Lale of Lale’s Wanderlust is currently a full-time student, doing a master’s in Deaf Education in NYC and travels between semesters. She also babysits to earn money for between semesters trips. We’ve interviewed her among other travellers who work full time as a part of our weeklong initiative “Don’t Quit Your Job, And Travel” in the hope that we’ll inspire other travellers with full time jobs, that it is indeed doable.
How do you manage to squeeze out actual travel time?
Finding time to travel while being a full time student is a matter of prioritising, taking the time not only to grow professionally but to feed my soul doing the things that I love. Traveling is first on my list, it keeps me grounded, alive and connected to people around the world; it also helps me to unlearn all of my misconceptions about the world. I’m currently doing my masters in Deaf Education in NYC but luckily I get a month off between semesters and the entire summer to travel! This year I’ve managed to travel to seven different countries around both Latin America and the Middle East. But what really keeps my adventurous self alive is exploring NYC during the weekends, I try to at least visit one place I haven’t been to.
How do you balance your day job/studies and blogging?
Ugh, this is one of my daily struggles. As a full-time master’s student in an Ivy League school my workload is ridiculously high and it just keeps increasing. Students can be very competitive and I feel the need to keep up with them. Seriously, these people need to chill, or take a plane, either one will work. Anyways, back to the question, blogging is an escape from the world of academia to a more daring and exciting one, the world of traveling. I love blogging, gallivanting through my thoughts and experiences to later convey them with words. This is getting awkward … I still haven’t responded your question. I feel guilty when I am not using my time appropriately, so when I’m not studying, in class, babysitting, cooking, cleaning or doing laundry, blogging feels right to me. I recently made the decision to post two times a week and also made a schedule with specific times to blog, focus on my studies, babysit and explore the city.
Has either suffered?
Yes, blogging, isn’t it ironic that it is the one I enjoy the most nevertheless, it’s the one suffering by my lack of time? Hopefully, with my new monolithic schedule I will be able to balance my responsibilities and interests without neglecting either.
Ever had a breakdown or thought you bit off more than you can chew?
At least once a day I get that “impostor syndrome” feeling.
Do you have finances or someone to fall back on?
I am currently studying in the states thanks to a private scholarship I won in my country. I manage to save some of my monthly allowance to travel, but most of my income comes from my babysitting gigs.
Do you intend on travelling full time?
That’s the goal! Right now I have an agreement with my scholarship to go back to the DR for two years after completing my masters program (this December!). After that, I’m a free woman! My dream is to volunteer and work with Deaf children around the world, I would love to be able do this when I have my own family, its going to be a very different experience from that of traveling solo.
Love her story? Want to find out how you can do it? Read Don’t Quit Your Job, And Travel where you’ll find the rest of our Travellers Who Work Full Time interview series too!