Why I quit my job to go on a sabbatical

I get asked frequently why I did what I did, so below are my personal reasons. I hope these serve as inspiration as you search for your own reasons to make big changes in your life.

1. Because I had no dependants

I’m unmarried, have no kids, and my parents are healthy. At the end of the day, nobody in the world truly needs anything from me right now. In my opinion, the timing could not be more right.

2. Because I’ve spent most of my life on someone else’s schedule

From grade school to university to full-time jobs, I’ve spent most of my life on someone else’s schedule. Example: my employer needs me at work by 9AM every day for the morning sync up. Or I’m about to go on vacation but had to schedule it around major deadlines. I figured it was about time I did what I want, when I want.

3. Because I’m not getting any younger

Two years ago when my friend asked if I want to go on a 4 day hike to Machu Picchu, I really wanted to say yes but I was worried about the physical challenge. I casually asked a co-worker if I should go, and he said to me, “well, you’re not getting any younger”. So true and so obvious, yet it never occurred to me until someone said it out loud.

4. Because it won’t break the bank

I’ve spent the last few years saving up and learning how to be financially responsible. I understand the value of a dollar and I know that I won’t be spending extravagantly abroad. I feel fortunate that I can afford to take time off work.

5. Because there is so much to explore in the world

I never traveled much until about 3 years ago. I had only been to Europe once for 10 days before applying for my 5-month visa. There is so much more to see beyond what 21 vacation days could do for me.

6. Because I was not happy in my current situation

Honestly, my life was getting stale and dictated by routines. I had been on the grind in San Francisco for 4 years and counting. My job at the time, although fulfilling, was wearing me down and affecting my relationships. I was starting to find lots of things I didn’t like about the Bay Area. All of this happened very gradually so it was difficult to notice the negativity building up. It took one particular day of reflecting on the different aspects of my life to realize that I was not happy.

7. Because hitting the reset button on life didn’t scare me

Of course I knew big changes were coming. I was quitting my job. I was leaving all my friends. I was moving out of the country I called home for almost 5 years. Although scary, I was excited for how much I would be shedding all at once especially considering I was at the start of my minimalism phase. I figured I had nothing to lose and I welcomed the forthcoming changes. I was also interested in testing my strength, resilience and adaptability as a person.

8. Because I knew I would only regret not doing it

At the end of the day, even though it took a lot of mental strength, tedious preparation, and complicated logistics to get here, I knew that I would never regret it.

Thank you for your readership!

Jen is the founder of Lunch Money, a multicurrency personal finance tool for the modern-day spender. She retreats to Asia as a digital nomad during the Canadian winters and is a self-proclaimed "froodie" – a frugal foodie.

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