A woman who got dumped and fired in the same week decided to travel the world. 11 years later, she's been to 40 countries.

  • Claire Sturzaker is a full-time traveler and solo backpacker who has been to 40 countries.

  • It all started 11 years ago, when she was dumped and fired in the same week.

  • Sturzaker said her situation freed her to travel, and she's been on the road ever since.

Claire Sturzaker got dumped and fired during the week of her 30th birthday.

11 years later, she's a full-time traveler — and she says that dreadful week was the best thing that ever happened to her.

"Starting from nothing gave me the confidence to realize I could start again anywhere and still be fine," told Insider of the experience.

But Sturzaker didn't always see it so clearly. Back in 2012, Sturzaker was working as a wedding coordinator in her home of Manchester, England.

She said didn't love the job, so she wasn't surprised when she got a call from Human Resources about her termination. But the double whammy of being fired and broken up with all in the same week triggered a midlife crisis, she told Insider.

"I realized that I had nothing. I had no relationship, no job, no house," she added.

Getting fired gave her freedom

After the initial panic, Sturzaker found freedom in her situation and decided it was the perfect opportunity to travel.

With enough money to last her three months, Sturzaker booked a one-way ticket to Barcelona, where she studied abroad back in college.

A woman sits on a ledge in front of a bright, renaissance building and a grassy meadow with green trees.
Sturzaker enjoys her time in Barcelona.Claire Sturzaker/Tales of a Backpacker

Sturzaker said she fell in love with the Spanish city and ended up getting a job and settling down there for a couple of years. She worked as an executive assistant at a software company and said she enjoyed it for a while — until she got the itch to travel again.

"I was getting tired of doing things for other people all the time," she said. "I thought, I don't want to be stuck in a job that I don't love and sit in an office for the rest of my life."

She decided to be a full-time traveler

So in 2015, Sturzaker said she quit her job in Barcelona to continue on with her travels. She credits her courage to getting fired back in Manchester.

"I never would have had the confidence to quit my job in Barcelona to go traveling had it not been for that," she added.

With nothing but a backpack, Sturzaker decided to go to South America for a year "and just see what happens," she said.

Sturzaker told Insider that some of her most treasured memories are from that trip, like when she saw the sun rise over Machu Pichu or when she took a boat down the Amazon River.

A woman in sunglasses sits on a rock in front of Machu Pichu in Peru
Sturzaker at Machu Pichu after sunrise.Claire Sturzaker/Tales of a Backpacker

After a year of backpacking across the continent, Sturzaker said she realized that she never wanted to go back to an office job.

"Then I really started thinking about: What can I do to keep traveling?" she told Insider.

Sturzaker started her blog, Tales of a Backpacker, where she writes about her experiences and shares her best travel tips with readers, like how to travel for free or her backpacking essentials.

Cut to eight years later and Sturzaker is still traveling. She's gathered lasting memories from 40 countries around the world and she says she's still grateful for the nightmare week of her 30th birthday.

"Getting fired was the kick I needed to change my life for the better," she said.

Read the original article on Insider