When I tell people that I am going to travel the world for six months I get two reactions. The first is, “Oh that is so cool.” The second is, “What about your job?”
My reaction to the world tour is both. I can’t wait to go and I think it’s going to be so cool. Then again I think about Europe going into a recession and I think “Am I insane for quitting my job? In six months from now, what will the economy in Europe look like? How hard will it be to find a new job?”
When those thoughts start up in my brain I just gentle shake my head until they disburse. I’ve learned something very valuable over the last few years due to two things: becoming an expat and working in the corporate world.
Becoming an expat taught me that I can always find a job, even when the odds are stacked against me. When I first arrived in Austria I had no idea what the job market was like in Vienna, had no network, and didn’t speak the language very well. Within six weeks I got a job. Okay, a crappy job, but it paid the bills and gave me the time I needed to get my career back up and running.
Working in the corporate world taught me that no matter what, there is no stability. The company might go through a merger, a round of layoffs, or might outsource your job to India. Then what happens is you’re out of a job and all you can think is, “I should have gone on that world trip.”