Wander and work – how to travel the world without damaging your career

08 November 2016

Travel. It seems that for more and more of us, travel is the goal of life. But do you need to work hard and save hard in order to play hard? Maybe not.

Sure, a whole year of travelling would be nice, but the years either side of this could prove tough. Can you really save enough to do a full year with no income? And just what do you tell potential employers when you are trying to explain that big gap in your career?

Well, I’m here to tell you there is another way. My partner and I have managed to visit over 25 different destinations in the past 18 months but, crucially, have also kept progressing in our careers (event management and human resources).

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey in 2015

Hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, Turkey in 2015

We chose to leave our lives (and jobs) in Australia and move to London in May 2015. Getting a job to help us live in the world’s most expensive city was first on the list but travel wasn’t far behind. We were determined to see as much of Europe as we could while it was within a couple of hours reach, rather than 24 hours plus from home.

How did we do it? Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead – create a list of where you want to visit, arrange into weekends, long weekends and long holidays then prioritise your destinations
  • Research – research your destinations to determine best times to visit and approximate how long you will need there. Also look into average prices of food, accommodation etc.
  • Book smart – arrange big trips over bank holiday weekends to minimise annual leave, use apps like Skyscanner to find the best deals and book early
  • Spend smart – some of our weekends away have cost us less than a normal weekend in London!

And there are some obvious benefits to our regular travel. Not only do we get to escape the rat race, we learn about new cultures and broaden our thinking, we get inspired and sometimes even return with a tan!

Christmas in Moscow 2015 - a trip we didn't gain a tan from!

Christmas in Moscow 2015 – a trip we didn’t gain a tan from!

How do you balance work and travel?