“How do you do that? Still travel despite the job?”
A friend asked me one time when he saw me having a full backpack again on a Friday. He knew that after office, I was about to embark another hike or travel to the beach for the weekend.
I totally understand why he asked that question. We are in the corporate world wherein we all feel that we are so squeezed and maximized to the point that we don’t have extra time anymore for other things. I got that. I understand that.
I’m also a corporate worker. Still doing my best whenever I get to the office. But the thing is I now have a different perspective, to the point that I feel not normal anymore. Haha! Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to be weird.
My belief is simply, do something outside of your work. Your work is important, but it should be just a small part of your life, not its entirety.
Do that thing that makes you happy. I know it’s hard especially if your job demands most of your energy and time, but if you really want it, you’ll find a way.
Like what I did. I have a full time job. And I’ve found a way to do what I love which is writing and traveling. I’ve found a way to finally live life.
Think about it.
The moment we were born we were always reminded to study hard, so when we graduate, we can find a good job and have a better life.
So that’s what I did. I graduated Cum Laude in college. Did my best and all. Then finally have a good job. You go to work, you go home late at night and sleep. Then go to work again. Then, the routine goes on and on.
Then one day, I just asked myself. So this is it???
So this is what my life should be? Seriously?!
This is what the society has been telling me to do all these years?
Get a job. Then what? Retire at 60? Then that’s the time I can finally travel, and live life? Is that the life you want?
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we quit our jobs. I know it’s hard. I know that the job that you do today is not something you truly care and passionate about, but we have to be realistic here. We need to pay the bills.
So if you’re like me, who is also imagining that I’m on top of a mountain or swimming in an island while I’m in front of my computer or looking at the cubicle’s wall. This just means that you have to do something. Do your job well, then get outdoors. Get a life!
It is possible. Here are some tips for you.
1| It’s a matter of priority
It just boils down to priority.
I once asked a friend, if you have 2,000 pesos (42 USD) spare money, what are you going to do with it? He said he’s going to buy rubber shoes. Understandable. Most girls would rather buy a dress or make up. Most kids nowadays would rather buy some gadget accessories.
Me? It’s simple. I’m going to spend around 600 pesos (13 USD) to hike a mountain. Then the remaining will be spent to go to the beach.
One to two pair of shoes is enough for me. Simple old clothes is enough. I would rather spend more on experiences than material things. It’s a matter of priority.
So if you really want to live life through traveling despite your day job, you’ve got to be willing to sacrifice. Besides, when you do travel yourself, you’ll realize that traveling is really not that expensive after all.
So are you willing to do it and break that boring routine that you have for years? If not, you can just stop here and then go on with your usual rat race life.
But if you’re willing. Read on the next tip.
2| Have a job that gives you balance
I remember when I was in Batad and met these amazing people who became my friends. One of the group, a girl was having a dilemma with her travel plans and goals. You know I love talking to people who have travel plans, those who value travel as a necessity to live.
So one dude asked her, “how many vacation leaves you have?”
She said, “five.”
“What? Just five vacation leaves?” We said in chorus. Haha!
Then she answered, “No that’s all. Total for vacation and sick leaves.” Whoah!
One of us just told her, “you have to find a new job.”
We have to be honest here. I mean there’s no other way for you to have a balanced life if you have an unfair employer. A job that doesn’t even follow basic labor laws. Now, I’m sounding political here. Haha!
You know what I mean? And I’m serious. You have to find an employer that gives their employees what they truly deserve which is proper number of leaves. It’s okay to have an exhausting job. You know there’s no easy job after all, but give the employees the leaves and rest they deserve.
Also, if you have a job that requires all, as in all your f*cking time. Like you’re 24/7 on call or a job that literally demands your all, that whenever you get sick or rest, you tend to apologize about it? You’ve got to think and re-assess what you really what in your life. I’m just being honest here.
3| Use your vacation leaves wisely.
You’re still reading. So I suppose you’re really interested and willing to do some change.
So here’s what I’m going to tell you when it comes to vacation leaves. There’s no way for you to file vacation leaves then just stay at home and do nothing. Enough of that. Haha!
Your vacations should be more meaningful and purposeful. Use it wisely by filing leaves after a weekend to maximize your travel. Or plan it ahead of time and file leaves after or before the holiday.
File some leaves in advance and have some left to use for emergencies or unplanned travels.
4| Book your flight in advance. Avail seat sales!
Our time is limited and we only have enough leaves, so in case you plan to travel somewhere far like in the Visayas, Mindanao or overseas, you need to plan it properly and book flights in advance.
For me, last year before the unfortunate things happened in my life like my father’s death, I have already booked some flights in advance through seat sale for the year 2016. I was able to avail a very affordable flight going to Puerto Princesa and in Cebu.
If you need advice on how to spot seat sales? All you have to do is subscribe to email of these airlines, subscribe to their social media accounts like Facebook Page, where they usually announce their promos.
But the best way to be updated is be friends with travelers, like me. Haha! Travelers are the most updated people on earth when it comes to promos and they usually share it to their friends. They’re nice and generous. 🙂
5| Use your weekends for short, overnight trips.
For a traveler, a weekend is enough to hit the reset button. Enough to de-stress and enough to be away from the city and relax.
You can spend a weekend hiking mountains and spending it overnight on the beach.Or you can check out the spots near your place. Remember you have more than 50 weekends in a year, use it. Seize it! Do not underestimate the power of 2 days to travel. You can have an awesome experience!
6| Do your job well.
No matter how you feel about your current job, that you’re unhappy, or unsatisfied. That’s life. And most of the time that’s the reason why we travel right? To smash the boring routine and hit the reset button.
But at the end of the day, you have to do your job well. You still have to deliver and be fair with your employer.
This is one of my realizations. That no matter how much I love travel and writing, I have to be realistic that it’s my job that pays my bills so I have to embrace it. Being good at work means better work relationship with your colleagues. And most of all, better personal satisfaction.
If you’re feeling lost and you feel the need to explore. Take that first step. Now.