Why You and I Should Not Be Afraid To Leave Everything Behind for Awhile

I have been travelling for more than a year now and some of the people that I’ve met asked me what I would do after my travels. Some asked me if I could still go back to my previous job? My uncles and aunts were also afraid that due to my constant job breaks, I wouldn’t be able to find a good job in the future.

When I first quit my job last 2007 to travel for two months in Thailand I basically have the same questions running on my head. But after a couple of years [left again 2009 (6 months solo trip) and 2011 up to now] of doing it every now and then, I finally learned that taking long career breaks could have a bad and at the same time great impact to one’s life or career.

Why You and I Should Not Be Afraid To Leave Everything Behind for Awhile

Here are the reasons why you and I should not be afraid to leave everything behind for awhile to pursue our life’s passion:

1. Travel Builds Character and Competence: Travelling for a long time is not just about sightseeing. It’s about experiencing a variety of stuff that you wouldn’t just be able to experience at home.

Long term travel builds character as it constantly subjects the traveller to a lot of challenges to overcome. From as simple of finding your way from point A to point B in a country that doesn’t speak your language is already a huge feat.

Constant bargaining helps you become a better negotiator.

Costant communication to various people of different nationalities, race or religion helps you improve your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. It also helps you become an expert in relationship building and relationship management which area key competencies if you’re aiming for a middle or upper management roles.

Travelling builds competencies that you could use in your future careers.

2. Long Term Travelling Helps You Build an Entrepreneurial Spirit: Lucky are those who were born with silver or even a golden spoon in their mouths who can travel for as long as they want without working at all. I personally haven’t met these people yet maybe because most of them are staying in places that I could not afford but for majority of long term travellers that I’ve met are working along the way.

Some of them are working in tourism related jobs such as hostels, bars or restaurants; some are teaching English or other foreign languages; some are busking or doing various art performances on the streets; some are creating products that they sell along the way such as art works or jewelleries and the new long term travellers are earning their way online just like me by creating blogs and websites, niche sites or other online products.

Long term travellers learn how to create their own source of travel funds by doing a lot of things other than short term employment. And by offering products and services to various markets that they recognized, a lot of these long term travellers are slowly becoming entrepreneurs on their own rights.

3. Results Oriented Age: We are now in the age where companies and organizations are becoming more results oriented. Aside from looking at the career gaps that a person has taken, they start to look at the achievements and contributions that a person has done in their previous employment in the duration of their stay.
When a person gets hired in a company, the company looks forward to recouping the time and money invested to a person. I’ve worked with HR teams before when I was hiring people for my department and they explained to me that the minimum estimated time to recover the investment in hiring for a single person in an offshored company is just six months. Within this time period, a new employee is expected to deliver the intended results or more.

If your past performances show a huge value to the hiring company in comparison to your competitors, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be hired.

4. There’s Always a Room For a Great Team Player: A close friend of mine left her job and joined us for five months in our trip. She ‘s already a manager in her past job and she’s well equipped to handle a senior management role at a very young age. Some people worried about the outcome of the career break that she took, but she still did it anyway. Just a month after coming back home after the long trip, she got hired again by a bigger company.

Recently, I got an email from a colleague in my past employment asking if I’d be interested to manage one of the departments in that company. I politely declined since I have plans of setting up more passive income streams before I decide to be employed again in the future.

Your performance and credibility would also help you acquire career opportunities from past employments.

5. Long Term Travel is a Fun and Great Learning Experience: Travelling the world would probably be the best university there is. It’s a great way to learn about the world and one’s self.

These are just some of the reasons why YOU SHOULD ALSO NOT BE AFRAID TO PURSUE SOMETHING YOU LIKE (in my case travelling) and put your present employment on hold for awhile. Instead of worrying about the things that you (perceive) might lose, look at the things that you will gain in the process. We only have one shot in this thing called life and pursuing your passion (IMHO) should always be part of your life’s strategy.

Flipnomad Adventure


  1. Great post for those who are still figuring out if leaving everything behind will be good for their career or not. I have friends who are still afraid to make that shift even if financially, they could still do well.
    Definitely leaving everything behind is not only done for travelling, but for other passions too.

    Even if I was only gone for two months, I feel that I made a huge impact at home. My mind is more open, like I can make a fresh start and build from scratch. I’ll be back on the road again, but I’m happy with the way things have been going.

