When I started travelling solo, I was very nervous about going somewhere new by myself. I never imagined that I would like it so much. I went from reading travel blogs to writing one of my own. It’s exciting, new and the anticipation of going to a new places was thrilling. It’s an amazing feeling to write something that means so much to me while balancing my life at home.
The last five years of my life was hard. Neither could I get a job full time or go back to school. Now things are bit different, life seems good. I’m learning to balance my life at home and a life of travel. I haven’t met too many people while on the road. There are a number of vacationers and weekend warrior trying to squeeze as much as they can. I’ve yet to meet any full time travelers. It’s seems kind of ironic in a way because the most popular travel blogs are by full timers. It got me thinking about whether or not I would become a full time traveler.
These are some serious factors to consider before taking the plunge into full timing. I’ve thought about my life and what I think is best for me. It always come down to the same thing which is part time travel.
Why I love part time travelling
Many people chose to travel part time as a way to balance their life at home with a life of adventure. Not everyone wants to quit their jobs and sell all of their possessions to travel. There are people who like their jobs, their community, being close to friends and family. It doesn’t mean they love travel any less. It just makes the anticipation more thrilling as you make plans for your next trip.
This means planning ahead and being creative with your time. Getting as much in as you possibly can without rushing the experience. Whether you’re for a weekend, few days, weeks or months, it’s more than possible to do so. It comes with it’s challenges but all the best things in life tend to. It’s true that it isn’t as freeing as it would be as a full timer. You have responsibilities to come back to.
So how do you maintain a full time job and a home life while travelling?
Balancing part time travel with life at home
It takes some time, careful planning and patients, but it can be done. There are many part timers who will agree with me. Depending on the type of job and school you’re children are in, you can travel as much as you can. Here are some ways to get in as much time away:
- Weekends– Go away as much as you can on weekends. It takes some preparing during the week such as completing some chores earlier. If you can, complete them all by Fridays so that you can be off on your adventure by Friday evening or Saturday morning. You don’t have to go very far either. Go to a neighboring city or town. Somewhere you haven’t been before or barely explored. Travel doesn’t always mean going to another country. But when you can, it’ll be even sweeter.
- Vacation time– Depending on where you live and work, using your vacation time to travel is a great way to go. Whether it be two or more weeks, there’s alot you can do within that time. How fast or slow you travel will depend on you. I always prefer slow travel so that I can avoid rushing.
- Breaks from school & summer months– Summer is the perfect time to travel with family. Granted there will be more people on the road but a great opportunity to meet other travelers. Enjoy each break that your kids have from school and a few weeks or months of summer. These are great opportunities to travel
- Public holidays– another great way to add time for travel is utilizing holidays. Depending on how long that time is you can use that to visit a new place and really enjoy yourself.
As you can see, when you combined all these methods, you’re sure to get at least 20-25 days free to travel on a yearly basis. It might not be ideal for some but for others, having the comforts of home and a job to come back to after your adventure is everything. Considering all angles, there are distinct factor for part time travel.
Pros and cons of part time travel
There’s the good and bad in everything. Remembering your priorities and responsibilities is key in making this work. With this in mind, I’ve created some pros and cons to part timing. Pros include:
- Having a full time job– financial security and a way to pay for all your trips
- A home to come back to- all the comforts of home awaiting you after our adventure
- Maintaining relationships– staying close to family and friends is a big plus. This is one of the biggest disadvantage of full time travel
- Maintain your routine– if your a person that likes some form of routine but still enjoy the uncertainties of travel then this should appeal to you
- Still get to enjoy travel– enjoy the adventure both big and small
- Gap year travel- Depending on your work or school schedule, you could travel for half a year then return home. I have read many stories of people living in another for half a year then come back home the rest. They become temporary expats then come home. I actually love this way of travelling. Going away for a few months, living as an expat before coming home.
These are great pros about part time travel. You can have the best of both worlds tailored to your life. However it’s not always easy. There are certain factors of part time travel. These include:
- Less time to travel– especially when your vacation days and public holidays are short. This gives you very limiting time to work with
- Responsibilities can create obstacles– sometimes you end up skipping out on trips because of responsibilities. This may include bills and unexpected expenses. You’ll sometimes end up cancelling your plans.
- Less freedom- the biggest advantage that full time travelers have is time. They’re free to go and come as they please. You won’t have that, especially with a job and family. Balancing both lives may be a challenge.
- Travelling at a fast pace– trying to utilize your time and see or do as much as you can will leave you in a rush. When this happens, you sometimes come back from your trips feeling exhausted, whether or not you enjoyed the experience. You also miss alot because of the limited time you have. However, that can give you a reason to come back.
I can understand the appeal that full time travel has. Despite the restriction that part timing has, it’s rewards can be greater. Being able to embark on a new adventure at any time is always a rewarding experience. Immersing yourself in a new culture, place, meeting interesting people and doing extraordinary things. This is what travel is all about. Those moments of uncertainty, discovery, fulfillment and understanding are all more worth. I wouldn’t have it any other way.