Quitting my job in search of a travel contrast… or four

Florida

For years, I’ve been debating whether I should just chuck it all in and go walkabout around Asia; and for the past month it has been a growing obsession. My feet are itchy and after what feels like a lifetime (but in reality is only four years) of being tied down by things I don’t care that much about, I need a break. So today, I handed in my notice at work and on October 5th, I am OUTTA HERE.

Siem Reap motorbike

Except perhaps with a little more excitement on my face than this terrified toddler I saw in Cambodia last year 

Seems like the perfect time to join the #travellinkup! Every month, some of my travel blogger crushes choose a topic (travel personalities etc.) This month, it’s contrasts and I’m hopping on board haha, punny.
No matter what kind of holiday or travelling experience you seek, you’re on the hunt for something different. Even package holidays to Magaluf contrast with your personal day-to-day (and if it’s not, whoooooa pony, calm the heck down).

Contrast alone is one of the reasons why, time and time again, I go back to Asia (over the past four years I’ve visited Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and South Korea). Culturally, every country I’ve visited in Asia is about as far from London life as you can get.

Indian river market
So in two months’ time, I’m boarding another long-haul flight to my favourite continent. But this time, it’s different from my annual visits. I’m looking for things that totally depart from my day-to-day. These are the four contrasts I’m after from this two-month trip of a lifetime…
Building my career vs. building myself
I never think of myself as one of those omg-what-a-go-getter types, because I’m a pretty laid back person in general (except, you know, when I have a panic attack at the mere sight of a busy tube because obviously the world’s about to end). But recently, over some rather nice champagne and even more delicious wine at Browns, Victoria (read about it here), Ally T and I realised I had gone from school to university, volunteered the whole way through my holidays, and then drove from graduation to start my job the following working day. Bloody hell, even typing that is exhausting. I graduated in 2011 when the world was telling me I’d basically NEVER get a job because argh the recession is going to kill us all, so have overcompensated ever since. I was so obsessed with having a blossoming career I forgot to figure out exactly what I wanted from it. The signs have been there – staying in a long-term relationship that was basically so-bloody-boring; experiencing a hideous bout of panic disorder because something is bothering me – but I think it’s time I gave myself the freedom to do what I want to do; not what I should do.

A little extra:  A year in travel for the Europe-bound dreamer

Bali volcano
Familiarity vs. exploration

After weeks of staring at my living room, just WILLING the layout inspiration to dawn on me, I realised I’m too familiar with what it already looks like. That’s like LIFE, guys.
Cheesy metaphors aside, I love my life in London. But something’s missing and I don’t know what it is. Will I figure it out while I’m away? Maybe; maybe not. Or when I’m back? Possibly. Or ever? Good God, I hope so.
Busy-ness vs. creativity

Reading

I’ve got all of these ideas of things I want to do, ranging from the small – read, like, for pleasure – to the middling – start freelancing – to the bloody huge – I may or may not be cooking a little business plan up in my mind but shhhh. I’m so busy with everything in London, though, that it never quite comes to fruition. Traveling gives me the inspiration so do what I want to do in a different way. Think of it like a beefed-up version of going to a coffee shop to write a post. I’m just going a little further afield for that coffee, and it had bloody well better be iced.

 

Idleness vs. activity

Ok, this is hardly the most glamorous thing to admit but I’m terrified the mid-twenties bulge is about to hit. I used to *pump that iron* at the gym erryday when I was at uni (I did History of Art = 2 contact hours per week = so much free time = may as well get HENCH). As soon as I moved to London, I replaced exercise with mid-week Prosecco and an oh-thatpop-up-looks-tasty attitude. Coupled with a job in B2B PR (without all the running around my B2C counterparts got to do), this combination simple does not a svelte goddess make. Give me a hike up Mount Bromo over being chained to a desk any day, if only for some Beyonce thighs.

A little extra:  Daytripping: Bristol, Hogarth, and gin

Sunset2

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14 comments so far.

14 responses to “Quitting my job in search of a travel contrast… or four”

  1. khayceelyn says:

    Inspiring 😀😀😀 this building my career or building myself…

  2. jaimi says:

    good for you! it took me 18 years on the career track (following working my way through high school and university, and starting my career 3 days after accepting my degree!) before I took THE BIG STEP. it’s now been 2.5 years of off-and-on travel, occasional work to finance the necessities, and it is great! Enjoy the time and looking forward to hear about the contrast-and-self-finding…

    • Amy says:

      That’s amazing. 18 years! What a leap. Which is your favourite country to visit so far?

      • jaimi says:

        Sounds like a trick question, Amy – so many different things out there! Love South Africa and Tanzania, Costa Rica, Peru fascinating, Malaysia beautiful and friendly. And so many wonderful places in Europe! Croatia, provence, mallorca…

  3. […] cannot WAIT for my trip around Asia at the end of the year, and I think I’m going to have to check out tour dates to see a […]

  4. Elena says:

    Well good for you! I am twice your age and if there is one regret I do have, it’s that I didn’t do more things for “me” when I was younger instead of automatically following the pack. Back then, I looked down on people that did what you are about to do but now I see how wrong I was. I look forward to reading about your adventures!

  5. […] night, Ally T – yes, the same Ally T whose pictures of turtles convinced me to quit my job and book a one-way ticket to Bali – and I went to Cafe Direct for an evening of ‘coffee tasting from all over the […]

  6. Congrats! That is so amazing! 🙂 I quit my job in 2009 to travel around the world too 🙂 But unfortunately my Dad got sick 🙁 By the way the 2nd of my Singapore travel posts (that I promised you) is up :)- https://hapinesswherever.wordpress.com/2015/08/26/wandering-top-3-urban-singapore/
    Can’t wait to read more about your Asian Adverntures 🙂

    • Amy says:

      Thank you! I’m sorry to hear about your dad, but I hope your trip was good! I’m just about to poke through your Singapore posts now – thank you 🙂

  7. […] to London in January (if you’re a first-timer at Arts End of Nowhere, I’m on the eve of quitting my job in order to spend the winter sniffing out the finest in creative travel across East …– eee! […]

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