I chose to be a part-time traveller to fulfil my passion for travelling. I haven’t always been happy with this status of part-time traveller. I’ve found myself dreaming of a nomadic life as I was reading some travel blogs. A 5-9 job rather than a 9-5 job or being stressed because of work make it harder to fulfil any passion. It makes it hard to travel a lot. But selling all we have to embark on a never-ending trip is not the only solution.
Today, I have a full-time office job. Still, I regularly hear people saying: “You’re lucky, you’re always on holidays!” I don’t have more holidays than they do; I sometimes even have less. But I’ve found a formula that made me happy to both settle and still travel a lot.
Finding a good work/life balance is the ultimate key to being able to travel a lot with a full-time job.
So, how to find the right balance between travelling and working?
There is no easy and quick answer for that one I’m afraid. Why?
Because I don’t think there is a formula that is “right” for everyone. As individuals, we all have our own way to find our balance. And to complicate things, the right balance is only right at a particular time. We always need to adapt it during your life to keep it right.
This is how I found mine- hopefully, some bits and pieces will help you to figure out what yours is!
1. Find a region you like with a lot to explore
I am a firm believer that we don’t need to go far to be travelling. There is always something great to explore in our local region. Consider your area as a tourist destination and your weekend as 2-day holidays. It opens an incredible amount of opportunities to travel.
I’ve found my balance by expatriating from my native country and love the experience. I have settled in Queensland, on Australia’s East Coast. Why? I love outdoor activities, and the Sunshine State climate is a perfect match for this. The number of places of interest and the variety of activities I have around me – and a little bit further! – are amazing.
2. Find the right job
That’s a big part of finding the right balance. It’s quite evident: a full-time job takes a lot of time and has a significant impact on the ability to travel a lot. My job is not the only reason why I want to stay where I am, but it is honestly one of the main reasons. I am not talking about security here. I am not scared not to find another job. But my current job fills the criteria I wanted for a good work/life balance:
- I like the variety of the missions I have, the skills I develop and the industry.
- I work in a healthy environment where I am not stressed – although I have responsibilities.
- I have time to travel and make travel plans. I don’t often finish late during the week and live close to my office so I have enough time for my hobbies and chores. Also, it’s no big deal if I arrive slightly late on a Monday morning or leave a bit earlier on a Friday afternoon.
- It provides me with a regular salary. Not that money is primordial to travel, but when you lack time it does help a lot not to lack money!
It’s not by luck that I have found this position: I thought about my needs to find my balance and looked for a good match. I didn’t only look at the job description and the salary when choosing my job.
When I was living in Paris, I had the number 1 criteria in this list checked (all Europe was my backyard!). Yet, my job situation wouldn’t let me enjoy it. I loved my job, but I was working from 9 to 7 with over 3 hours per day in the public transport. I had no time to plan escapes for the weekend, and it killed the envy. That was a good lesson.
3. Make the most out of your breaks between trips
I have switched to a different point of view than the usual workdays / weekend. What if we consider we have two days of holidays per week, with a 5-day break to recover, prepare and plan the next one?
When I am not travelling, I focus on the things I could not do if I were on the move. It makes me happy to be home. I enjoy being part of a soccer team, having close friends nearby or gardening for example.
And above all, I always have the next trip to plan to keep me excited.
What about you? How are you going with finding the right balance? What’s your ideal lifestyle?