Nadia Vincent was born in South Africa and has been living in Hong Kong for the past almost 9 years. She has a strong passion for travel, like most of us, and has lived in places like the United Kingdom, Greece and the Caribbean. She has two dogs who have gallivanted the globe with her and are now currently living in Hong Kong with her, and has been to 86 countries across the globe, from Mount Kilimanjaro and beyond. Nadia is a true inspiration and the definition of “goals”. I had a chance to chat with her about how she juggles traveling so much while maintaining a career as a preschool teacher.
Tell me a bit about what you do for a living.
I actually studied tourism and hospitality many years ago, as I naively thought that would help me travel, which it did for a while as I was working in front office in hotels, but after doing that for a few years I decided teaching was a much nicer option to allow me to be out of an office and also to travel the globe while making money – so now I am a montessori preschool teacher, and I have been doing this at the same school in Hong Kong for the past 7 years. I teach ages 3 to 6 year old, and it is an incredibly rewarding career.
Do you have a certain amount of vacation days per year with your job?
Yes, 8 weeks a year – 1 week at Chinese New year, 2 weeks at easter, 2 weeks over Summer, 1 week midterm in October and 2 weeks at Xmas!
How often do you try and travel within a year?
Every holiday, as above, and every long weekend! Just this year I have done the USA, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Hungary, Denmark, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Thailand, Singapore 🙂
Do you ever feel limited to how often you can travel because of your job?
I do yes, as I love going far afield, and close by, but if I wasn’t working I’d be traveling full time for sure! I like to wing it a lot when I travel, as opposed to planning every detail, but it can be tricky on such limited time to do this. Also, it can be very limiting if you find a great deal, or if a friend is traveling at the last minute, to get the time off work, so I often miss out on these opportunities. Traveling during school holidays is also the most expensive time to do so, so this a major drawback!
Do you find it hard to unplug from work while traveling?
Not at all! I switch off the minute I walk out the school doors! I really immerse myself in the local culture as much as I possibly can within a limited period of time, but I’m very good at being in the moment and enjoying and savouring the place and time I find myself in.
Why is it important to you to have a career but also incorporate travel into your life?
To be honest, I do it for the money to travel, and I also enjoy the classroom (I’m not a suited and booted office kinda girl!), so this suits me perfectly. As travel is my passion I need to do it regularly to make sure my mind and soul are recharged and each time one trip ends, i’m already busy planning and looking forward to the next one or two.
If you had a piece of advice for someone that is trying to maintain a career & also see the world what would it be?
Being a teacher is always a good option for travellers, because of the generous holidays (a lot of schools get a longer paid summer than myself), but I am aware that there are also many ways to make money while traveling. I just haven’t got myself to make the move as yet. My second piece of advice that someone once told me, and it was a life changer, is this: jump and the net will appear! book that ticket, chase down those dreams – life is short, and everything works out in the end!