Do you want to travel around the world but afraid that you are committing career suicide? Did you know you can actually travel around the world for one year and still have a job when you return back home? I’ve personally used some of the strategies covered in this article to get my old job back upon returning back from travelling for one year around the world.

 

Famous people who likes long term travel

Many famous people have attributed their career success on travelling around the world.

Stefan Sagmeister, the album cover creator for Jay Z, Aerosmith and the Rollingstones closes shop every 7 years to travel around the world. He says that many of his success came from the creative ideas he gained from taking that one year off to travel.

Chris Guillebeau, author of the $100 Startup has been to all 193 UN recognized countries in the world. One of his business endeavors is helping people with travel hacking.

Finally, Tim Ferriss was able to write the Four Hour Work Week thanks to taking more than a year off to travel around the world.

Don’t think of travelling around the world as career suicide. Think of it as an investment in your future. Who knows what great ideas you’ll come up with that you can execute on after you return home!

Why should you travel around the world for a year

Take a mini-retirement

 

Many people dream of travelling around the world when they’re a retired senior. What if you don’t like travelling? It’s best to know now than later. You don’t want to spend your whole life preparing to retire a certain way only to find out you actually hate that lifestyle you are imagining.

Do a test-drive now and find out if it’s for you. This benefits you in two ways:

  • First, if you really love travelling, then it’ll motivate you to work harder to get that travel lifestyle faster.
  • Second, if you hate it, then you can find something else that you enjoy and work towards that instead.

So take a mini-retirement and find out exactly if long term travel is for you!

How to have a job after coming back home from long term travel

The best way to have a job after coming back home from travelling for a year (or long term) is to get a job before travelling that lets you take lots of time off work.

You would be surprised at the number of jobs that actually lets you take an extended time off work and give you back the same position or at least a job when you come back home.

Organizations or jobs that lets you take extended time off work:

Community Centres

This is the method that I used to get my job back after coming back home from travel. Because I work for various different community centres in the city that I live in, I know that there is a huge demand for fitness staffs.

Before I left to travel, I asked all my bosses if I can have my job back when I come back. They all said yes. (It also helps that I was a reliable employee). After coming back home from travelling, they all hired me again!

If you want to work in a different department in community centres, I know that the front desk staffs are allowed to keep their job as long as they pick up ONE shift within 365 days.

So maybe you can’t travel for 365 days but you can still travel for 364 days. That’s still really good!

Teachers

I don’t remember the exact number but after speaking to some teachers; apparently, they can take up to 3 years off work after they’ve worked full time for 5 years. They’ll even give you back your classroom after you return home from travel.

One of my friends is a teacher and he took his wife, and two kids and travelled around the world for 6 months. They visited 6 countries during their big around the world journey.

His family got a chance to live in New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Argentina, Spain, and Portugal. Talk about an awesome once in a lifetime experience!

Colleges and Universities

I know many positions in Universities allow you to take an extended time off work. The wife of my teacher friend was able to take 6 months off to travel around the world with their whole family.

If you do your research, I’m sure there are plenty of other positions within the post-secondary sector that will allow you take take a leave of absence from work.

Banks

Because I work in the fitness industry, I’ve had clients from different industries. One particular client of mine was a manager at TD bank and he told me that they’re allowed to take up to a 1 year leave of absence. Many times, they either get their job back after returning or they get another position in another department.

Seasonal jobs

You obviously have a job again with seasonal jobs (like working in an oil rig for example). I used to have a friend that gets paid $80,000 to live in a ship for 1 month where he dove underwater and harvested pacific geoduck from the pacific seafloor. He then has the other 11 months to travel around the world.

I’ve also met another guy who works in the Alberta oil sands, saves up money, quits then travels around the world. After he’s out of money, he comes back to the oil sands to work again and they always hire him back.

Contractual jobs

I’ve met some individuals who work on a contractual basis. This means when they want to pick up a gig, they can work and make good money. When they don’t feel like working, they can travel long term.

My electrician friend does something like this and is often travelling for 3 months at a time.

Backup plan in case you can’t get your job back

While your plan A is obviously to get your job back, it’s not always possible. If for some reason you burned bridges with your old employer, here are some ways you can get a job when you come back from long term travel:

  • Secure a short-term full time job from temp job agencies like Randstad
  • Do freelance work on Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, Freelancing.com, 99 Designs
  • Start a business using the $100 Startup method
  • Get one of your older jobs back even if it doesn’t pay well. Something is better than nothing in the short term (I used to work at Starbucks and I’ve returned there to work for just one month in the past).

Conclusion

By letting go of control and letting yourself explore the world, you’ll gain new ideas and insights. You’ll learn more about yourself and what makes you happy and unhappy. Logically, you’ll also build network of friends in different countries which can potentially lead to future business opportunities abroad. And finally, you get to live your life and explore the world.

You only have one life to live so don’t give up on your dream of seeing the world.

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