What Is Success?
So it may seem like a cliche but I genuinely believe & know from personal experience that you ‘find yourself’ when you travel. No matter who brings you up or in which country, you will mature in to adulthood with traits, opinions and beliefs from the culture in which you are raised. Only through experiencing other cultures and ways of life are you given any chance to challenge these beliefs. A career break is the perfect time to experience this.
For example, maybe you grew up in a country where drugs are illegal and those found using them are reprimanded. Or, maybe you grew up in Peru or Bolivia, chewing coca leaves for energy each day & seeing strong hallucinogenic drugs sold cheaply in the market.
In Western society we are often brainwashed that ‘success’ means to have a good career in a reputable industry. This is in order to make a sustainable living for you and your family. I have a full time job in an industry I love which I perceive I have worked very hard for. However, I have taken multiple career breaks in order to travel.
I have learned more about the world and myself whilst travelling than I could have done in any school or any job in the same amount of time.
What Do You Value?
There are occasionally days where it is frustrating to not to have progressed as far as I would like in my career just yet. Then I think about the little 9 year old boy I met in Cambodia who’s 12 year old brother had died of diarrhoea the previous week. Or how much more simply the people live in many of the countries I have visited and how happy they are. It is a warm reminder that life is what you make it and every day counts.
The last career break I took was a 6 month stint in South America with my partner. It took a lot of planning, saving and budgeting in order to make it work. It was a good 8 weeks in to our trip before we felt totally revitalised and able to think clearly about our future. Was our chosen career path what we still wanted? Would we do something new instead, or maybe as well as? What are the things and people back home that we most miss and care for? What do we take for granted? It is amazing the answers you find to these questions.
It is quite likely that if you do a Mon – Fri job you often question what it would be like to be able to work for yourself, or have no routine.
Wow, no routine… wouldn’t that be amazing!? …would it? Or would you discover that you like having no routine for a while but actually you are happier and more productive when you don’t have extra decisions to make? It is quite likely with the dull UK weather that you have considered living abroad. Having sunshine all the time is and would be amazing, but the time change from friends and family?
These are just a few of the things that crossed my mind during my travels. Obviously aside from all the incredible sites I saw, people I met and cultures I fell in love with. If it was practical, I would travel full time. It really is the most liberating and mentally stimulating thing you can do.
People who haven’t had a career break themselves, and don’t understand it may see it as a ‘gap’ or a ‘hole’ in your C.V. In reality I have learned more about the world and myself whilst travelling than I could have done in any school or any job in the same amount of time.
If you have been considering taking a career break to travel and want some help or advice on anything please send me a message. I’m always happy to chat and meet new people. If you want some ideas of locations to visit check out my Instagram @travel__creative.