How I Quit My Job to Travel the World

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Photography by Patience Randle
Photography by Patience Randle

Singing at the top of my lungs in a karaoke bar all the way in Singapore, I felt fearless and liberated. I danced and sang around the booth, not caring who heard my terrible voice crack with each Beyoncé lyric that escaped my lips.

I was happy.

I taxied back to my hotel and wrote more that night than I had in years…I liked this feeling. No, I loved it.

My heart was full of butterflies. Not the kind you get when you see that certain cute guy, but the 'oh crap' butterflies.

I was back in the States and had just finished typing up my two weeks notice. God, I’m really gonna do this. I let it sit for a moment, staring at it. I was thinking maybe if I looked hard enough I would change my mind, have some sort of awakening.

A few minutes later I’m in an office with my boss and a colleague.

Wait, how the heck did I get here?

Sweaty palms, beating heart. Bad kind of butterflies.

Afterwards, I’m back in my own office replaying how everything went down. Did I sound confident and say the right things or did I sound like I was giving up?

“I’m quitting my job to explore other opportunities.” My boss probably translated "explore" as "sit on my butt" and "opportunities" as "Netflix."

Great. Another misunderstood millennial.

I was experiencing quitter’s remorse. Similar to the buyer’s remorse you might feel after snagging a pair of shoes you know you can't afford. You end up returning them the next day, eyes glued to the shiny laminate mall floor as you hand in your receipt with 'I can’t really afford this' shame.

But you can’t return quitting your job. It’s permanent. "2 weeks left" permanent. I was giving it up all to travel the world and write down my thoughts on some paper.

Yep. This ladies (and gents) is the reason I felt the need to quit my job. Not because I hated it, and not because I thought I could make more money somewhere else. I quit because I felt my passion for writing and adventure slowly start to die.

When you start out in life I believe God gives us a voice inside that constantly reminds us what we’re put on Earth to do. It guides you as a child, feeding you wisdom as you sit completely oblivious to it all, stuffing your face with Fruit Loops while watching Saturday morning cartoons. It grows alongside you in middle school, helping you decide which subjects will be your favorite. It knows your deepest darkest secrets and your fears. It knows your favorite method of procrastination (a glass of wine and Netflix anybody?), but still manages to inspire you.

As we get older though, we often get sucked into the world of what we think it means to be successful. Our careers define us, instead of us defining our careers, and money becomes more of a worry than anything else. Soon the voice begins to shrink smaller and smaller, until it’s so faint we can no longer hear it.

This is why I felt the need to leave my job, I wasn’t hearing that voice anymore. My creativity became stagnant and I felt stuck. There was only one way for me to fix it…

I’m happy to say that it’s been a few months since I’ve walked away from my job to pursue my passion of traveling and writing, and I couldn’t be happier. Following my dream (other than removing my bra after a long day) was one of the most liberating things that I could ever have done for myself. I have met so many amazing people through my travels and connected with so many cool creatives (whoop, whoop to Lady Hustle Mag being one of them)! Things I never thought were possible have miraculously fallen into my lap (thank you God) and to think that this is only the beginning! To think that this is only YOUR beginning. How exciting is that?

Sure there are days when I question EVERYTHING. But I’m finally starting to do what it is I felt I should’ve been doing this whole time. I’m sharing my story because I know there are other people out there who feel the same. Who feel stuck and fearful of making the next move.

Each of our stories will be unique. You don’t have to quit your job to get your passion back, but you do have to actively pursue it. Don’t hang it up in the closet expecting it to have some sort of effect on your life if you never wear it. Instead, let me encourage you to take a leap of faith and think big. Do something that will advance your dream everyday. Send in that manuscript that’s been collecting dust on your shelf, take that extra course everyone else thinks is pointless, but you know is just right for you. Listen to that voice, and don’t ignore it this time. Hustle.

No, this journey has not been easy. No, my writing isn’t perfect. I get scared every single time I look at my bank account. I get scared when my phone doesn’t ring for freelance work. I get scared that people won’t want to read my stories. But then I stop to think about why I’m doing all of this in the first place.

It’s because I wanted to feel butterflies in my stomach again.

The good kind.

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Patience Randle is a writer with a great appetite for adventure, travel, and good story telling. She recently launched her blog Where the Wild One Roams to document these cravings after quitting her job to travel and write full time. She’s an avid believer in following your passion and letting it lead you. You never know where you might end up! In addition to her blog and traveling, she is also working to complete her first science-fiction novel.