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What it's like to quit your job, get a backpack and travel the world

April 5, 2015, 8:44 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1595

By @mariocantin

Written by Alec Beckett -- originally posted on Quora.com

Perhaps the single greatest feeling in my life came on the the first day of my first (of three) "quit your job and backpack the world for  months" trips.

My friend and I had arrived on one-way tickets to London the night before. It was a beautiful day and we were sitting in St. James Park trying to decide what to do. And not just what to do that day but what to do in the weeks and months to come.

It was  exhilarating. With no plans, we were literally just throwing out ideas: let's go to Marrakech, they say Prague is beautiful, can we get above the Arctic Circle?, could we take the Trans-Siberian railroad?

We ended up doing all those things, and I saw and experienced things that changed (and I think improved) me forever. But to be honest, none of those topped that incredible feeling of freedom we had that morning of infinite potential.

I don't believe there is any other way to get that feeling than to full-on commit to a step-into-the-void, open-ended, I'll-know-where-I'm-going-when-I-get-there adventure.

One of the worst feelings I've ever had has happened to me on all three of my multi-month trips. And each time I felt it, I knew it was time to go home. It is the flip side of the freedom coin.

The first time I was in Shanghai—seven months into my trip—walking to the train station. Suddenly I became acutely aware that every single person who was hustling along that sidewalk was going somewhere or doing something that mattered. Except for me.

They were going to work. To meet friends. To see the doctor. To play soccer. Whatever. I felt rootless, decadent and parasitic spending my days, weeks, months wandering through museums and temples.

I could not wait to get back to work, to relationships, to family, to permanence.

I don't believe there's any other way to appreciate the importance of purpose and community other than to consciously cut those ties and float free of them for a while.


Source: www.quora.com. Link: http://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-quit-your-job-get-a-backpack-and-travel-the-world

Republished with permission, as per Quora's Terms of Service, under the subsection titled, "Quora's Licenses to You".

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