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.