10 Reasons To Take A Career Break Right Now

Are you sitting at a desk, staring at a computer monitor and dreaming of traveling? Thinking about seeing your screen savers in real life? You aren’t alone. Mini retirements and gap years for adults are becoming more and more popular.

Here are ten reasons to take a career break and travel. Now.

10 reasons to take a career break right now

Life seldom gets easier. If you have an opportunity to travel now, take it.

Why not? Do you have a real reason for not traveling, or are they all just excuses? Excuses are often just ways to justify your fear of doing what you really want to do.

Redefine success. Is success your car, your house, the stuff you own or your career? Didn’t think so. Get out there. Find out what success really is.

You’ll regret not going. Take the rocking chair test. When you’re 80 years old, and sitting in your rocking chair, will you regret not taking this step?

Kids grow so fast. Don’t waste the chance to create irreplaceable memories with them.

You’re here now. You can go now. You aren’t promised anything more than this moment.

You’ll see and do things you can hardly imagine. Watch an endangered leatherback turtle lay her eggs by moonlight, explore Hong Kong’s emerald harbor, see some of the last orangutans in the wild, visit ancient temples, swing on a zip line, or just relax by a beautiful beach. Get out there. Explore.

Break the routine. Does your life sometimes feel like groundhog day? The same alarm clock, the same conversations, the same people, the same food and the same sights? Change your perspective.

You can make the world a little bit better. Use your travels to volunteer somewhere else in the world.

Learn to dream again. Did you feel your heart lift a little when you read this list? Did you start to dream, and hope, just a little? Then go.

Travel doesn’t need to be expensive. You can take a career break for less than most people spent on their last vacation.

Bonus reason:  Because you’re here now. You can go now. You aren’t promised anything more than this moment.

Phnom Bakheng Temple Angkor Wat Cambodia

On my first career break back in 2003 – Phnom Bakheng Temple in Cambodia

35 Responses

  1. Arianwen

    All very valid points. Thankfully, I’m sitting at my computer screen waiting for a flight from Cartagena to Medellin and loving the career break so far! 🙂

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Nora, Cambodia was fantastic! The temples of Angkor Wat were just stunning, but what surprised me most was how delicious the food was. Very much like Thai food, but with a lot less spice.

  2. Susan

    Number 1 all the way! I see people only a few years older than I am making up excuses at a higher rate. That’s what spurred me to go, go, go!

  3. Elizabeth

    This is such a great post!! Just shared it on facebook and twitter. I am of the state of mind where I not only don’t care about my career, but I don’t want one ever again! I love being freelance and a digital nomad,and ignoring society’s pressures into how we ‘should’ earn our income.

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Elizabeth, and thanks so much for sharing and for visiting us. Freelancing is a great way of life, but I think it’s hard for a lot of folks to take that leap into the unknown.

  4. Daniel Espinoza

    Excellent list Micki!
    #4 and #8 are huge for us. I think people underestimate the level of regret they will experience for not answering the travel muse, and also underestimate the impact they can have by serving and being a volunteer.

    • Micki Kosman

      I so agree, Daniel. We’re hoping to be able to do some volunteering on our next trip. It’s a little tricky to arrange with two little ones, but hopefully we’ll be able to sort it out.

  5. Reena @ Wanderplex

    All really great points! I definitely think we tend to regret the things we *didn’t* do, rather than the things we did, so point #4 really resonated with me. I always like to step back and ask myself how I’ll feel about a decision 5, 10 or even 50 years from now and usually the answer is very different from what I would choose based on my “current” view points. Travel is one of those things that a lot of people tell themselves to get to “one day” but they end up getting married, having kids, buying a house, getting a dog, whatever… and “one day” never comes. You just have to stop making excuses and go! You won’t regret it, I promise!

    • Micki Kosman

      Hi Reena, thanks for such an inspiring response! You’re right, it’s so easy to get caught up in the every day, and time just slips away. It took me until my 30’s to start traveling and I try not to, but I really regret those missed opportunities.

  6. Ve

    My heart did indeed lift a little when I read this. I’m aiming to head back to Spain this fall to do the Language And Culture Assistant Program, somewhere in Madrid, and my biggest deterrent is my finances. If I can raise enough money, most likely I’ll be there, I hope I can make it happen.

  7. Agness

    That’s so true. I did it not to regret anything in my life. I felt like it was the right moment to think of myself and do what I always wanted to do!

  8. Harvey

    I must to say my heart lift a little this moment. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Steph

    #10 Travel may be cheap, but taking off work isn’t. I make $9 an hour at my job. I took several days off this week because a friend was visiting, and now I get to worry about incurring more credit card debt from the lost wages. Time is just as costly as expenses.

    • Charles Kosman

      Steph, we know firsthand the cost of taking time of work. We left good paying jobs when we first got together to travel for years at a time and the money it cost us to live was a fraction of the money we lost in potential income. That being said, time may be as costly as expenses however it’s also worth a lot more to us.

      As far as we’re concerned, the more time we spend following our passions the better. Of course, everyone needs to eat so to each their own. There are ways to travel for cheap (working while you travel, volunteering for food and lodging, etc.) so it can be done regardless of how much or how little a person makes.

      You also never know what tomorrow may bring and you might land a job making double or triple what you’re currently earning and think life is grand. Now instead of thinking how can I afford to travel you’ll be thinking how can I leave this sweet job? Your time will now be 2 or 3 times more costly than what it was. Times that thought by 40 years and you’ll never see what the world has to offer. It happens all too often.

      All I have to say is life is short and take what enjoyment you can from it. If travel appeals to you, make it happen!

  10. Liz

    As a nurse I am often told by elderly patients to travel while I can as those who have waited until retirement age find that they cannot due to several factors including health issues.
    As a family we travel OS once a year and travel interstate twice a year between working to pay for our trips and our children attend school.
    I believe that travelling the world with my children has been a fantastic education for them.
    I agree with Charles K 100%. There are many ways to travel on a budget or go on a working holiday and still have a fantastic experience that will bring joy through memories long after you have returned.

  11. Ann

    I love number 9. I think people lose sight of dreaming and travel seems to require dreaming.


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