So the time has finally come, my last day of work was today (OMG) and Sarah left a week and a half ago. Knowing that I won’t be back working for over 8 months is quite a strange thing to think about really, but you can’t go travelling around the world with a 9-5 (unless you get paid for it – lucky buggers!).
A quick story about our work, Sarah and I worked at the same place – a digital marketing company in Warwickshire that offered services such as SEO, PPC, Social, Video and Web Design. We’ve been through some tough times at work, as have many of our colleagues – lots of highs, lows and middlings.
There’s a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over – and to let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its value – Ellen Goodman
I started as a web developer over 7 years ago, and finished as a Systems Manager. Being a developer is quite a stressful experience all-round to be honest. Especially when you’re pretty much self-taught and the only reason you know how to do things is because you’ve previously failed at every other possibility. Brought a website down while editing a robots.txt? Done that. Accidentally spent £300 of your own money while testing a clients e-commerce website? Done that too.
But those are also the times that make you look back and smile. Mistakes are fantastic – as long as you fix them in the end.
I’ve met so many great people throughout my career, colleagues, bosses and clients alike. Lots of whom will be friends for life. Forget subsidised gym membership and on-site parking – friends are the real perks of the job.
Sarah mentioned earlier that I left my job as I went in – working extremely hard, I’m quite proud of that and I’m proud of the company I’ve left. Yes, it’s going in a new direction and changes have to be made, but that’s just business. At the end of the day I worked for our clients, and as long as they’re being looked after that’s alright with me.
But alas, the cost of leaving a job is never truly emotional – it’s always monetary.
A round-the-world trip is not cheap, in fact it’s bloody expensive! And leaving a job with a steady income to then immediately go and spend a truck-load of irreplaceable money is nerve racking to say the least.
Sarah and I decided (based on Sarah’s endless research into travelling) that we’d need around £20,000 worth of actual money to survive a RTW trip – this may or may not include the plane-fare (I forget these little details). As of 2 weeks ago we had a house (complete with large mortgage) with loads of cool stuff in it and two semi-expensive cars (and jobs obviously). Now we have a house.
So what have we done to raise the capital? Well, there was really only one requirement that we were both adamant about – we really didn’t want to lose the house!
To put it simply, we needed to rent out our house for more than our mortgage, landlord insurance and estate agent fees combined – otherwise we’re paying for something we’re not using while in a completely different part of the planet.
To do this we needed to:
- Apply for a “consent to let” with our bank (here’s a page of tips the HSBC provide)
- Re-mortgage the house for a better rate and lower monthly payment
- Get it rented
That’s not that tricky when you think about it. Most banks provide a consent-to-let of 12 months or so, you’ve just got to make sure you’re up to date with payments and ideally haven’t missed any. Re-mortgaging was a bit of a doddle too, we got in to the property business when interest rates were a bit crap (4.79%!) now we’re sitting under 2%? (again I forget the details).
Rent prices in the UK are still quite high so we’re pretty much covering all our expenditure on our house through the rent. Oh, except for one detail – as of this moment with exactly 1 week to go we still have no tenant. (oh the details, the details…)
So that’s our UK expenditure covered, what about raising cash?
During a routine box-up we discovered we had about 20 PS3 games and over 60 DVDs/Blu-Rays etc – MusicMagpie took them off our hands for around £110. Criminal yes, but necessary.
Cars. Cars are expensive evil things that seem to cost money every time you look at them. You know that feeling when you get out of your car and feel like you’ve lost some change you’ll never see again? That’s your car taking the piss.
Well, we actually loved our cars, we had a Mazda MX-5 and a Mini Countryman. They were nice pretty cars and both of them inexplicably belonged to Sarah. Autotrader’d both of them – 2 weeks and they’re gone.
We sold the Mazda for approx £2k less than we bought it for (which for 4 years ownership isn’t too bad) – the mini we lost around £3k (which for a year and a bit is a bit of a gut-punch) but they needed to be sold and sell they did.
We’re now approximately 2/3 of the way to our target. The rest? Well, here’s a tip; if you’re going to leave work – try to be made redundant. 7 years redundancy isn’t something to be sniffed at.
So now we’ve got one more week to go and tomorrow I’m going to wake up at around 7am, open my eyes thinking I’ve got to go to work, then close them again smiling in the knowledge that I’ve got no work to go to.
I’ll then be rudely woken around 7:30 by Sarah telling me to start dismantling the wardrobes.