I’ve been devouring travel blogs for years, long before these bloggers were massively popular. I remember waiting in line to meet Robin Esrock, the Modern Gonzo, at the University of Alberta to learn ANYTHING that he had to say. I attended an event with Ian Wright and hung on every word he said, every illustration he shared, every inspiration that I could tuck away until the next trip. From a young age I wanted so badly to be a full-time travel writer.
By age twenty-eight, I’ve now traveled to more countries than I have years of age, but I’ve learned something about myself. I do not desire to be a full-time traveler. This isn’t to say I don’t continue to adore travel blogs written by full-time travellers, but I now know that it’s not the life for me, and that’s okay.
There are plenty of blog posts out there telling you how to quit your job, save money and travel the world. Call me a negative Nelly, but here’s the complete opposite to that post.
I Love My Job
I’m one of those lucky people (some call them strange) that don’t see work as a chore, but rather an exciting challenge. Serendipitously, I ended up working in community investment. Basically, I work for a major corporation and manage a portion of our charitable budget. Some people might think that means just writing cheques and “kissing babies”, but it’s so much more than that. There are a few incredible non-profits that we work with who are making such a difference in the community, so to be a part of that change in some small way is thrilling for me.
Through my job I’ve met inspiring people. I now have more mentors than I can count (again, lucky me!), the nonprofits I work with are thinking and working in innovative ways, and I get to learn from other industry leaders. Occasionally I even get the opportunity to travel, seeing non-profits around the country or North America, and I can even squeeze a little recreational (and blogable) travel into trips like those. Why would I want to give that job up?
I’m a Shitty Long-Distance Friend
My husband and I did long-distance for three years before he finally moved to Canada and that was enough for me. What I struggle with is maintaining communication with friends long-distance. Time zones are tricky, Skype calls can be ruined by a shitty wifi connection and Facebook messages just aren’t the same. I just suck at keeping up with people’s lives from afar, besides from commenting on the odd photo upload. I suck. I admit it. As a result, it means I really start to miss my friends and family. I admire those people who rock long-distance communication.
I Despise Packing
“PacSafe” became a dirty word on our three month Southeast Asian travels. We were the weird people who feared our laptops being stolen so invested in the wire mesh bag to protect our valuables while we were out galavanting, but the repeated nuisance of locking and unlocking our bags, folding up the unfoldable mesh and carrying it around became tiring. And that’s just one thing that went in our luggage.
I also like wearing a mix of clothes, but packing for carry-on size restricted my choices. Ahem, admittedly I have no style, but I’d like to feel that I have a wider choice in my fashion, n’est-ce-pas?
We Missed our Fur-Babies
I’ll admit it! Many a night David and I would pull up our iPhoto library and look at pictures of our cats. That’s not weird, right? Totally normal.
Pet-carers will totally understand me. We missed our cats so much, they were like phantom limbs, missing cuddle-monsters that we couldn’t wait to hold. (Big shout out to my Mum for taking care of them for three months!).
I’m Budget Averse
I’m not an extravagant traveler, unless of course I’m cashing in Aeroplan miles for five-star hotels, but I am also not the $50 a night traveler like the infamous Nomadic Matt. The only way to maintain my kind of travel budget is to either go for a shorter amount of time, or to make oodles of money that you’re not counting pennies. Even on my non-backpacker budget, we still tracked every single Kip, Dong, Dollar or Baht spent. It was tiring.
I’m Not Meant to Be a Full-Time Traveler, AND THAT’S OKAY!
We’re all pretty well-attuned now as to why I’m not meant to travel full-time, right? Now, does that mean I can’t be a travel writer? HELL NO it doesn’t. In fact, I think I’ve got more exciting opportunities at my fingertips this year thanks to my short three-month adventure and my plans to travel closer to home. By keeping my full-time job that I adore, I can now spend my vacations as I wish on the budget that I wish to spend without the guilt of trying to scrimp pennies.
What do you think, fellow travel-lovers? Am I weird for not wanting to up and quit my job to travel full-time?
BEFORE you think that I don’t love the full-time travellers (I do, I do!), let me leave you with a list of my favourite go-to full-time travel bloggers and how they make a living at it.
- Hecktic Travels (2014 National Geographic Travellers of theYear) How to Travel Long-Term
- Anglo-Italian – Sacrifices We’ve Made to Save for our Travels
- Young Adventuress – So You Want to be a Travel Blogger
- Alex in Wanderland – Too many posts to mention so start here
- Nomadic Matt – Save Money on the Road
- That Backpacker – How Can You Afford to Travel Around the World?
- See You Soon – How Much Does It Cost to Travel in Southeast Asia?
- Am I Nearly There Yet? – Preparing Your Home for When You Go Travelling.