When I was starting my hobby in photography using my handy camera, I thought it was just something to take my mind off work, but eventually, I fell in love with it. My hobby entailed a lot of traveling, so I knew I was destined to do so much more than just sitting at my desk and doing my regular full-time job.
To save myself from the misery of being torn, I chose traveling over my job, and a few years later, I’ve never been this happy. I figured it’s okay to take risks once in a while and live adventurously.
How about you? Are you ready to take a leap of faith and start traveling? To help you decide, I’m sharing 20 reasons you should consider traveling full-time:
1. Show off your travel photography skills.
It’s time to improve your Instagram feed through your travel photos and start writing your very own travel blog. After all, you’ve always known you got it in you, right? Traveling has helped me nurture my love for photography, and I am very pleased with how much I’ve grown with my craft.
2. Visit iconic places.
If this reason doesn’t make you want to travel, I don’t know what will. Imagine yourself taking selfies under the Eiffel Tower. Tempting, right? When I saw the Burj Khalifa up close, my jaw literally dropped. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I got tickets to see the view deck and man, the Dubai skyline was spectacular! I even got the chance to witness the dancing fountain in front of the 163-floor building.
3. Learn new languages.
You will learn how to say basic words like “hello” and “thank you” in different languages when you visit other countries. Back when I was in China, I asked directions from a Chinese national. He was courteous and very helpful. Luckily, I know how to say “Thank you” in Mandarin. When I did, he flashed a big smile and said, “Hu?nyíng!” which means “welcome.”
4. Live like a local.
When travelling, you’ll find yourself wanting to immerse yourself in a place for quite some time. You will learn how to blend in so that you will not feel like a tourist at all. When I was in Amsterdam, I fell in love with the place! I stayed for two months. Got myself a bike and rented an apartment where I can cook meals to avoid overspending in restaurants.
5. Meet multinational friends.
You will meet like-minded people who left their jobs to chase their dreams. Make friends! Get insights from them and share your experiences, too. I met my two French best friends when I was drinking at a pub in Edinburgh. When I went to Paris, they gave me a place to crash in, which saved me a lot of money.
6. Have a food trip!
Be a food enthusiast. You’ll have to try different exotic and native cuisines. You can also develop your food photography skills to add to your travel blog. When I was in Singapore, I met a couple of traveling locals, and they challenged me to taste frog legs. Seriously, who would want to eat frogs? But since I was in the zone of eating frog legs, I did it. To tell you frankly, it tasted better than fried chicken.
7. Discover every country’s history and culture.
Every country is rich in culture and tradition. You’ll learn about it and some fun facts along the way. Share tips with fellow travelers you will come across. On my travels in various countries, I learned about things that are prohibited or considered taboo: public display of affection in Dubai, spitting and chewing gum in Singapore, and tipping in restaurants in Japan.
8. Get out of your shell.
Get out of your comfort zone and trust your instincts. Go skiing, be a beach bum, trek—do whatever your heart desires! I’ve always wanted to try bungee jumping, so when I was in New Zealand, I didn’t even think twice about jumping from the 43-meter-high Kawarau Bridge. Best adventure ever!
9. Make a living with traveling.
At some point, you’re going to have to look for a job to finance your future travels. Jobs like freelancing lets you travel and work at the same time. I earn income through freelance photography while traveling—two activities that are closest to my heart.
10. Relax and be at ease anywhere.
When you reach your few months of traveling, you’ll get used to countries with varying cultures. Give up your anxiety of getting lost because it will limit you from enjoying the place. When I was in London, I was busy figuring out where to go next when a local tapped me and said, “Ride the tourist bus. It will be easier for you to appreciate London. You can’t find beautiful sights by looking at the map!” He was right.
11. Achieve new heights.
It’s time to cross out items in your travel bucket list. You’re not getting any younger! Add up some items as you go along the way and accomplish your bucket list before it’s too late. I still have a lot on my list, but I don’t mind because this is one of the reasons that got me to traveling.
12. Discover your tactical self.
You’ll realize you have a sense of resourcefulness by planning different things on how to save your money. Tip: several sites give free accommodation for travelers in exchange of their skills and talents. When I went to Rio, in exchange for a week’s accommodation, I shot pictures of a hostel for its promotional advertisements.
13. Collect amazing stories and souvenirs.
You’ll have lots of stories to tell and people to inspire. I never get tired of sharing my stories because I want people to understand and feel the high I experience whenever I travel. I also collect fridge magnets for souvenirs and got my fridge all covered up.
14. Avoid regretting things you didn’t do when you had the chance.
If you pass up the opportunity to travel, you’re going to regret it for the rest of your life. Two years ago, I was about to go to Guam but my boss flooded me with work, so I canceled the trip. It still haunts me everyday.
15. Learn how to spend your money wisely.
Since you have limited resources, you’ll learn how to appreciate every penny you have. You’ll be surprised how thrifty you’ve been as you go on with your trips. As for me, I don’t buy unnecessary things. Instead, if I find something interesting, I take pictures of it so that I can keep it in my travel journal forever.
16. Learn how to trust and open up.
You’ll be around different people a lot, and that’s a good thing. You’ll develop your sense of judgement and realize that it’s not always bad to talk to strangers. Five years ago, I went to Hong Kong Disneyland when someone approached me if she could tag along. I figured it would be a bummer if I explored Disneyland alone, so I said yes, and it was the best time I had in Hong Kong.
17. Discover the better version of yourself.
If you’re still on the verge of finding yourself, travel. Along the way, you will see yourself developing into someone better than your old self. If you’re an anxious person, it’s time to turn that around and be adventurous. I turned my life around and years later, I discovered the best version of myself.
18. Be your own time’s boss.
You don’t have to get up ridiculously early anymore! You can travel whenever and wherever you want without anyone stopping you. As for me, I travel spontaneously. I buy a one-way ticket to somewhere and from there, I’ll see where it goes.
19. Fall in love with the world.
As you hop from one place to another, I’m positive that you’ll leave a part of yourself. You’ll be more appreciative of how beautiful the world is, and you’ll be yearning to travel more. When I started doing travel photography, I’ve learned that it’s not a small world after all. The thirst for adventure keeps me going. So far, with what I have seen from different countries, I don’t think I’m stopping anytime soon.
20. Inspire people.
Document your travels. Not everyone enjoys the opportunity to travel the world full-time, so let them know that it’s possible to do something you love and be happy even if it means being jobless. I’m fulfilled whenever people tell me that I inspire them to follow their dreams. This is what I’ve always wanted—to be an influencer, a storyteller.
Traveling full-time is risky because you’ll be quitting your regular job and leaving your family and comfort zone a.k.a home. But the moment you step on a flight going to somewhere, you’ll realize that it’s worth every penny you’ve saved. Traveling will help you outdo yourself and test your limits. It did for me and I can’t wait to see it happen to you. I dare you to book that flight to your dream destination and start living your dream!
About The Author:
Joan Kissler is a budding photographer, travel enthusiast, and aspiring blogger. In 2014, she quit her job as a paralegal to pursue her dream of traveling the world and creating beautiful pictures for a living, and she hasn’t looked back since. Apart from traveling and photography, Joan’s hobbies include reading mystery novels, hunting for vintage vinyl records, and watching obscure foreign language films.