I met Lauren of Justin Plus Lauren awhile back at a Travel Massive event. We became buddies when it came to networking events in the industry and we even ended up traveling to Sri Lanka together a couple of years ago. Lauren is from Dundas, Ontario, Canada but currently is living in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside of Toronto.
Lauren is a part-time traveller like me and works full-time for a national sports network here in Canada. Her blog is about urban and outdoor adventure, exploring nature, eco-friendly travel and responsible wildlife tourism. Lauren is also vegan and her blog includes a lot of tips and tricks for traveling as a vegan. I chatted with her to get the scoop on how she juggles her full-time job and traveling! See what she had to say…
Tell me a bit about what you do for a living.
I work in the television industry in post production. For many years, I’ve worked a video editor, although I also help manage satellite feeds, server records, and a whole bunch of other nerdy stuff.
Do you have a certain amount of vacation days per year with your job?
Yes, I get three weeks vacation, although we have the option to bank extra vacation time by working overtime and holidays. This year, I’ve managed to take almost 10 weeks off work to travel.
How often do you try and travel within a year?
It really depends. I find that I take several trips that last one to two weeks throughout the year. Usually, I spend about two to three months of the year travelling.
Do you ever feel limited to how often you can travel because of your job?
Yes, for sure. Even though I have some freedom and flexibility, I wouldn’t be able to ever take off for months at a time. That’s okay with me. I like being at home and having a regular life here. It allows me to focus and work on my blog, which I find difficult to do on the road. I also wouldn’t want to leave my cats for that amount of time.
Do you find it hard to unplug from work while traveling?
I definitely work on my social media as I’m travelling, but it’s usually because I’m working with a tourism board or brand and that work is required of me. At the same time, I really enjoy posting to social media, so it never feels like work. I don’t have to work at all for my day job while I’m traveling.
Why is it important to you to have a career but also incorporate travel into your life?
I enjoy my day job, so I’m happy I’m able to strike a balance between my career and travel/blogging. Blogging is my second full time job, which can be challenging. However, it doesn’t ever feel like work because it’s a passion for me!
What inspired you to start your travel blog, Justin Plus Lauren?
I started my travel blog as a personal blog to remember the fun times that Justin and I have while we’re travelling. I never had any intention originally to turn my blog into a business!
If you had a piece of advice for someone that is trying to maintain a career & also see the world what would it be?
It can be challenging, but try to travel when you have some time off. Set aside a little bit of money every pay check for a trip. If you work a 9-5 job (I work shift work, so I’m not in this category), use your three day weekends to travel to a place that’s within a few hours of driving or flying. Explore your own city or region on your days off. You can definitely spend a couple of weeks in a new country if you love to travel. Many people don’t even use up their vacation time, which I find to be a crazy idea!
You can follow Lauren on social media at the below links: