Confessions of a Serial Job Quitter

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“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

― John Green, Paper Towns

 

I have just quit my second job this year. Actually, if we’re going to be picky, it’s the second job in 10 months to which I have said au revoir.

This makes me sound like a really changeable person. I’m not. Honest. I’m quite a loyal employee (I was at my previous company for 5 years, even transferring to the London office) and, to be honest, I feel guilty and bored when I don’t have a job. The two months I spent unemployed at the beginning of 2014 were horrible, and I was a complete mess because I felt like I should have been doing something else other than writing or getting my head together.

And because of this, I just accepted the first job that was offered to me.

Luckily, this worked to my advantage. I was able to work with some lovely people who will be missed, got paid reasonably well for the area I live in, gained more experience and managed to save some money for my travels. It also gave me the time and security to figure out what it was that I wanted to do next.

Some may see my decision to travel as flighty. Or reckless. I am, after all, giving up a stable income to spend my savings on a 12 month jolly. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl and have been known to not fully think things through before taking the plunge (in most aspects of my life).

However, I can honestly say that I have never researched, agonised, and reasoned over something more in my life. I am so excited to head off on an adventure and I’m hoping it gives me the space and courage to make better decisions.

“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life… if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald

 

And it seems that I am not alone.

This week I read an article in Stylist Magazine about women who have given up their successful and/or stable careers, to do something they’ve always wanted to (you can read the article here) While they are talking about setting up their own businesses, and not travelling, the sentiment and motivation behind the change is the same.

“I work longer hours and take home less money but I have much more control over my life”

Sometimes you need to jump in and say a little prayer… you never know where you might end up!”

“Fortune favours the brave – you won’t regret having a go, but you will regret not trying!”

 

Stylist states, that “all from very different backgrounds, [the women] are united by the fact that they traded their reliable, well-paid day jobs to pursue a passion.”

And it got me thinking about that word: Passion.

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By definition, passion is a “strong and barely controllable emotion,” or “a state or outburst of strong emotion.”

Now I don’t know about you lot, but I’ve always been under the impression that some of these words come with a side order of negative connotations.

“Barely controllable” suggests instability and rebelliousness, and “outburst” suggests a break or an explosion of some kind.

But why is it that we feel so ashamed and afraid to admit to having a passion? Or to feeling passionate? In life, in our careers, and even in relationships we remain subdued. I mean come on, are you really telling me you don’t “play it cool” when you’re into someone?

Why is it that we are so afraid of taking the plunge or giving into something that has the potential to make us happy?

Surely it has to be better than lying awake at night wondering if there’s more to life than the rat race.

Right?

What do you think? Is it important to follow our passions? Do we allocate enough time to thinking about what it is that makes us happy? Have you got a job that you are both passionate about and provides financial security? Are you on the brink of making a huge change?

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6 Places I’m Currently Obsessing Over

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“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

– Henry Miller

As you know, I’m new to this solo-travel malarkey. I have never travelled anywhere on my own outside the UK (except for one very boring, very sleepy plane journey back from Ghana to London) and, although I am an expert at travelling alone in the UK, journeying further afield (alone) is a whole new ball game.

In between the planning and the calculating, the panicking and the excited jumping around I’ve been doing over the past month or so, I’ve also been getting a bit off track. Ooops.

I am planning my own itinerary (which has changed massively and which I will get to later) for my trip and I keep getting hit by wanderlust for EVERYWHERE. Although I have decided against a RTW trip in favour of spending more time somewhere at my own (lazy) leisurely and flexible pace, I keep feeling bereft about all the places I want to visit but won’t have the time to in this particular trip. I have a serious case of I Want to See Everything Now and it’s getting pretty serious.

So here’s 6 Places I’m Currently Obsessing Over – all the places I’ve been coveting recently and will definitely try to get to in the not so distant future.

  • New Zealand

I have always wanted to go to New Zealand. Always. This is number 1 on my list and flashing in neon lights. And I’m in luck. NZ immigration have just granted my Working Holiday Visa which means I will be heading to the land of Hobbits, wine, rugby, and breath-taking scenery in January 2015 for 6 months. EEEK!

  • Germany

I have spent a little time in Germany. Cologne as part of a mini-European road-trip, and Berlin as part of a holiday away with friends. I’m hoping to go to Oktoberfest next year as part of my 30th (urgh) birthday celebrations, but I would love to spend more time there. I hear Munich is stunning.

  • Amsterdam

This is mainly the fault of TFIOS. It just seems so beautiful. I’d like to go to the Anne Frank House and take a trip along the many beautiful canals. Do you think Ryan Gosling is free for the weekend and fancies a trip to the dam?

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  •  Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu

Oh, the South Pacific. Stunning. Beautiful. I’m hoping to take a trip to the islands during or after my time in New Zealand.

  • Texas, New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis

This is a road trip, isn’t it? I tried to factor this in to my trip but this should be a road trip. I have no license. I can barely drive on the right side of the road properly! Anyone want to road trip with me?

  •  India

I’m building up to India. To me, it seems like the ultimate solo travel destination full of challenges and beauty in equal measure. I’m hoping to do this November 15 – January 16 but that all depends if I spend all my savings on boys and beer in New Zealand.

I’m getting dreamy-eyed as I write this list!

I mentioned above that my itinerary has changed. Well, I’ve been trying to factor the US into my plans for some time now. I’ve always wanted to spend more time there, every visit I’ve made has been fleeting. I love the idea of travelling to as many cities as possible – chasing my love of music – but it is so freaking expensive to do this as a solo traveller! Particularly if you aren’t planning to drive. So this is what’s happening:

I am travelling to New Zealand in January where I will (hopefully love it and) stay for six months. I’m planning to “island-hop” in the South Pacific (Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa if possible)  while I’m there and then fly back from New Zealand (when I’ve probably run out of money) via Hong Kong for three nights. Phew. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

But back to reality!

So what’s on your travel bucket list? Do you – like me – obsess over countries and wish you could go everywhere all at once? Where are you going next? Let me know here or over at Twitter @EmmaYatesBadley

***P.S. I have FINALLY figured out how to use the photo gallery bit of wordpress so now my photos will be linear and not all wibbly – I can have circles, mosaics, all sorts. How exciting?! I have also been changing the appearance of this blog A LOT recently. Sorry for that, but I wanted to find something that would make more of the pictures I was posting. I have decided to opt for something simple. I hope you like it. I promise that’s it with the changes now!