedom Travellers is a place for you to draw inspiration from our experiences. Over the past 18 months we’ve learned so many lessons and have a clear vision of what we want from our lives. Our vision and purpose is to show people that there is more to life than working for 40 hours a week (or more!) for 40 years. If you want your life to be about freedom and choice rather than job titles and having to impress your boss, then we have some amazing tools and resources coming your way that will help you plan your escape from the 9-to-5!

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