If you like travelling and often read about travel, I’m sure you’ve already bumped into a lot of websites, instas, tweets, pins and whatsoever that encourages you to ‘ditch your desk’, ‘fire your boss’ and all of those similar and popular quotes about quitting your job and selling your house and travel the world forever. And all of these are supposed to be inspirational. Ahem.
Which is the way to happiness…?
In one hand, we get the point. Having courage and freedom, travelling full-time and making your dreams come true is a wonderful thing. And nobody should give up on their dreams. But is it the only way to be a traveler? What if our dreams are different? Actually, that is our problem with these over-quoted ‘drop everything and travel from now until forever’ inspirations. They make us feel that if we don’t do it, we are missing out something. (Are we?)
If I would say that we’ve never thought of being one of those travel nomads backpacking around the world and spending every week in another country, that would be a big lie. We’ve played with these thoughts a lot, even lately. But deep in our heart we feel that no matter how wonderful this lifestyle may look it’s not what we really want. (And btw this lifestyle has its own hardships as well though those are not mentioned that much.)
Maybe for some that is the path to happiness, but we are not one of them. (Cliche warning!) Yeah, people are different. There’s no right way of living a happy life. But there is a right way (or more ways) for everyone.
Adventure or stability?
We passionately love travelling, but we also love having a home. We like baking together in our kitchen. We like watching movies from our comfy bed on a rainy day. We like sitting on our balcony, drinking tea and watching the sunset.
Of course, the most obvious reason why we don’t travel full-time is that we both have full-time jobs. And we don’t want to give up on them. So we travel whenever we have the time and the money – having the time is the harder part and not because we are that rich. 😀 And yes, we like stability. (Or are we just afraid? Does it mean we don’t have that adventurous soul of a ‘real’ traveler?)
But at the same time, we love adventures, new places, new people. Just as we love old friends and those places where we’ve been several times, but we would happily visit them any time again, because they are so close to our heart. For a while we were thinking how to choose between travel or stability. But not anymore. We want both – in our way.
There’s not only two paths in life, there’s countless choices. The school – 9 to 5 work – marriage – family house – children path is maybe the most common expectation in our Western societies, but hasn’t this ‘quit your job and travel the world’ path started to become just a similar expectation? Should we feel that we are not ‘real’ travelers just because we have a job and don’t travel full-time? I don’t think we should. (Or do we?)
What does travelling mean to us?
Just as there’s countless paths in life, there’s also countless ways of travelling and countless ways of becoming a traveller. For us travelling shouldn’t necessarily include air tickets, a different country, beaches and hotels, but it means seeing the world in the first place. It means the open eyes and the open heart. Someone who has the eyes of a traveller doesn’t need to go far away, but can travel anytime and anywhere.
Having a weekend trip is travelling. A day hike in the nearby mountains is travelling. Exploring our own city is travelling. Moving to another country is travelling. Even business trips are travelling. Meeting with people from other cultures is travelling. (Isn’t our whole life is a travel of its own kind?) Of course, we shouldn’t miss out visiting faraway countries and cities from this list as those are also travelling.
We believe that if someone is a traveller by heart then they will always be travellers no matter if they are literally travelling at the moment or not.
How do we travel while working full-time?
But still, travellers are eager to travel. Including us. We have found several ways of travelling that fit in our lives now. Probably we will find other ways in the future and some of the ways will change just as we change over the years. But here’s how we manage it now.
Taking all of our vacation days
First of all, currently we are lucky to have more than 20 days of holiday per year which means more than 4 weeks. (Dear Europe, can any other continent ever beat you in this? :)) We maximize it for travelling and that’s the time for longer trips.
Using weekends and public holidays
We do a lot of weekend trips which are 1 or 2 days sightseeing or hiking trips near the place we live – currently, it’s Budapest. We also have several long weekends yearly (at least 4-5) which are great opportunities for short road trips or sightseeing trips in Hungary or in our neighbour countries. Or in any European city if we find a cheap flight deal.
Moving to another country
Moving abroad is another option. Actually, we believe that you can only get to know a place well if you live there for a while. This could mean months, but also years. Of course, our life is not long enough to spend such a long time in every country (neither we want to actually live in every country in the world), but there’s some on our list where we would happily spend a couple of years – or more.
So far we’ve spent a year in the United States and that turned out to be a fabulous year! We are on the search for our next opportunity abroad.
Taking advantage of business trips
This is still a new thing for us, but our first attempt was quite successful. 🙂 We know it depends on the job, the company, the purpose of the business trip itself whether you can see anything other than the office you work in, but it’s well worth a try. Like travelling to the place on the weekend and/or extending the trip with some vacation days. We were able to do both lately, so we ended up having just as much time for exploration as for work. For us it’s also a huge advantage that Csaba works remotely, so we can even travel together.
But enough of our life for now. What about you? We are excited to know what do you guys think about this topic and how do you travel?