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Coming back to nothing

Posted by katieandchris on 1/8/2013 at 13:21

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I am after some advice.
We are thinking of travelling for 4-5 months across SE Asia next year. We currently rent and will go when our current lease runs out. We will be storing our cars and furniture with family and we will both need to leave our jobs.
I am so excited about this and it's the chance if a lifetime but...
My major concern is when we come back (I know I shouldn't even be thinking about that when we haven't even left yet but that's the way my mind works!) We will have no jobs and nowhere to live straight away, we can stay with family but I would feel so guilty if this ends up being a long time.
What are people's experiences of coming home after travelling? Am I worrying unnecessarily??

#1 katieandchris has been a member since 28/7/2013. Posts: 12

Posted by Brute on 1/8/2013 at 16:33

Ah I've been in the same situation. Nothing to it and its nice gettin a fresh start again. But then again I work in fort McMurray where the jobs come easy. It usually is slightly shitty, but it's definitely worth if. Just don't go applying while your gone you may miss important phone calls. Best of luck to you.

#2 Brute has been a member since 16/12/2012. Posts: 36

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 1/8/2013 at 17:10

Been there, done that...

It's absolutely something that you should think about (and plan for) before you go, because coming back to nothing _is_ hard. It's completely doable, but can be stressful.

I ended up staying with friends for 4 weeks, and felt guilty about how long I was there. Unfortunately, even though I'd found a flat I wanted and put in an offer the first week back, the landlord refused my offer because I wasn't currently working (despite the fact that I had plenty of savings and the bank statements to prove it). The same thing happened with the next flat i found. I ended up having to find a job BEFORE I could get a flat and get off my friends' sofa. Your mileage may vary, depending on how uptight landlords and estate agents are where you like. Just something to be aware of. Although, if your parents/relatives live locally you might be able to avoid that problem by getting them to act as guarantors on the rental agreement.

It didn't take very long to find a job - 3 weeks to find a permanent role, and if I'd been looking at temp roles I probably could have found something quicker. But this is going to vary tremendously, depending on what you do (or are willing to do) and where you live.

So my advice is to ensure you've thought out a bit of a plan, and set aside a little nest egg to come back to (so if it takes that little bit longer to find work you won't be in a panic about money).

It's no reason not to do it, not to give up the jobs and the flat and go - just know what to expect.

Good luck, and have a wonderful trip

#3 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 541
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Posted by katieandchris on 1/8/2013 at 18:33

Thanks so much for your honest replies.
Definitely got me thinking and good to know others have been there and done it.

#4 katieandchris has been a member since 28/7/2013. Posts: 12

Posted by Geer1 on 1/8/2013 at 22:17

Can't answer for you as it depends on your personal situations. Do you have the training and skills to easily acquire a job when you return. Do you have money saved up to give you a few months cushion.

Finding places to live and jobs of some sort is fairly easy depending on what you are willing to do and where you are willing to live. I personally wouldn't worry about it but I know I can get a job in a heartbeat with the skills I have.

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Posted by chinarocks on 2/8/2013 at 04:33

These are all valid concerns.

Regarding money - I would definitely plan your trip so that when you come back home you have enough for a couple of months should no job materialise. Aim for maybe $6-8k as a rough guide.

Also, and maybe appearing to contradict the above, if you are going to the trouble of quitting your job etc can you travel for longer than 4-5 months? Do you have the funds? When you do this you might as well do it right so why not go for twice that length of time if possible?

Given the current economic climate I would at least do a little research about how things are likely to be in your industry when you return. I would never advise against travelling because of career reasons but I still think it wouldn't hurt to make a few enquiries now. Is there even the possibility of a career break?

#6 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 738

Posted by daawgon on 2/8/2013 at 12:13

I've left many a job to travel, but never the whole works (apartment, etc.) like you're doing. I say that when one is young, it's the perfect time to travel. People seem to forget that travel is enjoyable, but it's also very educational at the same time, and what better time to go when one is open to new ideas.

I would change many things in my past life, but my international travel is not one of them. In fact, if I could repeat my life, I would have traveled much much more when I was younger.

Go for it, and have a wonderful time.

