When having a conventional job gets in the way of traveling

Bali, Indonesia (photo courtesy of Jen Adams Juan)

Last Monday, my dear friend from college, Jen Adams Juan, was feverishly trying to call me up, text me, tweet me and message me in every possible way.  Unfortunately, it was at a time of day when I was asleep prior to my night shift.  I was therefore not able to immediately respond to her many attempts to get ahold of me.  Once I woke up and read her messages, I realized that I’ve read what was probably the best and worst message I have ever received.

Jen was inviting me to join her on a 5-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Bali, Indonesia this weekend.  She was being sponsored by Philippine Airlines (PAL) and was asked to bring 2 blogger friends with her as part of the package.  PAL is apparently promoting its inaugural Manila-Bali flights and is publicizing it in the web through bloggers.

Me and Jen back in 2008 (photo credit: Peter Juan)

Obviously, opportunities like these do not grow on trees.  And even though I’m certain that my blog would still have to be screened by PAL in some way, I really, really appreciate Jen for trying so damned hard to share with me something this awesome.  Quite simply, this is the closest I ever got to a free out-of-the-country travel.  I’d like to think that it was mine for the taking.

But I had to decline it.

The problem is that in the BPO company that I work for, I belong to a department that prohibits me from filing vacation leaves in certain segments of the year.  And by some quirk of the U.S. fiscal calendar, one such segment falls almost entirely in the summer – which is probably the best time in the year when any other employee should be spending their VLs.  Somehow, I’m not too sure that “going to Bali for free” is a meritorious-enough reason for my bosses to grant me an exception to the rule.

I wanted so much to go that I sulked all throughout my shift later that evening.  I’ve been in this job for 3 years already, and missing out on out-of-town summer vacations because of the office calendar is really nothing new.  It’s just that this time, it really hit me the hardest.

You'd sulk too if this is what you'd be missing out on. (photo courtesy of Jen Adams Juan)

More than ever, I’m wishing that I didn’t become too contented in being an ordinary employee.  Part of me always envied Jen and Peter (her husband and also a good friend) on how their lives turned out.  They seem to be doing really well in their home-based jobs and other independent endeavors.  I wish I had also been brave enough to take a stab at financial independence on my own terms and not get tempted by Healthcare benefits, air conditioned offices, regular income and other freebies by all those companies that I ever worked for.  That way, my time would have been my own and I could have scheduled my work and vacation on terms more favorable to me.

Now that I’m realizing all these things, what concerns me is that it might already be too late to take up this kind of internet-based livelihood.  Well, I do spend a lot of time in the Internet and I do maintain this blog, but it’s more of a hobby for me and I don’t make money out of it.  I don’t have a clue as to what SEO is all about and how to properly write web content.  I’m not sure I’d still have the patience to be once again starting at the very bottom, learning new things and establishing myself.

They’d say that if you want it bad enough, then you’d persevere.  Perseverance is no problem for me, it’s just that more than anything, a change in careers is a gamble that, at my age, has risks that are too high for my comfort.  (Among other things, I’m currently paying for a condo.  My current employment assures me that I can do that and still live in relative comfort.)

Oh well, just venting.  Back to the daily grind.  I hope this Sunday’s day climb with HLGG would make up for this week’s disappointment.

= = = = = = = = = =

P.S.: If anyone thinks the topless photo above is offensive in any way, please do tell me in the comments section so that I can put this entry under “adult content”.  Thanks.


14 thoughts on “When having a conventional job gets in the way of traveling

  1. The photo is fine. Naisip ko narin magresign at magtravel nalang tapos maintain ko nalang blog ko pero the money I make from my regilar day job is more thant what I make blogging so I dont think handa na ako tumalon. Who knows baka bukas puwede na. Kaw din, aabangan ko nalang sa mga posts mo. Goodluck!

  2. I know what you mean! It’s awful! I once got invited by the travel magazine I used to write for to go on a 6-day, all-expense paid trip to check out the newest resorts in Thailand. It was a critical time in my 8-5 job back then and I HAD TO SAY NO. Kill me now, I remember asking my officemate right after I declined the offer. Haha. Hay. Such is life.

  3. Well, a long time. My friend was able to go, so that sucked even more. Haha. I thought about it for a week, while they were actually there, and I was like, “I could be in Phuket right about now, sipping mai tais, but nOoO, I’m stuck here in my rat hole preparing reports!!!” I got over it after that. AND THEN I thought about it again when her articles got published in the magazine, and it was like the same shitty “I could have been there!” feeling all over again. I saw her photos of her lounging around in the resort, one in which the film Hangover 2 was apparently filmed. I told my friend if she’d seen Bradley Cooper, wala na. That’s it. I’m quitting my job. Haha. (She didn’t, but I did entertain thoughts of resigning after that).

      • The thing is, I really did quit my job. Hehe. A year after that missed opportunity. I’m in the family business now (and putting up a non-profit of sorts with another person) and part of the reason for my jump was precisely so I will have more time for myself. Even with juggling two jobs I oddly have more time for myself. I’m pretty lucky I enjoy the little non-profit we’re putting up, but the family business is not as fun as my old job. So there’s really a drawback in everything 🙂 It guess it really is just a matter of sticking to that which is more important to you in a particular stage in your life 🙂

  4. Wow. While I can’t say that I know what you’re feeling, I’m sure that if I were in your shoes, I’d feel crappy too. Perhaps there might be another/better offer in the future 🙂


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