Want to travel; should I do it or am I irresponsible?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 13, 2013 3:01 AM Last Post By: JoyVee
Nov 18, 2012 8:28 AM
Want to travel; should I do it or am I irresponsible?Hi all, I'm a newbie to the site and need some advice. I recently lost my job after 25 years. It wasn't making me happy and I felt I was wasting my life away. I'm 45 now with no children and last year I sold my house, so I've a bit of money in the bank. I'd really love to do some travelling, although a part of me says I should be out there looking for a job and making an honest living, which also seems to be the reaction from some quarters when I suggest going off travelling for a year or so. Has. Anybody else felt like they're being irresponsible by going off travelling? I'm planning on going maybe out towards Asia , I'm very nervous about it as I've never done solo travel before, but something in my heart says I should face my nerves and do it while I have the chance! Finding a new job is going to be very difficult but am I right to feel this way? I guess I just need someone to tell me I'm not going to make a big mistake and that I won't regret my decision, anybody?
Edited by: Shadowfax007
Nov 18, 2012 10:02 AM
1can't do the last, I'm afraid... BUT you are only responsible for yourself so where's the issue? Have a plan B, some good insurance and a plan to have a roof over your head for your return. Feeling that you CAN come back if you want to is a great security blanket.
I would say just do it. None of us are getting younger so go on holiday. If you don't like where you end up, go somewhere else. A good financial cushion does make it all easier, especially somewhere unfamiliar such as Asia where a 'soft landing' will make a big difference.
one thing I will say is that you may well find a year of moving around is too much, you run out of 'wow'. So when you feel this coming on, stop somewhere for a while, or come home for a bit.
no pockets in the shroud, no roof rack on the hearse... those who say 'midlife crisis' are just jealous because they can't go!
Nov 18, 2012 10:41 AM
2Thank you for the reply. I can't disagree with anything you say, I think I just needed someone to give me their opinion without being biased or judgemental. I think I've just worked in an environment for so long where the idea of not working and going off travelling is frowned upon! Many thanks once again!!
Nov 19, 2012 8:26 AM
3@neverwinter - I'm guessing OP is an American. We get a lot of the guilt trip crap and the terrified-of-traveling crap from people when we decide to travel. It's a bit anti-cultural for us to take a gap year. A lot of fear in our culture, particularly with the older generations.
Original Poster (OP) - If you have the money and the time, go for it! There's nothing irresponsible about taking some time for yourself.
You're not alone in feeling scared of jumping off into the unknown, but I've never known anyone who has done it and regretted it! Plus, if you don't like it or you regret it, you can always come home. Don't plan too far ahead and you always have the option of coming back and searching for a job.
When I left for full-time travel with no end date, that's the advice my therapist gave to me. To only plan a month out. To always have the option of coming back. That way you have an escape hatch (but, trust me, you're unlikely to need it).
Nov 19, 2012 8:45 AM
4Of course we are going to encourage you to travel, after all this is the gap year forum on Lonely Planet. That being said though, I can't imagine you would feel a sense of fulfillment by deciding not to travel and finding another job. I don't think you've been working the same job for 25 years so that you can afford the cost of the retirement home when you're 80. Go follow your passions while life has sent the opportunity your way. And as #2 says, travel does not have to be a rigid commitment on your part. You can come home any time - so don't plan a "1 year trip around the world." Plan a first stop and a loose idea of the places you want to visit, as well as how much $ you are willing to commit to the trip, and come home when the time is right (you will know) or when the $ runs out. The only thing I would say in terms of responsibility is that at 45 you should probably be thinking about your ideal timeline for retirement. That being said, you are probably better off working a couple more years later on and taking advantage of this opportunity now. Just my opinion - muster your courage, embrace your freedom, and live your life to the fullest.
Edited by: mkonrad1282
Nov 19, 2012 5:24 PM
5Go travel. If you wanted advice to the contrary, you would have posted that question at the "Middle aged professionals" forum. I would cite the website, but I have never been to it. Just keep traveling.
Worst case scenario you hate it and come back home and you will be right back where you are right now. Nothing lost and you'll never wonder "what if..."
Best case scenario, life gets awesome and you do something that is completely different from what you know now. Limitless possibilities.
Nov 21, 2012 1:35 AM
6Sorry, I didn't read all the other posts, so I may just be repeating things others have said but I would think it rare for anyone who has travelled to regret it. Plus, I feel it's a weird societal issue that there's a premise that you're only of value if you've got a 9-5 job working 5 days a week. I think, a long time ago, it was valuable to contribute to society, but nowadays a lot of companies are actually more destructive or at least just adding pointless elements to human life that I don't think working can automatically be classed as contributing anymore. It's a sad state of affairs that humans have gotten themselves into that we have to work the majority of our lives instead of enjoying it, so I say you should feel proud of your ability to travel and go out and have a ball!
Nov 25, 2012 9:05 PM
7Anybody else felt like they're being irresponsible by going off travelling?
I haven't. And I'm not in the first flush of youth either. Like #3, I can't really see what your problem is.
And bear in mind that you're posting on a travel forum, so you're unlikely to have anyone here tell you not to go.
Nov 27, 2012 10:58 PM
Feb 13, 2013 3:01 AM
9I always prefer to have my cake and eat it. I would make sure I had a little warm house to come home to and spend the rest or part of my nest egg on travel for a month or so and then re-consider my options.If you then decide to keep on traveling you can rent out your house to pay for further travel. The difference between comfort and struggling to make ends meet post retirement is having your own home. This is a peculiar Australian way of looking at things compared to say Germany where the majority rent for their lifetime. They also have an excellent welfare benefit scheme. Just another way of looking at your current situation. Good luck with your travel plans they can be regarded as a reward for persisting in a job you disliked. JoyV
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