How I Quit My Job and Took a 2 Month Trip Abroad

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville, Cambodia

When I first quit my job back in March, my intention wasn't to travel. I was
stressed, unhappy, and didn't feel fulfilled with the work I was
doing. I communicated this to my job and they were supportive of my
decision, and for that I am extremely grateful.

Also, being fully transparent, I am in the process of studying for the
CPA exam. It has been no easy feat for me and I have encountered
failure numerous times. I have one more exam left to complete and I
felt that I was not able to properly balance work and studying.

Once I put in my notice, I started looking for other jobs. I had some
interviews, but I was not excited about starting back in corporate
immediately. I actually dreaded going to interviews. My boyfriend
noticed this and encouraged me to take the leap and travel since I
actually had the free time to do so. It is something I had talked
about before -- I knew I wanted to do some extended form of travel,
and the opportunity was staring me right in my face. The only thing to
figure out is the HOW!

I was able to uproot my life because I did the following:

1. I planned.

How long did I want to travel?
I decided on two months. I didn't want to do 6 months to a year just
because I felt I would get homesick. I also didn't want to be out of a
job for an extended period of time. I applied for some internships
abroad, but in the end, decided I wanted to have the freedom to travel
at will. And being completely honest, I didn't want to do a long
distance relationship for too long.

Where to?
My best friend successfully convinced me to come visit her in
Southeast Asia (specifically Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia). I have a
connection there, it's relatively cheap, and people speak English. SE
Asia is known for its backpacker culture (which I can confirm since
meeting numerous solo travelers while out here).

Am I crazy for quitting my job with no actionable plan in place?
Perhaps. However, I took a leap of faith and placed myself in a very
uncomfortable situation. I'm praying that it all works out.

What would I do about money?

2. I saved.

I started seriously saving money when I was in the process of buying
my first home, which was about two years ago. I was no longer about
the BMF (blowing money fast, for those who aren't hip) lifestyle and
instead started placing 20% of my income into a separate savings
account. This amount may vary for people, but I was able to distribute
this much because I refused to practice lifestyle inflation.
Basically, whenever I received an increase in salary, I put the
additional money into savings. I also cut back on my (already minimal)
bills. I got rid of cable in favor of an antenna. I bargained with my
ISP to reduce my rate. I started couponing and checking for deals at
the grocery store. I only got my hair done once every 3 months. I
never was much of a shopper, but I even cut back in that category.
(Disclaimer: I don't have student loans so that is a huge difference
maker, and I am aware of that. My biggest expenses are my mortgage,
utilities, and car insurance.)

3. I generate passive income.

I use income from my home, savings, and capital gains from stock I
purchased in order to supplement my current income. As I said before,
Southeast Asia is relatively cheap! (Oh, and another disclaimer: my
best friend lives in Malaysia so she graciously allowed me to stay
with her for free!)

I'm talking $2 taxis, $8 massages, $5 (or less!) meals, and
accommodations for $30/night. Yes, the flight to get there can be
expensive, but it's not too bad once you arrive. You can country hop
for less than $100. I also accumulated points from credit cards,
flights, and hotels that enable me to cut back on expenses here and
there.

I decided to share this because some people have asked how I did it. I
want to help other people know that it is possible to do this. Some of
my circumstances are unique, but I truly believe it can be done. I was
inspired by my best friend who packed up and moved across the world,
first to Thailand and now Malaysia, proving you don't have to be
filthy rich or have a sugar daddy to travel the world.

As of now, I am on country number 3 and loving it! Yes, I have experienced some mishaps, sickness, loneliness, and fear, but I'm enjoying the experience and the ability to just BE!