After I graduated University the plan was to go traveling for a year – obviously – to get the travel bug out of my system before coming home and settling into a career. Just one problem… I was offered my dream job. At the age of 20, passing up on the opportunity with my level of experience (or lack thereof) would be a huge mistake. Enter my internal dilemma: Do I stick with my travel plans or take the job?
I decided to take the job… but I also went on 3 backpacking trips around the world that year.
Travel vs. Career: 3 tips to have it all.
TIP #1. WEEKEND GETAWAYS.
Changing my routine by going away for the weekend and exploring a new place, even if it is just for the day, keeps me sane! Going on short trips is not only cost effective so you can save up for something more substantial, but it doesn’t interfere with your job if are a weekday worker. There is nothing comparable to going surfing in Tofino over a long weekend, or hiking to a new peak on the North Shore to keep my travel urges satisfied until I can afford something bigger.
TIP #2. ASK YOUR EMPLOYER ABOUT BONUS OPTIONS.
In my experience, if you don’t ask, you don’t know. Most commonly, compensation for hard work comes in the form of a pay raise. I always ask my employers during a review what types of bonuses they can offer. Some great questions to ask are: Do they offer flex-time? How many weeks is paid vacation time? Do they offer additional paid time-off as a bonus?
I have often been asked by my employers what kind of incentives I would like as a reward and I always insist that additional paid vacation time is preferred. Having extra vacation time allows you to go on more small get-aways, or can be combined with other vacation time for a longer trip.
TIP #3. KILL SOME BIRDS.
Metaphorically speaking, “kill two birds with one stone.” Please don’t actually kill some birds. In other words, maximize your travel experience by adding in nearby countries or stopovers into the itinerary. For example, on my way back from Croatia, I chose a flight with a 2-day stopover in Munich. I had never been to Germany and flights were cheaper if I included a stopover, so I went for it! Let me just say; the beer, schnitzel, and shopping were well worth it!