    • flipnomad says:

      and we can do a lot more if we’re not afraid to let go of the things that dont work for us 🙂 goodluck too Ed

  2. For me Flip, I did not discount my passion in traveling, photography and to see other places. True, that some people, like me are still afraid to leave things behind even for awhile. I am still in the corporate world for 18 years now. When I joined PTB and reading blogs like yours, I could say that I was influenced or maybe my desire to travel was re-ignited. Good thing for now, that my wife is very much supportive with passion to travel and photography. Temporarily, a short term travel is allowed. LOL. :-). Good luck Flip.

  3. well said flip!
    thanks for the inspiration that you give to all of us. mabuhay ka

  4. Yeah, I think the pros of traveling long term outweigh the cons. And I don’t think it will be as bad for the career as people seem to think. I for sure plan on doing another year of traveling sometime soon 😉

  5. cant help but agree. ang galing ng post na to. worth sharing. dami ngang nawawala kung nililimita ng isang tao na magbyahe at ang gastos ang naiisip.

    i must admit i have that fear too of having a nomadic life. finally this post gives a concrete foundation on why it’s worth doing it.

  6. i wasn’t really ready to leave everything behind but i took the shot. now, i am happy and contented to live on a backpack just to pursue my dream of travelling. i hope more people will stumble on this blog post flip so that they will gain some enlightenment on why it’s ok to step out of their comfort zones 🙂 even if it’s just temporary…

    • flipnomad says:

      it’s an awesome learning experience, way better than getting my university degree lol 😉 goodluck too Doi and congratulations on your 3rd month 🙂

  7. This is why you are our “god” Flip 😀 Such amazing wisdom to share to all of us wannabes. The passion that you show us help us believe that there is a way for us to achieve whatever it is that we want in life no matter what it is. You dare not to be afraid. Thank you really, I keep on learning 😀

  8. you really opened my mind to the world of travelers/backpackers/nomads. I dream also of traveling around the Philippines and the world and I thought it can be done during some short time breaks, but i’m now realizing that it’s not like that at all for serious dream travelers. this really inspired and egged me on to never let go of my passion. thank you!

  9. Great post! It’s certainly good to read advice like these if you’re thinking of escaping you’re desk job. Of course it’s always down to yourself to establish your own goals and ambitions but it’s great to hear this side of the story because I think you usually hear too much of the negative aspect of leaving your job to travel (usually from people who haven’t done it!). Thanks flipnomad!

  10. I’ve travelled for coming up to 3 years now and it’s ruined my career as an electronic engineer. Whether they want me back or not, I don’t know. But I do know I never want to go back to sitting in a factory staring as boxes and numbers to make some large company some money again.

    The fear of leaving funnily does leave itself as soon as people get on the road as it’s so enjoyable and liberating. I’ve picked up random jobs around the world and although I struggle to make as much money as I used too, I don’t need too as I don’t have an expensive petrol bill anymore.

    Oh and that’s not to mention all the lay ins and late nights I can finally match my body clock too!

    • flipnomad says:

      thanks for sharing your insights Rob, exactly the same sentiments I have now… won’t probably be able to go back to my old job/life…

  11. thanks for this post sir! i’ve actually been thinking for awhile about “leaving everything” but still don’t have enough guts to do it. yes i’m scared. the longest time i was not at work was 3 weeks. i’ll read again and again from the top to fuel my courage. Ma’asalam!

    • flipnomad says:

      you’re welcome… no need to leave everything behind for a long time… just enough time for you to setup and startup your passion related way of living…

  12. Your site is inspiring! I just handed in my resignation earlier after 12 years of being a corporate slave. How great is it that of all days, I stumble upon your site while booking for a hotel in Siem Reap. I now feel more confident with my decision to enjoy life and carry on to where my travels/journey will bring me 🙂

  13. Re-reading this and nodding my head. I actually worked with a career coach to get through the mental hurdles of leaving it all behind for one year and spending the money I had been saving for three years specifically for this purpose. 2.5 months into a one year trip and I can say it has been totally worth it! Opportunities have appeared I never thought possible all because I took the leap and did what so many only talk about.

  14. have same feeling for more than a year but something stops me. i kno i may experience new things but the fear of not earning enough there makes me to think twice.what i need to kno the kinda part time jobs that can keep my inflow just to live there where no one knows me…wat would u suggest me?

    • I suggest that you start with identifying your core skills and competencies and figure out on how you can work remotely using your talents. Are you a programmer,writer, maybe you can be a freelance worker?


  1. Stories on the Road: A Lesson | RANDOM TRIPPINGS NI DREW says:

    […] through my favourite blogs this afternoon, I came across a post written by Flipnomad entitled Why you and I should not be Afraid to leave everything behind for awhile. In this post, he listed down reasons which are born out of the lessons that he has learned in […]

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