Managing How to Work, Study and Travel Simultaneously


The other week, my classmates and I were joking on our Facebook group what we would award each other for our upcoming graduation this July 25. One classmate said he would give me a “Master Procrastinator Award”. I was appalled so I asked him why.

He replied, “Because every time I am cramming for our paper or an exam, I would see in your posts that you are either in Korea, El Nido or some random beach. You don’t seem to be bothered by school or work at all”.

Am I one?? (Image credits to keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

I was surprised that some of them had a perception that I am a “procrastinator”, so I clarified that when I am on travel, I bring my iPad and laptop. I study while waiting in airports and ports. I write papers at night or during the wee hours of the morning. I always put my phone on roaming to make sure I don’t miss anything work or school-related while I am overseas. Simply said, I multitask.

I always get questions related to this: How do you juggle things? How do you manage to keep up at work and school and still get to travel? So I thought I’d share of some of “tactics” of how I managed to do all three for the past years:

1. Multitask but do so efficiently. This is inevitable. I am not someone who can let go of my day job just to prioritize school or travel. I don’t have someone who I can say I can lean on  in case I get into financial trouble. I don’t want rely on scholarships either because in the Philippines, more of often than not, stipends are delayed. I also still send money to my family back home every once in a while. Multitasking is not ideal, but to be able to do all things I want to do and have to do, this is the compromise I make.

I am lucky enough that my classes are online. So while on travel, I can still participate in class discussion late at night or write papers at dawn. When I have something important for work that coincides with my travel, I usually check my email at least three times a day to make sure my workmates would still get the information they need from me.

2. Learn to delegate work. This is something I’ve finally recognized over the years. I am bit of an OC so I am very meticulous with details. Before, I prefer working tasks on my own. Now, I am learning that I can delegate tasks to other people especially when I am away.

3.Don’t procrastinate and plan in advance. It is important to master the art of doing things in advance and overcome procrastination so one can have a more stress-free travel. It’s to better be to be hyper stressed before going on vacation rather come back home to a multitude of tasks for work and school. If I have tasks for work that I can do the week before I go on vacation, I already do them. If I have I paper due for school, I research in advance. I also book my flights and plan my travel way before my intended travel date so I have enough time to save and get the best deals. Impulsive travel is fun but more often than not, they end up being more expensive and chaotic.

Do everything smarter, not harder. (Credits to midwerx.com)

4. Prioritize, learn to recognize what matters the most, and accept limitations. Studying and traveling are resource-intensive. If I don’t manage my finances wisely, I will end up broke. So what I usually do when it’s pay day, I always set aside a certain amount for my savings, insurances,  tuition fees and traveling funds. The rest will go to my living expenses, bills, etc. I also choose practicality and functionality over luxury. Hence, I opt not to dine out expensively, go to clubs on weekends or buy branded stuff.

I also know my limitations. At the end the day, work and school comes first over travel. I don’t let my travels affect my productivity and the quality of work I put out. I learned how to say no to some travel invitations. When I my emergency funds experience some dent, I also try to recuperate first before I go traveling again.

5. Immerse yourself in what you do and learn to appreciate beyond what you do and see. I study so I can understand and do my work better. I want to work better because I want to improve processes, create impact and achieve personal goals such as traveling. I travel because I want a better appreciation of the world I live in and the life I live. I want to have better sense of appreciation so I can study and work more sincerely. I view these three as if they are on a symbiotic relationship and as the ultimate tools to my highest goal—to do things and live life with a sense of purpose.

(Credits to azquotes.com)

 Wow! That was a long list. I am not even sure if I made sense. Trying to do three things at once is not easy. I always joke around that I envy people who have a lot of time in their hands and those that say “I am bored”. On the contrary, time seems to be my enemy… a times, a fleeting concept. To have come to a point where I seem just “procrastinating”, took and still takes a sheer amount of discipline, self-awareness and time management.

In summary, I would like to impart that no achievement comes easy. To truly want something means to have a heart and will to take a challenging road, the guts to sacrifice and compromise, and the skill to turn a loss into a win.  After all, there ain’t such thing as free lunch. 🙂

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