Why Don’t You Just Get a Real Job?

Charli Mask

Because The One I’ve Got Is So Much More Fulfilling

This is a guest post by Charli Moore

Ok, so perhaps the title of this article is slightly misleading. I’m not sure perpetual traveller is in fact a job description, however, full time nomad, house sitter, and freelance journalist might just be an accepted profession.

I’m sure my Mother would disagree.

In 2009 I graduated from University and spent the next 18 months interning in London, I’ll just point out this was unpaid interning. The like of which every graduate despises, but for some unknown reason whole heartedly accepts as a bizarre rite of passage to pastures new and filled with employment opportunities.

Fortunately I was one of the lucky few who landed my dream job after my debt to the Gods of free labour was paid.

So technically I had a real job….and then 12 months later, I quit.

In May of 2011 I boarded a plane at London Heathrow and flew to Toronto, to this day I’ve yet to return. While I left the UK with no real itinerary, no grand plan and certainly no expectation to still be exploring the world, I have found myself on an rather enlightened path and it’s one which I intend to follow.

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My journey has provided as many opportunities to experience new locations and cultures, as it has offered me the chance to delve deep into the inner workings of my own existence and figure out what it is that makes me tick.

So often while growing up, I had found myself pondering the very nature of my existence. While I never failed miserably at school, I was proficient at most subjects, played a handful of sports and a few musical instruments, not once did I find myself passionately pursuing any subjects or hobbies.

I was merely on auto pilot, the light was on but in retrospect I doubt there was anyone home.

My University years offered no great insight into my apathetic soul, I continued to follow a path I thought might inspire me, but as my graduation approached and the real world loomed large on the horizon. I had yet to find something that excited me, that I wanted to pursue.

When I look back at the girl who packed her life into a 55L backpack and said goodbye to her world I am immensely grateful. I wish I could wave her off at the airport, give her a big hug and tell her that she was about to find an existence that would inspire her to do things that hadn’t even featured in her wildest dreams.

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I must mention at this point that this lifestyle change was the brain child of my beloved boyfriend. Never one to conform to the ideals of society he had been dreaming of exploring the world since his teens. While I took my first step onto the career ladder he continued to work hard and squirrel away every penny he could.

The first 6 months of our journey were spent house sitting in Costa Rica, somewhere I’d never even heard of, let alone considered temporarily living. For those unfamiliar with house sitting, the concept involves a mutually beneficial exchange between a home owner and a person willing to house sit.

Initially a little weary of the notion of caring for a strangers property, I must tell you that the opportunities that we’ve been offered through house sitting have far outweighed any we found ourselves with while working full time in the UK.

Our house sitting assignments have allowed me to volunteer as a veterinary nurse for an animal charity, spend three months training for a PADI Divemaster qualification, live in a beautiful four story town house in Vancouver and get to grips with Macadamia farming in Australia.

I’ve picked up more life skills and learnt more about my own character than I could have ever imagined and it’s all thanks to the people we’ve met throughout the course of our journey.

How often do you get to meet people from other cultures, countries and backgrounds who choose to welcome you into their home and let you walk a mile in their shoes?

How often do you find yourself learning the basics of a skill you never imagined you would need or thought could offer you potential employment opportunities in the future?

Ironically, the content of my CV has increased unimaginably since I quit my job. I’ve crossed continents east to west over land, flown over tropical islands, and hiked across the crater floor of an active volcano.

I’ve learnt more about what makes me tick, floats my boat and ignites my passion in the last two years than in my previous 24 years of schooling.

My nomadic existence had afforded me the chance to live my life in a way I had never thought possible. I am faced with challenges every day and instead of adding things to my ‘to do’ list I relish the chance to get stuck in and try something new.

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As I reflect on my journey so far, it becomes all too obvious that I would be unable to return to the confines of a 9 to 5. In choosing to escape my previous life, I have ignited a fire that now burns deep in my chest. It pushes me to pursue opportunities that before, would have seemed far from my reach.

So you see I have no desire to go and get a real job because the one I have is so much more fulfilling.

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About the Author

Charli MooreCharli Moore is a freelance writer and travel addict with a penchant for dark chocolate. In 2011 she and her other half Ben waved ‘Adios’ to the corporate world and jumped head first into a life of perpetual travel.  You can follow the adventures of this writer/photographer team over at Wanderlusters or find them on Facebook and Twitter.

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This post forms part of the ongoing series: Why Don’t You Get a Real Job?

10 Comments

  • Love this piece. I’m a recent graduate and after traveling SE Asia for 2 months, I want to go back and teach English abroad rather than start a real job. I was supposed to travel, come back, and then find a job, but I’ve decided to go to Korea in August. My mom isn’t too happy, but I know it’s the right choice for me.

  • Inspirational! Travel ruined me about 10 years ago. Since then I have had a couple of short stints at a real job -they sucked!

    Travel is like taking your blinkers off – you realize there is so much more out there and more importantly so many different opportunities and ways for you to live your life and earn a living.

    • A friend of mine once likened it to an incredibly addictive illegal substance: once you start, you’re hooked for life (and the rest of society don’t approve).

  • As the saying goes, when people ask if you are traveling to escape something, you tell them “Yes, I am escaping from life.. your life.” 🙂

    I have also decided to make travel my job about a year ago by creating that job position myself. 🙂 Never regret my decision.

  • Charli, I always love your writing and this was no exception 🙂 Your story is awesome and inspirational and reminds me how exciting this kind of lifestyle really is! Agreed, there is no need for a ”real” job when the one you have is obviously so much better 😉

    • Thanks for your kind words Kathleen 🙂 Thrilled you loved the piece. It was Jamie who inspired me to share my musings on this subject. He’s such a free spirit, a real inspiration for anyone with a desire to spread their wings.

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