Out of Office: Lisa, OurPassion4Travel

Our Out of Office weekly feature profiles brave souls who have taken the plunge in balancing both a career in a 9-6 full time as well as pursuing a fulfilling travel lifestyle. Chat with me here if you're interested in collaborating.

UPS United As One, community service project

UPS United As One, community service project

I’m a Mom from New York with five children.  My boys all live in the States, are grown up and have families of their own.  My daughter still lives with me, she is 20 now.  For most of my children’s life, I was single. I worked 2 or 3 jobs and went to college to be able to get a good job to support them. It was always a struggle to make ends meet, but I was determined to give my children a good life.  

As years went on and time flew by, I wondered where the time went.  I seemed to be obsessed with doing better, working harder and pushing myself to be the best I can be.  I was a work alcoholic and continued with this pattern for many many years.  Fifteen years ago, I met my Dutch husband in Toronto, and 2 months later, we moved to California, my daughter was almost 5 and he helped me raise her.  

Ten years ago, we decided to move to the Netherlands and now I’m experiencing traveling around Europe.  I consider myself a lucky woman with a great family and a large friend group all over the world.  I started writing my travel blog in September 2016 to share my experiences with my family back home, but then got diagnosed with uterus cancer and the blog took seat on the back burner.  I didn’t stop traveling as this gave me an escape from my normal life. I recently am recovered and started up again in March 2017.   

1. Where do you work and what’s your role?

UPS SCS I worked 9 years as a Customer Service Supervisor, but recently I became an Implementations Specialist.  My new job entails setting up new customers in Europe.  I create, update Business documents and participate in a lot of meetings and train staff to do their jobs.  

2. Tell us something interesting about you people don’t know.

People have stories to tell you about their lives, their culture, and experiences.  I love to listen to them.

3. How many days of leave do you have?

I have 29 days per year, but in 6 months, I will have 30.

4. How many trips do you take a year for leisure?

I try and combine public holidays to go for long weekends, so it’s approx. 6 - 8 trips per year.

5. What’s your most memorable moment on a short trip?

Crazy, but I have to say taking scary photos, I’ve hung over a cliff to get a good shot where my husband held my feet. 

View from the cliff in Cyprus

View from the cliff in Cyprus

Castle hunting in Germany, this was a weekend trip and a lot of fun

Castle hunting in Germany, this was a weekend trip and a lot of fun

6. What’s the one thing you’ve learnt in your job that travelling won’t teach you?

I write a lot of documents including MOP’s and Work Instructions, plus train people to do their jobs on systems, procedures and responding to customers. Traveling is more of us learning from them.  

7. Conversely, what has travelling taught you that you won’t learn in your job?

To not be judgemental or to stereotype others.  You can learn history in a book, but to actually go there, books and pictures can’t give you the same experience.  You need to use all your senses.  Hear it, see it, feel it, taste it and speak it (if possible).

Castelldefels, Spain at the Grand Hotel Don Jaime

Castelldefels, Spain at the Grand Hotel Don Jaime

Pool view from the same hotel as in above

Pool view from the same hotel as in above

8. What’s your #1 tip about how to maximise travel out of your hectic schedule?

The biggest tip is to use the public holidays to maximise your days.  For example if you have a Thursday as a Holiday, take the Friday also, that way you have 4 days to travel.  I also take short day trips or weekend trips.  I save my days for taking longer trips 6 days and include the weekends.  

Most Europeans (I’m American-expat) take 3 -4 week vacations, I spilt mine up which gives me something to look forward to every month or couple of months. Breaks up the daily schedule.  I’m also lucky with my new job that I will be able to travel around Europe for work. One other point is I’m pretty good at finding cheap deals on trips. I am highly motivated to travel because I love to learn about others and possibly still searching for where I want to live when I retire. Favourite sites for me are: Skyscanner, Vacation Pirates, Fly 4 free and Secret flying.com.

9. Why is travelling important to you?

I’ve always had the travel bug since I was a child, but now that I’m getting older, I realise life is short and there is so much to see and do. I’m searching for a place to live where I can finally call home, where I want to be, and that takes research and going there to see if it’s where I want to be.

10. If you could give advice to your younger self what would you say?  

This is an easy one. I would have started earlier and documented it.  Remember that work is only a job and not your life.  I didn’t have a good work life balance, for me it was only work to better, get more money.  It’s through cancer, that I learned what is important.

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