A part-time blogger and traveler, and full-time marketing professional, Amanda Carnagie is based in Michigan with her husband Eric and cat. How does she mind time to fit travel into her busy life? I chatted with her to find out…
Tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Amanda! Marketing maven. Michigander. Married to the World’s Best Husband. Owned by the cutest cat (who’s also a bit of a jerk). Gets overly excited about sunrises, sunsets, and unexpected animal encounters. Believes ice cream is nectar of the gods. Workaholic with a serious love for travel. As a travel blogger with a full-time job, balancing my career while making time to travel the world is a top priority. This is what my blog is about: incorporating more travel into our working worlds.
Tell me a bit about what you do for a living.
The simple version: marketing for an insurance company.
Do you have a certain amount of vacation days a year at your job?
Unfortunately, I’m limited to accruing ten vacation days per year. I reached my one-year milestone on the job which I celebrated for finally getting a decent amount of vacation days in the bank. It’s a struggle. But that’s why I focus my blog on how to travel with a career. There are tricks to maximizing those limited vacation days.
How often do you try and travel within a year?
As much as possible, of course! My husband and I typically plan one big trip per year (usually international) with the remainder of the year sprinkled with smaller trips. These smaller trips are typically weekend getaways that I’ll plan with my husband, or friends, or family (or even solo). I’ll travel with whoever is available to join!
Do you ever feel limited to how often you can travel because of your job?
Of course. Especially when ascending to a leadership role, there’s additional self-inflicted pressure to perform optimally, be available, and achieve company goals. I often worry that going on an extended vacation in my role would be irresponsible or look poorly to my managers and to the team I lead. I never want “Amanda isn’t here” to be an excuse for tasks not getting accomplished. I think this is why building a trustworthy, self-sufficient team that is cross trained is so important. Doing this will alleviate that pressure. At the end of the day, it’s my fault if I allow myself to feel limited because of my job. It’s hard, but something I continue to work on as a young professional that values travel.
Do you find it hard to unplug from work when traveling?
Surprisingly, no. I’ll check my email once (maybe twice) per day to skim through. If anything needs to be addressed, I’ll either respond with a solution or pass it along to one of my teammates to handle. If there is a work emergency that needs my immediate attention, I advise everyone before I depart to send me a text message or phone call since I don’t intend to bury my nose in my work inbox while traveling. A trick to help this is to turn off email push notifications when on vacation. Also, I leave my work laptop at home (that thing is a brick anyway).
Why is it important to you to have a career but also incorporate travel into your life?
I worked WAY too hard in my life to get where I am in my career. I never want to give that up. I love my career. I’m professionally fulfilled. Plus, having a job funds my travels.
In addition to my career aspirations, I have personal dreams to see and experience the world and I won’t give that up either. Some people say “you can’t have it all.” Maybe that’s true – well, you can’t have 100% of everything. But you can take bits and pieces of the parts that matter most and build a life where it feels like you have it all.
Travel is that ‘reset’ button that helps me perform even better in my job. It’s the event I look forward to that motivates me through a rough week. When I travel, I may see/hear/experience something that guides me to improve my work, or inspires my next big marketing campaign for my company. Even though travel and work are two very separate entities, they’re quite harmonious when you balance them wisely. Overall, both career and travel vastly improve my life in vastly different ways.
What inspired you to start a travel blog?
It’s the classic story of “girl goes on European backpacking trip post-university graduation and maintains blog to communicate with family that she’s still alive.”
Actually, I created my blog months before I even knew I was going to backpack Europe – it was meant to be a creative outlet for my last semester in college and conveniently transformed into a travel blog during my trip. I’ve been blogging since 2012. Last year I re-branded it to the blog you see today: The World Incorporated.
If you had a piece of advice for someone that is trying to maintain a career & also see the world, what would it be?
Let it be known that travel is a priority in your life. Some people use vacation days to take care of family. Others take vacation days for “me time.” I reserve my vacation days for travel. There’s no shame in using these vacation days for travel. They’re yours to do as you please. Do not fall victim to work martyrdom. Do not go on a “guilt trip” when you travel. Learn tips and tricks to incorporate my travel to my life. Oh, and subscribe to my blog, because I show you how to do this. 😉