Ahead of my newest release, I wanted to share the introduction of my new book Traveling With A Full-Time Job. Currently, this book is available for purchase on my author website here (this website) as well as on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rakuten kobo, and more. This book shares how to travel more with a full-time job, how to advocate for remote work, and tips for ways you can excel in your career while traveling often.
Introduction to Traveling With A Full-Time Job
How To Make the Most of Your Time
With close to 5,000 photos and videos on my phone, I scrolled back as far as I could and landed on my photos from 2017. It was an extraordinary year because I jumped on every opportunity to travel. I booked solo trips, weekend getaways, and planned a couple of week-long vacations with friends. I visited Chicago, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Iceland, and Barcelona. That was the year I proved to myself I could travel extensively with a full-time job. I visited 11 countries, bought a house, and adopted a dog.
Feeling nostalgic, a smile must have appeared on my face because my fiancé asked me what I was thinking about as my alarm went off. Big bold letters appeared on my screen, T-Minus 10 Minutes Until Showtime. Frantically running up the stairs, I burst into my bedroom. With a few minutes to spare, I needed to find something to wear. I was hosting a virtual book release party for my second book.
Sharing in my excitement, my fiancé offered to join, and together we prepared a short outline for the event. He would share his favorite takeaways, and I’d discuss why I wrote the book. Later I’d read a chapter and share the behind the scenes of my writing process. Little did I know the idea for writing this book would come to me during that live stream.
Right before signing off, I shared details of the new book I wanted to write. However, there was one problem. Deep down I wasn’t sure if it was going to resonate.
Nonfiction books typically solve a problem and offer a transformation of some sort. Although my solution was clear, I was having a hard time articulating the problem. I also wasn’t sure if readers would care enough about the topic.
Not wanting to waste time writing a book no one would read, I brainstormed alternatives on the spot. As a new author, I was on a roll. Last year, I wrote two books: an Iceland travel guide and a how-to about saving for travel. I enjoyed the writing process so much I wanted to continue writing more books.
Thinking out loud, I mentioned wanting to write another book about traveling with a full-time job. I was well-versed in the topic, and it is a pain point for many. Since the initial response was overwhelmingly positive, I knew I was onto something. By the way, 357 million results show up when you search for “traveling with a full-time job”. Thank you, Samara D., for planting the seed. Check out Samara’s personal finance blog Budget To Be Free.
With a demanding job, limited vacation time, and a big appetite for travel, I have traveled extensively over the last six years. I have poured the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (Ireland) twice, I have walked behind a waterfall in Iceland, and I climbed to the top of the Castle of San Giovanni in Kotor (Montenegro), all while holding down a full-time job. If I’m being honest, it’s not enough that I travel a lot. This is half the story. During this time, I have also grown in my career. I have gotten two promotions, and my responsibilities continue to increase. Overachiever is my middle name. It’s really Cassandra, but I digress.
A Grants Manager by day and an avid world traveler in my free time, I learned how to balance travel and work through trial and error. No one gave me the blueprint in college or graduate school. I did not have a mentor who I could look up to or ask questions. If I wanted to travel and grow professionally, I would have to figure it out on my own. That is exactly what I did.
For a long time, I felt alone in wanting to lead a travel abundant lifestyle with a nine-to-five job, until I started my affordable travel and personal finance blog, The Thought Card five years ago.
By reading other travel blogs and getting to personally know the authors, I discovered I wasn’t alone in my experience. I met many savvy travelers who were crushing it in their careers and also accumulating a ridiculous amount of airline miles. Wanting to share our success stories, tips, and lessons learned, I began writing this book. It was important to write because we are bombarded with messages that say: “Quit your job to travel the world,” or “Quit your job to pursue your passions.” While this may be an option, it is not the only way to go.
Perhaps you love what you do, or you have financial responsibilities that make it difficult to pack up and go. Or you’re like me and realized your nine-to-five is helping you reach your financial goals sooner than later. Regardless of your reasoning, I’m not here to convince you to keep your nine-to-five job. Instead, I want to show you how to creatively plan so you can explore the world without sacrificing your career.
