Helpful Tips

Balancing Work and Wanderlust

February 13, 2017

Not your normal 9-5

In previous posts, I’ve mentioned that I work in the film industry. As an assistant to a high-level executive at a studio, I typically work from 8:15 AM to 6:30/7:30 PM. It can be exhausting, let me tell you. I’ve been working this type of job for over 4 years, and it’s similar to its portrayal in TV and Film. When I say that, I mean the egos are huge; the gossip is juicy, and we have something called Development Hell. I could spend a post just discussing that, but that’s not what we’re here for!

Sitting at my desk every day, I was getting really bummed out. I was seeing all these beautiful travel blogs with tips on visiting places that I wanted to see, but couldn’t. One could call me a workaholic (since I rarely take a vacation/sick day) but in all actuality, I’m in the same boat as a lot of people right now; I’m trying to figure out the next step in my career. I just entered my late twenties, and I’m trying to find my path to being happy. That’s what we all want at the end of the day, right?

Here’s a list of helpful things that I do to maintain sanity at my desk.

8 Tips To Balance Work and Wanderlust 

1. Find A Cause

I needed something to help my yearning for more world exploration. Boom, this blog. I started it with the intention to talk about the places I want to go and how I’ll get there. My writing every day has brought a sense of peace to my over-active brain.

2. Keep a List

I’ve started following a lot of people on Instagram and despite the slight jealousy, I’ve seen specific places/landmarks that I had never heard of. Now, I write the cool ones down to visit one day. I used to think just keeping a list of countries would sate my thirst, but there was something missing. Now, I’m keeping a list of specific places in each country that I would like to visit instead of just the country itself.

3. Start a travel savings:

I’ve waded into the personal finance-pool, and it’s been a learning experience. Last year was the first year I was able to fully fund a Roth IRA and grow a small savings account. I’m still paying off student debt, but we’re credit card debt free as a couple and that’s very exciting for us. I also started a travel savings account through Ally Bank. It’s completely online and they give about 1% interest rate on their savings account, which is more than the traditional brick and mortar banks offer. I put $40 into the account every week and forget about it! It’s crazy how I’ll remember to check on it and find a couple hundred dollars sitting there waiting to fund our next trip!

4. Become a weekend traveler:

Lately, I’ve been spending all my weekends catching up from a long week at work, but we also try to do some side trips. We try to go to San Francisco, San Diego, or Las Vegas (my hometown woot!) to bleed off some travel lust. I want to squeeze in Seattle and Portland soon too!

5. Use Duolingo:

It’s a huge dream of mine to become bilingual (or even trilingual!). Duolingo makes it easy to get a basic foundation of a multitude of languages. Plus, I’m working on Spanish with the goal to return to Spain or visit a Spanish speaking country. There I can use my hard-earned language skill! Doing this at least feels like I’m working towards something, you know?

6. Making dream travel itineraries:

Now this one is one of my favorites, I LOVE breaking down potential trips. Excel is my budget buddy, and I won’t hesitate to share what I learn. It’s also helpful to get a feel for what a trip might cost so I can make a budget goal for us. Eric appreciates this because he gets freaked when I suddenly tell him one of our trips is going to cost $4,000+. If I can show him a budget, it definitely helps him adjust to coming with me. (Ha, like he has a choice.)

7. Remember This Too Shall Pass:

It helps to remember that this desk life won’t go on forever. I’m working to fund a long-term traveling trip in the very near future.

8. Always have that next big trip slated:

We’re going to London and doing some time in Edinburgh at the end of September, and I am so excited. When we got back from Europe last year, I was so sad, but planning for the next trip definitely helped me perk up a little.

Sometimes my need to travel (right this second) is hard to sate, but writing about all of the above is therapeutic. I can’t wait to break down our London budget for you all on Thursday. We only have the flights and hotels booked right now, so there is definitely plenty to discuss and share!

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