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9 things to know if you want to quit your job and travel

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe, Oprah Magazine

If you ever want to, say, leave your job and follow your wanderlust, Jakiya Brown-also known as Instagram's @travelingfro-has already done it. Brown quit her corporate job two years ago to live out her dream of seeing the world, and for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps, she has some useful tips.


Exhaust Your 9 to 5 Perks

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

While you still have your day job, take advantage of that cushy salary and save as much of your pay check as possible. You can also withhold more money on your taxes so you see your return increase.

You might also want to take advantage of health insurance and get all of your checkups, medications, and travel vaccines before walking out that door. And don’t leave before you use your vacation days or get your bonus, if you have one.

This all sounds like a no-brainer, but it's easy to get caught up in the feeling of wanting it all to be over. Stick it out and collect what you’ve worked hard for!


Map It Out

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

It's always a good idea to have a plan drafted of what regions, countries, and cities you want to go to. Use websites and apps like Google Flights, From Rome 2 Rio, Hostelworld and BlaBlaCar to help you figure out transportation and accommodations.


Choose a Starting Point

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

All the various destinations of the world don't have to be overwhelming. Find someone who's already overseas in a location you'd like to visit-whether it's a friend, family member, or blogger you admire-and reach out. They can give you advice on their country, clue you in on what to expect, and even allow you to crash with them or meet up for dinner, drinks, or a day around town.


Prepare Financially

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

Even if you've saved up for months-or years!-without a steady paycheck, your lifestyle will change. You'll need to make small sacrifices so that your money goes further and you can create a realistic budget. You should also do some budgeting research before you leave, as costs will vary per country. Put shopping on hold and try thrifting; cook more and eat out less; walk or take public transportation versus Uber. It’s the little things that make a difference. (And budgeting apps can't hurt either.)


Don’t Over Pack

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

You don't want to be bogged down with a bunch of personal items that you probably won’t use. Start out small. When I set out for a year, I only had a bag and backpack with no more than 10 outfits. Get creative and mix and match. Clothing becomes more about function and less about fashion when country hopping.


Be Flexible

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

Traveling full-time is truly a journey down the path less traveled. Be open-minded as things can change at any moment. Flights may get cancelled, the hostel you booked may not look like what you saw in the pictures, or you could meet someone along the way and travel with them. Be ready for change.


Get Organized

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

Have a folder (print and copies, in case you lose your phone!) of emergency contact, medical, and travel information. Inform your friends and family of where you will be, your address, and contact information. The last thing you want is for no one to be able to find or contact you if anything were to happen.


Find An Outlet

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

Moving from place to place, especially solo, can be taxing on the body and the mind. Find something that allows you to release your thoughts and frustrations. Pick up a journal, find a workout routine, or meditate. These things go along way when you're far from family on the road.


Use Technology To Your Advantage

© Jakiya Brown @travelingfro

Being far from home and family can be hard. Make dates with your loved ones through FaceTime or video calls, and take the time out of your travels to sit down and fill them in on your day. Start a group chat, a Facebook group, or a weekly email to keep everyone back home in the loop.

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Career Magazine: 9 things to know if you want to quit your job and travel
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