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How To Travel Without Quitting Your Job - Dbucketlist
“Leave my day job and travel the world,” I keep telling myself. It’s like a song on repeat that I keep singing without a sound. Everyday, in almost everything that I do, something inside is telling me to go out there and experience the real world. If only my life is that easy, I’d be more than willing to quit. But right now, my family still needs me. I still need a steady source of income. I have enough savings but I’m not sure how long it will last if I quit my work in the corporate world. I’ve read a lot about freelance opportunities and thought about starting my own business too but I still can’t afford to risk the comfort of receiving monthly paychecks and all the employee benefits that come with it. And most importantly, I am about to start my own family so quitting is really not an option right now. But who says I can’t travel without quitting my day job? No one! Since I started working, I only have 15 annual vacation leaves and yet, I still managed to travel without quitting my job in the corporate world! How? That’s what I’m about to tell you. Why I Travel? But before I tell you how, I want to tell you why I travel so much in the past few years. As you might have already read somewhere in my Instagram posts, this dream started out when I was a child. Papa gave me this book entitled “Circling the Globe”. It generally says a bit about the people and the culture of all the countries in the world. Right then I knew I wanted to experience them myself but unfortunately, I had to wait until after college before I made it a reality. Luckily, I met someone who can join me fulfill this childhood dream. When we started working, we also started making plans about what places to visit every year. Then we loved traveling so much that we kept booking flights to see the world together. And speaking for myself, I love to travel not solely for leisure but because there’s something about it that gives me a hunch about what I was meant to do. I just don’t know what that is yet. What Countries Have We Travelled To So Far? We started out visiting local places here in our own country, Philippines. Come 2016, we finally made it to South Korea, our first country abroad together. The next year, we went back to South Korea on my birthday and to Japan for TJ’s birthday. We also traveled to Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong the same year. It was also the same year where we both experienced traveling solo to Brunei and Poland. Then 2018 came and we were more aggressive than usual. We went back to Japan twice. We also went to China twice the same year. Although the second one was not for leisure. Then last May 2018 when we visited Indonesia, TJ bent his knee and proposed. After that, everything went really fast. We went to Singapore, Malaysia, Macau and had a very memorable backpacking trip in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. We targeted to finish most of the South East Asian countries before our wedding because we know for a fact that our priorities will change once we have our own family. But I never said I’m giving up my dream to travel the world. If it’s possible to travel to 14 countries while we’re still in the corporate world, then it’s not impossible to see more countries without quitting. How To Travel Without Quitting Your Job Now that we’re at it, let me tell you how you can do it too. 1. List down the countries and/or places you want to visit. What we usually do is list down the countries and/or places we want to visit for the year. Personally, I used to have a list for “Travel” in “Reminders” app on my iPhone. Now, I’m using Trello. I have a dedicated board for “Travel” and I make lists for our planned trips so we can easily track what we need to do like visa requirements etc. but no itineraries. We seldom do that now unless careful planning is really needed. I also makes use of the “Save” feature on Instagram. I have a collection organized per country. Everytime I see a photo of a place that I’m interested to visit, I bookmark them for reference so when the time comes that we’re about to visit that specific country, we already have a list to follow. 2. Plan your preferred travel dates. Take advantage of the holidays and long weekends. After listing down the places we plan to visit for the year, we temporarily plot them at a specific month. We also list down the holidays and our preferred dates to travel, like birthdays, monthsaries and anniversaries etc., so we have a good grasp of what dates to look out for when seat sale events come. Although sometimes, it would be hard to look for cheap flight tickets during holidays especially when the dates are already near. So it’s okay to spend a few bucks more than wait forever for cheap flight tickets. Remember, you only have limited number of vacation leaves so it is very important to take advantage of the holidays and long weekends. 3. Subscribe to e-mail notifications of airlines. If your budget is really tight, don’t worry. There are several seat sale events being offered by airlines in a year. Make sure to subscribe to their e-mail list so you’d be notified on upcoming seat sale promos. The only problem during seat sale events is the number of people trying to look for cheap flights just like you and me. Don’t you just agree that when the clock strikes 12 midnight, it’s like your internet had been stuck in the ice age? It’s frozen. LOL. Only the great survivors win the fight! Are you one of them? Well, I used to but it came to a point where I’d rather pay a little more than wait forever for nothing. 4. Install third party applications in your phone that you can use to monitor airfares. If you’re like me who’ve raised the white flag during seat sale events, there is still hope. Install third party applications like Skyscanner so you can monitor airfares even when there are no seat sale events. What I like about Skyscanner is its ability to let its users explore for the best deals around the world. It lets you see ticket prices arranged from the cheapest to the most expensive. It also lets you browse through the best deals per month so in case you haven’t done any of the previous steps I mentioned, you can still plan and book flights. Just try to take note of the usual promo fare to compare if prices are really a good deal. 5. Book flight tickets at least 6 months before the target travel date. As I’ve mentioned earlier, flight tickets tend to go higher when your target dates are already near. So as a rule of thumb for budget travellers out there, book flight tickets at least 6 months before the target travel date so it would be a lot cheaper. 6. Be held accountable with all your responsibilities at work. It is important that before booking your flight, you should double check your calendars. Make sure you haven’t set any meetings on your targeted travel dates or else, either you’ll end up disappointing the meeting attendees because you cancelled or worse, you forgot to reschedule and the attendees kept waiting for you but you’re not there. Also make sure to transition your pending work, tickets, or whatever you call it in your organization, to one of your teammates that can handle them because if not, you’ll end up breaching your SLA’s when you get back! Worst, you’ll end up annoying the executive that raised an urgent request. So to avoid that, be accountable enough with all your responsibilities at work. 7. File your leaves beforehand. It is very important to file your leaves beforehand and ensure they’re approved before you take your days off or else you’ll end up as an employee tagged with AWOL or Absence without Leave when you come back. 8. Allot at least 10% of your monthly income to travel funds. I’ve tackled so much about tips to get you started with traveling but before you even think of starting, it is also important that you only plan out what’s feasible. One best tip I can give you is to have a separate travel fund. It doesn’t have to be a separate account from your account where you get your expenses but it is important to separate it from your savings fund. Allot at least 10% of your monthly income to travel funds so you’d never have to touch your savings fund. I repeat, do not touch your savings fund! Same goes with your investment portfolios in case you have one. If all else fails at one point and you really need to fill in your pocket money, give yourself some slack and use only 5% of your emergency fund at most! 9. Be spontaneous. Be a wild spirit! We started out traveling with a strict itinerary, with all the details from what time we should visit a specific destination to how much we’re willing to spend in a day. Over time, we got tired preparing itineraries and realized that we don’t actually need them. Most of the time, we only get disappointed when we don’t get to follow what’s in our schedule. So it came to a point that we tried not making one and do spontaneous traveling instead. With spontaneous, I meant we only list down places we want to see, pin them down in our offline map and quickly research about how we can get around the area. Everything else is what happens beyond what you have on paper. Be spontaneous. Be a wild spirit! 10. Install an offline map and do it yourself. Last but not the least, install an offline map. It will really help you a lot. You actually don’t need an internet connection. You just need to know where you are and where you want to go. If you’re lost, you can always walk unless you have to cross the sea. Do it yourself. Find your own path and you’ll never know where your feet would take you. Just always be mindful about everything and you’ll be fine. Those are pretty much what I can tell you. If you’re like me who have the same calling, kapit lang bes! Sooner or later, we’ll finally have the courage to quit our jobs and travel with more freedom. Until then, let’s do this one place at a time. Thank you for reading. With Love, Danica