How to travel the world while working full time

I love traveling. (I bet you do as well!)

I used to travel a lot around Asia when I was still a student as it’s much cheaper and there were lots of school holidays. Being an exchange student in Tokyo for a year helped me travel around Japan too.

Now that I’m working, I have more money to travel outside of Asia, but the problem now is time. Having a full-time office work doesn’t give me many vacation days (in Hong Kong, we have 14 days public holiday and average 10 paid vacation days at work).

Still, I set a goal for myself: every year I have to visit at least 1-2 new countries or cities. Because of this, I’ve been to around 35 countries and over 85 cities to date, and counting…

So I got these questions a lot: How could you travel so much? Do you even need to work? Are you a flight attendant?

Well, I’m not a flight attendant, and I do need to work of course. Here’s a few things I do to facilitate my travel plans while having an office work.

  1. I plan my travels around the long public holidays, like Christmas, Chinese New Year, Easter etc. I always look at the calendar at the beginning of the year to lock in the dates of those long holidays, where you can take 3-4 days off and have 10 days to travel.

  2. Whenever I travel to Europe or South America, I will include 2-3 countries in my itinerary within 10-14 days.

  3. I tend not to stay in the same country or city for too long when I visit the first time. I always tru to visit all the main sites and major cities during my first visit and get some local experience. If I really like the place, I will plan to revisit and for longer time next. This way I can see more places and make sure I won’t be spending too much time in a place where I don’t enjoy as much.

  4. I don’t really take vacation days to travel within Asia now. I save all the vacation days for long haul travels. For Asia, a long weekend will do.

  5. I also applied for no pay leaves from work sometimes too. If you let your manager knows way ahead of time, and make sure you arrange all your work before your vacation, it’s not that hard to get approval.

I joined packaged tours during the early days, but now I plan all my trips. I know how difficult it is to plan everything, especially if you are going to cross out a new country from your list!

I hope by sharing some travel tips and insights from my experience through this blog, I can help answer some of your questions regarding your next adventure, and create your perfect vacation 🙂 

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Passionate about traveling, language and culture. Visit at least one new country or a few new cities every year. Love exploring local cuisine and culture while meeting the locals. Top 3% of TripAdvisor reviewer in Hong Kong. 85 cities, 34 countries and counting...

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