Do you want to leave everything behind and go on an adventure? But something is holding you back?! It’s quite normal, you can’t leave everything and travel around the world just like that, from one day to the next. When we left, we made a list of all the things that blocked us from realizing our dream. And you know what? For every excuse we found, there was a solution! We take a look at all the obstacles that prevent you from taking the plunge and living an experience across the world’s borders!
- Leave everything behind and plan a round-the-world trip
- Why travel around the world
- Leave your work: quitting or taking a sabbatical?
- Leave your apartment or your house
- Leave your family and your friends
- Travel around the world with your kids
- Leave your pets
- Travel around the world alone or with someone?
You are currently reading the first chapter of our free ebook How to travel the world, in which you will find all the necessary advice and preparations for your trip around the world!
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Leave everything behind and plan a round-the-world trip
There are many reasons to go on a long-distance trip. After having exchanged a lot with friends, I would say that there are 2 categories of people who don’t dare to leave everything behind:
- The first ones are those who simply don’t want to leave: they are maybe a little bit afraid of the unknown, don’t want to leave their daily comfort (job, good salary, apartment…), simply prefer not to move away from their loved ones for such a long time or are not interested at all in traveling (yes, yes, they exist!). I am not criticizing these people at all, on the contrary! I obviously respect their choice… But this is not our case.
- The second category is the one in which many of you fit (we were part of it too!): these people dream of leaving everything to live an extraordinary adventure but don’t dare to start.
It is generally much easier to find reasons not to travel around the world or to postpone the departure date rather than to decide to leave. You think about your job, your apartment, your friends, your family, the fact that now is not the right time and that you will do it one day…
Believe me: the right moment will never happen! You have to force fate a little!
And once the decision is made, things come one after another! You will see that the most difficult part is to stop making your trip around the world a dream, but rather to make it a REAL PROJECT.
In 6 months, 1 year, or 10 years, whatever! But don’t give up on your goal!
Why travel around the world
Why do people travel?
I can give you hundreds of reasons, but if you came here looking for information about going on a trip around the world, then you won’t have to be a hard person to convince 😉. In our eyes, travel is a beautiful thing and one of the best schools in life!
After a round-the-world trip and years of wandering, here’s what travel inspires us:
- Living an adventure out of the ordinary;
- Daring to leave your comfort zone and do extraordinary things;
- Quenching our thirst for novelty and knowledge;
- Giving a new meaning to your life;
- Learning to understand what surrounds us and respect our beautiful blue planet;
- Gaining confidence in yourself and in others;
- Meeting people who will change our life and our way of thinking.
They dare to leave everything behind
Instead of quoting 57 other reasons to plan a round-the-world trip, I recommend you to read the experience of other backpackers who dare to leave everything and went on such an amazing adventure…
If you are still hesitating, you can also watch this video where we share 10 years of travel in 10 minutes:
And if we still haven’t managed to convince you, watch the documentary Génération Tour du Monde by our friends les Coflocs (subtitles are available in English). We guarantee that after watching it, you will only want to backpacking around the world!
And if you are still hesitating for some obscure reason, watch the video of Fabien Carré, a reader of our blog and talented videographer who went around the world with his girlfriend between 2017 and 2018. A pure pleasure for the eyes!
For those of us who would like to travel but don’t, it’s because they often find reasons not to do it or to put it off until later. Of course, there are constraints in daily life that are unique to each person. But in my opinion, it is really important to ask yourself the right questions and to put things into perspective.
So, if you are in good health and the dream of discovering the world has been haunting you for a while, read the following. Then, put down the reasons that are holding you back and try to find a solution. There is a solution for every problem, you just have to find the instructions and have the right state of mind!
Leave your work: quitting or taking a sabbatical?
The question of work is often a crucial point that makes many people hesitate to leave everything. The fear of losing a year of experience on our résumé, not knowing if we will find a job that we like and passionates us when we return, the fear of asking our boss for a sabbatical because we fear that he or she will not understand our decision, etc.
Honestly, this is a question we asked ourselves for a long time. With Benoit, we had finished our studies and had our first real job. In short, we were at the very beginning of our careers. For us, the question of a sabbatical did not arise because we had not been employed for long enough in our companies, but to tell the truth, we were no more unhappy about it. Resigning has the advantage of giving you a lot of opportunities, either to extend your trip or to find a new professional path when you return, who knows?
