What I'm Doing With My Time Between Jobs
For the past few years, I've known that at some point I wanted to take time off work to travel for a bit longer than my usual 10 days.
True to form, I made an overly-complicated, long-term plan where I had to save up enough money to travel for at least a year, and line up the perfect rental tenant for my house, and have all the explanation blog posts pre- written, and have a list of every contingency plan for every possible thing that could go wrong, and generally just have everything completely perfect, BEFORE I would ever consider actually putting in my notice at work.
I should know as well as anyone at this point: 'perfect' isn't the way life plays out in practice.
Ultimately, I was making things a lot more complicated than they needed to be… and it's possible I was subconsciously doing that on purpose. Because actually doing a thing like quitting your job without another job lined up is scary. But at the end of the day, my current situation is pretty simple:
I just want a break before jumping into my next job.
So I'm taking that break.
But what am I planning to do with it?
Rest, Recharge and Refocus
At the beginning of this year, I outlined five priorities that I wanted to focus on during 2018.
To be honest, I haven't made nearly as much progress as I hoped that I would have made on those priorities by this point in the year. But I have learned a valuable lesson: wanting to achieve something isn't always enough.
You also have to have the time and energy to devote to that thing if you want to see real progress. And that is what I've been lacking this year: time and energy.
So while I have a little extra of both during this time in between jobs, I'm going to rest and refocus.
What does this mean for me in practice? It means prepping healthy meals myself instead of eating out, prioritizing visits to the gym and/or walking as much as possible, sleeping enough, working on the fixer upper a bit, getting a lot of things done that I have trouble finding time for when I'm working all the time (like figuring out what's wrong with the back left tire on my car: turns out, it had a nail in it), writing as much as possible, and of course… spending some time traveling.
I love to travel for a variety of reasons, but one of the primary reasons is that I haven't found anything else in the world that I can do with my time that inspires me the way that travel does. There's something about exploring new places, and meeting new people, that always makes me want to create, write and (of course) take a ton of photos.
So that's exactly what I'm planning to do.
I didn't know until late last week when my actual last day of work would be, so I am having to buy a flight to Europe less than two weeks out from the date I'll be flying (not ideal from a budget perspective). Luckily October is outside the busy summer season, which is helping the flight prices a bit and will hopefully also help with the cost of accommodation.
Several people have asked me where I'm headed, and for how long, and what I'm planning to do, and these are perfectly legitimate questions… that I don't have all the answers to at this point. I have some friends in Spain and Italy during the timeframe I'm looking at traveling to Europe, so stops in both those countries will likely be on the list (I was last in Spain at age 17 and last in Italy at age 21, so I'm excited to revisit both). I am planning to stay abroad somewhere between 30 and 60 days, and the trip is more driven by budget than a set amount of time: when the money runs out, I'll hop on a plane back to Nashville.
More details to come on the travel plans, since planning for this impromptu trip is happening in real time… stay tuned!
Figure Out What's Next
After spending some time getting my priorities straight and traveling, I'm planning to hit the ground running on the job search. I'm not sure exactly what is next for me as far as jobs are concerned, but one of the reasons I am excited to have a few months off is that I generally don't get much time to think about what is next. (It's pretty standard in the American corporate world to have the last day of your two week's notice fall on a Friday, and your first day at a new job start on a Monday… with one weekend in between.)
With this time in between jobs, I'll have a bit more time to put some thought into the type of job I really want to do next. And I apologize if this is a theme of this particular post… but I don't really know what it is I'm going to end up doing next just yet. Stay tuned for updates on this particular topic as well.
What are your plans in October? Anyone headed to Europe? I'd love to hear any recommendations or ideas in the comments!