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Why I DID Quit My Job to Pursue My Passion

...but maybe you shouldn't.

By: James Leithart + Save to a List

Earlier today a good friend of mine, Matt van Swol, wrote a story titled Why I Chose NOT to Quit My Job, but Still Travel the World. Now, before you keep reading, please go read Matt’s story. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll immediately assume – from the title – that he is writing in order to bash any and everyone that has quit their job in order to travel the world.

Read it yet? Good. Now let’s get started.

As you now know, since you read Matt’s story, my assumption was terribly wrong. What he is saying in his story is that there is more than one way to travel the world, and you don’t have to “give up everything to see everything.” I couldn’t agree more. Matt makes a very good point in that quitting your job is not the only way to travel the world, nor is it necessarily the best way. It all just depends on you.

Thanks to his story (which I opened in a semi-fuming rage), I realized how I have been talking for the last three weeks since quitting my desk job. I’ve been telling everyone how great my life is now that I quit the standard 9-5 in pursuit of something more fulfilling. I have said over and over again how great it is to pursue my passion.

The problem with this way of talking is that it makes some very dangerous assumptions about every other person in the world. I talk about how much happier I am after I quit because I’m finally able to travel the world without any restrictions on vacation time. I didn’t, however, consider that being in a stable, 9-5 job may be someone’s passion. There are people that find the 9-5 fulfilling.

What I aim to do through my photos, videos, and writing is to inspire people to pursue their passion and live a life they love. I know for a fact that I did not love a life that required me to work 9-5 in an office, but I know people that do love that life, and that’s not a bad thing.

Take Matt for instance; the dude is a nuclear scientist in Augusta, GA. I don’t know his daily schedule but I doubt he is able to just pack up and head out in the middle of the week like I can. But he loves his life. He still finds time to travel and explore and adventure, and unlike me he has a steady income to help fund his exploration. His passion currently lies in not only adventure, but also in his 9-5.

For weeks I’ve been talking about how great it is to quit your job and have time to travel wherever I want, whenever I want. The reality is; that’s great for me. That’s a life I love. But if you love your daily job, then why quit? Just keep doing you, don’t let anyone tell you that quitting the 9-5 is the way to go, and above all pursue your passion.

Live the life you love, and love the life you live!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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