Quitting job to travel
We were both convinced that this trip was going to bring us a real plus in our lives. So much so that we were ready to struggle a bit when we came back to find a job. At worst, we would have found work in a store, a restaurant, or anywhere else until we found something better. It is not a drama to have a bread-and-butter job after such an adventure if we have a little difficulty finding a nice job.
In the end, everything went perfectly to find a job! We started the first steps while we were still on the road: résumé updates, applications, and interviews via Skype… Once back, I found a job in Zurich less than 3 weeks after touching the Swiss soil and Ben followed not far behind. Well, 1 year and a half later, we resigned again to start our own business and be able to work on the roads 😅. If you want to know more, we invite you to read how we became digital nomads!
Traveling around the world doesn’t necessarily mean having a hole in your résumé
A round-the-world trip does not add to one’s résumé as a professional experience, but it does add value in every way.
In fact, it is up to you to expand your knowledge during your trip as we did with Novo-monde. You can learn languages (for example, we took a 2-month Spanish course in Quito in the middle of our trip), learn about something you like along the way… The possibilities are endless and you will have all the time in the world to do it!
This trip around the world was clearly seen as a plus, both in terms of professional skills, but also human qualities. During my first interview, I went into the boss’s office and on his big screen was open our blog. Yep… I then saw myself in trekking clothes, with my hair in a mess, while I was sitting there, in front of him, wearing a suit with a perfect blow-dry, looking serious! And then he looked at me and his first sentence was: “Wow! You have to tell me about this adventure!
Believe me, when you come back from such a trip, you won’t want to work for someone who has no interest in traveling. So there’s no need to hide it and use what you’ve learned! As I applied to a start-up that develops software, I put forward my knowledge of the web and programming, the languages but also the ability to adapt quickly, manage unexpected events and live H24 with a developer. OK, that’s a bonus, but it counts for a tech company!
Take a sabbatical
And if you love your job so much that the idea of leaving it doesn’t even occur to you, you can always take a sabbatical.
Leave your apartment or your house
When you want to leave everything behind and go away for a long time, the question of accommodation can be delicate.
We were renting in Vienna, Austria. Not knowing if we wanted to go back to Austria or Switzerland when we came back from our round-the-world trip, we decided to terminate the lease of our apartment. We sold our few pieces of furniture and our life was, for the time of this trip, in a few boxes in our parents’ basement.
Of course, our situation may not be the norm, but you should know that there are other solutions.
If you are a homeowner, you can rent your house or apartment while you are away. This will help you to cover your living expenses and also provide you with a small income while you are traveling. You can rent your apartment/house furnished or if you prefer not to leave your furniture with strangers, you can consider storing your belongings in a storage facility while you are traveling around the world.
If you are a tenant, you can consider subletting your apartment. To do so, you will simply have to fulfill three conditions:
- to have the written agreement of your landlord on the subletting and on the amount of the rent that you have established;
- whether you sublet it furnished or empty, the rent per m2 of living space for the sublet must not be higher than your own rent;
- the term of the sublease cannot exceed the term of your lease.
Something we haven’t done but that is becoming increasingly popular among travelers is home exchange. Many platforms exist and have varying rules, but the idea is to take advantage of free accommodation abroad in return for leaving your home available while you are away.
Leave your family and your friends
Now that’s a lame excuse! The real friends, I guarantee you that they will still be there when you return!
We went to live in Zurich for 2 years, then 2 years in Vienna, and 18 months on the road around the world. Then we moved back to Zurich, 250 km away from home, before becoming nomads for 4 years. Today, we are embarking on the crazy project of creating our coliving in the Swiss Alps. However, after all these adventures, our families and friends are still here! With today’s means of communication such as WhatsApp, Skype, emails, blogs, and of course traditional letters and postcards, you will have no trouble keeping all your friendships intact during your trip. Plus, you’ll have plenty to tell them when you get back!
After that, some situations can be a little more difficult to manage when you are on the other side of the world: the death of a close friend, a friend’s slump… But that’s part of life, unfortunately. And does the possibility that it may happen justify not traveling around the world? I don’t think so. Besides, you’ll make a lot of new friends on your trip!
