COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
Reload this Page >

Is a month and a half backpack trip around Europe worth leaving a job for?

Is a month and a half backpack trip around Europe worth leaving a job for?

Old May 26th, 2015, 07:11 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
Is a month and a half backpack trip around Europe worth leaving a job for?

Hi all!

I'll be 25 when I'm planning on backpacking around Europe for a month and a half (6 weeks). This is something I've always wanted to do, and after getting through college and working just shy of two years, I think I'm ready to just bit the bullet and do it. I'm currently working as a receptionist in an industry I'm not interested in at all, so it's pretty dead end.

The only thing is, I have to leave this job in order to travel for a month and a half, because they need a receptionist and would not be able to go that long without one. So I'm going to have to turn in my two weeks notice and never return to the job. That would mean coming home after my trip and job hunting, without any idea of when something will fall into place. I'll hopefully have a couple grand still in savings, but we all know how quickly that runs out.

Is it worth it?

Thanks!
littleuniverse is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 07:25 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,740
Yes.

Do it now or you will regret it later.

You're doing work that you don't care about in an industry that doesn't interest you.

Do it.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 08:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,730
Not for just six weeks. Not that you should necessarily stay in your current job, but I'd find another job to come back to before I quit. The economy seems to be improving, but the employment situation is still not great.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 08:38 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
Thanks for the response... I'm just not sure about the process of applying for a job 2 months in advance. I know most hiring managers want to get someone as soon as possible, and they won't be too happy with me applying and then tacking on "i'll be backpacking around Europe but will be available when I return in 1.5 months!" Do you know anything about this? Thanks!
littleuniverse is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 08:45 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662
I would do both. Quit, take your trip... absolutely!!

But before you leave put out some cover letters/resumes explaining when you'll be available to begin a new position.

Better yet, sign up now with an office "temp" agency, who could put you to work right away when you return. Who knows? that could even lead to a permanent placement later on.

Office receptionist jobs typically have pretty high turnover so this is not an unusual situation or taking some huge career risk, in my opinion (I'm an office manager).
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 09:20 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
I think it would be a bad idea to put out resumes if you won't be able to respond to inquiries, because that would create a bad impression. Same with the temp agency: if you "sign up" and say, "but I won't be back for 8 weeks", they'll tell you to wait and just call them when you return.

So I think it's all or nothing: quit your job and go, deal with the consequences when you return. But I agree that at your age, given the type of job you have and the fact that you don't even like it, go to Europe, enjoy, and you should be able to get back to work when you return without too much fuss.
NewbE is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 09:22 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,730
suze - you'd know about that than I would. I would want to know I could support myself for two or three months - at least - after I got back! Nothing against taking your retirement in stages, but I do like to eat.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 10:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 13
I did something similar at your age (quit my boring job so I could go traveling for an extended period of time) and honestly I kind of regretted it. Did I enjoy it? Yes, but it wasn't the life-changing experience all the rah rah travel blogs had made it out to be, and after about six weeks or so I started to get tired of traveling (although I realize you're only going for six weeks total). I eventually came home broke, ended up living back at home with my parents in the small town I never planned on living in again, and took a job that was just as boring and paid worse (much worse) than the job I had left. It took me two years to dig out of that hole.

Not trying to freak you out, or crush your dreams or anything, just wanted to add my perspective. If you feel this strongly about it, and are bored at your current job, you should probably go ahead and go. Like others have said, another receptionist job shouldn't be too difficult to find, though I think it probably depends on the economy in the city where you're job hunting. I would just make sure that you have a decent chunk of money and a place to live (even if temporary) when you return home.

On a more positive note, I eventually (several years after I returned) ended up with a job I love, in a career I love, and I can't be certain as to whether or not I would've ended up with the job/career I have now had I not left the other job to travel. So, perhaps things turned out for the best, even if I had a rough couple of years.
BLT83 is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 10:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662
<taking your retirement in stages>

thursdaysd... She's 25, not 55 or 65!!

And she's smart. When she comes home she can temp clerical, find another full-time receptionist job, do restaurant work, hustle up a couple whatever jobs to see her thru. She's only looking to take 6 weeks off, not a year or three.

When I moved across country to Seattle I had less than $1000, what I had packed in my car including my cat, and a cheap apartment on a month-to-month lease. Granted that was long ago, but the same principals still apply if you're willing to do low-level office work or waitress to get your income stream going again.
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 10:41 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662
<you "sign up" and say, "but I won't be back for 8 weeks", they'll tell you to wait and just call them when you return.>


Uh, no they won't. When's the last time you temped NewbE? And it's 6 weeks, not 8.
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 10:43 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,730
Suze - I'm aware of her age. I was referring to a book by the "What Color is Your Parachute" guy, about the three boxes of life. Education, work, retirement. He advocated taking them in pieces throughout your life, rather than in three separate chunks.

I submit that the job market years ago and the job market now are totally different.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 11:07 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 77
From the sound of it you're not happy with the work you're doing now anyways, and you'll still be left with some money afterwards, so I think that if you really want to do this, you should go for it.

As long as you have a back up plan you'll be fine, and who knows - you might even find a job you'll love while you're out there!
Unboundly is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 11:26 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662


Sorry I didn't know that reference and am not familiar with the book.

<submit that the job market y&ears ago and the job market now are totally different.>

Maybe yes maybe no. But the 20 & 30-something women I'm friends with are getting by doing the exact same things I was at that age. Working restaurants, temping, teaching yoga, whatever... to fund their traveling.

My comments about receptionist/temps come from my very current situation, where I hire them thru an agency to fill in when my regular person is away.
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 02:30 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,730
"you might even find a job you'll love while you're out there"

Not if the OP is an American traveling in Europe, she won't.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:11 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the advice. Yeah, I guess the thing that concerns me is coming back and having to move home with my parents because of this trip. They would be pretty pissed, especially since they're not crazy about me backpacking in the first place. I'm hoping the money I have saved (at least $3000) will last me a few months of a rent in case a job or temp position isn't immediate.

That being said, my current position really is taking me nowhere and, while I do enjoy my coworkers, it's overall very unfulfilling day in day out.

Thanks again!
littleuniverse is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:12 PM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
And I mean I'll have at least $3000 after the trip
littleuniverse is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:16 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662
Have you asked your current employer if it's possible to have a leave of absence?

Depending on how much they like your work, they might be willing to have a temp in for 6 weeks and give you your job back. Might be worth a try asking??
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:24 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
Yeah I've considered it, but I'd have to say it's probably not possible. They'd say no, and maybe even ask me to leave early. People in my office take vacations of three weeks tops, and I'm not even in a higher position. I'm just a receptionist. I like my boss, she likes me, but I just don't think she would go for it haha. Thanks for the idea though.
littleuniverse is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:33 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 93,662
Have you looked around in your area to see what kinds of positions are available? Take your trip out of the picture, could you find another office receptionist job within 1-2 months right now, if you had to?
suze is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 03:40 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 13
Hmm.. Well I've actually thought about leaving this position before and there does seem to be a good amount of receptionist positions, but I don't know if that means I'd actually get a call back (especially with the gap in my job history after my 6 weeks off).
littleuniverse is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO