Pros and cons of traveling with a full time job that nobody talks about
Let’s face it! Who wouldn’t want to travel full-time? It’s like asking someone – hey! do you want to quit your 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, boring as hell job that pays you to do half the things you don’t care about, half the things you don’t agree with and go chill in the Himalayas? Who on earth would say no to that? I have spent days, weeks actually, contemplating the thought of quitting my job and travelling full-time. It is THE DREAM, after all!
Just like almost everything, travelling with a full-time job comes with its own pros and cons. Let’s take a look-
1. Financing your trip is easier (not easy, just easier)
Almost 3-4 years ago, I read a few articles about these people who left their full-time jobs to travel the world and all of a sudden, everyone around me wanted to do the same. It did sound like a dream that everyone wanted but couldn’t afford. I remember my first job when my salary was Rs. 25000, I used to joke about the fact I could not even afford eating at McDonalds’s after 20th of every month because I would go broke. Now I earn enough to go clubbing every day (but I don’t), and I still feel I don’t earn enough. I guess, what I am trying to say is, your expenditure is equally proportional to your income, but at least a stable source of income will let you plan your expenses and travel fund without compromising one for another.
2. Your parents don’t give you a hard time (Special edition: unmarried and Indian)
Imagine telling your parents about your dream of travelling full-time. Go on, try! Because I did and my mother started crying as she thought I wanted to run away from them and all the responsibilities that I am ‘supposed’ to care about. The idea of not having a permanent home scared. So yes! Amidst my crazy trips, keeping my full-time job has calmed my parents so far. Things have gotten better from travelling 3-4 times a year to travelling 10-12 times a year. I am secretly roping them in and they don’t even know about it!
3. You can still dream about a big house and a fancy car
It is not a crime to dream of owning a house with 2 kids and a dog, nor is eyeing a fancy BMW. If you wish for a similar lifestyle, keeping your job while you travel could be your best shot at it. I threw away the term ‘settling’ from my dictionary right after my graduation when I realised I couldn’t care less about materialism but if you dream about a future that entails responsibilities like kids, cars, homes, I’d suggest you stick to the “travelling with a full-time job” plan.
4. Financial security
I worked for Roposo for almost 2 and a half years and then moved on to a company called Overcart (don’t try to look it up, it doesn’t exist anymore). Overcart shut after 50 days of my joining (I swear I had nothing to do with it shutting down). I was respectfully requested to resign, which I did and was asked to wait for a month (they took 6 months) to get paid for 50 days (finally received for 20 days) of work. It took me 2 months to find another job and I had to spend everything I saved for a trip to Vietnam to survive without any pay for 3 months (I was hospitalised for 3 days during this break). Moral of the story? A stable income made it affordable to fall sick, get fired and stay jobless for 3 months.
I am not going to lie, I am going to enjoy writing the cons more than the pros because this is exactly what’s on my mind all day and all night.
1. Yeh dil maange more
It’s a black hole. The more you travel the more you want to travel. It is more addictive than any drug out there! No, I am not trying to be melodramatic. I can’t recall a single day at work without thinking of my next trip. It is exciting and saddening at the same time. Exciting because you can’t wait for your next trip. Saddening because you have to wait for your next trip!
2. Leave management sucks
I work for a company which has given me 8 holidays (how generous!) and 18 earned leaves (I lose money every time I take one of these, even if I fall sick). That’s it! I also work on Saturdays. So I basically can not plan a trip for more than 2 days. I am sure a lot of you must be working in the similar (hostile for health) situations. Now, what if you want to attend a local festival in another state of the country but it is on a Friday. See what I mean? No matter how clever you get with travel planning for the year, leave management is still taxing.
3. Go explore or go home?
Just like everyone, I am constantly looking for long weekends. These auspicious weekends only arrive 3-4 times a year and they put me in dilemma. To go explore a new place or to go home (literally, because I haven’t visited my parents for a long time). Fewer leaves and more places to be. How will one choose?
4. Spontaneity digs a hole in your pocket
Scenario 1 – It is a Thursday night, you are sitting with your friends, one enthu-cutlet decides to plan a weekend trip to Goa on everyone’s behalf and you end up making all the bookings on the surge prices!
Scenario 2 – You mark your calendar, book your tickets 2 months before the trip and 6 hours before the trip, your CMO decides to discuss the budgets for the next quarter (when you work for a startup, saying no to such requests is offensive). You either reschedule your tickets or drop the plan entirely.
In both the cases, you will feel a burn on your thigh because spontaneity just dug a freaking hole in your pocket!
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