Is it time to break free of your corporate job and remember what it’s like to feel alive again? Is it time for an adventure? Do you want to see the world instead of the inside of a cubicle every weekday? Do you want to wake up every day when you decide and have control over what you choose to do every minute?
If you’ve decided it’s time for a sabbatical that let’s you see the world, I’m offering FREE for a limited time, a mini “6 Months to Sabbatical” lesson to take you through an important pre-planning process. This will help you clarify your sabbatical objectives and desires while you still have the perspective of a beleaguered office lackey. Before you learn the special tricks on how to stay in beautiful homes for free around the world, how to book the lowest airfares, and how to rent a car for as little as $65 total for 4 weeks in Europe, come the steps I take you through here. They will give you 2 things to minimize regret later on:
They will help you next decide what activities, living arrangements and countries to visit will make you happiest.
They will remind you later of what you are willing to give up and tolerate when you have a rough day or two during your travelling sabbatical and lose your perspective.
We’ve all fantasized about jetting to far off places, tasting new foods, seeing new sights, lying on exotic beaches “someday”, but when should “someday” be?
If you aren’t blessed by small children or a significant other who is afraid to fly, your 30’s are the best time in your life to travel. Here are the top 5 reasons why.
1. Youth – You’re young enough so that your body isn’t falling apart as much as it might in your golden years. Why wait until you’re dealing with arthritis and high blood pressure before you strap on a backpack and finally attempt hiking the Andes like you always dreamed? There are so many more things you can easily do when you still have your health! Why waste your current capacity to survive food poisoning and wild tuk tuk rides?
2. Wisdom – You’re old enough not to do stupid shit. Your teenage years and 20’s were all about finding out where your limits were – whether it was how long you could go without sleep and not crack, or the types of people you need to avoid at parties to make it home in one piece. You usually found those limits by going beyond them and destroying yourself. Now that your 20’s clearly defined how far your mind and body can bend before they break, your 30’s can be the time when you push yourself to just below that fine line. It’s one more way you’re fully optimized for doing awesome things in your 30’s. You’re less susceptible to peer pressure, too, at this time… so that’s a thing. “No, really, I know myself — I’m good with just the 3 shots of tequila off your hard beach body.”
3. Money – You’re well along enough in your career that you probably don’t have to save up for as long as when you were a young one before making the leap. Plus, you can financially rebound easier if you want to rejoin the workforce when you’re done traveling as compared with your more senior years. Just recently, a lot of great, new companies popped up to help with refinancing things in a way where you don’t get screwed, too. These options didn’t exist when you were graduating college, and you probably weren’t making enough salary then to qualify. If you need to refinance your student loans, I can refer you HERE to 2 great companies that saved me $1,000’s in interest.
4. Experience – You’re a seasoned pro by now in your career with examples of shit you did under your belt. It’s safer to leave the workforce and come back during your 30’s than it was during your early 20’s. If you get laid-off in your 20’s (I did, twice), it’s hard as hell with less than 5 years of experience to climb out of that hole! By your 30’s, you likely have a solid foundation and your degree, and the story about those widgets you expertly 6-sigma’d aren’t going away, either. Yeah, there may be some companies in the future that frown upon you taking time out for re-energizing, self-improvement, learning, and experimenting… but are those really the companies you want to work for?
5. Potential — Travel can benefit you in your career later if you do it now. If you do it at the end of your career, you only get jollies out of it. By taking a sabbatical in your 30’s, you re-energize your mind and motivation with fresh perspectives, rediscovered curiosity and new ideas on commerce and products. It’s impossible not to come back to your previous duties without seeing them all in a new light! Interacting with the contrast of other cultures allows you to see and understand your own culture better. This, in turn, allows for the possibility of expanded creativity. You can study large systems – entire cities or countries – from the outside and draw insights on what makes them work (Singapore) or not work (the Philippines). You can learn how to haggle in Thailand. You can better understand how to work with your future employer’s suppliers when you learn firsthand about the cultures in China, in Germany, in Mexico… Simply seeing everyday things from new angles and done in new ways sparks your potential for innovation. In so many ways, travel can supercharge your career potential. Why not increase that potential mid-career, when you’re most likely to benefit from it for many years to come?
