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Taking a Year Off to Travel the World

world travelWith the end of summer fast approaching, I’m a bit melancholy about getting back into the routine of school and work. My work schedule is pretty much the same year round. I am to a point where I need to work a set number of days per month, but I can arrange those to suit my schedule for the most part. My husband and daughter have been off all summer, and we’ve had some great adventures.

It makes me sad to think that we have to wait until next spring for the chance of another vacation. Maybe two trips a year is not enough. There is so much of the world that I have not seen. I wonder if we’d ever be able to take a year off to travel the world? There are several things I’d have to study and consider.

Money-We’d certainly have to save a ton of money to take a year off work. We would likely have to open an easy to use international bank account if we wanted to travel abroad. I would also have to learn about currencies and the best places to visit based on the exchange rates. 

Jobs-Would we be able to settle back into our current jobs or would those go to someone else? I know of educators who have taken sabbatical for a year and come back to the classroom, but I don’t think Jim’s new administrative job would wait. Would he be OK taking a pay cut to go back into the classroom? Would I be able to work in the same places I am now or would I have to look for new opportunities?

School-I’m not opposed to pulling my daughter out of school for a year to have the education of travel, but could we keep up with her course work on our own? I think the younger she, is the less she would miss in terms of social interaction and fitting back in with her friends after the year was up.

Our House– If we did this before we are officially “retired,” we’d probably come back to our current house after our year of travel. That means we would have to pay for homeowner expenses while we were gone. Our HOA does not allow renters in our neighborhood, so that possibility is out unless we found some creative way to have year long “visitors.”

Pets– What would we do with our dog and fish if we left for an extended period of time? Would we have to give them away? I don’t know if I could stand that.

I’m sure there are a million more things to consider if we really got serious about taking a year off for travel. The rational thing to do would be to wait until Jim has enough years in to get his pension, and our house is paid off. However, are we missing an opportunity now while our daughter is young and we are “young enough” to enjoy extensive travel?

Would you take a year off to travel before retirement? Is it dumb to pull a kid out of school to travel?


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. I think you learn so much as a kid while traveling that it can be worth it. In France distance education is free so you receive DVDs and have a distance tutor by email, you just have to mail your homework once a month and won’t lose a year. I saw in the US you can take extra credits to graduate on time or go to summer school so you don’t even have to lose a year. It could be awesome especially if she learns another language.

    • Learning another language is something I really wish I had done when I was younger. I would love for her to be able to do that, but there really isn’t an option for that unless we did start traveling.

  2. I would love to take a year off to travel the world and I do think your daughter would probably learn more from that. But I’m not that adventurous and I probably wouldn’t do it. I’ll probably have to wait until retirement…hopefully I’ll still be young enough and have the energy for it!

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