How We Quit our Jobs to Travel Full Time


It was December 2016. Like most people, Ben and I were dreaming of tropical beaches and being our own bosses. A major project at work had completed, and work was now tedious for both of us. We were craving something new, and were intoxicated with a heady mix of love, romance and idealism. Why not just quit our jobs! I had been planning on teaching English abroad, and Ben had a few potential job opportunities in Australia, so why didn’t we just do this travelling thing together? For as long as we could?

By January, we had put in place a plan to leave work within 6 months and make travel a sustainable, full time lifestyle. Our plan consisted of a few things – selling Ben’s flat and building up a little side business that was to become our full time income. The little side business involved digital work, and wasn’t dependent on location. To grow, it really needed both of us on board. With zero experience of design or knowledge of photoshop, I taught myself the basics, and soon fell in love with it. By the middle of the month, both of us were working 24/7.

We didn’t give ourselves time to doubt or question what we were doing. Both of us had good careers that we had been working at for years, Ben even more so than me. But we had to make a decision – did we want careers? Or did we want a life of our own? The answer was fairly obvious.

Comfortable domestic life. Oh how I do miss you (sometimes)

Most people in our lives were supportive and 100% behind us. Some people didn’t like that we couldn’t be sociable or go for drinks anymore. Some people thought we were only travelling for a few months, and that we’d get it out our system soon enough. It took a while for everyone to understand that we were planning on changing our lives completely. We weren’t planning on coming back. And for the most part, our close friends and family had nothing but excitement for what we were about to do. To have that support was more important than we give it credit for.

Saying goodbye to old times and good friends

The next few months were intense. We worked together during the day, and we had to work together at night. Weekends were spent re-decorating the flat and clearing out what we didn’t need. Our lives were unravelling, in a good way, and we had no idea how it was all going to tie back together come September. When we finally handed in our resignations in June 2017, the dream was one step closer to reality.

Progress

Everything fell into place. We were really very lucky in how it all played out, and how the stars seemed to align to allow us to do this. Ben and I had worked together, and been great friends, for 2 years before we became involved romantically. We had complimentary skills that made work a breeze, and a foundation of friendship that made navigating this life change much easier. The flat sold immediately after putting it on the market. We managed to hit a niche in our side project that was suddenly bringing in serious income. By the time we were on the flight to Indonesia in September, I was already earning more than I had been in full time office work.

When people ask how we manage it, how we made the change etc, I don’t really know what to say. From the idea first entering our heads to clicking into our seat belts on the plane, the whole process only took about 9 months. It went by in such a blur that I feel as though someone else was putting it all into place while I was just carried along on the wind. But the truth is that we were lucky, we made the most of opportunities, and we never wavered. We knew there was no other option than to make it work. Once we knew how we were going to be earning an income and how to grow that income, the rest was just packing up and saying goodbye. We made a decision and stuck to it. And that’s all there really is.

A lot can change in a year. Our lives are infinitely more unstable and unpredictable than they were a year ago, but we have a freedom we only used to dream of. Money is still our main concern, as it is for most people, but we don’t feel so trapped by it as we did at home. We still have to work hard, but we are the ones who see the direct result of that hard work. Of course, I still miss home comforts, my family and friends. But life is a trade off, no matter what you do.

For now we are backpacking SE Asia, and who knows what the future holds. All I do know, is that it will be a future we have chosen for ourselves.

  • Adrianna Vogel

    You guys are so brave! But you also very smart! You made a plan, you stick to it and it looks like it worked perfectly for you! You have a income and you can travel the world! A dream for many people! I am sure everything will work fine for you and you will never regret you’re decisions! I wish you guys luck and can’t wait to see where you heading next!

    • Thank you so much, this is such an amazing comment to read! <3

  • Food and Footprints

    Such an inspiring story! Sounds like you are truly free and have pride in seeing direct results for your hard work. We hope to pen a post like this one sometime in the near future!

    • Thank you 🙂 Best of luck and I hope you get to write that post soon!

  • Atruthfultraveler

    Congrats! You are inspiring & I wish you all the best on this journey. I have heard it is an extremely liberating thing to do!

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment. I can confirm it’s a very liberating thing to do 🙂

  • I’m happy to hear most people were supportive because that’s not always the case, especially with family! I admire your dedication and passion to travel. I look forward to following along on your adventures in Asia!! Enjoy 🙂

    • Thanks Carmen, yes we’re really lucky that both of our families were 100% behind us. Thank you for your kind words <3

  • Punita Malhotra

    Taking the leap of faith is the hardest part. And believing that is what you want most, does help. Wish you all the best for your journey!

    • Thank you Punita. Yeah definitely, feel the fear and do it anyway, as someone once said 😉

  • Martha Lueders

    What a wonderful journey! I love the piece of advice you gave about not giving yourself the time or energy to doubt yourself. Strive and go towards your dreams without looking back. Such an inspiration story!

