Why everyone should quit their job and travel by Justin Murphy

-- at some point in their 20s. probably even 30s.

First - some back story: I quit my job and I’ve been traveling in Thailand for almost 2 months now. I can honestly say this is one of the greatest life decisions I’ve made. It cost me nearly $15,000 in time away from work, a bit of pride waking up in a McDonalds at 4am, and I've injured myself quite a bit; but I’ve learned so much about me, what I want in life and what truly makes me happy.

I’m no travel guru, I haven’t been everywhere, I don’t know everything, and I mess up regularly. I do know however, that this is something you should do if it has ever crossed your mind.

Who. What. When. Where. Why.

A silly format, but I think it breaks down this whole argument in the best way possible.

Who

You obviously. You’re unhappy, unsatisfied, or maybe ‘something’ is missing and you’re not sure what. Hello! Welcome to everyone's inner monolog. We’re not that different as human beings, we feel the same, we think similarly (especially with social media nowadays), and we all rarely follow through on our impulses or ideas for various pathetic reasons.

Be different. Not for your significant other. Not for your family. Not for anyone. Do it for you.

What

TRAVEL THE WORLD, probably not, but at least get out an see something vastly different. It’s 2017 motherfuckaaaa! You can literally go anywhere in the world above ground, underwater gets tricky. Also Visas, but that's another topic.

If you’re not a traveler or have zero inkling to travel, you probably aren’t reading this post; and that’s fine! Some people are home bodies, they dig their niche and enjoy the comfort. I will however say one of the top 25 regrets people have on their deathbed is not traveling more, so I’d suggest busting out a bit. :)

When

There will NEVER be a “perfect time”. Let me write that again. There. Will. Never. Be. A. Perfect. Time. To. Travel. Don’t count on it, don’t plan on it, life’s gonna happen, your car engine could blow up the day before your flight, you never know. You just pick a date, and roll with it. While I do suggest preparing appropriately, I’ve met people who have done this with nothing but a backpack and $800. In all honestly it’s probably actually easier that way.. you’ve got nothing to lose, no consequences.. but alas that’s not most people.

So how do you prepare?

  1. Come to the realization that work is work, you’ll always be able to find another job, work is not your life. I had a cushy job out of college, it took me a minute to figure this out.

  2. Save an emergency fund. 3-6mo is ‘standard’, 1-2mo should suffice for your initial journey; r/personalfinance would kill me for saying that.

  3. Pay off short term debt. Don’t travel carrying any credit card balances. It’s dumb. Student Loans, Car loans, Mortgages, long term debt is fine. That balance you’re carrying from those Nike Air Yeezy 2's you bought but couldn’t afford is not.

  4. Start a blog. Duh. (*sarcasm* - but journaling while traveling is an incredible tool whether you publish or not.)

  5. Book a flight. (Save money! Do it cheap! Do it with credit card points!)

  6. Give your work appropriate notice if required.

  7. Go! (Woo!)

Where

Where should I go? Go to the first place that just popped into your head. If you have no idea, here's a shitty quiz or may I suggest literally anywhere in SEA <3.

To expand though, I think this is one of the most important questions, not because the location matters but because the situation matters. To get those ‘wow' moments of growth you’re probably looking for, travel somewhere that you know absolutely nobody and someplace that you know absolutely nothing about. I truly believe this is a key factor in learning how you deal with awkward/dangerous situations, loneliness, your inner monolog, decision making, figuring out what you wake up for, and quite generally --life.

Why

You could’ve just knocked up that girl you're laying next to. You could lose both your legs in a car accident tomorrow because that dude couldn't control his mustang brake stand. The person texting and driving just sent you and your motorcycle into a guard rail at 85. Poof. Shit happens.

But more realistically, you are going to wake up tomorrow with your grandkids asking you what your favorite place in the world is and you'll come to the realization that you're not sure because you never sampled the amazing places this planet offers. 


Traveling is easier than ever. The world is more accepting than ever. You’re only getting older.

Get out there.

I CRASHED A MOTORBIKE IN CHIANG MAI by Justin Murphy

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So I crashed a motorbike in Chiang Mai. A beautiful 2017 MSX with an Akrapovic slip on, some nice Pro Taper bars, and high vis paint job. Now I know you are probably thinking, “justin, you’re an idiot,” but hey shit happens on two, anyone who rides knows that. Here's the full video with a bit of background on the incident and what it's like to ride in Thailand.

 

The Crash

YUP. FUCK ME RIGHT?! I popped up, reset the bike’s tip over sensor and busted out of there while I assume the gas station attendants laughed. Normally I would be embarrassed, but there’s no way in hell anyone would have seen that cement dust, hell I could barely even see it while standing in it.

