Leaving corporate life and finding what I love more is one of the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life! Here is the story of how I quit my job as a lawyer and decided traveling.
Everybody wants to go on a world tour, but only few people make this dream real. Well, how do they do that? I have neither one more nor one less than you. My financial situation is almost same as most of the people’s reading this article. So, I am not the rich one too. I was working in salaried jobs depending on others. I had no different life. Well, how did I quit my job I was going running and could I go on round-the-world tour? Today, I would like to talk to you some about that. I want to show there is another possibility to whom their tired body confined to a table in a premises but their hearts are set on being on the roads like me.
When travel idea was formed gradually, I was working as lawyer in a private bureau in Istanbul. I was continuing my so-called social life with an average monthly salary. I had no problem with my job except working a lot. I loved my colleagues I was working with, was trying to do my work in the best manner too. I was busy with translatingagreements and preparing documents for a new acquisition most of the time when my workload had increased. In addition to this, I was going to camping sometimes alone sometimes with my friends, when I had holiday more than three days.
But when work stress and responsibilities I shouldered started to make too much pressure on me, I understood that I don’t want to content myself with three-day holidays. There were countries I wanted to travel and routes I wanted to make, and it was not possible to fit them in three-day holidays. I don’t know what actually set me in motion. It was not a single thing in fact. The desire deep inside of me intensified gradually by certain things happened in the correct times. In the meantime of I was talking with people and telling them about my plans; ideas in my head were mounting up, the number of countries I wanted to travel were increasing, and kilometers I wanted to travel were going up.
I didn’t know how to do that but I should travel around the world in some way. There were tens of question marks in my mind. I didn’t know how to convince my family. I was not sure about whether the world is a safe place or not. But apart from everything else, there was another very big issue. I wanted to travel around the world but it was not possible to do that while I was working. I didn’t know how I can provide my travelling financing, if I quit my job so.
One day I have seen a post in one of the groups I am a member of in Facebook. A boy has texted that he met with a girl, her name was Amelie, who was a traveler and needed winter clothes and a sleeping bag. Amelie came from Thailand to Turkey by bicycle travelling and will have continued towards Germany. Because of she didn’t have winter clothes, she asked help of people who might share the clothes they didn’t need. At the same time, she was a blogger who had many followers and she could have a chance to stay at hotels for free and by placing an advertisement in return.
A group of people criticized that she couldn’t buy clothes for herself but she was accommodating at the expensive hotels. As luck would have it, I had an extra sleeping bag. I instantly texted to the boy and took Amelie’s contact information. I packed some of my warm clothes with my sleeping bag and went to meet with Amelie. We spent five-six hours together at this day. She told me her memories and experiences, I told her my plans. Amelie showed me what I am doing now was not impossible at all, even on the contrary how easy it could be. After this meeting, ideas in my mind had doubled.
I started to live the sadness of that I was spending my on thin ice life’s significant times with waking up every morning and running to job. It was not working what was making me sad. I loved working. The problem was to be stuck in a system I didn’t want. I was going to work every morning, going to sleep as a tired soul without talking when I got back from the work and this process was repeating itself. I was spending half of my salary for rent and the other half for the dresses I would never wear. If it was not my busy day and coincided, I was meeting with my friends, spending time with them sitting somewhere. It started this situation was annoying me a lot. I started to think that I was making no headway and losing time.
I was still not sure about how it was going to happen, but I knew that I was going to go on a journey for sure. After I’ve decided that, I focused on money issue which was one of the biggest problem to me for that time but now I understood it is not important at all. Because I didn’t have money. Since I had no money to go on a journey, then I should start to put money aside. After that day I started to save money for travelling. I had cut off all of my unnecessary expenses and started to sell my stuff which could make money such as mountaineering equipment, shoes, and technical jackets. I didn’t buy anything which would not work for me at time from that day until the day I was on the road. I’ve quitted smoking.
Saving money was the goal. After I solved my first problem with my available facilities in the best manner there were other things. I started to follow travelers who were on the road and second-hand stuff selling groups to buy right equipment for the road. In these groups, I was selling my stuff I would not use and could find items I needed with reasonable prices.
I joined to Couchsurfing and Warmshowers which I was going to use for my free accommodation during traveling and I started to host travelers at my house who came from all over the world to our country. Some may know these websites. Simply, they are web sites working by that people host each other for free with reference system. I collected my references during this time which would provide that people would trust me and host me abroad.
In the same period, I almost decided how to take the road. My bicycle would accompany me throughout my journey. It was one of the biggest reason to me to choose bicycle that bicycle was more available for a cheaper route than other transportations and needed effort. Of course, after I started getting my bicycle and equipment, I noticed that “cheap” part was quite relative, but I needed to think for long term. Luckily, when I decided to take out by bicycle, there was a presentation of someone who has made a route by bicycle similar to mine. I knew more or less what I was going to encounter with, after I listened to her. It started some things got their places in my mind.
Well, at the same time new question marks were added to existing ones in my mind. The list was getting longer with “What if my money finishes?”, “What if I get ill?”, “What if somebody do something to me?”, “What if I cannot take the visa?” questions.
