Why it’s totally possible (and even a great idea) to quit your job, go travelling and surf every day

It is. Absolutely. You don’t need a huge amount of money saved. And it could be the best thing you’ve ever done.

At the start of 2008, I was working in London, working really long hours, yet spending a large part of my day dreaming about how to escape. It wasn’t a bad job by any stretch but it didn’t exactly light me on fire. Even though I was desperate to get away, I would tell myself that I’d clearly gone mad thinking I could move to a small beach town somewhere exotic and go surfing every day. But by the end of that year I’d done it. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. And it was easier than you might think.

If it’s something you dream about but you can’t quite get up the motivation to make it happen then read on, this might give you the push you need.

*Disclaimer
This approach is not for everyone. If all you want to do is surf every day and get drunk every night with a bunch of your mates then you’d better stop reading and start saving now – that’s going to be expensive.

But if you want to move somewhere to concentrate on your surfing and integrate into the local community, you really can. With some planning, an open mind and quite a lot of hard work, there’s no reason why you can’t do it whilst making a living and learning a hell of a lot, on top of meeting some awesome people and getting to surf killer waves every day.

 

Reasons why it’s possible…

 

It costs a lot less to live than you think

Both in terms of saving money before you make the jump and what you’ll need to live on afterwards. With some proper budgeting, you can make significant savings. I’m sure you’ve read all the advice about whether you really need that cup of coffee every morning or the expensive TV subscription. But really ask yourself if you do. For my last nine months in London, I walked everywhere saving over £100 a month on a tube ticket. I also stopped going to the gym because I was walking so much, and saved another £50 a month. It really does add up and it’s surprising the amount you can save.

 

People love meeting people who do interesting things

For the most part, I always find that other people are always really interested in meeting people from other places, learning about their lives and how they ended up doing what they’re doing in their small beach town that most people have never heard of. If you approach people with that same interest and openness, it’s often a lot easier than it appears to settle in to a new place, whether that’s a physical space like a new town, a new industry, or even the blogosphere. If you help people, other people will want to help you and you will find it much easier than you think to make friends and new connections and find ways to make a living.

 

Most places, even the most remote, now have internet access

Which means you can work online in order to make a living, whether that’s as a freelancer, being someone’s virtual assistant, writing your own blog or selling your stuff on etsy. You can now work from wherever you want and move around whenever you feel like it. The internet is what makes this sort of lifestyle possible and easily achievable. I’ve never met half of my clients and Skype has replaced many face to face meetings. Plus you don’t feel so far away from home, and can still easily speak to family, friends and colleagues.

 

It won’t damage your CV or chances of finding employment

If you do decide you want another job, or even something to make sure you pay rent whilst getting started, it won’t be the huge gaping hole on your CV you’re worried about. In fact, if you can show you’ve done something positive and managed to make a living off your own back, that’s a really good thing for potential employers or clients. It gives you something to talk about, and you’ll probably have learnt far more than you would have by staying in a safe job that doesn’t really inspire you.

Reasons why it’s a great idea…

If you don’t, you’ll always wonder what if

My favourite quote is from Mark Twain, and I hold this quote solely responsible for every big/crazy decision I’ve made since I read it. It struck something deep down inside me and changed my life by making me take action instead of just daydreaming and planning…

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things that you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

 

People are tired of hearing how you’re going to quit your job, go travelling and surf every day

There is nothing worse than listening to people moan about their jobs or their life in general, when they do nothing to change the situation. We all know someone like it, maybe it’s you, or a colleague or a friend, who just goes on and on about all their grand plans to leave their job, set up on their own, tell their boss to stick it. But they’ve been doing it for years, and you know full well they’ll never actually do it. Don’t be that person. Make that decision, stick to it, and go and do something awesome…

 

It will help you grow as a person

I really believe that pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, spending time with different people and experiencing different cultures is vitally important in shaping you as a person. It helps you realise what’s important in life, and makes you appreciate what you have. I think both travelling and working for yourself should be mandatory education. Big statement I know – but it teaches you so much about yourself, and almost everyone I know that has done this wouldn’t have changed it.

 

Should you do it?

If it’s something that you’ve always dreamed of and it’s within your reach then probably, yes. As I sat on the plane to fly out to Central America for the first time, not only was I crapping my pants, but I had no idea how much it would impact my life. I honestly thought six months would get it out of my system and allow me to come back to London, settle down into a ‘good job’ and get on with life. How wrong was I?

