How to Quit Your Corporate Job to Travel (and Not Burn Bridges)

Woman walking through vineyard in Western Australia with text overlay Woman jumping in front of rainbow-coloured buildings in Hong Kong with text overlay

Let me start by saying a few things: you do not have to quit your job in order to travel, and quitting is not the right/best move for everyone. You can travel with a full-time job, in fact many amazing people do it and do it well, and there are plenty of other options like asking for a sabbatical or finding a way to work remotely. This article is not focused on deciding whether or not to quit (only you can decide what’s right for YOU), but rather what to do once you have made the decision.

Amelia Park vineyard in Margaret River region in Western Australia

In my case, I had been at my corporate job for 5 years and had burnt out to the max – my health and relationships were suffering, I was mourning the loss of a close friend, and I desperately needed a break. I decided to quit my job to invest in my health, spend more time with friends and family, learn new skills (like how to surf!) and travel to new places around the world. It goes without saying that it is also important to sit down and determine whether quitting your job to travel is fiscally responsible and possible, and how long your savings will last.

If you’ve made the very difficult decision to quit your corporate job, it may be tempting to show up to work and shout “I quit, sayonara bitches!”, pull a mic drop and ride out on your unicorn, but here’s what you need to know to leave a job properly without pissing off everyone around you and potentially jeopardizing any future opportunities. It’s fairly crucial to be professional and leave on good terms, even if you have zero plans to return to the company after your travels.

1. Be honest

If you are fortunate enough to be in a team with people that you love working with and respect, then speak to your boss and the human resources department and be upfront about the reason why you are leaving. If for some reason your job is horrible and your boss makes your life a living hell, make sure that you act diplomatically and in a professional manner. Let them know that you are looking to transition, and always thank them for the opportunity. The best way to do this is face-to-face but if you are located in a different country then you may need to schedule a time to do this over the phone or do it via e-mail.

Head on over to Thought Catalog to read the rest of the article!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading this, Noemi! And like you said, quitting your corporate job doesn’t have to be permanent – you can always go back!

  1. I definitely agree that you shouldn’t burn bridges! I’m into risks, but found the best way to travel is to find a job overseas. You get to know another place in depth as well as exploring nearby countries more cheaply than travelling from your home country!

  2. Your tips are very practical and that is what I loved about your post. its not something everyone can do at snap of a finger. There are so many angles to be considered before taking a decision

    1. I’ve heard a few horror stories! It’s really best for everybody if you leave on good terms but it’s not always possible in extreme circumstances!

  3. I really enjoyed this post, Flo! I went over to Thought Catalogue to finish it. With my current job, I want to say, “F this, sayonara, I’m out.” It’s good to remember not to burn those bridges because you never know who you might meet. Also, in today’s world, we’re so connected by social media, you never know what could come back to haunt you. I also learned you should definitely keep things to yourself because people can be really mean to you if they find out you’re leaving.

    1. Exactly, Gina! I was fortunate that I worked with a bunch of amazing people in Hong Kong, but there definitely are vindictive people out there who try to undermine you to other people in the industry. The key is to do everything you can on your part to do the right thing!

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