Traveling Savage – Career Break in Action

This week I interviewed Keith Savage, of Traveling Savage. Keith’s mission and travel plans really spoke to me and I think that many of us can relate with wanting to give up the cubicle for the backpack.

LandLopers: Your travel plans and blog are pretty unique. Tell us about them.

Keith Savage: Traveling Savage is a blog I started six months ago to explore the psychological, emotional, and philosophical impact of travel on the human condition. I have an anthropological interest in cultures and a natural history/archaeological interest in the land. I plan to travel slowly, spending one month in a place to soak up the daily pace of life with all of its nuances. I guess you could call this style of travel experiential travel – I’m not too interested in the tourist highlights or infrastructure. After I return from a trip, I’ll spend two months at home writing, researching, and preparing for my next excursion.

Keith Savage

LL: From a practical side of things, how long do you plan on traveling three months off/one month on? Will you work in the time at home?

KS: My wife and I have saved what we think will be enough money to keep me traveling in this style for two years. While I’m at home between travels I will be working full time on my blog and writing. Thankfully, we’ve been testing a budget that uses only her salary and we’re able to get by fairly comfortably despite having a house in the suburbs. I’ll need to put my ingenuity to work to find ways to start earning money, but there are so many resources out there I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to make something happen.

LL:  How has your family/spouse reacted to this?

KS: Ironically, this idea behind Traveling Savage first came from Sarah, my wife. She’s been a great supporter of the venture and we’ve had several great brainstorming sessions where we talk about the possibilities of the future. Our families have been nothing but positive. They want us to be happy, and their only concern was about financial stability. My parents have given me a lot of advice and praise, and it’s helped me to see potential where I would normally see imperfection.

LL: What are you most anticipating? Dreading?

KS: I’m most anticipating being able to focus on writing and Traveling Savage full time. At this point, as I assume it is for many travel bloggers, it’s like coming home to a second job (and I don’t even post as frequently as others). I just wrote a post on how to survive on the road without your significant other, and I think that’s what I’m most dreading. Sarah has been with me during almost all of my previous travels; she and I are great travel companions and I’ll miss her on these long trips (and she’ll miss coming along too!).

Keith Savage

LL: In a recent article I discussed the travel ‘end game.’ What’s yours? Where do you see this travel experiment leading?

KS: That’s a great question and one I’ve struggled answering in the past. I’ve just started working on a business plan for Traveling Savage, and one avenue I’m looking to pursue is an online magazine that I would publish quarterly. I could also see myself writing articles for travel publications and really pushing the envelope creatively on new deliverables that take advantage of technology like the iPad and iPhone. I’m actually OK not knowing exactly where things will go. I don’t want to downscope what could be possible by trying to define the “end game” before I’ve had a chance to let things develop organically.

LL: What is your advice to others with these same feelings of career crisis?

KS: It took me several years to make a decision. I was unhappy in my job but kept at it because it paid well and I didn’t know what to do with myself. If you have a sustained feeling of disillusionment and unhappiness, spend serious time looking at what you enjoy in life. Then look at your strengths and skills. Find a way to join the two. For me, creativity and travel are what make me feel like I’ve spent my time wisely. The 9-5 template is dead, or at least it shouldn’t be the default way to do business. Only you can make the change you dream about.

Keith Savage is the Traveling Savage. Follow him at Traveling Savage as he writes his way out of the office around the world one month at a time. Find him on Twitter @travelingsavage.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

7 thoughts on “Traveling Savage – Career Break in Action”

  1. Great interview. I’m going through the same thing in trying to launch a new career while my wife is “stuck” working an office job. I know this isn’t going to work for a long period of time because she is going to continue to be miserable working 60- 70 hour weeks while I am doing something I love. It’s difficult because she is the one making the money, which is necessary for us right now since I am yet to bring much to the table with the whole writing thing. Our goal is to save money for the time being and try to find a passion for her, something for her to do that she loves, and something that will allow us both to travel together and not be so location dependent.

    Keith, I’ll be curious to hear about your solo travels and how you and your wife are dealing with it. I know it’s “work” for you now, but you’ll still be traveling in exotic places and having wonderful experiences while your wife is home working. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it works out for both of you. Your wife sounds awesome to support and sacrifice so much for you to be able to follow your dreams. Mine is doing the same for me, and I can’t wait to return the favor in the future.

  2. @Adam: I can relate to your story. A twist on my situation is that my wife has identified her own dream venture. She needs a couple of years to develop it so we’ve staggered our approach. I’ll give mine a shot first. In a couple of years, if it’s not working, I’ll need to return to a steady job to cover normal living expenses while she puts some wind beneath her venture’s wings. In a perfect world, Traveling Savage is going full-steam and we can both we doing what we love.

    I think this will take away some of the sting she might feel about me traveling and her working the standard office job. She has a vision and we’re both on board for both of our dreams.

  3. Well, I’ve obviously been inspired by Keith, hence the interview. But I really think it is great not only how he is pursuing his dream, but how he and his wife are balancing their goals in order to better support each other. It’s not easy and is so nice to see the effort made. Like everyone else, I really can’t wait to follow Keith on his travels.

  4. Great post. I really like the idea of letting your venture grow organically without a lot of overplanning. I’m just getting started and kept my plan to one page with a vision statement, a mission statement and a list of goals with a tentative timeline. Good luck to you and your wife. I look forward to following your advenutures!

  5. Always interesting learning about how other travellers “make it happen” on their own terms. Hopefully you’re future adventures will help you define that path… thanks for sharing!

  6. @Mark: Thanks for the well wishes. About letting things develop organically: I need to keep an eye on this because it could be laziness in disguise.

    @Cam: Thanks Cam! It’s going to be a rocky road, but you can’t avoid it because you might twist an angle.

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