Brisbane woman Stephanie Leahy says taking a pay cut was the "best decision" she's ever made — with good reason.
The 26-year-old left behind a job in a "large, traditional" company and joined boutique firm Digital Talent Co as a talent recruiter.
She made the move because she knew the smaller company had a reputation for flexibility — which she soon took advantage of.
The Brisbane woman had heard of a separate company, Remote Year, which helps people who are already in paid employment take their jobs with them on a working "gap year".
The company organises everything from transportation, accommodation, visas and office space.
Those on the program follow a set itinerary with other Remote Year workers, and pay the company a monthly fee.
Leahy is now nine months into her "remote year journey", and has already travelled to 14 countries across southeast Asia, North Africa, Europe and South America.
Speaking with news.com.au from Colombia, she said she had been working full-time the entire time, while also getting her travel fix.
"My original expectations for working remotely was that I'd just do my normal job with a bit of travel on the side on weekends," she said.
"But what I've learnt is that the community I'm part of and the resources they give us has made the experience much more worthwhile — I've been able to connect with people in the same profession as me in the US and Canada for example and share ideas and best practice, which is awesome.
"I'm actually excited to take a few things I've learned on the road back to Australia with me."
Leahy said her gap year was actually helping her progress her career — meaning she was getting the best of both worlds.
And she said while she was earning slightly less than she was in her previous role, she now had far more job satisfaction and was enjoying better work/life balance — and that it was the "best decision" she's ever made.
"It comes down to what's important to you — in Australia we get caught up in the numbers and you see people working 70-hour weeks, but we need to sort out our priorities," she said.
"More and more millennials are realising they want to travel, and they are finding companies that are willing to support that.
"I wanted to tick off a lot of bucket list items but when I get home I also want to use this experience as an opportunity to better my own career, because it has given me autonomy that had potentially been lacking.
"And the constant change has helped me become really adaptable and more productive — I used to work eight or nine-hour days but I now get the same work done in six or seven hours and I honestly think when you're happier and challenged you can do more."
She said the trip had helped her grow personally and professionally — and that she was already speaking with her boss about moving into a more senior, managerial role in future once she returns to Australia in January 2019 after ending her remote year in Mexico.
According to Latitude Financial Services' new Travel Done Better survey, Leahy isn't the only young Aussie to embrace the so-called "Gap Year 2.0".
It found an increasing number of Aussie Gen Ys were ditching the traditional, booze-filled backpacking year off in favour of travelling abroad to progress their careers.
Almost nine out of 10 believe Australia would benefit from enabling employees to work overseas, while 92.3 per cent said they would like to work overseas if they had the opportunity.