taking a career break to travel around the world

How I found courage to travel around the world

A reader once asked me, “How did you find the courage to quit your job and travel?”

There are two parts to the question:

  1. How did you find the courage to quit your job?
  2. How did you find the courage to travel around the world?

I had a rough start when I first travelled away from home.

You see, I used to get homesick. The “crying until I can’t breathe” kind of homesick.

When I was 14, I went on a 1-night trip with school. As soon as everyone unpacked their backpack, I started becoming homesick.

It was a sickening feeling that made me really sad. I ended up crying and begging the teachers to send me back.

Thankfully they didn’t.

At 19, I left home for university. I was homesick again.

For every evening of the first 1.5 months, I would go back to my dorm and cry my face off.

It wasn’t until I talked to myself, “Are you sure you want to cry for the rest of your four years?” that I kind of stopped crying.

But I didn’t start travelling after that.

I was fearful of travelling because of the misconceptions that travelling as a solo woman is dangerous. I got over it when I found my travel role model Nguyen.

After my trip with her, I realized that I could do the same too. And I started travelling more and more frequently.

Take baby steps when you start

I’m sharing my story because I want you to know that travelling away from home didn’t come easy for me.

It does take time to build confidence in your travelling skills.

You might not feel comfortable enough to do it now. I want you to know that it is OK.

How did I found the courage to quit my job

When I first realised I can go on a round-the-world trip and not go bankrupt, I knew I had to do it.

I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t go on the trip.

I didn’t want to live till I’m 70 and regret that I hadn’t taken that step.

If you’re still hesitant about taking a career break to travel, you should know that there are many misconceptions about career break travel. I debunk some of the myths in my post.

This blog post was first published in August 2015. It has been updated and republished.

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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