Two years back I was a typical corporate guy who was doing the following repetitively
- Meet the Project deadlines
- Wait for the Weekends
- Sleep and Party on Weekends
- Crib about Mondays
- Envy on seeing others Instagram pictures
- Talk about how boring my life is
- Repeat points 1-6
Well, this continued for quite a long time when one day I decided to wake up and go on a trip to the mighty mountains. Now, this trip was a complete surprise and a life-changing incident for me. The strangers who I met became my best friends, locals became my new knowledge books and Nature’s beauty my new life partner. The sad part was I had to leave them all and repeat the points mentioned above. Physically I was in my city but my heart was still on that trip.
Now the problem was to manage both my work and travel equally. We all have read and heard about people who quit their 9-5 jobs to travel the world and claim that you should too. While this sort of mindset was certainly a trending topic these days, I completely disagree with it.
You just can’t pick up and leave and expect your life to be filled with only happy moments- there are going to be problems no matter where you are and what you do. But the problems are meant to be solved.
Now I have been travelling for past 3 years and I also have a full-time job as a product manager. Fortunately, my weekends are off, which gives me enough time to plan short trips or club them with paid leaves for longer trips. Be strategical with annual leave. Here are some tips I’ve picked up from my personal experience, which will hopefully help you travel more without quitting your job.
- Take advantage of your weekends and Annual leaves.
First, let’s do some simple math. Assuming you’re not one of those crazy corporate people who spend their nights and weekends in the office, you’ll have 104 days off each year just from weekends alone(See: 52 weeks per year x 2 weekend days per week = 104 weekend days per year). Also, an employee on an average gets 30 annual leaves and an average of 4 public leaves. Adding all these gives you a total of 138 free days to do whatever you want. Seriously 138?? Oh yeah! Dreaming already? 🙂
- Add vacation days to your long weekends and holidays.
Do you know that the year 2017 has 14 long weekends and the year 2016 and 2015 had 21 and 15 long weekends respectively? Imagine yourself travelling to 14 new places in a year. Wow! Trust me that’s a lot.
- Create extra-long weekly trips with your paid leaves.
If done properly, this can act as an easy solution for your desire to travel far and the need to keep your job, namely because it doesn’t require anything other than your annual leave. By taking 5 days off in between any two weekends or by adding 2-3 days in your long weekends to make it 9 days off. Now 9 days is enough to visit far or remote places like Leh Ladakh, Spiti Valley, Nepal, Kerala, North East etc.
- Negotiate while switching jobs.
If your notice period is a month, see if you can take another month off before starting by providing a list of ways the break would benefit your work at the new job. Or just pay your old employer the basic salary for not serving the notice period. The later though is not a good practice but it entirely depends on your relation to your boss or employer. Travelling will eventually improve your performance at work. And no employer says NO for extra leaves to its top-performing employees.
- Assign some travel budget from your salary.
Money isn’t everything and saving a bunch of it won’t make you happier. You can buy almost everything you want with enough money, but you can’t buy back your time. I understand that travelling so often can be a bit expensive. But what you can do is prioritise your spending. Like I have cut down my spending on weekend parties and unnecessary shopping. Instead, I spend that money on buying my travel tickets or booking group tours. You can also do something similar.
- Be Comfortable Traveling Solo
How many times have your friends cancelled the long-planned trips at the last moment and all you did was just wait for others to be free. I think that you should not wait for anyone else to travel. Meet new people, make new friends and you will find that the world is so beautiful outside. How can you travel Solo?
Travelling not only changes your perception towards life but also encourages you to bring a positive change to your surroundings. Don’t think, just travel.
I hope this blog excites you as much as it did to me. And yes, do say HELLO if we ever cross our paths. Happy travelling!
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