Redesigning My Life At 30: Long Term Travel Career Break

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Jobless. Homeless. You can tack on car-less too. Usually, when people say those words it’s negative because they have lost a job unexpectedly or have lost and cannot afford to own a home. 

For us it’s different, it’s positive! We are taking an RTW career break. Make that an RTW life break.

We have worked extremely hard to get to say those words and it hasn’t been easy. We executed a plan over a year ago that would put in motion a chain of events that would leave us to those words.

Jobless, homeless, car-less and we couldn’t be happier. We had to be able to say those words in order to pursue our dream of traveling the World.

RTW Career Break

5 years ago I would never have envisioned where we are today. We were career-focused and sprinting towards 30.  When I turned 29, I sort of freaked out.

I looked at my life and realized there was a lot that I still wanted to do, yet there 30 loomed. Giving me a curt reminder that I wasn’t getting any younger and that my list of things to accomplish by the time I turned 30 wasn’t getting any shorter.

I am not ashamed to say I have been living with my in-laws for the last 2 weeks because we sold our house and quit our jobs. 

It’s not what I had in mind for being 30, but what comes out of it is something I couldn’t have hoped more for. I am getting a chance to see the World, a life long dream and huge item on my get done by 30 list.

Yes, I know, I am already 30, but I figured as long as I started at 30, it still counts.

The other word that comes with the homeless, jobless, living with the in-law’s variety is debt-free.

For the first time in my adult life, I am 100% debt-free.  No car loan, no mortgage, no unnecessary credit card debt. It is an amazing feeling especially since it was our reward for a year of hard work and preparation for this change.

RTW Career Break

The last part of this was freeing our selves from all the stuff we had so we could lead our new minimalist life. We managed to liquidate and sell 95% of our stuff.

What we still own fits into a closet at the in-laws, with the exception of our bed.  That’s pretty insane if you ask me. Most people can’t believe we have done that and quite honestly I can’t believe we have either.

It is incredibly liberating though and something we felt was necessary to transition to our new nomad lifestyle. We didn’t want to be worrying about our stuff at home.

On Friday, February 21, 2014, despite the largest snowstorm of the season, we boarded a flight in Duluth, Minnesota and flew to Auckland, New Zealand.  We are now nomads and ready to see the World. Call me crazy, but we’re pretty damn excited!

Note to readers: We departed on our around the world (RTW) trip on February 21, 2014. We traveled full-time, backpacking across 6 continents for the next 2 years. Since 2016, we travel 7-10 months out of every year creating content and telling stories for this website. It’s been a wild ride!

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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35 thoughts on “Redesigning My Life At 30: Long Term Travel Career Break”

  1. So excited to have found your page!! My husband and our friend are planning to leave for our RTW trip in eleven months!! I can hardly believe I’m saying that. It’s been about two years since I first introduced the idea to my husband and he looked at me like I had 12 heads lol. And now we are preparing to quit our jobs and sell everything. We are looking for the ultimate place to settle down and build a sustainable eco community to live with our friends and family. I can’t wait to scour through your website to find all the tips and tricks! Sending love from central Florida!

    • Hi Lana and welcome! So glad you found us and how exciting!! You’re about to go for the best ride of your life. 🙂 What’s your travel plan?

  2. This is so inspiring! I’m creeping slowly closer to 30 and I can already predict I’ll have that freak-out moment! In fact I had one the other day… my partner in crime however does not seem all that keen on packing up to travel the world – so I might have to ease him into the idea over the next couple of years 😉

    • It was the same for us, Dave did not want to travel and I did. It is hard to change from the comfort of routine to a life of the unknown, but so worth it. Best of luck to you!

  3. Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  4. Congrats guys, I’m following in your footsteps. My apartment is on the market, once its sold i will give me job a few months notice and sell my truck. I will be following you guys closely. I’m looking to get the Tortuga v2 and also budgeted about $70-$100 a day.

    • Hi Rooz! That’s awesome, congrats! The Tortuga is a great bag if you have a longer torso! $70-$100 will be plenty for one person on the road. You’ll be able to do everything and eat well on that budget. Best of luck in selling your things and preparing to set out on the road.

  5. Loved this post – we’re in a very similar situation and set off for our trip in less than 2 weeks – your post really captures how exciting it all is! Really looking forward to following your trip!

    • Hi there!! Glad to have you following!! You are in for the adventure of a lifetime!! I can remember the last couple months at home so vividly, embrace it all. I have never experienced such strong emotions all at once before! So excited for you, where you off to first?

    • Thank you! YES! We are so excited to finally be on the road! Loving New Zealand right now- more importantly because it’s summer here and winter back home!

  6. Looks like we found you just in time, only two days in! We look forward to following your adventures. Welcome to the nomadic lifestyle. We liberated ourselves from “stuff” once and for all about 6 years ago (though a couple of pesky bins remain in parents’ basements). We’ve done two extended trips of about a year each. New Zealand was one of our favorite places. Are you going to campervan around?

    • Hi Tamara! No, not doing a campervan in New Zealand! We will be doing that in Australia though. It is weird to be on the road and telling people what we are up to! So surreal to have no plans of returning home.

  7. Welcome to the nomadic lifestyle! It’s so exciting to see you starting out. Enjoy New Zealand! Can’t wait to see what else you get up to!

  8. Congratulations! Although we didn’t have a house to sell, we did everything else (left our jobs in London, sold the car etc) just over a year ago, and haven’t regretted it for a moment. 2013 was a whole year of highlights for us, and we’re hoping for more of the same this year too! If you’re anything like us you’ll have lots of ‘If I was at home I’d be sat at my desk/teaching/walking home in the rain, and instead we’re… riding a camel in the Thar desert/trekking in the Himalayas/lying on one of Sri Lanka’s pristine beaches/climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge). Enjoy them and happy travels!

    • Thanks Jenna! Yes, we are looking forward to all the experiences and we tend to do the same thing, playing the if I was at home game! Just did it today on a hike actually! LOL

  9. I’m so glad you guys made it out on Friday. I was watching the weather closely hoping you would make it out.
    I’m so looking forward to following your adventure.

    • yea it was a close one! We missed one flight but were able to reschedule and still make it to San Francisco in time to catch our flight to New Zealand. 🙂

  10. Congrats! So many adventures are ahead of you. I know what you mean about how liberating it can feel to be completely debt-free. Not having mortgage or car payments to worry about — that’s freedom!

  11. So excited for you guys! Been counting down the days along with you guys the last few months. Happy trails in New Zealand and hope to see you in Thailand soon. We’ll be back in Phuket around April/May.

  12. Congratulations guys!!! It’s a crazy and fun new life, we’ve been in the road eight months and wouldn’t change a thing! Hope to see you soon


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