This article was first published in the October 2015 edition of Wanderlust Life Magazine, a free monthly digital magazine. The vision for the magazine is to inspire, encourage and motivate busy professionals by delivering powerful, relevant and timely content, tools and resources that they can integrate immediately into their lifestyles. It’s time to show the world that it’s possible to step away from a stress filled life and to create a life filled with travelling, blissful moments and healthy relationships with yourself and others! Sign up today here: www.wanderlustlifemag.com!
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?