Is quitting your job for the sole pursuit of traveling the world a wise idea? Well, it’s an exciting thought but not very well advised. For someone who has been there and done that, I would say that there are many ways to travel the world without quitting your job. If you love traveling but feel that your regular 9-5 job is weighing you down and wasting your precious years, then it’s time you change your perception about things.
You can still nurture your travel bug without abruptly giving up on your career. Because when it comes to the old I-want-to-travel-but-I-need-to-work dilemma, it turns out you can have your travel cake and eat it too. There are ways to travel the world; you just need to get a little creative.
1. Get more out of your paid vacation
There are lots of easy ways to stretch the vacation time you are officially entitled to. Even if you’re only entitled to a meager 4 weeks in a year—yes all you slaving corporate minions, I’m talking to you. Think of your vacation time as days rather than weeks and use them strategically: tagging them on to statutory holidays can turn a weekend into a proper mini-holiday.
2. Repeat with me..I will use me vacation days!!
Don’t let your vacations go waste worse still encash them. Many employers allow their staff to roll over unused vacation time from one year to the next. Consider not using all your vacation days one year so you can plan a longer holiday and more ambitious escape the next. Talk to your human resources department to find out your options.
3. Maximize your long weekends
If it’s a long weekend, you’ve got at least 3 days off work already. All you have to do is take another couple of days off and you’re at 5 days. That’s enough to jet off to at least one city (or city in a nearby country) for a quick break. You can make those 3 days feel like more if you arrange your travel to leave town on a Friday evening and return on an early Monday flight and head straight to the office, a little bleary eyed but worth it nonetheless.
4. Seek global assignments or apply for an exchange programmes
A lot of MNC’s have global programs to keep the employees hooked. Apply for one at your organization and use that opportunity to explore a new country and culture. Companies have network offices all over the globe, so look for opportunities to change locations without changing jobs. In your off-hours, you’ll have the excitement of exploring a new environment. And don’t kid yourself—you don’t have to go far to encounter culture shock: to an Indian, Indonesia might seem pretty foreign too.
5. Negotiate play-vs.-pay
If you’re in the middle of changing jobs, or are in a position to negotiate new terms for your current position, consider asking for more vacation time instead of more money. Many employers are getting wise to the fact that money isn’t always the best motivator and they’re willing to talk about other benefits instead—like more time off.
6. The humanitarian traveler
Sometimes it’s that work profile which takes you places. Extended travel websites such as TransitionsAbroad.com and GoAbroad.com are information portals for learning how to find short and long-term overseas jobs and obtaining work Visas for everything from internships in non-profit organizations to information technology work for international companies. In fact many companies happily give employees paid/unpaid leaves to volunteer for humanitarian work.
7. Work and play strategically
Yes, you’re supposed to be on vacation so doesn’t working defeat that purpose? Not if working remotely helps you extend your trip longer! If your company just cannot function without you (yes we are subtly hinting at your importance in the food chain.. haha) then it’s essential for you to know about the myriad tools that are out there that make working while traveling easier than ever before.
If you’re going to be constantly on the go, then it is of paramount importance that your clients and coworkers know they can get a hold of you when they need to. There are multiple apps and software’s that help you perfect the art of free video conferencing and online meetings. With Speek, you don’t have to worry about international dial-ins and hundreds of dollars of charges, simply by potential investors to try and use Skype. join.me is yet another app that enables you to share your screen with your team and go over the analysis/presentations etc step-by-step.
8. The Un-official Offsite
The truth is you are not the only person vying for that escape; maybe your colleagues hav e one on their mind too. Every industry has a lull period and you should utilize it by planning a vacation with friends from work. Social time is an incredibly important part of managing and developing personal connections with employees. Time spent while traveling together always lends itself to learning more about someone than abrupt water cooler pleasantries and gossip. When a group of people from the same organization decide to travel together not only does it become easier to negotiate for leaves also you plan better.
9. Ask for unpaid time off a.k.a. go on a Sabbatical
Lastly, if you want to travel and don’t want to bind yourself to deadlines then sabbatical is a good way to take the leap. No one said you have to stick to the number of vacation days your company allows. If you want to take unpaid time off, there’s no harm in asking for it. Just be responsible about it. Work out a plan with your boss and make sure there’s coverage for you while you’re away.
So cast aside all your inhibitions and book yourself a nice vacation. And that job that you felt was a burden; use it to travel the world instead. Bon Voyage!!
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