If you’re feeling stuck or believe you can’t travel with a day job, think again. By sharing what has worked for me and many others, you will:
- Become familiar with your workplace vacation and holiday policy,
- Learn how to travel more without taking any time-off,
- Optimize your vacation days so you can go on longer trips.
While all of this is helpful, there’s more. If you have concerns that traveling often will negatively affect your work, this book is for you as well. Keep reading to find out how you can plan and be proactive so your time out of the office doesn’t negatively affect the quality of your work or reputation. If you want to travel the world without sacrificing your career, there are things you can do at work that will help you be seen as a thoughtful, reliable, and dependable team member. The last thing you want is for your boss and colleagues to get the impression you are distracted by all of your travels. Right? I’m confident that when we are done, your team will sing your praises and admire your ability to do both.
If you’re wondering who I am and why I am qualified to write this book, let me introduce myself. My name is Danielle Desir. I work full-time as a research administrator in New York City, and I’m a part-time world traveler, affordable travel and personal finance blogger, and podcaster. I usually travel on the weekends, during public holidays, and I make it a point to use all of my vacation days every year. On my blog, ‘The Thought Card’, I empower financially savvy travelers to make informed financial decisions. From finding the best travel deals to discovering wealth-building opportunities, I am passionate about pursuing financial independence and living a fulfilled life.
I am also an advocate for not waiting to travel. While many have adopted the idea that you have to wait to start living your life, or you have to quit your job altogether, I refuse to limit my potential. I’m guessing you’re reading this book because you do not want to limit yourself either. If you want to have a career and travel, you do not have to pick between the two. You can do both, climb the corporate ladder, and have a passport full of stamps to match.
Will it take effort? Absolutely.
Will you need to prioritize? Certainly.
However, as Acquania Escarne of ‘The Purpose of Money’ blog and podcast says: “Traveling is for anyone that wants it. Period.”
Life Is Short
Over the last few years, I have had several deaths in my family. Three of my great uncles passed away shortly after reaching retirement age. While sad, this loss inspired me to seize more opportunities.
Why wait until retirement to pursue the things you want in life especially since there is no guarantee you will get to enjoy your golden years? And if you are blessed to make it over the hill, who is to say you will be in good health? Will you be able to climb to the top of the mountain or have the energy to spend the day walking around a new city? My uncles had big plans for their retirements, but sadly they never realized them.
Writing this book, I am also home around-the-clock practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in my adult life, I cannot travel. Not because I can’t afford it or because I don’t have enough vacation time, but because a dangerous virus has spread across the globe. At this time, the United States Department of State advises avoiding all international travel, the highest travel advisory the U.S. government can issue. Airports are shut down, flights are suspended and the borders are closed to nonessential travelers.
Canceling our travel plans for the year and not knowing if or when we will be able to travel again as we used to, has put things into perspective. It reminds me to always do what you can while you can because tomorrow is not promised. The world as we know it can change overnight.
Debunking the Myths
One of the most common travel misconceptions is you have to quit your job, become location independent, or wait for retirement to travel the world. Eliminating the constraints of a full-time job makes traveling easier. But plenty of people have full-time jobs and enjoy a travel abundant lifestyle. I am one of them, and you’ll be hearing from many others throughout this book.
After visiting 27 countries including Ecuador, China, Austria, Portugal, and Curaçao, I’ve found that when it comes to traveling with a nine-to-five, to balance it all, I had to become creative and strategic with my time.
Knowing time and money are the biggest factors holding people back from traveling the world, in my previous book, Affording Travel: Saving Strategies For Financially Savvy Travelers, I tackled the finance issue head-on.
I detailed how to save for travel, even on a tight budget. I challenged readers to ditch their limiting beliefs and get rid of the excuses that they can’t afford it. By planning and creating a new financial routine where money is put aside regularly (even if it’s $25 every other week), you can get serious about prioritizing travel without uprooting your lifestyle. If you want to incorporate more travel into your budget, grab a copy of Affording Travel. While my previous book covers the financial aspects of travel, this book addresses how to find the time to travel when you have a full-time job. Although the lack of time may have held you back in the past, by the end of this book, I hope you will walk away encouraged by all of the ways you can maximize the time you have, however limited you think it may be. If you’re ready to make lemonade out of lemons, let’s get started!