Don’t let the sun set on another gloomy day plodding away at a job you hate in a country full of rain and more rain, read on to see how I put the middle finger up to corporate life and chose an adventure of unplanned, exciting travel instead….
Early March 2017 I went Skiing in Bulgaria. I’d already assigned this holiday time as “thinking time” to decide what I was going to do to resolve my immense discontent with my work life.
I had already accepted months earlier that applying for another job wasn’t really an option as I no longer had the fire in my belly to approach job applications/networking/interviewing in the way that I would need to – and was that really what I wanted in life anyway?
Returning from my holiday a friend and colleague reminded me that ultimately it was only me that could get me out of this mess.
Later that same afternoon something clicked in me, and I decided I needed to quit my career, sell my house and just go travelling; to completely remove myself from my current life was my only option. I wasn’t even sure why I came to this conclusion but it felt so right, I needed to do it.
But how was I going to financially support such a decision? Was I really brave enough to uproot my entire life and sod off around the world on my own?
1) Free Up Your Finances
I hate to say it, but money rules the world; it was my biggest concern/blocker for making a decision about being unhappy in work. But if you want to be able to completely remove yourself from your current life and open up opportunity to travel or pursue something different, you’ll need lots of dollar and no financial commitments.
Personally, I couldn’t have justified going travelling if I was still paying for a car/phone/broadband/credit cards etc in the UK, paying out £100’s per month and not using those things.
You can read about what steps to take to achieve financial freedom here….
Do it! It’ll be a breath of fresh air…..
2) Sell Your House (and every last thread of cloth!)
It might seem extreme, but this was one of the most cathartic (I learnt a new word) things I’ve ever done, and I don’t regret it one bit! I’m quite an emotionally involved person, so making the decision to sell my first house which I’d only just renovated six months earlier “for me”, was a big deal, but it was the only way I was going to release enough equity to afford to quit everything and travel in this way.
The UK property market has really improved in the last two years and I was incredibly surprised when I had my house valued. All of a sudden it just became bricks, mortar and my route outta here! Renovating it certainly helped get the price up, I mean just look at that kitchen…..!
As for everything else, sell it to whoever will take it off your hands. Make a list of everything you want to sell (car, furniture, bikes, electronics etc) and a minimum price you’ll accept for it. Do a carboot! Charity it! Facebook worked wonders for me (just posted it on my timeline); I think selling things to your friends means there is a certain level of trust between the two of you and things shifted fast, it was easy!
Don’t start fannying around thinking “I’ll keep this old bike I’ve not used in two years for when I get back”. If you’re doing this properly, just get rid of everything. I sent about two tonnes of clothes to charity (about two pairs of jeans then 😉 ). Even if you do return to the UK in the future you can always buy things again.
Imagine being stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon wishing you had that extra 100quid to do the helicopter tour whilst you’ve got a second hand tumble drier stored in your parents garage for “safe keeping”. I think not!!
*dives head first into Grand Canyon*….
3) Raid the Piggy Bank
I’ve never been much of a saver, but I did have around £3k as a starting point. Once I’d decided this is what I was going to do, I stripped my outgoings even further and committed myself to saving as much as I possibly could for the six months until I was going to go away.
I saved over £5k in the six month. Each payday I would put £1k per month into a savings account. You’d be surprised how much you can save when you hold a gun to your own head. In honesty some months I would dip back into it (it was a busy summer of weddings, 30’s, stag do’s and socialising and I wasn’t about to stop enjoying myself!) It was the trips abroad/new clothes/new gadgets/house things/luxuries that got the cut.
Every time I sold something I’d add it to my travel fund and it became a game to add up my $$$$$.
4) Quit Your Job
I was on three months notice and I made a very conscious effort to withhold handing my notice in until the time was right;
- Once I knew the house sale was going through.
- In line with when I was planning to go away.
- Considering how much money I wanted to be able to save before travelling.
I worked for about 6-8 weeks more until I handed my notice in, so by the time I actually left it felt like a 4/5 month notice period – that was painful, but ultimately worth it in the end!
If you need tips on your goodbye speech, hit me up. Lets just say I stuck to my mantra that honesty is the best policy 😉
(my leaving meal, me in white looking rather ecstatic that I no longer have a job)
5) Get Your Ducks in a Row (and punch them in the face*)
I can’t even tell you how much admin and B.S. there is to wade through in leaving the country indefinitely.
Asides from booking a flight, travel insurance, buying travel equipment/clothes, informing your bank, arranging currency, saying your goodbyes, making your best friends wedding cake!? Every other man and his dog want some of your time/money/soul just to know where you’re going and why you’re cancelling and leaving them. sob, sob, sob!
E.g. TV (pissing) license – these bastards want you to prove you’re going abroad if you expect a refund. Keep the money I told them I was bored of it all by then.
But in reality, here’s a little list of what needs settling to help you out….
- Council Tax
- Bank accounts
- Mobile network
- Car insurance
- Car tax
- Home insurance
- Water bills
- TV license
- Mortage consent to let (bore off)
- The list goes on, I fell asleep sorry….
My top tip – just get them done ASAP and cleared down so if there are final bills to pay you know how much you’ve got left to travel with, oh….and when British Gas cock up your final bill, there’s still time for you to spend a week on the phone sorting it out!
*(this is a friendly “duck” and should definitely not be punched in the face)
BONUS TIP: 6) Buy a rental property.
“You just told me to sell one, you silly twat!” I hear you proclaim!
I sure did! Why???
- Too much of my equity (and likely yours) was tied up in that house and when I’m trying to buy a souvenir keyring in Bolivia with no money; telling them “It’s OK, I’ve got money tied up in a house in the UK”, or won’t get me very far!
- Too much emotion invested in that house to rent it out, I’d have been upset to see it get smashed to bits.
- Having only just been renovated, it was worth more now and selling it means more travel money.
- Brexit….. who knows what’s gonna happen! Right now that house is worth several years of travelling the world and new opportunities, next year it could be worth a korma and naan down the local curry house.
Why buy another house?
- It’s sensible. That rental property I bought is the only physical legacy I have for everything I worked hard for in my twenties. Fair enough I chose to “quit life”, but at least I’ve still got an investment with zero emotion attached to it.
- If you’ve got enough money, like I did, it’s a way of investing for the long term future, whether you return to the UK and live in it yourself or you never return, it’s ultimately a good investment.
- To recoup money spent travelling. I got even more smartie pants and bought a wreck that needed doing up (think cat bed full of cat shit in the oven). I then renovated it top to bottom in six weeks after I’d left work (fitted a kitchen myself, thank you very much!) and having had it revalued I’ve tripled my equity in the house.
- Renovating it to a higher standard also means I’m making a decent profit on the rental value vs mortgage.
(and there she is in all her renovated glory, a renters dream!)
Do you feel inspired to sack off that dead end job and cold, rainy UK life? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Even better! Share this post for me on Facebook – it might be the one thing somebody needs to help them realise anything is possible!