Interviews Other

Juggling a Career & Travel: Interview with Menorca

Another example of how you can travel and see the world, but also maintain a career back at home—I interviewed Menorca, the gal behind the blog, Europe Diaries who works full-time in Switzerland. Prior to working in Switzerland, Menorca studied in Germany, which is where her love for travel blossomed and so did her blog. Find out what Menorca had to say about balancing a career and seeing the world…

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

The field I work in is in Parkinson research where I am basically involved in data analysis and get to work with doctors, psychologists, as well as computer scientists! I also do some freelance work and blogging on the side.

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

Annually, we are allowed to take 25 days of vacations, apart from public holidays, but, it is also possible to take more days off if one needs to. Plus, business trips and conferences don’t count as days off of course :)!

How often do you try and travel within a year?

I actually try taking short trips every one to two months. I have an advantage right now, as I’m staying in Europe, where traveling between countries is quite easy. Plus, I visit India for about 3-4 weeks every year.

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

Well, if I’d want to go backpacking around the world for half a year, that would be difficult to plan out at this point, but I’m glad that I can take several short trips throughout the year and also get to see several places because of work and conferences. I often plan travels by considering long weekends or combining public holidays with a few work days, or even extending work trips. So, I don’t really feel limited to travelling because of my job.

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

Not really but I do find it hard to unplug from blogging related work while travelling!
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Why is it important to you to have a career but also incorporate travel into your life?

I don’t know what I would decide later in life, but as of now, I enjoy working apart from travelling, and seeing my long years of study put into use by working in a challenging field. I hope my work can make a difference and contribute significantly to science, plus there are many skills I am continuously learning, that will be helpful for any career change I plan in the future. I also find it fascinating to see the results that come out of all my hard work, whether successful or not so successful. One is pushed further into critical thinking and coming up with new ideas.
I think travelling is definitely vital for having a better perspective of the world we live in, to understand yourself and others better, for getting out of your comfort zone and exploring. There is no right way to travel; that’s what I feel, but I always would want travel to be a part of my life on top of my work.

What inspired you to start a travel blog?

Honestly, it was the city of Heidelberg (Germany) that inspired me to do so. I was interning there for six months, and that was a sort of turning point in my life. I fell in love with the city, met some very inspiring people, started exploring my passions and capabilities, and decided to have another outlet for being creative and expressing my thoughts. My first entry was my very first poem, dedicated to the city.

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

Go for it! Try combining work and travel, plan in advance, manage your work well (keep deadlines in mind while planning to travel), find out the rules for sabattical/holidays/paid and unpaid holidays from your human resources team, so that you can make informed decisions. If you are switching careers or making a transition, you can also take the opportunity to take an extended break and go travel!

Check out Menorca’s blog, Europe Diaries here, and follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram. 

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  • Reply
    Amanda C @ UnrestingSea
    December 29, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Love reading about other people who maintain a full-time career while trying to travel as much as possible! That’s my goal in life — work hard, travel harder!

    • Reply
      January 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Exactly 🙂 Love it and thanks for reading.

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