Working and Traveling

I’m often asked if I travel full time or if I have a “real” job. It’s a fair question: if you follow this blog, it seems like I’m constantly jetting off somewhere new.

Here’s the truth: I do have a “real job” – I work full time for a PR firm in Washington, D.C. I absolutely love my job & my clients & wouldn’t give it up for the world. I don’t work with travel clients & I love that; it provides such a nice separation between the two passions in my life. I have a mortgage; a super cute, walkable neighborhood; a (sometimes difficult) daily commute; a weekly grocery shopping trip. I struggle every holiday debating whether to go see my family, which doesn’t live anywhere nearby, & going somewhere new (family has won, so far). Just like you, I struggle with only having two weeks vacation, plus a few random federal holidays.

But I also love to travel. I have a horrible case of wanderlust like no one I had ever known before (at least until I started blogging & met lots of other wanderlust’s like me). I’m lucky that my job requires a decent amount of business travel, but anyone who has been a road warrior on a regular basis knows what an exhausting life that it. Business travel just isn’t the same as leisure travel – it’s basically just working longer hours, usually from a hotel room.  I always say that I’m going to turn business trips into leisure trips, but more often than not end up working late or being out with clients late. I vow to get better with this, though! Case in point: on my business trip to San Diego in February, I was out until 1am one night (that would be 3am to my east coast time body) with clients & in bed by 8pm, exhausted, the next night before getting up at 3am for my flight. No time for sightseeing!

How do I do it? Some creativity, some disappointment, a lot of sacrifices, & a very understanding husband. B works for the federal government, so he gets more days off than I do. So every long weekend & every unplanned regular weekend, we try to do something – jet off somewhere new, take a road trip (one of the many reasons I love living in DC is how many places are accessible with a few hours in the car) or at least take a day trip.

The bottoms line is this: there’s no magic formula. I know & admire people who quit their jobs for long term travel (if you haven’t read it yet, check out Jodi Ettenberg’s piece on quitting her job as a corporate lawyer to permanently travel) or who are digital nomads, but that’s not me, not us. Because at the end of the day (or the trip), it’s still nice to have a plot of land & a familiar bed to call my own.

home sweet home
(C) Christina Saull – All Rights Reserved

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About christina

Christina is a 30-something D.I.N.K. travel writer & photographer who travels the world often wedged into the middle seat. Follow her on Twitter & Facebook.


12 Responses to Working and Traveling

  1. Joyce Pak April 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I often get the same question. I travel a lot for work as a consultant, so I am lucky to be able to explore new cities. Traveling for work is really not the same as traveling for pleasure, though! I still have to plan my vacations to faraway places accordingly! :D

    I’m glad there are others out there who have a full time job but still are able to travel (for fun) a lot! It inspires me to continue traveling despite my busy work schdule!

    • christina April 8, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      It’s hard to balance sometimes, isn’t it? But every time I get that itch and find myself on a plane and exploring somewhere new… well, it all feels worth it!

  2. Jenny April 8, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

    Awesome post! I love DC and is really one of my favorite top couple cities is America! Plus I do have close family and friends who live there!

    • christina April 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      I love DC too :) It’s such a cool, international city to live in!

  3. Vanessa April 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    I’m a full time blogger/freelance writer/social media strategist – 100% self employed for over a year now. But my spouse works full time for a government agency – happily he has a lot of vacation and flexibility. While I often dream of life as a nomad the truth is that I love the balance between a routine life at home and the excitement of being on the road. I am always itching to get away but I am always thrilled to come back home.

  4. Megan Kennedu April 10, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    I have a full time job which I love but I have a passion for travelling. You are lucky you live in a great city with so much to do and close to great weekend trips, it makes a huge difference. I live in Vancouver so weekend trips or spending time in the city is great.

  5. Aggy April 10, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    I always admire people who can balance their job and travel (and also love their job). It’s not for everyone to leave the whole thing and be a full nomad – although I admire those people too. It’s also always nice to have a spouse who understands you. So I think you’re a very lucky person!

  6. Helen Anne Travis April 10, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    It’s true: you can work full time and still collect your fair share of passport stamps.

  7. Alicia April 11, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    So jealous of your job! To be honest I’m hoping to have that life at some point! It’s really inspirational to read something like that, there’s still hope for me to find my dream job!!

    I’ve just created a traveling blog myself! Check it out if you want to, first stop: Canterbury

  8. Jo April 11, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    However do you manage with 2weeks holiday a year? I get 5 and can’t cope! I’d love to be able to pack up and head off full time but am happily waiting till I can get my daughter through school – then you won’t see me for dust!

  9. Britany April 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    working and finding time to travel (and blog) is definitely a challenge, and one that I’m still sorting out myself, every single day. I work several part time jobs from home, which you’d think would make things easier, but it actually adds up to far more hours and the stress of juggling multiple schedules and responsibilities can be exhausting. The flexibility is great though and it’s absolutely worth it! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Good for you for finding a way to make it work!

  10. Hamish Healys April 15, 2014 at 3:59 am #

    Like you, I was lucky to have had a full-time job that took me to different places. I’d usually add on a day or two to whatever my itinerary was to get to really know places like Guadalajara, Mexico or Penang, Malaysia or Guam and the Marianas Islands. Of course these were never enough as there were always other sights to see, other people to meet and other cultures to absorb. It’s amazing how some people can travel on a longer term basis without having to worry where the funds will be coming from.

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