Everyone thinks they want to be an entrepreneur… that is until they actually have the opportunity to be one. Most people completely ignore the downside of being your own boss (irregular hours, long bouts of isolation, fluctuating income, expensive health benefits) and zoom in on the good stuff (location independence, unlimited earning potential, no annoying coworkers).
From the outside looking in, it looks like a dream life. You wake up when you want, wear whatever you want and have the luxury to choose which work projects you will work on in any given day.
Above all of these perks, another benefit most people point to about entrepreneurship is the fact that you can pick up and travel whenever you want! This idea of being a jet setter is a huge factor for people measuring their work life balance.
Since 97% of us are about that cubicle life though, does it mean we simply won’t get to enjoy the personal fulfillment that comes with jet setting?
I’m here to shout loud and proud that the answer to that question is NO! Here’s how I have been able to travel to 19 countries (and counting) all while having a full time job and at times having very limited vacation days.
You should plan your travel destinations at least a year in advance. The year is only half over and I know that I plan to go back to Spain, New Orleans and Missouri next year. Planning in advance not only helps you get cheaper plane tickets, it also allows you to create a plan for your vacation days strategically.
Don’t waste your days
My vacation days have varied from as little as 3 weeks when I started my career, to my current rate of 7 weeks. Sure, it’s much easier now to plan vacation, but this wasn’t always the case. When I had less vacation days to work with, I only called out sick if I had a fever. Spontaneous days off may feel good in the moment, but can mean the difference between you having enough PTO to go to New Zealand or the local beach town only one state over. Both are great, but New Zealand really has a nicer ring to it, no?
Incorporate work travel
Do you have to travel for work? Why not add on one or two extra days at the end of your trip to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city you’re in? A lot of times people think of jet setting as only going to exotic, foreign locales, but that’s not the case at all! I’ve been to 3 continents, but still can’t wait to cross Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana off my travel bucket list!
This summer, my plan is to spend a few days in Montreal, Canada. It just so happens that my company has an office there, so instead of using 5 whole vacation days to travel, I will work from that office for 2 days. When I also factor in the weekend I’ll spend there, I’ll only have to take 2 work days off. This could also work if your company has a work from home policy that allows you to work from anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement either, a lot of companies can be flexible.
As much as I believe in hard work, I also believe in play! If your desire is to travel the world, your job doesn’t have to be something that gets in your way. As with any other big goal you have in life, a little preparation goes a very long way.