Updated: Dec 25, 2019
August of 2018 I left my employer of 7 years. It was one of the hardest things I had to do. Leaving a job where I was comfortable, but within the same uncomfortable. I felt stagnant in my career. I felt I was moving around instead of moving up, despite my efforts (side eye).
In my cushy job of 7 years. I had several weeks of vacation, holidays off, personal time, ample sick time, a great work schedule, and the ability to take off when I wanted with no real approval.
I felt sick leaving all of this behind and knowing I would lose a week of paid vacation. I knew my job and I wasn’t in the spirit to learn a new one.
However, I no longer had to pay $7 a day, 5 days a week for parking. I’m earning more money. I get to work from home, and set my own schedule within reason.
Before accepting my new job. I had an upcoming trip to Egypt and United Arab Emirates which was paid in full. I would be gone for almost 2 weeks (yikes).
Luckily, my new employer agreed I could take the time off before I accepted the position.
After accepting, I was confident it wouldn’t affect my job performance.
I started my new job in August of 2018, but despite my hopes, it was one of the most stressful times for me. August and September I was training, but it was so much to learn. As we all know, training sets the foundation, but not the real real of the job. Once you’re pushed out the bird’s nest of training, you have to either fly or fall to your death.
My training was over in October and that’s when my world came crashing down. Of course, the first thing came to mind. “Screaming at myself!!! Erika, you just left your cushy job, you have a trip in 2 weeks, and there is so much to learn and do. LAWD!!!
I felt I was handed a Rubik’s Cube to solve.
I left for my trip, but I returned to what I called the “Massacre of Erika’s Mental Health.” I was stressed and stretched with massive emails, tasks to complete, voicemail after voicemail, fire after fire, and a clean-up of mess which I inherited from my predecessors.
However, this made me reconsider how I would travel in 2019. The adjustment of having a new job, needing to become proficient in my job, and losing a week of vacation, caused a shift.
I work Monday thru Friday at my new job. At my prior job, I would usually take a work week or two off, not including weekends for my travels throughout the year.
I placed my cushy travels on the backburner. Instead, I decided to take off 3 work week days and included my weekends to extend my vacation, for a total of 5 days, instead of taking the entire work week off. I would leave midweek, on a Wednesday or Thursday and return on a Sunday or Monday, unless I could incorporate a paid holiday into my travels.
I know for some it’s not ideal to return to work right after a trip. People usually take an extra day or two off to rest before returning to work.
However, this is one reason why I decreased how far I would travel to minimize jet-lag and fatigue in 2019. Traveling 15+ hours can be quite draining and the time zone change can be exhausting.
My 2019 travels include 4 trips, Guadalajara, Mexico (completed)…Guanajuato, Mexico…Montreal, Canada, and Antigua, Guatemala. All are under 5 hours from Chicago, Illinois and they’re all direct flights with no connections. I will arrive back home early enough to rest before work the following day.
A plus about my 2019 travels. I will only have to deal with one time zone change for Montreal, Canada which is only 1 hour, and the flight is only 2-1/2 hours.
I also focused more on relaxing travel. I enjoy sightseeing, architecture, learning about a country’s culture, talking to locals, enjoying coffee outdoors at a chic cafe, and traveling with less of having to do 100 things.
I have my top 3-5 activities I plan on doing, and everything else is meh! If I get to it, I get to it, but if I don’t, I don’t. Instead of running myself rugged and returning home exhausted.
I will say the readjustments are actually quite nice. I’m still fulfilling my wanderlust, keeping my sanity, and saving money while doing so.