I Quit My Job To Travel

I quit my job today!!  After years of envying others, I decided to leave my job and TRAVEL.

quit my job and travel

Well, by the time this is going up, I actually quit last week. But I wrote this essay 4 months ago, when I made the decision that October 27, 2017 would be my last day at work. I wrote it to see how I would feel; to make sure it was the right decision. And I feel the same now as I did then: hopeful, happy, excited…and now, way less stressed.

travel rabbit

Being a veterinarian is hard. Don’t get me wrong – I love my profession. I’ve wanted to help animals since I was a kid, and getting to do it daily is amazing. But weary is the childhood dream with adult realities.

A big part of the fatigue may be a product of the specific clinic I was at, but I decided it was time for a break.  Burnout is such a problem in the veterinary community, and I knew I needed to take a step back before I stopped loving what I was doing. Luckily, I’m a pretty optimistic person and even in the most stressful of times, I can always look ahead to the next big thing (usually a trip).Unfortunately, others aren’t as fortunate.  Veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates, which is a sad statistic.  Dealing with life and death decisions daily, with emotional owners, is tough.

I got appendicitis, and was expected back at school 3 days after surgery…
Looking rough after three 12 hour+ days, but fixing up my Roxy dog

Part of the solution, I believe, is having not just a good but a GREAT work-life balance. Whether it’s exercise, crafts, reading, or traveling, having hobbies outside of veterinary medicine is crucial. Schools, employers, colleagues and clients should encourage it.

Take an actual lunch break. Leave on time. Don’t take the ill-informed Yelp reviews seriously. Stop the gossip at work.  Don’t constantly talk about other’s pets on your days off if you don’t want to.  Know that you are a good doctor.

I knew one vet who was working full-time and volunteering (i.e. working) on his days off.  If that’s what you’re truly passionate about, then go for it; but that’s not me. And that doesn’t make me any less of a caring veterinarian.

stranger things
Some awesome vets on our day off

Luckily, I’m in the position that I can leave and focus on my other passions for a few months. I’m a veterinarian; but I’m also a travel addict, an amateur photographer, and a wannabe writer. So I revived my blog from vet school, and after a redesign, The Traveling Vet Girl was born. I hope you’ll follow along on my journey!


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