#7 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by katieandchris on 2/8/2013 at 12:38

Thanks again for the replies. It's reassuring to know my thoughts aren't completely irrational.
I'm a teacher and he's an electrician, we live in the east of England. I am sure there will be jobs when we come back and at least we would be in the position to move to another area if absolutely necessary. I've thought about talking to my boss about a possible career break so will have a chat when the new school year begins.
We have enough savings for our travel plans but we will make sure we put some more aside for when we return.

#8 katieandchris has been a member since 28/7/2013. Posts: 12

Posted by Geer1 on 2/8/2013 at 17:18

England is a little tougher to find jobs in then where I am but if you guys both leave your current employers properly and on a good note and make it known when you will be back and that you might be interested in returning they likely won't commit to anything but I wouldn't be surprised if when you got back that they would take you back if you guys are good at what you do. That all only makes sense if you really want to go back to where you currently are though, but of course it is good to leave on a good note anyways.

#9 Geer1 has been a member since 14/9/2012. Posts: 540
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Posted by busylizzy on 3/8/2013 at 00:33

I agree with the posters above - you need a plan for your return. I'm a project manager so I'm paid to plan. And that falls over to my personal life, too!

My advice is to get your CV updated before you go (trust me, you won't want to be working on it a year down the track). About 2-4 weeks before you come home, start doing some homework on a few job opps back home and start sending your CV out, letting them know that you will be available for interviews from a specified date (tell that you are returning home from overseas and best contact is via email. They may want a Skype call. Don't spend hours at it - but just start getting your head in that space. Try to get a few interviews lined up for the week you come home. (Don't forget - in case still take up to 3-4 weeks before they make a decision). In my case, I wrote to two previous employers a few weeks before I got home and said 'Right, I'm coming home. Who wants me?'. I was lucky that one of them wanted to hire me back so I was able to walk straight back into a job.

When you put your stuff into storage - think about what you will need as soon as you come back. Work clothes, important papers/documents, and other personal bits and pieces that will want - and make sure they are accessible ie NOT in the back of a storage unit!

Also - have some money saved away that can support you for when you return. You'll need to be running your car, buy food, insurances, maybe contribute to living costs until you get a place of your own again - whatever.

Don't let all of that worry you - it's just stuff to think through. Go and have fun!

#10 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
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Posted by katieandchris on 3/8/2013 at 08:51

Thanks busylizzy, that's great advice. I'm saving your post! :)

#11 katieandchris has been a member since 28/7/2013. Posts: 12

Posted by PeterMFL on 28/10/2013 at 04:36

I have been through that and it was hard when you get back BUT... I will never traid the experience I had overseas for anything in the world! Best time of my life! I def recommend you do it! and make sure you enjoy it as much as you can! Because when you get back it'll be hard but you will be fresh and full of life unlike now ;)

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Posted by lanathai on 29/10/2013 at 09:48 TF writer

After 4-5 months travelling around SE Asia, maybe you'll just decide not to go back! It's happened to more than a few of us ;) -- anyway, sounds like you're well organised and I'm sure everything will be fine. In Thailand for sure (can't vouch for other countries) internet/long distance services are cheap and easy so you'll be able to at least start searching for jobs/accommodation while you're travelling.

#13 lanathai has been a member since 21/7/2011. Location: Thailand. Posts: 36
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Posted by nicklamport on 30/10/2013 at 10:52

You only live once and life is short, I am 50 years old, just separated from my partner of 10 years. We sold our apartment split the cash and I am taking three months (at least) to travel SE Asia....started in Singapore last week, trained it to KL, flew to Penang (cos I missed the train...) and am training it to bangkok from here...from then on its overland to Cambodia, thru Vietnam, Laos, northern Thailand, Myanmar and eventually back not a lot....if I go back....I am open to anything at the moment.... But I will put some money away and invest it so I have that to come back to. My kids are grown and my family are all in Sydney (I live in qld) anyway the point of all this is as I said, life is short and you only get so many opportunities to do these kind of things, so go for it. These days there are so many resources like this amazing website, other travellers etc, that you will find a way thru and everything will be fine. It's an amazing part of the world, you see incredible things, eat delicious food, make crazy mistakes but go in with an open mind and heart and have the time of your life. :)

#14 nicklamport has been a member since 22/10/2013. Location: Australia. Posts: 7
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