Most people strive for work-life balance, others throw travel blogging into the mix. It’s not easy finding that perfect life combo, but there are several part-time wanderers, like me, that are doing just that.
But that’s why I wanted to start this series, Part-time Wanderers, to share the love of travelling with other bloggers who are travelling part-time too.
Meet Paroma, a 38-year-old scientist from California, USA by day, blogger by night. She runs Year of the Monkey, a blog about her travels and adventures with dogs, food and family, all while working full time.
She’s been to 10 countries and counting, all while travelling part-time. She talks about looking for the best place to eat in this interview with a part-time-wanderer.
What do you do for a living? And how does travel fit into your life?
I am a scientist in a Biotech company in Bay Area, California. I try to fit in travel either via vacations or tag a few vacation days to business travel.
When did you take your first “adult” trip? Where did you go? What made this trip special to you?
That would be first time travelling solo for a conference in 2007 to Seattle. Without any lab members or companion, I literally had only myself to decide my itinerary. Although I did not do much exploring (I was super scared of being lost), this gave me a taste of my potential and the idea that travelling alone can be fun.
Which trip or place was your favourite and why?
I have several, but my first international vacation with my husband to Turkey still remains special. We made a lot of mistakes as newbies do, but loved the culture and dichotomy of Istanbul.
Tell me about one of your favourite travel memories.
Being awed by the murals of Diego Rivera in Mexico City. As an art lover, I will treasure this memory forever. A recent one has to be gawking at the Eiffel tower at sunrise in Paris.
Why did you decide to write and photograph your travels?
I was bored of writing scientific papers and needed a creative outlet. The best part about being part time is travelling with a job security net/consistent paycheck. But the bad is I just can’t pack my bags on a whim and leave to see the big, beautiful world.
How would you describe your travel style? (go-go-go or slow traveller) Why do you travel that way?
I am mostly a go-go-go traveller. Armed with my camera, I am a restless ninja. I want to constantly see and explore before I go back to my mundane, routine life.
Describe your travel philosophes you may have developed over your travels.
1) Finalizing my food itinerary because I am a foodie and hate having a bad meal. 2) Not skimping on flight fares (i.e. comfort) since I am no longer a 20 something and it can make a big difference to your travel, especially while travelling internationally. 3) Staying at a centralized location, especially while travelling alone since I don’t drive.
Can you share your top travel tip for new travellers?
1) It’s not a bad idea to take a couple of days off along with a business trip as long as you are honest and transparent about it. 2) Taking a break every three months is a good idea to rejuvenate yourself. 3) Long weekends can substitute for the lack of travelling often, so make good use of them and explore your surroundings. We have combed Northern California thanks to long weekend plannings and have discovered many hidden gems!
What’s one thing you cannot travel without?
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