For those of you who have been following this blog ‘Independent Travel Help’ for a while, you will be aware that I have had a change in circumstances: I changed the balance of my life from travelling, pretty much, full-time and working for short periods of time to working full-time and travelling in my spare time. This was for one main reason: I needed money. I was fed up with living and travelling on tight budget. I needed a change.
My first full-time post was teaching English at a private language school in a small town in Poland. That was a great experience because it gave me the chance to explore the country. Then, after working at a summer school in the UK, my second full-time post is the job I am currently doing, which is working for a university press in the UK as a Sales Consultant. It’s interesting, and it is in the field of English Language Teaching. When I accepted these jobs, I had no intention of giving up on travelling independently because it’s a big part of my life. I love the challenge and adventure of independent travel, but could I do that while working full-time? That was something I wasn’t sure of, but I was about to find out.
I have been working full-time for a year and a half now. There is no doubt that it is more of a challenge to travel in the way I like while working full-time, but it isn’t impossible. While I was working in Poland, I only had one day off a week, the national holidays, and the set two-week school holiday. The other issue was the salary. As an EFL teacher in Poland, I had enough money to travel around Poland, but I didn’t earn enough to travel to other countries. It turned out to be a blessing because I had the opportunity to explore Poland – north, south, east, and west. While doing that job, I realised that I wanted a job with more money and holidays, so I could travel more and further afield. I wasn’t expecting to return to the UK, but I was lucky to find a job that I enjoy and one that gives me the money to be able to travel and more time off than my previous job. I might not have a lot of time when I’m away because I am restricted to the annual leave I get, but it’s amazing what you can see and do in a short space of time. To give you some idea, during my trip to Sri Lanka at Christmas, I only had 6 nights, but I got to see and do so much during that time. The best thing is, I did it my way: going with the flow and no concrete plans.
So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, most people work full-time and can only travel on their time off. As I have found out, you can work full-time and still travel in your own way. There are compromises, obviously, but it can be just as fulfilling. In fact, I probably appreciate it more now because it’s even more special when I have the time to travel. I also don’t have to worry about money in the way I did before.
When I look for jobs, these days, the salary and annual leave is incredibly important to me, regardless of where I work in the world. If that’s the same for you, here is an interesting infographic. This gives you some insight into working conditions (working time and renumeration) in 7 countries around the world (Australia, the UK, Sweden, the US, Brazil, South Africa, and Germany). If you’re thinking of working in a different country, it’s worth taking a look at the data. It’s an eye-opener! I had no idea that people working in the US are not legally entitled to any days off, apart from the 8 national holidays they get. In contrast, people working in Sweden get 36 days holiday. That’s a whopping 7 weeks off (based on a 5-day working week). Given the choice, I bet you can guess which country I’d want to work in. What about you? Check out the infographic for more interesting nuggets of information.
This post was written in collaboration with GoToMeeting.
Have your say
Now you’ve had a chance to absorb all the information, if you were to live and work in a different country, which would it be?