Travel around the world with your kids
For this point, we are probably not in the best position to talk about it, because we don’t have children and we are simply going as a couple. It is obvious that the organization is a bit different when you decide to travel around the world with your family, but it is by far not impossible. Many have done it before you and for the kids, it’s a unique experience that they will keep with them all their life!
Leave your pets
This was probably the most delicate point for me when I started planning our trip around the world. It had been more than 7 years since I had a little ball of fur in my life (not Ben I assure you!), I named Pepsi! A little black pug, who snored more than a drunk guy, could eat continuously, and loved to lounge on the couch with her mom…
I don’t hide it from you, the tears flowed freely the day I had to leave her, but what reassured me was the fact that I had found a PERFECT family to take care of her while we were away.
Unfortunately, I did not get to see her again when we returned… While we were away, she developed devastating stomach cancer. A hard ordeal for me during the trip. But I also know that she was very well taken care of, her adoptive family even took the time to read her our last postcards as she was leaving for good to join the other side.
My advice: take the time to plan the stay of your pet by looking for the best home, ideally with your family or close friends. In short, people you trust and who will be able to take on the responsibility of an animal. It is often easier to choose people who already have animals. For people who don’t, it might be a big change in the organization and they might find themselves overwhelmed after a few weeks or months. And frankly, I can’t imagine a worse situation than having to look for a new adoptive family from the other side of the world!
When you leave, be prepared for the possibility that something could happen while you are away. This is the worst-case scenario, but as it was for me, sometimes there is nothing you can do…
As is often the case, money is a bit of an issue!
The most important thing in long-term travel is to establish a budget in advance and to consider all the potential expenses to avoid bad surprises along the way. Once you have determined how much money you need, you can begin to make a plan to save. There is a chapter on the trip around the world budget later in this guide.
A trip around the world will cost you much less than a year of living in France or Switzerland! The only difference is that you may have to get by without any income. Still… Many professions allow you to work remotely, thanks to the Internet or whatever! There are tons of possibilities so think about it! Maybe instead of leaving for a year without any income, you could leave for a longer period and work via the Internet part-time?
Travel around the world alone or with someone?
When planning a trip, one of the big questions is to know if you prefer to go alone or with someone. For us, the question did not really arise because we both dreamed to travel around the world. The day we realized that it was feasible in terms of budget, we didn’t look further!
But the personalities are all different!
For example, Ben would probably have gone on a solo trip around the world if we hadn’t met. As for me, I would have been more inclined to go with a friend, at least for a while.
Many travelers have gone solo. Romain is one of them and we invite you to watch his great movie Backpacker (subtitles are in English). Be careful, it might make you want to leave soon! Thanks to you Romain for your titanic work and the inspiration!
The main advantage of going alone is that you are 100% free! You don’t have to answer to anyone and you do exactly what you want when you want!
And let’s face it, traveling alone does not mean being alone on the road, far from it!
If you are open to new people, then you may not be alone very often! You will meet many travelers on your way with whom you may want to go on a journey!
But there are also disadvantages to traveling alone. Fortunately, you will say, since we decided to leave with 2! It also implies not having a shoulder to lean on when you feel blue. Also, it means not having that person who will hold your hand when you are stuck at the bottom of the bed at the other end of the world with a damn virus, or simply someone with whom you can share all those incredible moments!
And by the way, those shared memories are just priceless once you get back to “normal life”. We will always be able to look at each other on days when the weather is grey and smile and say:
Ah, remember all we’ve been through this year!
Traveling together is not always easy either. You have to carefully choose the person with whom you decide to embark on the adventure!
Whether as a couple or a group of friends, you have to be sure that you will be able to support each other for a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (or almost)! I must admit that if I had to list my best friends, there are not many with whom I could see myself going on a trip like this one!
With Benoit, I had no worries, we are a good team, we support each other, we laugh a lot and we compromise quite easily. 18 months on the road with Benoit and everything went perfectly for us, both on the trip and on the way back! But after more than 14 years spent side by side, I think we are starting to know all the little flaws of each other. We have learned to tame the beast!
So, take the time to think about it and ask yourself if you are ready to “share” your trip with someone or if you would rather live it alone. It is not selfish to say you prefer to go alone, far from it!
I have only one thing to say to you, it doesn’t matter if you go alone, with your soul mate, your hamster, the mother-in-law, or the mailman. GO AND ENJOY!
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