If you agree and now is the time for you to take a break in your career and see the world, I can help. For a limited time, my 6 Months to Sabbatical Workshop is available for registration where I can work with you to form your escape plan. I know it can work for you, because it worked for me! With some meager savings and student loans I still pay every month, I managed to quit my job and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. I know how to save painlessly before quitting, travel for $1,000’s less than typical vacationers do, and even how to stay for free in beautiful accommodations around the world. You know what else? I have never been happier. CLICK HERE to find out more and register for the workshop! Hurry, early-bird pricing ends February 17th, 2016 and registration closes for good February 23rd, 2016.
What follows is the review, as promised, of the hostel I ended up staying at in Phuket, which won the most votes from YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
Thank you again So Much to everyone who sent me a gift/voted on a place to stay. I’m am blown away by your generosity every time I think on it! Just, wow. Really. Wow!!
The winner, with 300 Mutherfriggin Votes, ended up being the cheapo-but-relatively-safe-looking hostel choice: iHostel Phuket. 4 USD per night and no mention of blood or prostitutes in the reviews. Yea! It’s what I would have chosen had the voting game not taken place.
I wasn’t able to go with that specific hostel in the end, but was able to find a good approximation. Baan Kamala was a pricey 14 USD/night, but it was walking distance from where the yacht was going to toss me ashore. If I had taken a taxi from the yacht to the original iHostel Phuket choice, it would have been at least 20 bucks extra anyways. Plus, I wasn’t feeling so well… more on that later.
The captain of the Candela’s son took me in a dinghy to Kamala Beach and I plodded through the muddy sand with my bags. I must have looked like the strangest castaway that beach has ever seen.
Actually, I take that back. The beach was very close to Patong. That beach has seen shit.
Anyways, it was a bit strange. I’d been living elbow-to-elbow every second for weeks with people who I’d just met but had become sort of close to… And now, I was all alone. Yet, I still felt the sway of the sea when standing on solid ground.
I pulled out my phone, which thankfully by now, had a Thai SIM card in it, to help me navigate to the hostel. Trudging through the maze of narrow streets packed with shops, I wondered if I’d be able to make it there on my own. By this time, the afternoon’s papaya salad which I’d eaten on Laem Sim beach, just to the north, was really taking its toll. I’d had cramps since shortly after eating it, which were getting progressively worse. As a bonus, my belly which normally looked like that of a pregnant lady 4 months along, was now at least 6 months pregnant with botulism. …Or with whatever the fuck parasite was breeding a militant colony within me.
I finally made it to my destination, and I would have blown right by it if not for the attendant calling out to me. He didn’t realize I had a reservation already. He was just being a Thai salesman, lucky for me.
After checking in and climbing a few flights of stairs, I thanked God for letting me lay the fuck down. I’d reserved a cheaper option without A/C, yet somehow, it was on at full-blast in the room. I had only experienced air conditioning when passing through malls in Southeast Asia, so this was a refreshing, welcomed luxury, especially in the state I was in.
I snagged a bottom bunk and threw some of my things into a generously-sized locker, which even came with a lock. Fancy!
There were 2 other lovely and interesting travelers already staying there whom I met when I arrived. I wish I’d had more time to spend with them when I wasn’t feeling so shitty! We talked about possibly going out for the evening even though I was still debating in my own mind whether that was prudent. I told myself that I at least needed to take a proper shower, because I promised myself. That would happen first.
I pulled out all the stops for that shower – soap, scrubby glove, I Even Shaved – like, with giving all the fucks about shaving, not that, “eh good enough, I won’t stab anyone with my knee hair” kind. There was shampoo — the good stuff I had brought from The West, and even… *gasp* conditioner. Yeah, I splurged by using conditioner. It had been difficult to find hair conditioner on the islands, so I had just stopped using any and was saving what I brought with me for a special occasion. I guess that special occasion was a hot shower.
It was difficult to do all the showery things I wanted to, because washing dishes in sea water for a half-dozen people, along with all the swimming had taken a serious toll on my hands. My paws were peeling and cracking and became painful after exposing them to water for more than a few minutes. They are only now — 2 weeks later, starting to get back to normal.
