Why I Quit My Job and My Degree to See the World
So at the end of April I finally left my job. A job that I absolutely loved in a city that I adore with people who are fab. A job that I loved because I helped to make a difference for students studying at university. A job that I loved because of its job satisfaction and of the learning opportunities available to me. A job that I loved because I also loved being a student at the University of Leicester.
So why did I quit if I loved it so much?
Because the world is too big to stay in just one place.
That’s right. I’m finally off. Finally going to explore some parts of the world that I’ve been dreaming about for years. Finally going to taste all of that food that just isn’t the same when eating it in the uk. Finally going to climb that mountain. Finally going to chill on those beaches and discover those waterfalls and get lost in new cities.
And I’m so excited!
If you know me, you’ll know that a few years back I spent a year living in Adelaide in Australia for my year abroad. And since then I’ve been pretty much addicted to travelling.
Whilst on that year abroad I was lucky enough to spend some time exploring the typical Australian East Coast backpackers route and ticking off bucket list item after bucket list item that I’m sure are on most peoples lists who travel to Australia. I attempted to surf on Rainbow Beach, I cuddled a koala in Brisbane, I snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef, I fell in love with one of the world’s greatest beaches and I camped on the largest sand island in the world.
But I also managed to explore some of the areas that seem to be less explored by backpackers – Western Australia, Central Australia, Tasmania and the beautiful Eyre Peninsula in the South. And that’s when I realised that there’s so much more to Australia than just the East Coast and it was these experiences from these alternative places that really made me fall in love with travelling.
Watching the sunset over Uluru, drinking my way around various local wineries, learning about Australia’s convict history, exploring sand dunes, enjoying the Fringe festival and camping under the stars.
If you’re in Australia at the moment I urge you to check out some of these places too. They’re incredible places!
But then it was time to return to the reality of completing my degree by returning to Leicester for my final year. So basically, I had to stop travelling for a while because otherwise I’d fail. This was made slightly easier by the fact that I had absolutely no money left after my adventures down under so returning to England also meant returning to work…
But I worked hard, found a job I loved, graduated with the grade I wanted, and had a great time along the way.
I also met JS whilst he was in England studying for a Law degree but that’s a story for another day.
In fact, I decided that I loved Leicester and studying and my job so much that I wanted to stay where I was for a while. So I signed up to study for a Masters degree.
Well that didn’t work out.
A year into my two year course I realised that I felt like I was wasting my money on this degree. I mean, would a History Masters really get me to where I wanted to be? (Primarily in Canada with JS and a puppy and travelling as much as much as possible?) The answer was no – it was going to make no difference whatsoever. So despite being on track to graduate with a first, I decided that life was too short to pursue something that I no longer had an interest in. I knew I could be happier doing something else and so I took the plunge – I withdrew from my Masters degree.
So I reassessed what I was good at and decided that I was good at my job and enjoyed working with people so I would switch to a degree in HR and Training instead because that might actually be a degree worth having. And because I do love studying after all.
Well that was all well and good and I was enjoying myself for a while …. somehow affording the odd trip to Europe, being a travel rep for a local company and still loving my job. But the more I got into that degree, the more I realised how poor I was becoming and how I would, once again, have to stop travelling to persue my studies. (I was attempting this before they bought in loans for postgrad students, booo).
Once again I realised that I was working flat out with a full time job and overtime to afford my rent and tuition fees whilst trying to write essays and get good grades but I had nothing to show for it and definitely wasn’t enjoying life any more. The lack of money that I had was actually hindering my happiness more than gaining another degree would improve it in the long run.
So I dropped out of a second Masters degree.
And honestly, it was the best decision I could have made.
Whilst I loved studying, and still do, that degree was destroying my love of studying and I was sacrificing a little bit too much of my life to do it. Sure I made a little bit of a financial loss with those decisions and I knew I’d have to work super hard in the upcoming months to level it out but I was also refunded for the part of the course I didn’t complete so I knew I could do it if I put my mind to it.
So whilst the paperwork was going through for me to officially no longer be a student, I began to throw myself back into the things I did love doing.
- I booked some trips to Europe and had the best time.
- I revisited Canada.
- I finished off my stint as President of the Erasmus and Exchange Society and met some great people along the way.
- I continued as a Travel Rep without feeling guilty about taking a weekend off from studying.
- I worked hard at work and was still loving it.
- And I even managed to save some money!
Since quitting my Masters degrees I have honestly never been happier.
In the last year and a half I managed to become an Assistant Manager at work with a fabulous team and increased responsibilities. I’ve taken two French courses and now I can finally order a meal in a French. I’ve taken a Leadership and Management qualification to help me out in the future. I’ve explored parts of Europe I was only dreaming about before. I’ve had time to hang out with friends and family that I’d been neglecting whilst studying. I’ve revisited Canada and remembered why I loved it in the first place. And in the last few months I’ve even been granted a working holiday visa to make my dream of living and working in Canada finally become a reality within the next year.
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Absolutely none of this would have been possible without the support of my close friends, colleagues and family so I am really lucky that they believed in me and my dream and helped me to achieve what I wanted to. But it also wouldn’t have been possible without some hard work, determination, a lot of saving money and a couple of pretty big and sometimes scary decisions.
I’ve spent the last two years working all the overtime under the sun to afford my dream and can now finally go off and explore those countries that have been on my bucket list for years. I’m also super excited to be able to look forward to actually living on the same continent as JS again which will be an entirely new adventure I’m sure!
So back to present day…
In case you’ve been stalking my instagram and wondering where I’ve been hanging out for the last few weeks, first I went to Canada to see JS and do a whole bunch of touristy and fun things around Ottawa. It was a much needed break after the last four busy and hectic months at work and it was great to finally get some relaxing done. After that I jetted off to Southeast Asia to spend some time in Singapore and Malaysia with my aunt, and Malaysia is where I currently am.
But the fun doesn’t stop there as next week I’ll be jetting off to Indonesia with my youngest sister to continue living the dream in Bali and Lombok. SO EXCITING.
Want to know what else I’ve got in store for 2017? Read all about it here.
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But before I go, just a few final words of wisdom (taken entirely from my Pinterest life and travel quotes board…)
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re dreams aren’t big enough, or important enough, or good enough for someone else. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire and dare to live the life you’ve always wanted.
Because it’s never too late to dream a new dream.
‘the biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams’ – oprah winfrey
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I’d absolutely love to have you along for the journey!
Lots of love,
P.S. If you liked this post then please give it a share! Hopefully I can inspire others to live their dreams too :)