    • Thank you Martha! Yep, doubt will kill your dreams, so don’t let it in 🙂

  • Kudos to you guys but I can never be a full-time traveler. I like the comfort of my home way too much. Wishing you all the best and loads of travel guys. 🙂

    • Thank you! Yes, my home comforts are often missed on the road. Just simple things like laundry, cooking, chilling in front of the TV… 🙂

  • Samantha Applewhaite

    Amazing – such a great story! I love that you two have a ‘get up and go’ mentality! I know it can be easier said than done for some people – especially if they have financial or health factors, or children. So it cannn be more of an obstacle but definitely still doable! Cheers and happy travels!

    • Thank you Samantha! I’m very lucky that we had few obstacles in our way.

  • Kathy VA

    It was nice reading your story. It takes a lot of determination to do this. And I also like the idea of working for myself, I’d be the one to see the hard-work in the long run. Congrats on your new found dream.

    • Thank you Kathy. Yep, lots of grit and determination. Working for yourself is hard work, but worth every minute of it 🙂

  • You guys are living the dream! Congratulations and wish you all the best! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures. It’s quite a feat that you did digital work on the side when you are not from a design background. Keep it up!

    • Haha thank you! Yeah, sometimes I wonder what the hell I’m doing!

  • Mel B

    Congratulation on making the big jump and following your dreams with your partner. It is glad to hear that you have not looked back since you have done it. I also quite my job 2years ago and travel back and forth from England and I just love working for myself. It is also great to hear that a friendship before a relationship. Good luck with all

    • Isn’t it great? I think we’ll find somewhere to base ourselves, and then maybe travel every couple of months or so, trying to find that balance is tricky! Yes, the friendship has definitely helped some of the rockier patches 🙂

  • I understand how you feel about not having the home comforts whilst traveling. It’s good to enjoy the freedom etc… but difficult to eat healthy, exercise, do the washing and all the things we take for granted at home. It sounds like you prepared well for your life of freedom – and I agree that you are now the ones benefiting from your hard work!

    • Yes! You hit the nail on the head there with those – eating well, exercise and washing – things we crave when we’re living out of a backpack for 3 months. It’s all about finding that balance.

  • Family Well Traveled

    Congratulations on your decision and the opportunity to do it. We are in a similar boat, having decided that we want to be financially independent of a work place or employer. And, yes, it takes an incredible amount of work, but as you have shown, it can be done.

    • Thank you! Best of luck with your endeavour. Hard work, persistence and determination always pays off 🙂

  • Lisa Rivera

    Aww all the best in your travel adventures! I think it’s such a big step, but I did the same, a bit different, and don’t regret it one bit. I like that you had a friendship before getting together. This is surely a strong way to solidify your relationship and your travels together too!

    • Thank you Lisa! Yeah, it definitely is a big step. But one that’s so rewarding and fulfilling. Yep the friendship has definitely been a good thing, knowing each other well before doing something like is so important. As it can get pretty stressful at times 😉

  • I’m always excited to read the story like this. It’s great that you’ve got the guts to leave behind and totally change your way of life. Best of luck ahead, and safe travel! 🙂

    • Thank you Marya. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think our trick was that we did it so fast we had no time to feel scared 🙂

  • Congrats guys!! Sounds like the hell of a ride, but it seems to be totally worthy to you!!! Keep travelling and blogging!!!

    • Thanks! Haha it’s definitely a hell of a ride! Worth every moment though 🙂

  • Savannah Cheri Forster

    This was such a good read! I’m actually really interested to hear more about your current field and your old field of work- like the details of how you did it. I LOVE a good story where someone sets a goal and then achieves it through hard work and dedication. And it’s so awesome that your partner is also your partner with this! You guys should write a book 🙂

    • Thank you Savannah! Well, briefly, I worked as a content editor and Ben was a business analyst – two corporate careers that have now transformed into something far more creative (and unpredictable 😉 ) And having him to do this with is amazing. I feel very lucky indeed. Thank you so much for your kind words.

  • Dada KS

    Ohh congratulations! More and more people are dreaming to quite everything and become a digital nomad but not everybody has that special super idea to make an online business or enough/any knowledge to work online. But you managed to start from zero which is awesome! I hope you guys will be able to continue your life journey traveling the world and keep us updated!

    • We are very lucky to have found something that works for us and allows us to do this. I very much hope we can continue this lifestyle too. Thank you!

  • Wow that is a good read. It is so interesting how you took step by step to fulfill your dreams. I wish you all the luck in the world for this new phase 🙂

  • george

    Your story makes great reading. Its commitment and patience which pays. Its really interesting and I wish you all the very best in your new found digital business and journey across the world.

    • Thank you George! Yep, it’s all about commitment and patience. They are valuable skills to have. Thanks for the kind words

  • Maria Beale

    I miss you so much but have more contact through facetime and all your lovely blogs than when you lived in Devon xxxxxx

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About Me

Chesca

Chesca

↠ a travelogue of adventures ↠ travelling the world with my love and working as we go. these are our stories.

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currently ↠ Chiang Mai, Thailand

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  • What Id give to be back on Gili T beneath
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  • We went and explored some abandoned creepy places including this
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