For the past several months—quite a few months before I left my job—I’ve been carrying around an article I read about quitting your job and traveling, written by Jessica Yurasek. I keep it in my purse, my computer bag, even as a book marker. The reason I keep it is to remind myself of what really matters. It’s not just the message of the article that struck home with me, although that is powerful and attractive enough; it’s the way the author chose to convey the message. It’s the words she used that caught my attention and have continued to hold it.
“You should do this because travel will make you feel more alive. It will inspire you again, kindling that lost flicker of creativity until new ideas start to boil and bubble from deep within. It will allow you to create more, to feel freedom again, and to start your life anew.”
Jessica’s words touched a chord in me because they were an affirmation of what I already believed. Around the time I first read the article, I’d come to realize just how stifling those grey walls of “cubicle land” could be, the ones I’d spent so many years sitting behind. I’d just read Pamela Slim’s Escape From Cubicle Nation, and I was on the verge of taking her advice.
So when I read Jessica’s article, I felt elated. It was clear from her writing that Jessica was passionate about travel, and that she wanted to infuse that passion into her readers. More than that, it was the promise of what could be gained through travel that hooked me: the opportunity for you, the reader—the traveler—to discover what makes you tick, what gives you life, what you are passionate about.
And that promise was enough to make me want to quit my job and buy a one-way ticket to somewhere I’d never been.
I think everyone is looking for inspiration, a way back to the imagination and creativity that came easy to us when we were kids, before we decided to settle in behind our own version of those grey cubicle walls. For Jessica, and many others, travel is the conduit to that place of inspiration. Maybe each of us has a different way, but I think it’s important that we figure it out. And if you have no idea where to start, then take Jessica’s advice and buy a plane ticket.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.” - Joseph Campbell