“I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless new-born baby – I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. Because it looks exactly like me.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Are you addicted to traveling too? Do you hate the thought of having to go back to work or studies? Are you struggling to find the balance between building a serious future, meeting obligations and following your desire to travel the world? Well then, welcome to the club.
I know exactly how you feel because I must face this struggle every day. I have to convince myself all the time that I am doing the right thing, not following my heart that wants nothing more than just traveling the world and instead doing what my brain is telling me and get a degree so I can build a solid career. But it wouldn’t be me if I would not at least try to find a way to still put both things together and I am about to tell you how I succeeded.
Last week we spoke about how to get your Mindset right to overcome the feeling of disconnectedness to your tribe and discussed ways of how to adjust your daily life on the way of overcoming post-travel depression to regain happiness.
This week we cover another topic of overcoming your post-travel depression, though this time we will focus more on the practical aspect. Now that we have the right Mindset of not wanting to fit in anymore but designing a life according to our own means, we are ready to search for a way to combine both parts of our lives. The desire to travel and the necessity or wish of living a serious life and build a future. We’re going to find the perfect travel-life balance and regain even more of our happiness.
What we will cover:
Why you need both, travel and career?
What it takes to combine both desires
The importance of keeping a balance
Let’s get started.
Why you need both, traveling and career:
The percentage of people traveling the world increases every year. Young graduates start heading out in the world after finishing high school to take a break before taking on the “real” life.
Some of them will come back, others will get lost to the beauty of exploring and living a life beyond societies means. And who can blame them that they chose a life on the road, it’s fantastic.
Though what happens to those who return? Those who can’t ignore the little voice in their heads, telling them they need to prepare for the future? I tell you what happens to them: They feel stuck between two worlds. Constantly facing the struggle of trying to combine both their desires.
They can’t deny the fact that traveling is addictive and we all know, once you started it is very hard to stop.
And just the thought of not being able to explore the world anymore is eating you up. That is why you need to continue traveling. It is now part of your life and not easily removable.
And to be fair, traveling is one of the best tools to be present and enjoy life and grow as a person, so why should you ever give it up?!
But at the same time, of course, you must think of the future too, because there will come a time where traveling might not be everything anymore and then you need to be prepared for this. In addition, you need to make money to even be able to travel so at one point you have to think of how you will get it.
Lastly, and this might surprise you, but there are some people that want to build a career. That seek for leaving something behind, making a foot print.
You see, it’s not deniable, you need both and trust me when I tell you, you don’t have to choose.
Though how is it possible to combine those two very different worlds? Here are some tips and tricks for those who want to build a career but can’t give up traveling. Because you can want both, traveling the world and building a career.
What it takes to combine traveling and obligations:
First of all, know that there is a time for everything. There is a time in your life where traveling might be in the focus, and then there is a time where building a career takes up most of your time.
And while you can do both at the same time, and should never leave one of both completely out of your focus it might be more productive and enjoyable for you to choose when it’s time to do what.
I know you feel stuck between two worlds that seem irreconcilable. Though no worries, I found a way to minimize that struggle and get you moving again. And I’m about to tell you how to combine both worlds and take the best out of each of them so you can live your best and happiest life possible.
Sounds great? Awesome let’s get started.
1. It is all a matter of Mindset
As discussed in the last post, you need to get rid of the Mindset of wanting to fit in and start designing a life that you love. There are no boundaries on how you should live your life, so get creative. Also, never think something is impossible until you’ve tried.
Many people think it is not possible to study (a full-time studies) and travel at the same time because as a full-time student you’re not able to earn enough money or have the time to travel. Well, let me tell you that is not true. You just need to find a way to make enough money during your semester, so you can travel in semester break.
You need to believe in the impossible being possible, otherwise you’ve already lost.
2. Create the opportunities you wish you had
Some things, and traveling and career at the same time is such a thing, are not the norm. So, this makes it even more difficult for you, because there is not such a thing as an ultimate guideline you can follow to get what you want. You need to work our way through, face challenges and create opportunities for yourself to make happen what you want if there is no opportunity given to you.
When I figured, it would not be possible for me to go to France (my second home) anymore because I started studying, I was bummed. It was a nightmare come true. Though this didn’t stop – no it even motivated – me, to find a way to make it happen against all odds. I decided to redesign my full-time studies to a distance studies. That way I could go to France and still continue studying. It wasn’t all easy because my studies are not meant to be distance studies. And for sure it was a challenge to follow classes from abroad and then fly home for exams. But with the right effort and trust, it works out.
3. Get your goal setting right, stay committed and show dedication
If you have two separate areas of life where you want to succeed it is even more urgent to set yourself some goals. You first need to know when it is time to focus on which area and when it is time to hold back on the other.
