How I Quit My Job to Live Traveling

People usually think you need to be rich to live traveling, or that you have to spend a lot of money to see the world. I would like to share my findings based on my own experience of becoming a nomad and making a living as I travel.

For many people it may sound weird leaving the status quo that is hardwired into us. We are meant to go to school, then college, then go and find a day job. It may seem dangerous or even scary to embrace something off the beaten path.

After graduating from college I had to find a day job and a place to live. During this time when I was realizing my budget and the reasons to be an office employee, I figured out that the average person spends at least 40% of their income on their household. Every month for the next 7 years I had to spend this amount to keep the walls around me. Everything counts – rent or house payment, utilities, furniture, appliances, maintenance, taxes – and all kind of useless things used for entertainment.

In 2012 I was fed up my 8-5 office job in a recognized company of Bogota, Colombia. Always knowing that ties and cubicles were not for me. I nostalgically remember those gray and endless city afternoons wearing my nutty shoes and Macy’s tie, with a company badge hooked to my belt demanding the authority of which any unhappy subordinate can boast about.

At that point for me the equation was simple. I knew that if 40% of my salary was spent to maintain an apartment, if invested in travel I was going to make my life into a more fulfilling existence. But the next question is probably the most important, as you must be asking.

How am I going to make a living if I quit my job?

from and office to nomad

I admit it was not an easy decision; I had no savings, no fundings or heritage that could have helped me to make this traveling lifestyle a reality. But I had something more important than that: the will to make a more fulfilling life by doing what I love all day long on my own terms.

I am one of those who believes that a good book could change your life, and mine was changed after reading The Monk Who sold his Ferrari, not because I had one of those (I wish so), but because it inspired me in a way that all the fears and worries that arise from asking myself “How am I going to do this?” just disappeared.

The first task was to quit my day job and I sold the few things I had including my car, a LED TV, a home theater, my XBOX 360, a computer and all the useless and material things accumulated during years of being an office man. With the result of my garage sell, I could afford a trip to Italy to study design and probably find new opportunities.

During my stay in Europe I visited several countries, always on a low budget and backpacking. I learned to make a living on the internet by selling my artwork and photographs of the places I visited to customers around the world, just from the comfort of my laptop. No matter where I was, on a train in Germany or in a cafe in Rome, I was always connected to the internet and promoting my creations.

For accommodations I discovered places like local hostels, Airbnb, Couchsurfing, or I just stayed with family and friends I met in my travels.

Unconsciously and with hard work I was designing my life to never again go through the ordeal of taking a resume under my arm and asking for a day job.

luis andres quintero
Working from a library in Florence, Italy. 2012.

If you dear reader are looking for ways to work on what you like and live traveling, I assure you that it has never been easier in the history of humanity to do it. The world is a very large place, and the lifetime we have is too short to spend sitting in an office, if that’s not what you want. All that is needed is a decision and understanding that you have the ability to take the steps and make it happen.

For me, the price of not traveling and seeing the world is much higher than doing it.

So where do you begin? We recommend checking out our post 7 Resources that Helped … These are the very tools I used to get me to the launching pad of this quest.

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