The Damage

Bike Damage: Turn signal popped off. Bent the bars. Tiny scratch on the light cover. Luckily all minor, all easily fixable.

Me Damage: Popping off at 25kph, I only suffered some minor rash on my forearm, because i’m smart and bought gear. ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES AND A HELMET. I would've seriously hurt my hand and knocked my head otherwise (later found out I broke my GoPro mount). 

Crashes under 30kph will be minor if you're riding in shorts and a T-Shirt (you will be. it's bloody hot.). Crashes over 30kph are gonna tear you up, but you won’t die if you’re wearing a helmet and you'll fair much better with gloves.

If you get hurt bad, go to the hospital. It's cheap & road rash can become easily infected if you don't scrub it good. 

Seeing as I was alright, and the bike was fine. My biggest concern at this point was being overcharged by the rental company. I hadn't done a lot of research on these guys and they had my passport (they can't withhold your passport legally, but they'll be annoying about it). These were silly, minor scratches due to the shit roads that are Thailand.

Upon renting earlier, I noticed the other turn signal was already taped up along with a new exhaust, so i’m quite sure someone low sided the right previously, I just now I had the left to contend with. So like any good motorcycle hooligan, I bent the bars back, rubbed off the minor scratch and found a hardware store in the morning to get some electrical tape. I re-taped both turn signals so they looked identical and wham! Looks good as new. I asked a few friends I'd been riding with, they couldn’t tell.

On an unrelated note; I rode for 500km+ the next day, through some of the craziest roads i’ve ever been on. I love this bike and will be buying one back in the states. 

The Return

So the day came when I had to return the MSX and hop on a plane to Phuket. Was I going to be charged and have to argue all morning potentially missing my flight?? I opted for going in as soon as they opened, while everyone is just getting their coffee and breakfast. I made sure to wear a long sleeve shirt to cover up the minor rash on my left arm, as I suspect if they saw that they would have asked questions. Alas I parked the bike out front, with a full tank of gas, walked in with my receipt, they looked me over, quick glance at the bike, handed me my passport and I was on my way!

THEY DIDN’T EVEN LOOK AT THE BIKE.

I was amazed, relieved, and I honestly didn’t feel bad, as I had repaired everything appropriately. The scooter rental industry makes a killing on these since most tourists crash at some point and fixing them is super cheap. 

So my advice if you just have a minor motorbike crash? Fix it yourself, find a mechanic if it’s a little more major. They’ll likely be able to do it for dirt cheap and you won’t have to worry. I guess you could also purchase motorbike insurance as well but for a $1k-2k scooter it’s certainly not worth it.

If you’re still with me on this, and you’re reading because you crashed a moped, small bike, or scooter, don’t freight. A hospital visit is dirt cheap, get checked out if you need to. Most rental companies are chill, but verify they aren’t fucking you over if you do need to pay for damages, you can ask to take it to a 2nd mechanic for a quote. And lastly if you’re worried about getting your passport back, they can’t legally keep it from you, demand it back if they're resisting. Be confident and make sure you assert yourself, you may not get out scott free like me, but don’t let them push you around, settle what’s fair for both parties and do it in a calm manner. If the Police show up and you don't speak Thai, it's probably not going to work out in your favor.

Have fun out there.

Murph

Elephants in Chiang Mai by Justin Murphy

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If there’s one thing you have to do in Chiang Mai, it’s play with elephants. It was my 2nd night in Chiang Mai, and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do here, then I met Pablo & Marieta in the lobby. We got to talking and Pablo was going to see the elephants in the morning. Marieta and I instantly hopped on the bandwagon and booked our tickets right there. The bus would pick us up at 7am. 

We booked a half day (which is all you really need), for the morning (animals are more active in the morning, as it’s cool) @ Maeklang Elephant Conservation Communitytl;dr this place is amazing, with great staff and they just opened this year! 

Along with Mr. T, one of the coolest Thai dudes I’ve met, this sanctuary is freaking beautiful. Located somewhere in the mountains of Chiang Mai, it is way off the beaten path. Having a small group we were all able to enjoy ourselves and come out with a new friends, both elephant and human. :) 

We paid 1,800 Baht (~53 USD) for the experience which included transport (90min each way), all the bananas, lunch, elephant facts and about 3 hours of elephant time with a small knit group. oh, and we got some pretty solid photos to boot >>>>>>

A definite must do while in Thailand. 🐘

Where we went - Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community 

Questions? Leave um in the comments and I’ll get back to ya!