Raise your hand if you have a full-time job? 🙋🏾
Raise your hand if you also want to travel the world? 🙋🏾
So how can you do both? Is it possible given limited vacation days and other life demands?
Of course, if you ask me, it's an unequivocal "yes" — you can travel the world with a full-time job. I realize that's a blanket statement and for some people it's much harder to make this happen, so I don't want to make it sound like it's a snap for everyone to just jump up and go. That said, there are ways to think about it and approach it that may help.
I had the idea to write about this topic some more (I've touched on it in the past here and here) after someone reached out to me recently saying they saw my Instagram and wanted to know how I travel so much.
In full disclosure, my Instagram is NOT always in real-time. I fully admit to posting many a travel photo while sitting on my couch watching HGTV #loveyoufixerupper #househuntersinternationalobsessed. But, I guess I do travel quite a bit for being someone who also holds down full-time employment. So, I'm sharing a few ways I balance my job (and what helps me travel) with my never-ending (literally never-ending) desire to see the world.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
Yes, I had to write that in all caps. I've written about how I'm a crazy travel planner and the benefits of being one, and I still stand by that. When you only have a certain amount of vacation days, you have to plan ahead and prioritize where you want to go with those precious days. I admit that I usually have a good sense of where I want to travel in the next six to 12 months, and because I do, I'm able to plan for it.
But Be Flexible
I realize this probably seems like a complete contradiction to what I said above, but I think you need both. You can and should plan in advance but know that sometimes you have to adjust your plans based on a variety of circumstances, both personal and professional. That's just life. It doesn't necessarily meaning abandoning your plans but perhaps modifying them as needed.
Use Your Vacation Days Strategically
This isn't new advice, just a reiteration of something everyone has likely heard before – be smart about how you use your vacation days. If you plan far enough in advance, you can tack vacation days onto holidays without it costing an exorbitant amount. You can also spread out your days to take multiple three or four-day trips, which some prefer to one or two big trips.
Look Into Remote Work Opportunities
This is such an amazing thing to do if you can swing it. I'm fortunate to currently be in a position where I'm able to both work remotely and from other offices occasionally. I haven't always had this opportunity, so now that I have it, I'm extremely grateful for it. I also think this is an option that people may not be aware is open to them, depending on their job. At the end of the day, when you work remotely, you're still working, but once you're done with work you can step out and enjoy the place you're in. I've done this in multiple cities and countries, and I love it.
Commit To It
Let's be honest – there are people in life who talk the talk and then those who walk the walk. Meaning, sometimes people will say that want to do things but they don't actually take the steps to do it. This isn't everyone, and as I mentioned before, I KNOW there are things in life that come up that are far more serious and important than jumping on a plane. That said, there's a difference between saying and doing. I have friends who have very limited time, and yet somehow still manage to travel a lot. It's a commitment, but it's one well worth it.
Do you have a full-time job while traveling the world? If so, what helps you to do both?