Why I HAVEN’T Quit my Job to Travel the World Full-Time

By Abi King | Behind The Scenes

Aug 30

Today’s guest post is by Lillie Marshall.  She  is an energetic, six-foot tall Boston Teacher who runs AroundTheWorldL Travel Blog and TeachingTraveling Global Education Site. She is also the Boston coordinator for the Meet, Plan, Go! Career-Break Travel Movement.  She took a year off in 2009 to travel the world, but unlike a lot of travel bloggers she returned to her chosen profession.

“So Lillie,” you might ask, “now that you know how to do extended travel cheaply, why the heck did you go back to teaching in Boston? Why didn’t you just keep traveling full time?”

Here’s why:

One CAN have too much of a good thing.
“Steak, steak, steak–” said my Grandmother once, “If you eat steak every day, it becomes dull and you don’t appreciate it.” It’s the way of humanity! I LOVED my year of travel around the world, but now I luxuriate in having a home base and taking frequent shorter trips. Which leads to the fact that…

With a full-time teaching job, one can still travel a ton.
If you connect with the right job, you don’t have to give up the world! During the 2011-12 year of teaching, I traveled to Spain for Winter Break, China with a group of students during February vacation, Greece with a teacher tour during April vacation, and Belize for my Honeymoon over summer break. Three of those trips were FREE thanks to teacher grants and programs. If you’re torn between a career and travel, you can actually just have it ALL by being a teacher!

Contribution to the world.
Researchers have repeatedly shown that helping others brings huge happiness to humans. I learned this in month five of my around the world journey while sitting alone on a beach in Thailand and realizing: I really missed working! We complain about it, but there’s something delicious about waking up every weekday and helping people in a structured way (versus spending five months gallivanting around Southeast Asia with little aim except to gallivant, as I’d been doing). As a result of that epiphany, I flew to Ghana and volunteer taught there for a fabulous three months. And after traveling, returning to my teaching job in Boston Public Schools was even more wonderful. A volunteer job is lovely, but to have a paid, long-term position in a helping career truly is an honor.

Family and Future Planning.
The plan was that I would keep traveling for years and years. The next stop after a quick hello to family in Boston after my year away was to be Bolivia, where a nonprofit had offered an alluring job. But I tell you: the moment I re-saw my family and friends at home, I thought: “I don’t need to be away from these great people for another year.” Then at my welcome home party I met the fellow who is now my husband! He’s also a teacher, so together we created a nest from which we can soar around the world during our vacations.

So are you saying extended travel is a bad idea?
No! Traveling around the world for a year was one of the best things I have done in my entire life, and I recommend it to ANYONE. Extended travel helped my career and life path more than I ever imagined it would. But do I need to continue being a nomad for more than that year? Nope! My job in Boston, circle of loved ones, and the freedom my job allows to still travel are the right combination now for a well-balanced meal of life.

What about YOU? What combination of travel and staying in one place is YOUR ideal?


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