Changing the World & Traveling: How Astrid Does It All

Based in Seattle, Washington, Astrid Vinje is not just a traveler and travel blogger, she also works to better the world in a global health organization. For her, it’s important to have a balance of both travel and adventures, plus her career. I caught up with Astrid to hear more on her career, and how she balances it all.

Tell me a bit about what you do for a living.

I am Project Administrator for a global health organization based in Seattle, Washington. We have projects all over the world, ranging from vaccine development to helping improve newborn care in hospitals in Ghana. My projects are focused on maternal and child health, and take place in India, Vietnam, South Africa, Zambia, and Ghana. A lot of what I do is financial management of the projects, but I work closely with my counterparts in-country to make sure that are projects are going smoothly from an operational and administrative perspective.


Do you have a certain amount of vacation days a year at your job?

I receive about 19 days a year for vacation, in addition to three personal days. I almost always use them up because I love to travel so much!

How often do you try and travel within a year?

This year, my family and I are aiming to do one trip per month. Most of them are small weekend road trips to nearby destinations, but we also try and do at least one big family trip each year, which lasts about two or more weeks. I also get to do some travel for work, and am planning to travel to Zambia in the late summer.

Do you ever feel limited to how often you can travel because of your job?

Not at all. My job has a fairly generous leave policy, so I never feel limited by how often I can travel. If anything, my travel limitations are non-work related. I travel with my husband and kids, so we have to work around school schedules and my husband’s work schedule.


Do you find it hard to unplug from work when traveling?

I make it a point NOT to check my email while I’m traveling. Sometimes this is unavoidable, especially if I have a hard deadline to meet, but for the most part, it’s relatively easy to do if I’ve properly handed off my work to someone else before leaving on vacation.

Why is it important to you to have a career but also incorporate travel into your life?

To me, life is about doing something that is both meaningful to you and that will have an impact on the world. I love to travel, but I think if I were to only travel, it would be thrilling at first, but eventually I would feel like I was missing something. Fortunately, I picked a career that allows me to feel connected to the world, and also contribute to making it better.


What inspired you to start a travel blog?

Over the years, I’ve gained so many travel stories, I wanted an outlet to share those stories. Also, since I had kids, I noticed that a lot of families are hesitant to travel with their kids, because of the additional costs and complications. I write in the hopes of showing families that travel doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated, and that there are plenty of ways to incorporate travel into their daily lives.

If you had a piece of advice for someone that is trying to maintain a career, and also see the world, what would it be?

Take advantage of your leave days, and use them up each year. If you travel for work, see if you can tack on vacation before or after your work travel. Also, ask your team if they are open to you working remotely.

You can follow Astrid’s adventures at The Wandering Daughter, here, on Facebook or on Twitter.

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  • Reply
    Astrid Vinje
    July 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Thanks for the opportunity to share my story, Lauren!

    • Reply
      July 5, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks for letting me tell it 🙂

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