I scrubbed the shit out of all I could before my palms disintegrated. I had sores all over everywhere from a mixture of biting flies, mosquitoes, stings from I-Don’t-Even-Knows, and a retarded amount of ingrown hairs. I assumed things weren’t healing because I was only washing in microbe-infested sea water and it was hard to do a good job of scrubbing while partially clothed and keeping an eye out for sharks and bastard jellyfish.
After cleaning up as much as my palms let me, I went back to my sweetly air conditioned room and tried to remember “how to girl”. I still debated whether it was a good idea to go out as I put on makeup to Slut Level 6.5 and threw on a civilized skirt and blouse over my bikini.
My awesome new friends – a German of Thai decent taking a gap year, and an Australian PhD student on holiday, were keen on going out. I resolved to suck it up and go, even if I’d only have a juice. Solid food was not happening.
We took a lovely walk along the beach dodging kiddos and swinging, flying, glowing LED objects before deciding on a restaurant in the sand. I had half a pineapple juice, while the other two ate and drank things I wished I could eat and drink. As time passed, it became more difficult to keep my composure, and at one point, the waves of nausea were more than I could take. I got up to go to the bathroom, certain the time had come to birth an alien colony of parasites from my mouth.
I was taken by the waiter on a fucking sight-seeing tour to another building to use the bathroom. It was such a long trek, I almost told him “fuck it, I’ll just puke over the bridge into this river. Smells like it wouldn’t be the first time that happened.” My composed side won, however, and I made it to the toilet.
And then nothing.
Oh right, so now you want to keep it together? NOW? Damn it, guts. Damn it.
When I returned, my companions and I jetted back to the hostel, stopping at a 7-Eleven along the way for water and Gatorade, which would be my breakfast and lunch the next day. I was so thankful they were there to lead the way.
I think I passed out fully-clothed in my bunk bed when we got back. It’s a bit of a blur and the cramping was to the point where I was beyond composure. In the middle of the night, I felt, “nope, now is really, really the time,” and shot out of bed for the bathroom. As I shut the door behind me, I had a decision to make.
“I have food poisoning. Which end will it come out of? Which way should I use the toilet?! Oh God, what if it’s both?”
But then I realized a beautiful benefit to bidets and the messy Asian bathroom style of making the entire room the shower floor. I can do both at the same time! I’m covered. I can hose whatever happens down. A small ray of sunshine in this mess. Hooray!
In the end, it was just some moaning and explosive vomiting. I apologize again for the inconvenience to my hostel-mates. Somehow, even though the bathroom was down the hallway, you can hear everything from where the beds are. Thanks again for putting up with that shit so kindly.
Somehow I had gotten vomit like, just, all over the toilet bowl and bits of the seat. I panicked for a second, not wanting to cause further discomfort to my hostel-mates. Again, I remembered the bidet hose thing. I’m saved! So THAT’S what it’s for. I was able to hose down the chunks on the toilet with the hose thing and dry it off with toilet paper. Squeaky clean! PHEW!
When I returned to the bunk-bed-room I tied a just-in-case bag to the metal railing and was thankful once again for the A/C. It was like the whole room had turned into the soothing, cold tiles of a North American bathroom floor.
I spent the first half of the next day using the hostel’s fairly decent wifi to create and upload a video and blog post. It had been a long time since I’d had enough data and speed to do so, so their wifi gets a thumbs up, too, in my book, even if it went out a couple times.
So in all, Baan Kamala Hostel was not the cheapest option, had I stayed somewhere longer than 2 nights, but if you have some raging food poisoning going on, it’s a very pleasant use of your 14 dollars. Plus, Kamala itself was a cute little town. Thumbs up.
Thanks again to everyone who played. I am so grateful to each of you!!
Currently writing this from Ireland, to reveal my plans for when I get kicked out tomorrow on December 6th…. only have the first 6 weeks or so sketched out with over 3 months to fill with adventure!
It’s been a wild ride just figuring out where I would go if I not only could but HAD to go anywhere in the world outside of where I am and home. Where would YOU go? Remember, you only have 7 days to decide and book the plane ticket which you must use. I’m very curious. Let me know in the comments below!