Today’s CultureTrav post is by Leigh Marcos
Adventurous, local, and personal. That’s the goal for many travellers including 80% of millennials recently surveyed by AirBnB. But, can you have this rich and meaningful type of travel experience while holding down a job? Travelling while working — either freelance, remotely, or with a work visa — is becoming increasingly popular. You may, however, be wondering if the expectations really match up to reality. How can you see the country, live like a local, and go-with-the-flow while spending your days working? Well, here’s how you can make most of your time in any country without taking time off work.
Balancing work: don’t work at home
When you’re in an exciting new country, you don’t want to be stuck working at home. Instead, put yourself right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of daily life by exploring the streets and working out of wifi-enabled coffee shops. You’ll soon get a good idea of the customs, etiquette, and tipping norms just by observing the people around you. You can even strike up conversation with staff and locals on breaks. If you need somewhere quieter to work, visit the nearest library or museum for a double dose of local culture and history.
Venture further afield on weekends
Obviously you can’t experience a country’s full diversity, beauty, and charm if you just stay in one place. Weekends off work are perfect for exploring towns and villages surrounding your local area. In fact, quieter villages and rural parts will give you a clearer sense of a country — including traditional food and local life — before the onset of globalization. You can leave on Friday after work and stay for the weekend, but even a day trip is a great way to journey further afield without skipping work.
Explore before you start a job
If you’re on a year-long work visa, schedule an extra few weeks or months to explore before or while you apply for jobs. So, you could spend two months soaking up the stunning scenery and wildlife in western Canada before travelling to begin work in Toronto, for example. Giving yourself extra time to explore a country will mean you won’t feel like you’ve missed out once you start work. Just make sure you’ve saved enough money beforehand.
Balancing work with fulfilling travel doesn’t have to be difficult. You’ll soon find how to make it work for you. There’s nothing more exhilarating than experiencing all of what a country has to offer while earning the money to fund your travels.