In November of 2012, Clelia Mattana handed in her letter of resignation.
She had an established career as a sourcing coordinator at luxury fashion brand Burberry, a good salary, and her own apartment in London. But something was missing.
“I was unhappy because I wasn’t following my true nature. All I could think of was visiting remote places, traveling to my favorite destinations, and exploring my passion for photography and writing,” Mattana told Business Insider in an email.
The decision was made when she was on holiday in her native Sardinia in August of 2012. “After years of doubts and fears I decided that in six months I would quit my job and start traveling indefinitely,” she said.
Less than half a year later, she had saved over $16,000 (~ £11,200) and set out for her first destination: Southeast Asia. Four years later, Mattana is still on the road, documenting her adventures on her blog, Keep Calm and Travel, and her Instagram.
Mattana spoke to Business Insider about what her nontraditional life looks like, the reality of working on the road, and how she affords it.
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“When I imagined how my life would have looked in 10 years, working in a field that didn’t represent me at all, something broke inside me and I knew that I had to do something radical to change my situation,” Mattana said.
“So I decided to take the riskiest decision of my life, quitting a secure, prestigious job for the big unknown.”
“I had never been to Asia before and being born in a beautiful Italian island, Sardinia, I thought that starting with Thailand, with its totally different culture, cheap prices, and wonderful beaches, was the obvious choice for me.”
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