How to Travel the World when having a Full Time Job?
You want to travel, and you have a full time job? You think your job is preventing you from traveling? You want to go somewhere for a longer period of time, but you don’t know how to arrange the days off with your boss?
These days, I’ve had the chance to talk to an interesting couple who has the solution for you. They have a full time job, but that doesn’t stop them from traveling around the world. On the contrary, they are traveling a lot, and they are writing a blog about it.
Martha and Nigel are a married couple, who always finds the time to travel around the world, despite their full time jobs. The traveling is what brought them together, and intertwined their interesting life stories, despite the age gap between them. They are the couple who breaks many prejudice, and it was a special honor for me to do an interview with them. Although I’ve taken some of their time, just as they started traveling around Portugal, I hope that it didn’t stop them from enjoying in another one of thier interesting trips.
If you want to hear their story, be sure to read the interview below. There are a lot of useful advice hidden inside it, which wil open your horizons, and encourage you to travel despite your full time job.
Before we start talking about traveling and your blog, I have to ask you something about your interesting life. Your life story is very interesting and a good movie could be based on it. Can you tell me how you met, and how you ended up married in a few words?
Martha was working for a vacation rental company in Gothenburg, Sweden that I used. She actually handled a booking of mine and was good enough to send me an English translation of the directions to the property.
We kept in touch and then I went to visit her in Leipzig, Germany the following year. A year and a half later in 2010 she moved to Northern Ireland after studying in England and in May 2015 we married in California!
Unlike other travel bloggers I have interviewed so far, you have a full time job. Nevertheless you are traveling a lot. How do you do it? List and describe the top 3 tips.
We just have to budget our annual leave carefully. Martha has less leave than I do plus she needs time to visit her family in Germany so she often works on public holidays to take a days leave another time and she never takes time off other than to travel.
She also takes an extra weeks unpaid leave each year to help out. Time to us is more valuable than money.
Our best three tips would therefore be:
#1 Try to use weekends and public holidays where possible to travel
#2 See if your employer can let you work additional days or hours to create extra time off for travelling
#3 Don’t take unnecessary days off during the year if possible.
Sacrifices often have to be made to pursue your love of travel.
You said that Marta managed to arrange 5 additional days of an unpaid leave. What I want to know is, how did the process of negotiation for that type of leave go? Can you give some advice on how to arrange it with the employer?
The company head hunted Martha which put her in a stronger position to negotiate the terms which she wanted. Not everyone will obviously be in that same position but it does no harm to ask your employer if unpaid leave is a possibility.
Most of our trips are booked quite far in advance, sometimes up to a year, as we try to keep the cost of flights as low as possible. For example we have booked return flights to Stockholm in the past for £80 which nearer the time of travel had risen to almost £300 per person.
This year we have had four trips to Norway, Germany, Croatia and Portugal so cost as well as annual leave are important considerations. Sometimes you might be able to get last minute bargains for accommodation but we have often found that booking accommodation and even car hire in advance makes financial sense.
We particularly enjoy road trips to the US and parts of Europe which require more planning of routes and how long to stay at each location.
You said that you sacrifice your time off during the year, so you could go on a few good quality long trips. Why do you love traveling so much, and describe several reasons why my readers should travel more despite their full time job?
I have always had an interest in travel and Martha has worked in a number of countries from her late teens so it’s probably no shock that we love to travel.
With us both working full time we enjoy having our trips to look forward to and when we aren’t travelling we are planning future trips!
People with children obviously can’t travel as often as couples as they are restricted by school and the additional cost of travelling at peak times. Trips don’t always have to be to exotic far away or for a week or longer.
Even just going away somewhere within one or two hours drive from where you live for a weekend can be nice.
Your blog named Baybreezin doesn’t bring you any profit for now, but you are investing a lot of effort in it. Why did you decide to launch a blog, and what are the key steps for starting a successful blog?