Nearly four years later and I am much happier and more self-sufficient. It helped me realise what was important to me. It inspired me to move to Nicaragua for a time, then move closer to the sea in beautiful Cornwall, and to commit to travelling and surfing abroad regularly. And it inspired me to start Mellow Waves, and help other people realise that they can follow their dreams, surf and travel regularly, whilst making a decent living and making positive changes to their lives and the lives of others.

If you’ve already made the jump, how did you do it and what inspired you to make the decision in the first place?

 

 

 

 

Author: Amy Lambert

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20 Comments

  1. Inspiring post! After seeing other ‘regular people’ achieve this dream, I agree, it is possible! As you say, it takes sacrifice. You have to think long-ball and sacrifice some short-term comfort for the end goal.

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    • Thanks for swinging by Kiri and stoked you enjoyed the post!

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  2. what age did you choose to set sails? i think the older the more difficult!

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    • Hey Marianna, I’ve left home to live abroad a couple of time, once at 23 and again at 27. But I have friends who have done it much later 🙂

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  3. 🙂 I’m looking into surf schools for absolute beginners who hardly float. if you have any tips, fire away! i’ve read good reviews of a v expensive yet luxurious 7-week program in Bali..

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    • Hey Marianna, what sort of thing are you looking for? Do you want something all inclusive or more of a live somewhere, DIY type thing?

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  4. more something all inclusive! thanks Amy

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  5. extra thanks cos i’ve flagged the notification option..i’ve only just seen you reply 🙂

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  6. This post is really inspiring to me! I’m still in highschool and plan to go to college. However, I want to be at a place with waves all of the time. The waves here are not too great until some hurricanes come by, I can’t wait for hurricanes. I need to be out on that water every day. I plan on living alone, no wife, but maybe a girlfriend, no kids, and nothing expensive. What are some of the best places to move so I can be surfing almost every day, and not weekly? Also, any other tips?

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    • hey chase im in highschool too and also want to surf everyday during and after college. i live in san diego and we get good 3-5 ft waves year round and even bigger in the winter or when mexico has a hurricane. I live about 20 minutes inland which is why i dont surf evryday. but we have at least 3 universities here that are 5 min from the beach. SDSU, USD, and UCSD.

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  7. Hey Amy, I just stumbled upon your website and love the blog. This post is especially fitting. I’ve just returned from a week in Newquay, Cornwall, just went out there for a week of camping and surfing.
    I still suck so badly! It made me think about moving out there next summer, getting a bar job or something and committing to surf as much as possible.
    Where in Cornwall are you based? It would be great to get some tips about where to go other than Newquay

    And how did you manage to make a living in Central America? Work away/ woofing?

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    • Hey there, stoked you’re enjoying the blog! Just found your comment in my spam queue, so sorry for the really late reply.

      I live on the south coast, my favourite places to surf are godrevy/gwithian and Porthmeor in St Ives. Perran Sands can be really fun too if you get the conditions right.

      In Central America I worked as a nanny and also helped out in the family’s surf shop and bar. There’s quite a lot of hostel work where you don’t get paid but you get free accommodation.

      Hope that’s helpful, how’s the surfing coming along?

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  8. An epic read dude. Totally loved it. Inspirational.

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    • Thanks Pete, stoked you liked it!

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  9. Hey Amy, this is a great post! “There is nothing worse than listening to people moan about their jobs or their life in general, when they do nothing to change the situation” oooohhh yes
    I’m happy I found your site 🙂

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  10. Great stuff. I stuck with a family horticulture job until nature literally through me out of the business/work and into the hospital. Stubborn people learn the hard way. As many new souls populate the earth, so do new forms of income. As long as you’re not expecting to live a constant corona commercial. There is always space and good luck reserved for those courageous enough to venture out. Traveling IS the best education. Ps: please don’t blog about your local surf spots. Word of mouth is still a secret compared to mass internet exposure. Thanks

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    • Agreed – don’t worry, we’re careful to make sure we’re not telling the world about secret spots 🙂

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  11. Hi Amy,
    I know this is an old post but that’s exactly what I’m trying to figure out for myself right now.
    I really like your blog, your advices really helped me to take surfing in a more relaxed way but really motivates me at the same time.
    So thank you very much !

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    • Aw so stoked it’s been helpful for you Alice!

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