THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Trippin': The way to clear your mind

If you're out of work, or your job is so annoying that you wish you were out of work, then it's time to take an adventure.

Some might say that an adventures is an expensive, childish way to avoid reality. This is partly true. But who cares? The reality of adulthood is hard. There are no teachers stroking your ego with As, there are no parents making sure you're doing fun and challenging activities every afternoon.

So taking an adventure to see how other people live their lives is a good first step into adulthood because there's no better way to choose your life than to see how other people live. There are some great things you can accomplish while you're adventuring:

You can use an adventure as a way out of a bad job. It's very hard to quit a job when you have nothing else lined up. But it's very hard to line up a new job while you're working at your current job. So a good way to ease yourself out of your job is to go on an adventure. You can tell yourself that you must quit now– now is the time for adventure.

You can sort out personal problems. A lot of career issues are actually personal issues. Do I want to be a doctor, or do I want to please my parents? Do I want to settle down, or do I feel pressure from my boyfriend? These are issues that dictate your career choices but cannot be solved by changing jobs or rewriting your résumé. Putting yourself in a new situation– away from the familiar influencers­ will clarify your perspective.

You can learn what you don't want. One day, when we spent three hours looking for mushrooms in the forest, back when I worked on a family chicken farm in rural France, I said, "It's taking so long, and it's only mushrooms. Let's go home." And the father replied, "But how will we have wild mushrooms for salad?" I wanted to have my mom buy some at the grocery store and send them via airmail. This is when I knew that although living close to the land looks appealing from the outside, it felt monotonous and intellectually dissatisfying to me.

There are a few ways to get the money to travel. The most obvious is to alter your lifestyle. And prolific travel blogger Ali Watters has a few suggestions:

* Don't get a car or a mortgage unless you absolutely need one,

* Give up smoking or expensive trips to coffee shops­ they waste money each day.

* Stay away from material possessions. Before each purchase, ask yourself what you'll do with it while you're traveling.

Ali also recommends that you go somewhere cheap; a month in Europe will cost you three times as much as a month in Southeast Asia.

If Ali's advice is too hard to swallow, you might try lining up a job that's an adventure. If you're under 30 years old, you might be able to benefit from reciprocal work agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Adventure is a good choice for a lot of people. It will give you perspective on a career that's stuck, and if you don't even have a career, there's little difference between a good entry-level job and an adventure. Both are about learning, trying new things, and making sure you don't starve.

So when you're looking at your job choices, put travel right up there on top with everything else. It's good for your résumé and good for your life.