But I wanted it very much to be on the road, I was trying to think positively. Thankfully my positive thinking side outweighed more than my doomster side, I didn’t lose my courage. When they asked that, “What if you cannot take the visa?”, I was telling “Then I would go to another country.”. Of course it was not an acceptable answer to my friends and they were mystified, who got used to live settled lives and were overestimating traveling.
I started to search about bicycles when I accurately knew that I would be on the road by bicycle. I examined all of local and foreign travelers’ equipment who were traveling by bicycle, I’ve learned what struggles they faced and what solutions they found to these struggles. It was in this period I met with “Bisiklet Gezgini”, what comes to mind first when the topic is touring bike. Since therefore I started to learn more about bicycles.
To have a touring bike would not be easy as I had assumed, when their performance and technology were considered their prices became very high for my budget. Thanks to my luck, I found the touring bike I wanted for a reasonable price in a short time. Under favor of my family’s financial support, I‘ve had a touring bike which has fitted to my travel at the end.
Even though I wanted to use my bicycle actively, I was still working and because of my works were prolonging every day, I was having difficulty to find time for that. By making a small perception change again, seeing that I was not able to cycle as I wanted, I said that then I should adjust what I wanted to do to the existing situation. I was living in Kadıköy area and as much as I found time I started to go to Caddebostan Beach after I finished up work. I was attentive to use my bicycle whenever possible. Soon after I decided to quit my job.
After I quitted my job, I started a routine. I was preparing my dinner food, loading my saddle bags on my bike, going to the beach. I was eating my dinner at the beach, drinking my tea and then going back to the home. My friends and my hammock were included to this plan in time. Eating my dinner and swinging on the hammock at the beach became my every evening routine. In the meantime, my plan became well enough clear. My equipment were slowly gathered. I was almost ready at that time.
I started to do my legal jobs slowly. I terminated bills on me, froze my cell phone number, gave a power of attorney to my family, chose the most appropriate banks and arranged my account transactions. I arranged the papers I would take with me and their copies. I placed what kind of preparations I’ve done and what I’ve considered in this process for whom will start to travel in this article.
I prepared a project and applied to Kutupayısı for the sponsorship. At that time, I was very new on social media and I only had about three hundred followers. Kutupayısı still accepted supporting me. I began my journey with very successful companies in their field such as Marmot, Stanley, Asolo, Buff, and Puhu. After Kutupayısı, Motoplus supported me too with their gift Abus lock. In addition to these, I got support from Turna Tavel which is a cut out for people who look for flight tickets at affordable prices.
Everything has been solved, I set a date and started to the route at that date towards Ankara, accompanied by Gezgin Ruhi from Caddebostan to Bostancı. It was a unique opportunity for experiencing myself and my equipment moving on the village roads. My body to get used to this new life standards would not be very easy and I wanted to live this process in a place I knew. My travel took almost twenty days and at the end of twenty days I sent back fifteen kilograms weighted stuff back to home I thought I was carrying them needlessly. In this way, I saw what I need sensibly.
The period after this is what you all know. First, I’ve ridden to Georgia. When the snow came in Georgia, I went back to Kars and then straight to Iran. After I spent three months there, because of I couldn’t get Pakistan Visa, I flew to India. I spent five months in India. In the fourth month of five months, I sent my bicycle back to Turkey, I moved on with my back pack. I went to Thailand from India. When I was working as English Teacher in Thailand, because of my grandmother passed away, I came back to Turkey for a while.
You can reach to detailed information about all of my travels on the “Countries” tab on the homepage. I tell the routes I’ve done, the countries I’ve gone, how much money I’ve spent and my recommendations there.
I know other than these the same question you all have in your mind. What did my family say? It was expected that me to get a job, guarantee my retirement, my insurance to be paid like everyone… This idea was considered bizarre by my family at the first time. To persuade my family for that it was the thing in my dreams and I would be happy was not a bed of roses and for both sides caused backbreaking process. But after all of these processes and being some patient, eventually they believed in me and trusted me. Although they didn’t want that, as they were seeing my happiness, they started to support more. After a while it became something they wanted too.
Believe that it is more or less what every family does. The parents who are living somewhere a steady life, working to guarantee themselves socially and economically, have protective attitude to these kind of things. After a while, when they start to see this makes their children happy and understand it is not that much scary, they start to support.
In brief, I live the life I dreamed for years, in the recent time. As I said before nothing happened instantly. It was not because of I found a magic wand I am on this now. Everything has evolved in time. The only thing I’ve done differently was to decide. After I’ve decided, by being realistic I’ve used my facilities in the way they would help to reach my purpose. That’s all. When you direct your energy to what you want to do, the universe amazingly brings to you everything you need. Never lose faith in yourself and remember that life is full of surprises.
I make money like everybody does. I work and I save money. I just think about very carefully what for and how I spend my money. My journeys are generally low budgeted journeys, so I don’t spend a lot of money during these journeys. If there is a chance I contribute to my budget while I’m travelling.