Reach work at 9am and stare at a computer screen for the next 9 hours of the day. Repeat 5 times a week. Sounds delightful! Not. I would much rather pack up, leave and travel the world for the next year (enter frowning Indian parent faces). There I said it! And what happens when you break this news to your family and peers? “That’s a great idea, why don’t you rob a bank and then go off live the hipster vagabond life you’ve always dreamed off…don’t forget your Chloe bag on the way out!” Most people, especially family, don’t take this seriously and if your parents happen to be Indian as mine are, it’s considered reckless and not something their sweet daughter should be doing at this young (or any!) age. What should I be doing? Earning money, of course! While I’m young, it’s vital that I learn to stand on my own two pigeon-toed feet and be self-reliant. While I’m doing this, I also have to balance being a newlywed who hopes to raise a dog and child all in the next few years. No pressure there.
That said, quitting your job and taking off is a huge step so I understand where people are coming from when they flag their concerns. Stop to think for a minute. Can you really afford to quit and take off traveling for even 6 months? You don’t have a trust fund nor are you married to a prince — so where is the money going to come from? Travel may not just be about luxury hotels and expensive plane tickets but for those of us that struggle to earn and live well, how do we bring this travelling dream to life?
Sell all your clothes and shoes? Simone, have you lost your mind? You have a great job and responsibilities now; you’re not a teenager anymore. What are you going to do when you come back broke and tanned? Who’s going to hire you then?? Those are the thoughts that come to mind when faced with the prospect of packing up and leaving.
It’s a giant decision to leave everything behind and take off for 6 months or a year but what if you don’t want to be away for that long, what if you just want to take a few (or more) breaks in the year based on your priorities (and income) at the time?
I dove in to the world of travel at 18 when I visited my broken-hearted sister in England. We cried over her heartache and then set off to explore the hills of Scotland. We travelled with likeminded 20-something-year-olds on a bus in search of the Loch Ness monster for 15 days and by the end of it, I knew what I loved and longed for the most in my life. It was to travel and the urge to fulfil this delusion. I never looked back—while studying in Switzerland, my buddies and I travelled to several European countries, driving between passes and tasting amazing food and later in 2012, when I was not working 15-hour days at a country club in America, my roommate and I were road tripping, crossing borders in a Jeep singing to “Wagon wheel”. Once back in India, the travel fever continued, with short and long breaks always being on the cards despite (or because of) having a steady job.
My point? Is it possible to manage your time well and create a work-travel balance? Hell, yeah! My best friend and GYG colleague and I both have steady jobs that we sorta love and yet we need to travel almost every 3 months. If you hold a corporate job, chances are that you are entitled to 12 sick leaves and 21 (if not more) day of privileged leaves. Take this time to explore your travel options and if you feel that you’re just way too busy, then perhaps travelling is not a priority, right now. We live in a complex world where the need to please people takes precedence over everything else, but if you want to live a full life, it’s important to stop, reevaluate and see what really makes you happy. Once you’ve aced this work and travel life balance, it might be easier for you to take that yearlong sabbatical (eventually) and begin the travel journey you’ve always dreamed of.
Until then, there’s nothing wrong with being a part time traveller and full time travel obsessive, we’ll show you how to ace it.