We never went into writing and travel blogging to make money out of it though obviously if that were to happen, as it sometimes does, we are more than happy!
To make a living from blogging takes a lot of time and effort so that would be the first thing that potential bloggers should be aware of. Good quality content is obviously essential. Try to be original and write about locations which are perhaps less known as people are more likely to be interested in reading about them.
Try to take good quality photographs or videos which make your articles more appealing. Finally make an effort to engage as much as possible with other bloggers as it is a very supportive community. We have made many friends in the last year from many countries and have even had a couple from Florida stay with us in our home.
I want to know how active are you on the blog? How often do you publish new articles, how many time gets spent on social networks, and how many hours on a daily/weekly basis do you spend on your blog in general?
We don’t publish as many articles currently as we would like with working full time. I in particular spend at least two or three hours per day on blog related work be it writing an article, editing photographs or engaging with other bloggers.
The various social media platforms can be very time consuming as you have your website plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest etc to update. We also belong to numerous travel related groups on Facebook which we also post articles in.
As far as the content on the blog, I see you use different media. Many of the articles are written and equipped with great photos, but there are also video clips. What type of media do you think is best for travel bloggers?
Photography is my main passion so we like to illustrate our articles with a lot of photos as a picture really can sell a location more than a thousand words.
Martha enjoys making videos of our trips and while we travel she also makes short instavideos for Instagram and our Facebook page to keep our followers updated with where we are and what we are doing.
We also post a few photos each day, though usually just ones taken on our phones, as it’s a quick and easy way to stay connected. It was from seeing a photo of the Lofoten Islands on Instagram a couple of years ago that we came to visit it this Spring so for me the visuals are very important.
I hope that this interview will motivate my readers to start traveling despite their full time job. Describe several actions that must be done (before / during / after the trip), so that full time employees could enjoy their holiday with as less stress as possible.
Planning before travelling is essential to avoid any unpleasant surprises on your trips. Research your accommodation on tripadvisor or via reviews on booking.com etc. I can honestly say that we have never hated anywhere that we have stayed.
If you’re doing a road trip don’t try to do too much as you want to see the places and not just be sitting in a car for hours every day. We always factor in a few days where we perhaps don’t drive anywhere and just relax by a pool or on a beach.
Travelling can be tiring but often the tiredness only hits you when you return home so if possible try not to return to work the day after you get home as that can be stressful and depressing!
Your dream life will soon get a new dimension. Your first child is on the way. How will that affect your trips? Do you intend to travel with the baby as well?
Our baby will no doubt change how we travel for a while as road trips might not be as easy but we fully intend to still travel. Once they start school we will have restrictions as to when we can travel which will be more difficult to overcome!
This baby has already been to Germany, Croatia and Portugal before it’s born so it’s already well travelled!
Your first blog is based on an ‘age gap couple traveling the world’. You said that you will start a new blog after the arrival of your baby, which will talk about what it feels like traveling with a baby. Do you think that a new blog will be ‘the project of your life’? Now you have the experience, the knowledge and the additional motivation, can anything stop you on the road to success? 😀
We haven’t fully decided whether to start a new blog or just have a section within our current blog. There are obviously many couples who travel with children but maybe not too many age gap couples from different countries with a baby so that might be our unique selling point!
Many of my readers dream about traveling, but they are really afraid to go on a log distance journey. What message do you have for them at the end of this interview?Why should all the people live their dreams?
Maybe start off small and build up to perhaps doing a US road trip. If some of your followers live in Central Europe they could perhaps do a short road trip from their home using their own car to keep costs down.
It all depends what you want from a holiday. If you just want to go somewhere hot and lie in the sun all day every day you will bring back very few memories and learn nothing about the country you are visiting.
Our road trips have been so memorable that we still talk about the places we visited even years later. Our recent 11 night road trip through Croatia involved visiting four different locations which felt like having four different holidays as each location was so different.
Don’t dream about seeing places as there is no reason why any of us can’t make their dreams come true!