Good day one and all.
After much deliberation I have decided to resign my position and stake in a graphic design firm I established with friends while at university nearly six years ago, and set off around the world on a mission of discovery and personal development. Leaving aside the questionable wisdom of this decision (I'm essentialy abandoning a secure job with a successful firm in which I have 25% ownership) I'd like to ask if any of my typocolleagues have made a similar move, and specifically to help with some advice.
The split from my company is perfectly amicable and I have their full support for the decision. I don't have much in the way of personal responsibility (no wife, kids, goldfish etc) compared with my colleagues who are all now at various stages in the family way. This disparity is possibly one of the reasons for my deciding to make a move: we now have rather different incentives and frankly I don't have the same financial imperiatives they do. It does create an imbalance, as hard as we might try for it not to.
But enough background. One of my anxieties about a long trip like this (and I'm sure there will many more; I'm working an eight month notice) is that I'll lose touch with the industry and that my skills will atrophy. I don't know whether these concerns are founded or not, but they seem like a good reason to look for work or volunteering opportunities in my field while I'm away, as well as experience foreign cultures by living and working amoung them. How realistic is this? Are permits and visas for skilled work easy to come by? I'm intending that the leisure side of the trip will take me through North Africa and India towards the far east. Would I be best advised to contact organisations before I leave, thus potentially commiting myself to a schedule before I've even left the UK, or should I just let my nomadic perambulations take me where they will, hoping that something will come up?
Things that occur to me as possibilities might be teaching work or writing assignments, and I'm considering contacting the Building Letters people to see if I could do to contribute to one of their projects. It would be enough to working with designers, and I quite fancy doing something that involves getting my hands dirty - I've kind of had enough of sitting at a desk all day. I'd also like to look for opportunities to widen my professional experience. I'm senior designer at my firm, and we specialise in brand comms, which means I have to be something of a design generalist. I have personal ambitions to get into magazine and book design or even just publishing in general. Should I attempt to look for work in this area?
Are there any organistaions within our industry that can facillitate volunteer work, or are there any recruitment companies who could help with placements? I've been daydreaming about this for a while now and I've made the assumption that such things exist. Now that I've made the commitment, the reality is probably rather different, but I really don't know where to start, except on this discussion board. I would really appreciate any advice, experiences you can share (good and bad) or just reassurance that I've not just made the most reckless, self-indulgent and long-term career wrecking move that, in the slow hours of the night, I think I might have done.
PS I'd rather not be taking a laptop with me if at all possible.