Second you always need to keep in mind that there is the other area. So, for example if currently traveling is in your focus you should still not forget about the business goals you have.
Know that now it’s the time to travel and enjoy it fully, but also keep in mind and have already set a date when you will come back to making your career a focus. And vis versa of course.
In many rare cases (like mine above), and only for an extended amount of time you can do both at the same time. Why only for an extended amount of time? Because doing both at the same time means you have to split up your focus and that makes you less productive and enjoy every one of both areas less because you often get the impression you don’t achieve anything in any of both areas.
Doing both at the same time means, when you’re traveling you still have to stay committed to your work/study life, keep crushing it and building a career. But in reverse, when you’re at home working towards success, you must have goals to go traveling again. Otherwise you won’t be happy, and you know it.
So, you can do it for some time, if there is no other way and you can’t make one of both a focus and take a break from the other.
But in the long run you need to dedicate phases of your life to each and then solely focus on that one thing during this period of time. That can be some months, or a year, your choice. But be aware, the longer you not focus on one area the further you get away from achieving and creating happiness within it.
Show dedication to both areas of your life at any given time.
4. Consider all options and determine pros and cons
When trying to combine both worlds you have to consider all the options available. No matter how rare or unrealistic they seem. You never know if it might not work out anyway.
So here are some options I considered:
- Travel for a few months and then go home and work for a few months
- Work and travel at the same time
- Work during semester and travel in semester break
- Do distance studies or study abroad
Before you decide on the best way for you to bring your two desires together, point out all the pros and cons of every situation so you won’t get caught of guard by anything. And then decide on which way works best for you.
Also let me mention here, you don’t have to choose just one. I for example started with studying and working during semester and then traveling during semester break. Then I decided to go abroad and redesign by full-time studies to a distance study and flew home for exams. Now I am doing my internship abroad and after going on an exchange year.
This way I was able to spend at least 6 months a year traveling.
5. Have a plan
Once you’ve decided on how you want to proceed it’s time to make a plan.
To build a career while traveling the world must be well planned and thought through, to avoid setbacks and struggles or wasting your time.
Sort out what you want and where you want to be at a certain point in life, career wise and travel wise. Make 1, 2, 5, 10 year plans with your goals and monthly breakdowns. Then choose at what period of time traveling and when career building needs to be in the focus.
Once you have a plan it is time to get started and execute it with passion and power. Focus on that one thing that is important in this period of time, enjoy it fully and don’t worry about not progressing in the other area. There will come a time when this one comes in your focus again. You only have to make the choice when.
And here it is always best to listen to your hearth.
Though never forget:
The Importance of keeping a balance:
As mentioned above, you won’t succeed and get happy if you focus on both things at the same time for a long time. There will be times where you need to focus on building a career more then on traveling and vis versa, but at the same time and in the long run, the effort you spend on both must be equal. Otherwise you’ll start missing something, which then makes you unhappy and dissatisfied.
So, what I recommend you to do, to keep a balance is the following.
1. When at home
When you’re home meeting obligations, have a flight ticket booked so you know exactly when you can leave again. That way you have something to look forward to and the feeling of going away won’t be that drowning.
Try to add as much positive habits from traveling into your daily life. Find ways to include some of your travel lifestyle into your life back home.
But give your full focus and attention to working towards your goals.
2. When traveling
When you’re traveling, enjoy your trip fully. Don’t worry about working or hustling.
If you have to still do something in that area because for any reason you can’t get completely away, have a plan ready on how much you’re going to work and crush it during your trip. I suggest 3-4h a day, that is possible without taking too much of your travel time. But this is really up to you and your goals.
I should warn your though, it isn’t easy to crush it while you travel. There are a lot of distractions and the longer you travel the more unmotivated you get to sit down in front of your laptop and work.
But if you want to know more about this, stay tuned for the next post of this series.
And before you travel make sure you know exactly when it is time to come back to hustling for your dreams again. This way you can fully enjoy your trip and traveling and know at the same time that you will come back to pleasing that other desire of yours.
3. In general
Do as many things you love as possible. No matter if at home or traveling, spend your time on things that bring you joy and happiness.
Look forward to the future. Dream and dream big. Have a vision and the Mindset of making it come true.
That’s it. I hope this gave you some new insights in how to find a travel-life balance and combine your desire to travel with building a career.
If you found it any good and know someone that could need this inspiration too, feel free to share it. Also, stay tuned for the next post on this series. It’s going to be about traveling and crushing it at the same time.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting you can either check out the other posts of this series:
See you soon!