Why You Don’t Need to Quit Your Job to Travel the World

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Photo cred: Adopted from Guillaume DELEBARRE via Flickr

“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” — William Feather

I read a lot of full-time travel blogs. I love them. And I tip my hats to the authors of these blogs who manage to support themselves and travel the world at the same time. Sometimes I fantasize about this kind of a life: how cool would it be to drop routines, structure, my dependable city, and the 9-5 and head of into the sunset with my babe forever? It’s a nice fantasy.

However, it’s not a reality for many of us. Many of us work full-time jobs that we either love, hate, or fall somewhere in the middle. Our careers don’t give us the ability to move abroad and travel full-time. Some of us have families and other commitments that make it a bit more complicated to get up and move spontaneously. I work as a middle school Math and English teacher, and happen to love what I do. I love developing my teaching skills, networking, and trying to reach new career goals. Although I could potentially teach abroad, now is not the right time. I coined the phrase for myself “full-time teacher, part-time traveler” because I both love what I do with my career AND love to travel, so I try to do both. If you’re anything like me, you either don’t want to or don’t need to either. And that’s completely okay.

Travel is a state of mind

Many of us get hung up on a view of travel that has to include traveling to a different continent; it doesn’t seem possible that travel could be a little bit closer.  However, there is something really liberating about viewing travel as an attitude as opposed to a destination. Let me explain.

There are always places in your city/town/suburb that you have not explored (or if you have explored everything, there is a town next door that you haven’t yet). Lez Backpack wrote an awesome post about this on her blog in which she coined the phrase “get out there.” A travel state of mind means viewing your current city through the lense of a traveler, or with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm.  You DON’T even need to go past your back door to find this!

Career growth and other practical things

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If you’re anything like me, maybe you don’t picture yourself with a travel-esque career. Maybe you work for an inspiring start-up in your hometown that thrives in your local community, maybe you work for a large company and are learning valuable knowledge from your superiors, or maybe you’re a teacher like me and don’t see yourself leaving your school community any time soon. By not traveling full time, you can really invest in your local career, right where you are. You can also save a whole lot of money by staying in one place. By focusing on spending less money on airfare and other faraway travel expenses, you can instead spend money on items right in your city or neighboring town, and save up for larger trips less often.

You can still travel a lot

There is such a misconception in the travel world that you can’t really travel unless you do it full time. To the contrary – you just need to become a little creative about it.

  1. Max out your vacation time. Take a good chunk of your sick or personal days off for a trip whether it’s one day or 10 days.
  2.  Make use of your weekends and add a Friday off every now and then for weekend getaways. Look at that town an hour away you’ve never been to and rent an Air B&B room for the weekend. Grab your camera and travel like you mean it for 3 days.
  3. Use your new found travel state of mind in your hometown at random times: during the week, the weekend, or even during vacation time. Explore your hometown like you don’t live there.

Making the most of both worlds

Staying stationary AND traveling when you can can be the best of both worlds. It allows you to build a real community in the town/city/suburb where you live, support local businesses, and support local causes while also traveling to other places whether these places are near or far. You can make a difference in the local community while still satisfying your thirst for wanderlust, it just takes a little creative thinking and crafting.

Now tell us: would you rather travel full-time or part-time?

 

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