It's a common misconception among a lot of people that in order to travel the world you need to be different from the average person. There's a belief that frequent travel is for the mysterious "others" of the world – people who live lives very different from our own, who have unending stores of both time and money.
But the reality is that this isn't necessarily true. You don't have to be rich to travel the world, and you also don't have to quit your job to make your travel dreams a reality.
In this case, you really can have your cake and eat it, too.
Fitting frequent travel into a more normal lifestyle may seem like a huge hurdle, especially if you live in the U.S. where paid vacation time is rare and hard to come by. But, even the in United States, there are ways to travel a lot that don’t necessarily require you to give up your steady paycheck.
Here are four suggestions for how you can keep your job and spend more of your time traveling:
1. Maximize your paid vacation time
In the United States especially, we don't get a whole lot of paid vacation time. Companies aren't actually required to give American workers ANY paid time off, so most people are pretty happy to get two weeks of paid vacation per year. And taking unpaid time off often isn't an option for most people who have bills to pay or families to feed.
If this describes you, there are still ways to maximize those 10 days off by planning your travel around other paid holidays and weekends. You may also be able to work holidays and save up extra days off, too – if you can, this can help you extend your travel time even more.
2. Inquire about remote work
With the advent of things like smartphones and widespread high-speed WiFi, many jobs these days can now be done from home – or remotely from anywhere in the world. Just because you've worked in an office all your life doesn't mean your job HAS to be done from an office.
Have a good relationship with your boss? Then consider having a conversation to see if it might be feasible for your job to be done remotely. This would give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to traveling.
If working remotely permanently isn’t an option, see if you can negotiate a few weeks per year. You could then pair this with your paid vacation time to go on longer trips abroad.
3. Look for jobs that require travel
Not everyone is tied to their current job, so maybe it's time to start scouting out for a new one that might require you to travel for work. A business trip on a Thursday or Friday could easily extend into a long weekend in a new city (and you could probably rack up a decent amount of frequent flyer miles in the process, too).
4. Leverage your skills into a freelance position
Many long-term travelers find work as freelancers, doing things like writing, editing, coding, or web design. Spend some time taking stock of your skills and knowledge. Do you have any specialized talents that could potentially be turned into a freelance business?
Quitting a steady job for a freelance career can be scary, though. If you're worried about making things work, consider starting to freelance on the side until you decide whether or not it would be a viable career path for you. Being your own boss is great, but freelancing isn't made for everyone.
Many people assume that you can only have one or the other – a career or a travel-filled lifestyle. But the reality is that you can have both, so long as you're willing to prioritize fitting more travel into the lifestyle that you already have.
How do you balance work and time off?
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