It's really quite terrifying to think about leaving everything behind in life to go travel and see the world.
But I also have to give props to people who actually go out and do it, because it takes a whole different level of courage and spontaneity to successfully pull off something like that.
In a Reddit post titled, "Redditors who one day just said, "Fu** it" and quit their job to travel the world, how did it all work out?" people shared the many ups and downs associated with their experiences in leaving behind normal, everyday responsibilities.
Reddit user "LDKCP" set the bar real high when he shared his experience with quitting his "real" job to travel:
Not only did he get to travel to a new and exciting country, but he also met and fell in love with a girl who came back with him to his home in the UK. Plus, working together as a couple, the two essentially managed to create a new career from the ashes of LDKCP's old one.
He wrote in his post,
I'm lucky, but I was also a little brave and worked hard. I'd rather have failed trying to do something I wanted to do than had success at something that did not fulfill me.
Then there's Reddit user "showmm," who expected to spend only a year in Germany, but ended up spending literally his entire lifetime there:
Wow. That actually gave me chills.
Alright, so, what about us good ol' introverts? Traveling to new places implicitly means communicating with people who are different from you in just about every single way.
As a person who would almost certainly find any excuse to stay in the hotel room all day and watch European Netflix if it meant not having to talk to strangers, I have to know how other introverted people possibly handle the brutal exhaustion that comes with traveling alone.
Reddit user "Carlyone" touches on these challenges in her story:
It wasn't all bad, but I can tell you that to travel the world alone as an introvert was probably the worse idea ever. Being too shy to make contact with people, staying at my hostel because night outside in strange countries are scary and so on doesn't really expand your horizons.
She said the experience was worth it in the end, though she's pretty confident she would have enjoyed herself much more if she had a friend to tag along and really motivate her to come out of her shell.
Okay, but even if you can find the courage to do something like this, how can someone realistically plan this out in a way that truly makes the time meaningful in the long-term scope of life?
Reddit user "Get_it_together_dawg" offered some really great advice on this:
It's not just about knowing you want a change of scenery, or wanting some vague idea of something "better." If you're seriously considering quitting your job and traveling the world, Get_it_together_dawg encourages you to ask some of these questions of yourself:
Do you want to change your career entirely? What career do you want to change it to? Why do you want to change it to that career? What kind of lifestyle do you want? Whatever it is you want, figure out clear and established goals you can achieve which ultimately bring you closer to what you want to be doing every day.
Definitely some sound advice.
But let's be real here. Not all of us are cut out to be able to handle so much ambiguity and spontaneity in life. Some of us need plans and structure to let us know everything will be okay.
However, Reddit user "iHeartCapitalism" makes a pretty damn good point about the fear of screwing up your whole life:
The quote here that really hit home for me was this:
It's actually quite hard to irreversibly fuck up your entire life.
When you think about it, there's so much truth to that statement. For all the anxiety we cause ourselves in planning out every step of our lives, it's important to remember that life usually doesn't give a flying you-know-what about your plans. Something can always go wrong, even if you think you're playing it safe.
It's about trusting yourself enough to know you can and will figure it all out, no matter what happens.