I follow a number of travel blogs and sites where the authors were able to quit their jobs and travel full time. I get a major case of FOMO reading these but in reality it’s just not something I can do right now. But you really don’t have to quit your job to travel – there are ways to travel around a career.
Reasons why you may not be able to quit your job and travel
- You might have a really great job, a job you’re loving or equally a partner with an amazing job unable to be quit
- Being around family might be a priority right now
- Grown-up responsibilities such as a mortgage or children could keep you in one place
A few of my reasons
I’m finally at a place in my career where I can afford to travel overseas and not limit myself to a strict budget when doing so, allowing for a bit of luxury.
While many of my friends are living overseas most of them are working worse jobs than they’d have at home and are earning much less as they bounce around the globe. It’s great to have the freedom to be able to earn a decent salary, visit them and not burden myself with debt. It also gives me a ‘best of both worlds’ situation where I have travelled fairly extensively without ever working overseas or experiencing a dreary overseas winter and homesickness.I can also live in the same country to those most important to me.
How I travel around my employment
I live in isolated New Zealand where the closest international destination is a three hour flight away. I get four weeks annual leave per year plus 10 Public Holiday days. Tagging a couple of days leave onto a long weekend gives you more time off for less leave, as does taking flights on Friday nights and attending work seriously jetlagged.
Last year I went into negative leave (-135 hours) as my employer wouldn’t allow me to take unpaid leave for a trip to Spain and Greece I’d booked months before I started working there. It took 7 months to work my way back to a positive leave balance and I’d never do it again. If you can afford to and your work will let you take unpaid leave to travel for longer periods than you might otherwise be able.I currently save 15% of my take home pay in a short-term savings account which is mostly spent on travel. Recently I was made redundant and was lucky enough to not only get a new job quickly but to negotiate my start date and travel for a month between jobs.
This situation has allowed for my recent trip to Sydney and upcoming trip to Canada, making the most of the end of the Northern Hemisphere Summer. Then I will be working and saving until Christmas and summer in New Zealand.