Part-Time Traveler Talk with Jessica Kay

Welcome to the brand spankin’ new interview series over at A Passion and A Passport! While blogging over the past year or so (yes, it’s been that long already), I’ve met quite a few fellow 9-5ers with the same passion as mine- travel. Since not everyone can or prefers to travel long-term, I am thrilled to highlight and feature some of those similar to my lifestyle.

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Can you work and still see the world- YES! These individuals I’ll be featuring over the course of the next few months will hopefully give you the motivation you need to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy life exactly the way you desire. We all need a little push sometimes. Myself included! Most days, I come home from a long day at work and don’t want to get off the couch >> true story.

When you make a serious commitment to a workplace (what I call the 9-5 life), it’s tough to balance work and travel. Plus, there’s family and friends to see, chores at home to do, and for some of us, even more schooling to help move up the corporate ladder.

I decided to start this interview series for others to get a glimpse of part-time travelers’ lives. Not everyone travels the world indefinitely with a backpack on their back.

Yes, I completely understand that long-term travelers work extremely hard, and I am completely floored by the ones who make a living away from home. In no way does this series aim to prove that part-time travelers are harder workers, have a tougher life, or any of that other nonsense you hear around comparing the two.  Just figured I’d put that out there :)

Since I’ve been bugging asking others to share their responses to the questions below, I felt it was most appropriate if I answered first. Here goes, enjoy!

1) Tell us a little about your non-traveling/non-blogging self. What are you up to when you aren’t jetting around the world?

Well hello! It’s true! My entire life isn’t revolved around travel (although a chunk of it is!) When I’m not hopping around the world or planning my next adventure, I’m a speech pathologist at an elementary school in NYC. I just love the kids so much- always something interesting going on during the day! On weekends I like to explore the city and try out new restaurants (along with practicing my photography skills with my newish-but-hardly-used DSLR). I’m slightly obsessed with Nutella and frozen yogurt. I love sea turtles more than you’ll ever know, and I would be a professional snorkeler if the job was available.

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2) Is long-term travel something you’ve ever dreamed of? Would you give up your current life to travel the world indefinitely?

Do I dream about it? Yes, almost each and every day. Would I give up my current life forever? I’m not too sure about that. While it would be exhilarating to make my own schedule and have the ocean as my backyard and beach as my office, I don’t think I would get any work done. I’m not a slacker by any means at all (I’ve been working since I was 14), but I like knowing my paycheck is coming and I’m able to pay rent and groceries every month. Although if I did travel full-time I wouldn’t have an apartment, and therefore no rent…. hmmm…. 😉

3) Approximately how many days out of the year are you on the road? Is this enough running around for you?

Counting in my head right now. Usually away on a big trip for 2 and a half-ish weeks each summer, take a few long weekend trips throughout the year, and sometimes a week-long adventure in December. So that’s about 30 days or so, but then again, it’s a big approximation. Hoping to figure out how to squeeze some more short trips in here and there.

4) Where was your last trip? When and where is your next trip? For how long?
I traveled to San Pedro, Belize for a week over Christmas with some of my girl friends. The little town blew me away, something I was definitely not expecting. Next up >> Raleigh, North Carolina, Boston, and Washington DC in the coming spring months. A few days in each. Then we get ready for our big trip this summer, which I’ll be announcing on the blog soon. Stay tuned!

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5) Have you changed your life to travel more? If so, then how?
I would say I am definitely more aware of my spending habits. Those days of shopping every weekend are completely over, and I rarely get my nails done or go out for expensive coffee drinks. I would rather put that extra money towards my travel fund. While I do like my nice things, I’ve finally learned that experiences and adventures are why I work so hard.

6) What is one tip you can give others with a full-time life/job hoping to travel more?
Make time for adventure, even if it’s in your own backyard. Try out a new restaurant, sign up for a class you wouldn’t normally do, pretend to be a tourist. There are a myriad of ways to incorporate “travel” into your life, even if you can’t get away for a few days.

I’m actually in the process of writing an entire post about this, so I’ll spare my rant and let you read the post later.

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7) Tell us about your current vacation time from work and how you make the most of it to travel.
Luckily, I’m a teacher and get many more days off than someone working in a cubicle in the corporate world.

We have 195 days of school a year (plus 2 weeks of meetings at the beginning of the year), which, after you do the math, leaves me with 160 days of “vacation”. Excluding weekends, I have roughly 55 days, or 11 weeks off (about 30 in the summer, 10 in the winter, and 10 in the spring).

Sure it seems like a lot, but it’ll never be enough. As I said earlier, my husband and I use my days off in the summer to take a big trip (last year to Hawaii, the year before to Greece), and try to get in a few short trips throughout the year. More days off would be awesome! If you can convince my boss, I’ll send you an infinite amount of cookies or brownies, your choice!

8) Describe your perfect work-life-travel balance.
Ideally, I’d love to have a four-day work week. This would give me that much-needed extra day for exploring nearby cities on the weekend. Additionally, flexibility to take a week here and there for a longer trip would be nice. Right now, trips are limited to when school is on break (holidays and summer), which isn’t too friendly on the wallet. Thinking even farther into the future, I’d be thrilled to work 6 months a year and then have the other 6 months to adventure around the world. A girl can dream, right? :p

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9) Are there any destinations you’ve been longing to go to? Why?
Iceland. Galapagos. Utah. Maldives. Turkey. Thailand. Philippines…. And the list continues.

10) What is the best advice you’ve ever received regarding your dreams and traveling?
Pathetically, I don’t remember receiving any brain-intriguing advice in the past regarding traveling. How sad is this. Leave me some in the comments- I’d absolutely love it! And then I won’t feel like a complete loser the next time someone asks me this!

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BAM, done! I have to admit, it felt a little weird answering my own questions. But it had to be done, it just had to.
Look out for more inspiring part-time travelers soon!
Anyone care to give me some great travel advice?!

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