5 Women who quit the 9-5 and transformed their lives through travel

Ever sat at your desk thinking there’s more to life than white walls and a never ending inbox? You’re not alone. A recent Harris Poll survey for Airbnb showed that 64% of US workers would leave their current job for one they are more passionate about.

Sure it takes real guts and a whole load of meticulous planning to make the move, but a career revolved around travelling the world CAN be achieved. Don’t believe us? Here are some 9 to 5 everyday ladies who took the leap to follow their dreams.

Jodi Ettenberg: Ex-Corporate Lawyer - Now Legal Nomads Blogger

Jodi spent over 5 years working as a corporate lawyer in the hustle and bustle of NYC. After tacking the toll of long hours and the stress that comes with a high pressured job, she decided to quit her job and travel for what she thought would be a year. Documenting her whereabouts, photos and adventures to her nearest & dearest, Legal Nomads was born. 8 years on and Legal Nomads is still going strong as Jodi continues to document her travel adventures. The travel site has since become a business, covering all things travel, food & wellbeing related, and has been featured in the likes of the New York Times, The Guardian and BBC Travel.

“I am thankful for the ability to have built a business around the foods and places I love, and never quit my job to ‘be’ a travel writer. If this doesn’t work out, going back to being a lawyer isn’t the worst thing I can think of. But it’s far less fun than what I am doing now!”

With 89.2k instagram followers, 45.9k twitter followers and a string of well-respected features it’s clear to see Jodi’s desire to follow her dreams has paid off.

It's no field of roses, but this field of marigolds outside of Oaxaca will do just fine. ????????

A post shared by Jodi Ettenberg (@legalnomads) on

Valeria Hinojosa: Ex Banker - Now Water Thru Skin travel blogger

Valeria worked as a private banker in Miami, where she spent her days gazing into the blue ocean through the office window. Lost and frustrated as to why her passions did not align with her career, Valeria decided to go with her gut and take the step towards a new, happier stage of her life.

“I worked non-stop and crazy hours until I got promoted. Once I achieved that, I was already thinking about my next promotion but none of that was fulfilling. I was empty.”

Shortly after leaving the affluent banking background, Valeria became a certified Yoga Teacher, a certified vegan Chef, and a full-time conscious travel and lifestyle blogger. Aiming to inspire everyone to chase their own adventures, WaterThruSkin quickly developed from a hobby to a business blog. Travelling the world whilst writing about all things green – eco-travel, sustainable fashion, eco-friendly tips and sustainable inspiration form the basis of her ‘lifestyle with a conscience’ blog.  As well as this, Valeria also works with Airbnb as an Experience Host in Miami, she is writing her own book, gives frequent motivational talks, living consciously workshops AND she’s in the process of creating her own app.

Since WaterThruSkin has grown a name for itself, Valeria has drawn the attention of sponsorship and brand partnerships from snazzy eco-friendly hotels, sustainable fashion brands, plant-based supplement brands and yoga studios, to name a few.

With 31.1k instagram followers under her belt she sure is inspiring the masses.

Kristen Addis: Ex investment banker - Now Be My Travel Muse blogger

In March 2012, Kristin Addis left her job as an investment banker in Southern California. With a ‘What is this money worth if I don’t have the opportunity to spend it’ mentality, she knew there was more to life and decided to explore just what by buying a one-way ticket to Bangkok.

“I sold my belongings and, armed with nothing but a carry-on bag and no company but my own, became a solo female traveler.”

Fast forward 4 years and Kristen is still on the move. Hitchhiking solo across China, climbing Mt.Kinabalu, diving into the depths of the Philippines and even becoming a Buddhist nun for 10 days in Thailand – life sure has changed.

Documenting her travels and providing a resource for like-minded travellers via her blog BeMyTravelMuse and sharing the expertise she’s gathered in her book, “Conquering Mountains: The Guide to Solo Female Travel“, Kristen has started a whole new life and career for herself.

So just how has she sustained this adventure lifestyle? For the first few years, Kristin lived off savings before she started to build up her blog. Now she earns her income through affiliate sales from her website, sales of her book, and works with tourism boards and brands. Earning more than double what she did as a banker due to an ever growing following (93.2k instagram followers) it’s fair to say Kristen’s gamble has very much paid off.

Lauren Juliff: Ex physics student and retail worker - Now Never Ending Footsteps blogger

Bitten by the travel bug from day one, Lauren has always been ‘obsessed with the idea of travel’. But with little budget to pursue her dreams, Lauren started saving as much money as she could, working the low wages of a retail job whilst studying a Masters in Physics – a subject she loved but saw no career future in. Whilst saving up, Lauren also worked on her writing skills, giving her an in to the world of journalism.

In 2011, Lauren had enough savings to begin her 1 year of adventures, jetting off to Dubrovnik, Croatia, where she encountered her first hostel experience. Despite suffering from anxiety, 6 years on Lauren is still on the road, having travelled over sixty countries and across five continents, spending the majority of my time in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and Mexico. She has documented her travels through her ever growing Never Ending Footsteps blog which has earned her 17.4k followers on twitter alone.

Lauren funds her jet set life through freelance writing – she’s the Student Travel Expert for About.com, and a senior writer for travel technology site, Too Many Adapters. As well as this she has book royalties and advertising and affiliate sales (recommending hostels, backpack, travel insurance companies etc.) on her own blog page.

I ???? Cape Town

A post shared by ✈️ Lauren Juliff (@nefootsteps) on

Janet Newenham: Ex PR Manager - Now Journalist On The Run blogger

Building up her social following whilst working as a PR Manager, Janice decided to make the move and leave her stable role in favour of a happier, healthier and more adventurous life, creating A Journalist on the Run.

With 41.5k followers on instagram, Janet’s solo travel adventure blog has become a go-to to find budget backpacking tips and solo travel guides. Now her own manger, social media posts, Google ads, sponsored posts, guest writing, freelance writing, press trips, paid trips, travel reviews and PR, form the basis of her self-made business.

Along with this, to make her life abroad a reality, Janet has pursued pretty much every job along the way. Au-pairing in Australia, teaching English in South Korea, NGO work in India, and interning in Canada and just a few of the roles Janet has adapted to in order to sustain her endless wanderlust.

Have you given up your 9-5 in pursuit of travel? how has this changed your life? We’d love to know. Share your stories with us, and you could see your content published right here on six-two. Or in other words, the first step to that nomadic lifestyle you dream of. Find out more here...

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