Say a person quits their job to travel the world and doesn’t write a viral personal essay about the experience. Did it really happen? Given the ubiquity of the trope, I’ll assume you’ve encountered some iteration of the following headlines.
“Why I Quit My Job to Join Nepal’s Kopan Monastery — and Why You Should, Too,” says one.
“I Traded My $100,000 Desk Job to Brew Small Batch Kombucha in Remote Iceland,” boasts another.
“15 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Sail the Northwest Passage” offers a third.
Cynical though I may be, I’m hardly immune to the panicked feelings of inadequacy these articles inevitably provoke. Am I an uninteresting, Ann Taylor-clad square with no sense of spontaneity? Content in a prison of occasional complementary snacks and follow-up emails? A brain-dead corporate drone too reliant on my ergonomic desk chair to transcend, to wander? Allow me to defend myself. Below, 11 reasons why I haven’t quit my job to travel the world:
1. My dog sitter just accepted a job offer with Citigroup.
2. My parents kicked me off their health insurance two years ago and I’ve scheduled a dermatological facial three weeks from now.
3. Who will water my succulents?
4. I have a promo code for 50% off unlimited weeknight Lyft rides for the month of September.
5. Does Blue Apron deliver to Patagonia?
6. I forgot to cancel my ClassPass membership before it automatically renewed this month.
7. I’ve had no luck subletting my studio/converted three bedroom in Stuy Town.
8. All three of my credit cards are maxed out and any corresponding flyer miles are with Alaska Airlines.
9. I’ve aged out of Eurail’s student pricing structure.
10. There’s a precarious stack of fall/winter wedding invitations on my dresser, two of which require my attendance as a bridesmaid.
11. I recently invested in three pairs of decidedly office-friendly pants. But hey, at least I know what I’m wearing to work on Monday.
Feature collage by Lily Ross; photograph by GraphicaArtis via Getty Images.