This is not a post to make all travelers seem bad. It is simply a piece that reflects my opinions of myself, and not travelers in general. This is not an excuse to run and say that all travelers have an awful work ethic and to never hire them.
First, let me start by saying that any traveler who has a blog or some kind of company that they work on while traveling, any traveler who freelances, or works abroad has an amazing work ethic. In fact, it’s probably better than the work ethic of a lot of people who don’t travel. People who work while they travel are some of the most determined, hardest working people that I’ve ever met.
But when it comes to me I hate to admit it, but my wok ethic has been tossed out the window, shoved down the drain, buried in the back of my mind and completely forgotten about. I am ashamed to admit, but my work ethic has gone to shit.
That’s the short version. The long version has a little bit more detail and will make more sense. Keep reading.
From a young age I was always a star student. I got good grades, I never had a teacher that didn’t like me, and I was often a favourite. I made a good impression in school always for my excellent work ethic.
I was a hard worker who demanded a lot from myself. I had high expectations and I never exceeded my expectations because by the time I got close to the expectations I set for myself I had already set the bar higher.
I was involved in so many extracurricular activities that I look back and wonder when I had time to breath. From riding English and jumping before switching to competitive dance, soccer in the summers, and seasons of rugby and field hockey at school.
I got involved in yearbook and in my final year of high school I was the editor. I was one of the co-heads for the grad committee, was involved in multiple other committees, organized, choreographed and performed in both my high school’s cheerleading and dance team.
In college I kept up my crazy schedule but instead of extracurricular activities I got a job that I sometimes worked 30 hours a week on top of school and started partying a lot. In my final year of college I produced two films (which is a ton of work).
Needless to say, I am a very organized person who has high standards for myself, I am a perfectionist, and I’m very hard on myself.
But when it comes to travel it completely ruined everything that I had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a hard worker and expect a lot from myself, but only when it comes to travel.
When I discovered how much of a passion I had for travel there was no turning back. I went on a two-month adventure around Europe the summer I finished college and came back to a job that I suddenly realized meant nothing to me. My future became a blank space, a void that I didn’t want to fill with a job that I wasn’t interested in.
I couldn’t get myself to want to work. I couldn’t get myself to care. I couldn’t get myself to want to do anything other than travel. It was this attitude that began my quick spiral down into my poor work ethic.
When I finally realized what I wanted to do with my life but it quickly dawned on me that traveling wouldn’t make me any money. In fact, I actually needed some money to start traveling again. This is when I started building my blog, picking up some freelance work and realized that I had another passion: writing. Finally, there was a way that I could travel and make money.
Now I’m so focused on my desires of traveling and writing (of course about travel) that any other job seems like a small road block to my dreams of making a living off of travel and writing. Trust me, even after almost a year of blogging I am nowhere close to living off of my measly income (some months I don’t even get paid).
I’m not so stubborn that I refuse to get another job. I did just spend the past five months getting up at 4AM to work at 5AM setting up shelving, moving product, and unloading trucks at a retail store. I do not put myself above any amount of work, but I simply can’t get myself to care enough to bring back the pristine work ethic that I had before.
I am still a hard worker and will be a good employee, but jobs now seem only like a means to an end instead of something I enjoy. I can’t get my work ethic to keep up if my passion isn’t there.
Travel has ruined me in many ways, as does any true obsession. As beneficial as it can be it has pushed me away from other opportunities. Now the thought of a desk job in a film production office that I once used to want is a distant thought locked up in a “For Life Backup/Emergencies ONLY” volt in my head.
But as much as travel has destroyed my work ethic it has forced me to be more resourceful, to use and live off of less and to find a more unconventional way of making an income. In the end I think travel has done more good than it has bad. As travel is the greatest teacher of all, its seemed to have taught me more in different ways than I ever could have expected.
So here is my apologies to my former or future (hopefully not, I like to be my own boss) employers. I promise it’s not you, it’s definitely me. I will do what you ask but my mind will be elsewhere, dreaming of crystal clear waters and noodles in bowls, foreign sounds and airplane travel.