As I wrote before: the combination of a full time job with a travel passion is possible, you just have to plan your time and budget carefully and keep an open mind on which destinations you can visit, and don’t make excuses. 🙂
Use the time that you have wisely
Compared to other countries, Belgium is ok when it comes to number of paid days off. Every employee is entitled to 20 paid vacation days and 10 to 11 paid holidays each year. Depending on each sector, there are employees that constantly put in too many hours than they are supposed to, so they get up to 5 extra days off. In many companies, there is also the possibility to take ‘recuperation days’. For example, if an employee worked 8 hours too much this month, he can take a day off or sometimes, companies can pay the employee for these extra hours, but this is usually not a great idea for your taxes.
Of course, as in everything, Scandinavia is much better in giving paid days off :-p. New Zealand is great, too.
If you ever get the chance to become an expat, these countries are the best. I hope I get the chance to become one at some point in my career. As an expat, you can use your weekends to discover the country you are living in.
Workaway is also an option in the work/travel combination, although very different: ‘Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit.’
Planning is everything, this blog is full of tips and here is a useful travel planner I found online via The Next Web: JoGuru. You will find ready-made itineraries, making your job much easier, but if you want to go off-the-beaten path, you will probably need to look a bit further. Another one is TripHobo, which relies on trips planned by others which you can edit to your liking.
There is no unlimited freedom in this combination…
The really BIG downside to the combination of travel and work is that you have to go back to work, so you can’t stay longer in a certain destination if you want to. But that’s the way it is, you know you can’t have everything in life… Unless they (yes, companies, you!) make it so easy for people to become real digital nomads. As for me, I’m a webmaster/social media manager/digital project manager/online marketer, I could work everywhere as long as I have a good laptop, a strong internet connection and a quiet place to work. Preferably overlooking green mountains or a white, sandy beach 😉 The distance between dreams and reality is called action! We can look forward to that kind of future. Because after all, flexibility works in both ways :-).
Something that can help in the work/travel combination is working for an international or exporting company with the possibility to travel. I have worked and am working for international companies, so I can travel because of my job, even though it’s not often. At the moment, it’s hardly once a year! 😀 But still: I take every opportunity 😀. And the best part is: you don’t have to pay (the total amount) for one of the most expensive parts of traveling: airplane tickets!
If you don’t have the chance to travel for work and have the opportunity to stay a few days extra, the number of paid days off (and your pay check and willingness to travel on a budget) are just more important. 🙂 Extra advantages, such as giving more paid days off are becoming more popular. Generation Y and all others thank you, modern companies!
PS: business travel can be very exhausting, so don’t assume it’s all fun and games. 😀
My first solo trip was to the wonderful Barcelona. I had to go there for an international meeting. And I was wondering: “Since I am theeeeere… Why not stay a few days extra and just do a solo citytrip!” Scared as hell on the first night (“OMG, what have I done to myself”), but absolutely worth it! Barcelona is still my favorite city, it has everything! Hungry for more!
Then came Athens (2014), Munich (2015, from there I traveled to Salzburg, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, I call it my Great Continental Railway Journey). In November 2015, I went to Haarlem & Amsterdam. In 2016, I had a seminar in Cascais, Portugal, so I combined this with a trip to Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon. Hopefully, I will get the chance again in 2017!
You can make the most of the working traveler combination, take every opportunity you have. You can find more tips & tricks here.
Don’t forget to take a break off work (Use the Pomodoro-technique!), by reading another blog for example 😉