Born and raised in Toronto (Canada) Madisyn Mckee, with a passion for travel, has built her life and created a home base for herself here in the city. Currently living and working downtown Toronto with her fiance who she met on her travels in a hostel in California, Madisyn finds every opportunity she can to travel. She currently also records her adventures on her blog, The Restless Worker. I caught up with Madisyn since I’m always pumped to stumble upon other part-time travelers, especially ones from my city! So I chatted with her to get some insight on how she juggles her 9-5 on top traveling.
Tell me a bit about what you do for a living.
Currently I work full-time as a Social Media Manager for Workopolis. When I’m not running their social accounts I’m running my own for my blog, The Restless Worker. I handle all of the web design, promotion, outreach, social accounts, content writing, publishing and photography for the blog as well. Life can get pretty busy.
Do you have a certain amount of vacation days a year at your job?
I’m lucky in that Workopolis starts you with three weeks vacation. For every year of service you get an additional year (capping at a certain point). While no vacation will ever be enough for me, I’m lucky to have a manager who is supportive and encouraging of my ‘side project’. I don’t take more than the allotted time given but I’m lucky in that I have flexibility to choose when I want to take that time.
How often do you try and travel a year?
Quite often, actually more often than anyone I know. Last year we saw eight countries and 23 cities. All while using allotted vacation time. We likely won’t see as much this year (we’re getting married, yay!) but we try to go away at least once a month. Even if that means exploring our own backyard.
Do you ever feel limited to how often you can travel because of your job?
I used to but ever since starting at Workopolis I think I’ve been very lucky. Like I mentioned, the vacation time we get at the company is pretty fair and having a boss that encourages me to follow my passions.
Do you find it hard to unplug from work while traveling?
Yes! Being a social media manager, and running (between my blog and full-time job) over ten accounts I don’t really know how to put my phone down. It’s a good thing I love what I do, although I do get in trouble often enough for always being on my phone. Ever since starting my travel blog I almost find it difficult to travel normally. I’m always worried about getting the perfect shot, remembering little details I can write about later and keeping my audiences updated with where I am and what I’m doing. Sometimes I miss the days I could just experience a destination. I’m going to challenge myself to do this during my honeymoon in August, I may even leave my phones at home!
Why is it important to you to have a career while also incorporating travel in your life (versus quitting your job and becoming nomadic)?
I’ve never been a huge risk taker. I’m driven by stability and security, both of which come with a full-time job. I’ve worked hard to get where I am in business and I wouldn’t want to lose that momentum. I also love coming into work and spending time with my coworkers. I’m lucky to work alongside some brilliant and fun individuals which I wouldn’t necessarily get being a nomad. For right now I’ve found a happy balance between work and travel. If I find one ever comes to be too much over the other I might make a change but for now I’m pretty happy!
What inspired you to start your travel blog?
I really started the travel blog as a way to build my personal brand and portfolio to land my dream job at the time (social media manager). I’ve always been a writer and my dream from when I was little was to be published. I’m not publishing books but it’s the modern day version I guess.
The other reason why I started a travel blog was because all of the ones I was finding were stories about women (and men) who had quit their jobs, packed up their belongings and set out into the world. It’s great for them and if that’s what someone wants to do I would wholeheartedly encourage them. However I knew that wasn’t what I really wanted and I knew that the majority of people I knew didn’t feel the same way, but they still wanted to travel. After having so many of my friends and family ask me about my travel plans and how I did it, I thought what better way to tell them than to create a platform for them to reference whenever they wanted.