Why Millennials Are Quitting Their Jobs to Travel

It seems as if everyone is trying to understand Millennials, including Millennials themselves. Marketers attempt new sales strategies, employers enlist completely new tactics to prevent new hires from leaving, and technology is changing every second to keep up. As a Millennial, it is easy to see how our lifestyles are completely different from previous generations. We are the most educated and tech-savy age group, but we are also the least-married and most godless generation ever (Fast Co).

But when it comes to living in the moment, Millennials might just figure it out. Rather than the ‘bloom where you are planted’ and ‘work hard now so you can live better later’ attitudes of previous generations, many of us are calling bullsh** and questioning why we can’t live happy now and in the future.

60% of Millennials are leaving their companies in less than three years based on, primarily, whether the company is a “good cultural fit” (Forbes). In the world of modern technology, it is hard to say that an efficient use of time is to go to an office just to sit at a desk and type for 8 hours a day. The exact same thing could be done in Bali or Brazil… and Millennials are taking advantage of that.

Which leads to the question… why are so many of us quitting our jobs to travel?


Working 9 to 5 is outdated

The more the work industry realizes this, the more likely companies will be able to keep millennials long-term. Realistically, going to an office at a certain time every day just to type on a computer is unnecessary. You no longer have to physically connect your computer to a wall just to go online- there is wifi.

Alternatively- many people (no matter their age) work better at certain times of day or night. If you have an employee that does an amazing job when the sun goes down, but walks in the office like a zombie at 7am… why wouldn’t you let them work when they are most productive? It is a waste of their time and your money- as you will likely be paying for them to work half-asleep the first few hours.

The longer us millennials sit and stare at a wall, the more we think about what it would be like not to do that.

Yes #firstworldproblems (as this whole post is)

Internet is accessible almost everywhere

This is fairly explanatory (see above). Some of us work jobs where we type all day and don’t speak to a single person in the office. Is it really worth it to commute just to do this from a cold office space when we can do the exact same thing at home, in a neighborhood cafe, or halfway across the world?

Internet in the middle of nowehere

We aren’t positive that social security and retirement will be available in a few decades

Many of us (American) Millennials were raised to believe social security and retirement would not be options for us as we age due to the changing economy. This kind of forced us to follow one of two paths: work incredibly hard and save up everything for retirement ASAP… or spend what we do earn to live a full life now because we are not sure what the future holds.

Yes, the traditionally “smarter” path is to follow the first of these options. This is the option I personally chose until I realized how miserable I was. I had to ask myself- is it really worth it to be miserable in my youth just to live rich when I’m old? The answer came in one of my favorite phrases: We are guaranteed only this moment, we are not guaranteed old age.

Travel is more accessible

Flights are available at lower costs, information on foreign transportation can be found online, and stories from people who have done it before are readily available.

In addition to transportation being more accessible, travel is truly open to all types of people. Women can now travel unmarried without question and tons of women go on solo travel trips every year.

Travel has never been easier.

Planning a trip is actually not that hard

Travel agents are not necessary. Booking flights, layovers, hotels, excursions, and visas can all be arranged without the help of a travel agent. The internet and technology has made it incredibly easy to plan the trip of your dreams.

Apps make travel less “scary”

Apps like Find My Friends can help loved ones track where we are on the road. TripLingo practically eliminates the stress that comes with language barriers. Trail Wallet keeps you on budget. Packpoint even tells you what to pack… and with offline Google Maps to help get you around, it is almost a challenge to get lost.

Social media shows us what we are missing out on

After a really long, hard day at work… or a week of sleepless nights on a deadline, it is easy for anyone to dream of escaping somewhere else. Dreaming is one thing. It is another to open your Instagram and see your one friend from the fourth grade riding an elephant and drinking coconuts on the beach in Bali followed by a video of your ex-boyfriend skydiving over Dubai.

We see our peers taking massive risks to live their lives exactly how they want and it can be incredibly challenging to resist not taking a risk in our own lives.

skydiving dubai biggest bucket list

For better or worse, we want to live in the moment

Selfish and short-sided? Probably. Rewarding and empowering? Completely.

It is easy to keep in touch with loved ones

Skype, free wifi, email, text messages and phone calls (if you’re willing to pay a hefty roaming fee or get an international SIM card), Find My Friends!, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs…. the list can go on, but the point is- these are all much more efficient than a telegram.

Companies are offering millennials remote jobs 

Yes, there are many companies that offer remote work. Especially in programming, web design, social media, and retail. If you are an employer, it may be really hard to compete with these companies. If you are a millennial who wants to travel, it is nearly impossible to ignore these opportunities.

We want to make a difference and believe we have the power to do so

And how could we ever change the world for the better (even by a little) without actually seeing the world?



What are your thoughts?

As always, feel free to reach out!


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  • Rachel DiMattia August 20, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    I completely agree! Sharing on my blog’s Facebook page (Rach Escapes). Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Karin February 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Even where I live (Slovakia), I´m not sure at all of any pension or whatever – the pensions already are so miserable that really traveling and living it up like a german senior won´t be an option. Besides, I´m not even planning on living here! Hop for the best of luck 🙂

    • Jess February 21, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Well then I guess the solution is to travel and live it up when we are young and able! It’s all about balance… and (you’re right) hoping for the best of luck!

  • Kat February 20, 2016 at 12:42 am

    Great post Jess! Totally agree with you about the reasons for travelling. The internet has made it a more viable option for us in so many ways. Also I do think the idea of security in the future has a huge effect.

    It is the same in the UK. We live in an aging population and the government are struggling with finding the money to support people when they retire so they push back the retirement age every few years (they also say that’s because we’re all living longer so it’s in line with the amount of time an average person will spend in their lives not working). By the time I retire if it continues to go back I’ll probably be in my 80s! So although people tell you to put money away for those years after you retire I think a lot of us are thinking, who knows if we’ll even live to that age!

    I do think to an extent you can’t just live for today, you have to be sensible about the future, but at the same time who knows how long any of us have?

    • Jess February 20, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kat!
      You are so right, while we want to just live in the moment… we obviously can’t ignore the future. It’s hard to find middle ground with that. I guess the ideal way is to find a path that you enjoy and allows you to live in the moment, while being sustainable for the future (easier said then done!)