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Full-Time Marketer, Part-Time Traveler: Interview with Shereen

 Balancing a full-time career, traveling and travel blogging can be tough, but it is possible, and although I’m a living example of that, there are several other globetrotters out there doing the same. I chatted with Shereen, marketing professional, blogger at The Traveling Postcard, and traveler to see why her career is so important to her and how she makes both traveling and having a career work for her. Here’s what she had to say.

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

I am currently working for one of the largest local fashion retailers in Gibraltar as Head of Marketing. I have been in this role for 1.5 years now and I have been faced with quite a range of projects to overcome considering it’s quite a small company in relation to other retail stores around the globe. For example, in December, I had to organize a photo shoot to generate images for our Christmas Catalogue that I also designed, organize a client Christmas shopping party and arranged a whole fashion show with over 30 models showcasing our winter collections.

Angor Wat, Cambodia

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

Yes and unfortunately, they aren’t enough! I have 15 days annual leave and about 13 bank holidays throughout the year, I try and take my leave in conjunction with these bank holidays to make the most of them both.

How often do you try and travel within a year? 

It will all depend on my budgets and priorities at the time, but normally within a year, I try and go on one two-week trip to try and really immerse myself in the country that I am in and various smaller weekend trips within Europe, normally not more than four times a year. In 2015 for example, I went to Italy for two weeks, where I hired a car and visited Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence and Portofino and then also took smaller trips to London, Amsterdam, Ibiza and Glasgow to climb Ben Nevis.

Koh Phi Phi

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

Yes! I have only ever been on one long-term trip, which took me to Southeast Asia for nearly five months. It was absolutely magical, visiting Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam amongst a few others, I was hoping this trip would take away my wanderlust, but unfortunately, it’s only fed my desire to travel!

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

I used to find it harder when I used to work in the tourism industry dealing with people’s travel arrangements and organizing company events, but since then I’ve learned how to switch off more when travelling and I mean literally switching off from my work phone!

Rock of Gibraltar

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

I am very much a family orientated person, I don’t think I could go for very long without seeing my friends and family. Also, I love learning and I love accomplishing projects at work. As much as I try not to be, I am also, by nature, a worrier and I don’t think I would be able to travel calmly for the longer term not knowing if I would be able to support myself financially. But my number one reason for this is because I love what I do as much as I love travelling so its important for me to fulfill both of these and with some planning, you can do both.   

What inspired you to start a travel blog? 

At first, it was to diarise all the places I’d be travelling to over the years, its a beautiful reminder of the good times! As I worked on it more and more, I wondered if it were possible to turn it into my sole income earner to be able to travel more. But travel blogging takes A LOT of time and perseverance, more than what people realize and I haven’t been able to, so now I use it as a hobby to inform people of things they can do in places they are planning on visiting.

Koh Tao, Thailand

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? 

If you really love seeing the world and still want to focus on your career make sure you make time to travel. It is incredibly easy getting stuck into your daily routine, one minute its January, next thing you know it’s coming up to summer and you haven’t travelled anywhere (I’m totally guilty of this). Make time for travel and go!

You can check out Shareen’s blog, The Traveling Postcard here, follow her on Twitter here, and like her Facebook page here.

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