Redesign your life. Travel the world.
Overtime….Deadlines….Lunch meetings – sounds familiar?
This working around the clock mentality, responding to emails until 10 p.m., and lunch at desks is becoming so common in the Philippines, making us feel that our jobs will be in jeopardy if we take a vacation.
Sometimes it’s the guilt factor: that you don’t feel as if you can really “leave” even when on vacation. Other times, it just doesn’t seem worth the effort: how much can you really see in Thailand for example, when you only have 10 days off and that (expensive) flight requires two whole travel days? Maybe you’ve even convinced yourself you don’t need vacation. I’ll tell you straight: that kind of thinking is crazy.
I have a fair share of this dilemma until i have realized that i can actually choose both – work and travel! Being in a full time job and managing travel is very much possible. So here are a few tips to make it happen.
1. Use and Maximize your Lunch Breaks
Did you take a lunch break yesterday? Are you planning to take one today? Chances are the answer is no. Start to eat lunch away from the office each day, this will mentally begin to prepare you that the whole office won’t fall apart in the half-hour or hour you’re gone. You’ll also start to realize that you’re more rejuvenated once you get back to the office and a more productive worker for the rest of the day. Lunch break will help your mind get fired up again to make it through the rest of the working day.
2. Take Advantage of Holiday Breaks
Do you know that there are 18 holidays in the Philippines? So that means you can schedule your trip! Plan ahead – You really have to be very proactive in planning. Just like managers plan projects months in advance and have a pipeline, you can plan your travel well in advance. I have nothing against impromptu vacations, but things like international travel, cheap airfare deals, and visa issues are handled well if you have proper timeline. This will help you focus on your work when is needed, and focus on your family and pleasure when you are taking that long deserved vacation.
3. Take Mini Vacations – Use your weekends wisely
Once a month, take an entire weekend off and go somewhere. It can be somewhere close by, a hike, camping, whatever you want. Travel doesn’t have to mean the other side of the world. You don’t have to sit through a 9-hour flight to get out of your comfort zone. You can check out museum you’ve never been to. Take a walking tour of your own city. There are endless possibilities; all you have to do is think outside the box. You have to get a little creative. But it can be done.
4. Add onto Work Trips
Whenever the opportunity of traveling comes up, let say from work, take it! And whenever possible, add in a couple of extra nights. The flight costs the same for your employer, and you can pay for the extra nights in a hotel or expenses once your “work” is over. The flight is a big financial expense and time spent traveling is often difficult to justify with work; this is a way to reap the benefits without the negative.
5. Save up for Travel
Figure out where you are going and how long you are going to stay. This will give you an idea on how much money you need to save. Saving money doesn’t have to be a long, laborious endeavor. It doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, you will have better success if you can make it a game. There is a great 52-week challenge worksheet from Jeff Rose, a certified financial planner, on his website, Good Financial Cents.
The key is to not perform a drastic overhaul of your lifestyle just to travel, but rather several small changes to help make your goals achievable with far less pressure on yourself to succeed.
Work hard, travel harder – I guarantee you thousands of people have made that decision before you, and many of them have come back grateful they were given the opportunity to step out into the world for a while.
So stop making excuses for why you don’t travel. “It’s too expensive, I don’t have time, I work too much, etc…” If it’s important to you, you CAN find a way to do it. Make the decision and just go. Making regular travel a part of your life might take some adjustments, but before long you’ll have been all over the world while still keeping that job that you love.