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Today was a strange day.
Instead of walking out of the office with that Friday sigh of relief, I walked out feeling a whole concoction of mixed emotions: relief, sadness, fear, excitement.
Today I walked out of my office for the very last time and said goodbye my first job out of university. The job which has been a significant part of my life, the office which has been my temporary home and the colleagues that I have been with 5 days a week for the past 3 years.
Walking out of the office today it all suddenly became very real.
I felt sad to be saying goodbye to the friends I have made over the last few years, nervous about leaving the routine I know so well, and extremely scared about the prospect of not having another job lined up. But I know it was the right thing to do.
I didn’t dislike my job at all. In fact, it was a great company with a beautiful centrally-located office and supportive and fun colleagues who made it a pleasant place to go to every day. But over time I realised it just wasn’t for me. I was 3 years down a career path that I knew wasn’t what I wanted to do.
It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, and I weighed up my options for several months, unable to come to a decision. That’s when the opportunity to spend some time travelling over the summer presented itself to me and I knew what I had to do. I handed in my notice and instead of polishing up my CV, I opened up Skyscanner and began to make plans!
I’ve always loved to travel, and I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few countries all around the world so far, however, I’ve never had the opportunity to take a period of extended travel, having moved directly from school to university to masters to work.
So when my friend Jodie (@alajode) suggested that I join her on the road and experience life as a ‘digital nomad’ over the summer I jumped at the opportunity. A chance to travel with a friend and create some content for my blog, whilst learning from an experienced travel blogger and taking some time to decide what I want to do next. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
And that’s what brought me to today.
In one weeks time I’ll be flying out to Europe for a journey across Spain, Portugal, Albania, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium over the next 2 months. Not a logical sequence of countries I know, but with opportunities including Traverse travel conference, a birthday trip, staying with friends and even a press trip, we’ll be jumping around the continent exploring as much as we can.
And after that, who knows? With a taste for travel and no job to return to, I’ll just have to see what the future brings (any recommendations welcome)! To leave Europe for a bit and explore further afield would be a dream. And I do have a trip lined up in the US for later in the year. But obviously, there are many factors to consider, in particular – budget.
Bringing me on to the question I have been asked most often… how am I affording to do this? Well, asides from the savings I have accumulated from 3 years of full-time work, I will be doing my best to keep the costs down, including staying with friends, working on collaborations with hotel brands and staying in cheap Airbnb’s where possible. But of course if I plan to extend my travels for more than a few months I will be looking into further monetising the blog and doing some freelance work along the way.
So there we go. As of today, I am officially unemployed. There’s no looking back now.
But was leaving my job to travel the right choice? We’ll have to wait and see.
Good luck Emily, have a fantastic summer. I hope it leads to something great for you. x