How Often Do I Travel?

I started documenting my travel statistics since the second half of 2010, which coincided with the time I moved to Europe for my Master study, simply because before that.. I didn’t really travel much. Here I define travel as “deliberately going away from the city/region I am living in, either for fun or business, for more than a day.”┬áThis includes: city-hopping trip, road trip, going home when I’m living abroad, and attending conferences and summer schools.

In the beginning I only documented the start and end dates, and thus the total days I was away, which is 65 days per year in average. If we exclude weekends and public holidays (observed in the country I was living in), we arrive at 42 days per year in average. What about vacation days? Counting days I was relaxing at home and fun trips, but not business trips (conferences, summer schools), I have 36 vacation days per year in average, which is still higher than the number of paid-leave days in countries with the most paid leave days, Brazil and France. I’m quite lucky I guess ­čśë

Note that this is only possible because from the second half of 2010 until now I never have a work contract, in which the paid-leave days are strictly observed. During my Master (2nd half 2010 – 2012), PhD (2013 – 1st half 2016) and even now┬áPostdoc (2nd half 2016 – now), I have always been enjoying my paycheck in scholarship/fellowship schemes.

We can also observe my travel pattern per period.

Master ┬á Compared to the PhD period, I didn’t actually travel much during my Master, apart from going home for 2,5 months during the summer break in between the academic years. Come to think of it, I didn’t even travel around Indonesia during that summer break. I was just relaxing at home… doing nothing :D. I regret it a bit, because I didn’t know that there were opportunities to do summer internships. It seems that I travel more during the first half of the years, which makes sense because it coincides with the second semester of academic years, showing that I was more enthusiastic to study at the start of an academic year.

PhD   Overall, I maintained balanced and steady travelling days throughout this period. I went to 3 conferences in 2014, explaining the highest number of business-trip days. I did a summer internship in Singapore in 2015, explaining the highest number of going-home days, because home was just less than 2 hours flight away. The PhD period also coincides with the time I started dating a guy that sets a high standard (around 50 days) of vacation days per year. His influence is definitely apparent *giggle*.

Postdoc┬á ┬áThe trend seems to be quite similar with the PhD period. To conclude, having more money doesn’t mean I will have more time to travel ­čśë

For the future, it would be great if I can maintain the total travelling days to be above 70 days, and travelling days excluding weekends/public holidays to be above 50. Vacation days (including going home) of around 40 days per year is I guess the most ideal*. I think this is feasible, unless there is a drastic change in my life, like getting a work contract (20 to 30 paid-leave days in Germany) or… having children for example ­čśë — although I really hope things can stay the same. Work hard, travel harder!

*) As a comparison, PhD students in my current institute are normally under a work contract, unlike some Postdocs including me, and they only get 20 paid-leave days ­čÖü

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