Lily’s note: This is an interview with Connie Hum of Connvoyage. Connie left her job with an international consulting firm in New York City in 2009 to travel and work on a variety of environmental and humanitarian projects around the world.
Connie has been on the road for 2 years, has travelled to 38 countries and even fell in love along the way. She is currently in Hong Kong.
What inspired you to leave your job?
I made the decision at the end of 2008 when I was 28 to leave my amazing apartment in New York City and job with an international consulting firm.
My life and job in New York City were great but I began to feel the need for something more than the average 9 to 5 days. I felt that I had lived such an amazing and privileged life and I wanted to connect more with the world around me. I left my job in February 2009 and had no idea how long I was going to be gone, which was both thrilling and terrifying! It’s been 2 years since I left and I’m still on the road, loving my life and not regretting my decision!
Any particular goals or themes for your time off?
I wanted to focus my travels on volunteering, personal growth and trying to connect while simultaneously finding a balance between myself and the world around me.
I volunteered in Thailand for 3 months but had originally planned to volunteer in Nepal for 6 months before discovering that it was a volunteer scam. I had hoped to volunteer more but I didn’t realize how difficult it can be to get involved in some places. Now that I’m planning on living in Hong Kong for some time, I’m looking into more volunteer opportunities there.
How are you funding your travels and what’s your budget?
I’ve been spending my savings on my travels since 2009. I have a hard time budgeting and I admit, I’m not very good at it. I will say though that I have learned how to spend my money wisely (do NOT buy souvenirs!) and that’s really made a difference.
The budget always depends on the country you’re visiting. For instance, my average daily budget for India was less than $20 USD a day and I was quite liberal with my shopping sprees for Indian-inspired clothing! In Hong Kong, even though I was house sitting for a friend and didn’t have to pay for accommodations, my average daily budget ended up being $90 USD (though you have to take into account that it was Christmas and New Year’s so there was a bit of extra spending in Hong Kong).
Any tips for anyone scared to try long-term travel?
JUST TAKE A CHANCE ON YOURSELF!
You were smart enough to land your current job, what makes you think that gaining international exposure and world perspective is going to make you LESS employable? No matter what fears and doubts you may have, there will always be a job out there waiting for you. I completely understand the fear of leaving something so safe like a corporate job and nice salary but chasing after dreams is what makes life so wonderful. Truly no amount of money can replace the lifelong memories you’ll take away with you after you see the world.
More posts from Connie’s blog
- Making Time for Me
- 2010 Year in Review
- Follow your heart, that’s what I always do
- Finding generosity and hospitality while lost in China
- Travelling Solo in India and staying with a local family
- Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
>> Have you ever considered leaving your day job for long-term travel? Any questions for Connie about her travel experiences?
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