How Do We Make Traveling Possible with “Normal” Jobs?
Marty and I started traveling when we were dating. He was in the military and was on “block leave” (the time a unit gives for vacation). I asked for two weeks off from my job. That beautiful vacation took us to his home in Miami, Florida. We spent some time in Key West and then hit up Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida for the 4th of July. How Do We Make Traveling Possible with “Normal” Jobs?
After vacation was over, we both went back to work!
Fast forward a few years. We still traveled on our “block leave” and on weekends. You will be surprised by how much you can see and do on a weekend. We lived in Columbus, Georgia for a little bit and found ourselves never home. It seemed that every weekend we were in Atlanta, whether it was seeing a Braves baseball game, shopping in Midtown, catching dinner in Buckhead, laying in the grass at Piedmont Park, or hiking Kennesaw Mountain or Stone Mountain.
If we didn’t go to Atlanta, we went west. At this point, we had already gone on 2 road trips, with a very recent one to San Francisco and back. After seeing the Grand Canyon, we were curious about Georgia’s very own “little Grand Canyon”. Off to Providence Canyon, home of poor farming techniques. Other weekend trips led us to places such as Destin, Warm Springs, Callaway Gardens, Drive-Thru Zoos, various National Parks and Historic Sites, and many days on Lake Harding. This was just on weekends and with very little money.
Don’t let your job stop you!
The last two “big” vacations we took before leaving the military were a road trip to Boston/Maine/Montreal/Toronto/Niagara Falls/Gettysburg/D.C. and then to Disney World for a week. We had saved our tax return to go on the road trip and then we had very discounted tickets to Disney World for military personnel. All of those were used with vacation days.
After the military, Marty started his own company and he has a very busy schedule. That has led us to travel separately from each other on occasion. I take the kids to see family and sites while he will do the whole solo thing.
This is where our lives have changed when it comes to travel. Marty will take vacation days in large quantities. Instead of 17 days at a time, we take 60 days off. I understand that 90% of people can’t do this. But for now, this is how we vacation.
Since 60 days is a lot of time, we don’t spend it all traveling. Marty likes to be at the house and enjoys working in the yard. The kids still have school work to do (homeschool), and I have prior volunteer commitments. We strategically plan our vacations and create detailed itineraries to get the most out of our trips without spending a fortune.
60-Day vacations aren’t feasible.
No, 60-day vacations aren’t. I don’t care to spend money, so for me, they really aren’t feasible. BUT, I love to travel. Since we have started this crazy venture, Marty and I have been to Puerto Rico, St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Peru, Columbia, Costa Rica, Whistler for skiing, Vancouver, road tripped to Wyoming and back, swam with Manatees in Crystal River, spent time with family and friends in Miami + Fort Lauderdale, hung out with my sister and her kids in Siesta Key all the way to Sanibel/Captiva Island, watched a rocket launch at Canaveral, chased the kids on the grounds of the Biltmore, enjoyed the blooming Cherry Blossoms in D.C., saw a lot of quirky roadside Americana, watched the sun set over Lake Lanier, and laughed a lot in between. We are blessed, I know that. But I also know that Marty works hard for everything he has. If you want to travel, you can make it happen. Just start with weekends and small amounts of vacation days like we did. As for funds, try not to eat out as much and limit unnecessary spending. For us, we still live in our “small” house while our friends have moved on to massive 4,000-5,000 square feet homes. If you get a tax return back, use that. Buying a new tv won’t bring you the memories from a trip. It will bring you lazy days on the couch watching others travel the world. Unless you honestly need a new car, keep driving the one you have. Stop coffee runs or trips to Smoothie King. Then stop hestitating and buy the plane ticket or book the hotel!
Do I ever think we will make a living off of traveling? Maybe.