Traveling the World While Working Full Time

Traveling the World While Working Full Time

Image of Ashley on one of her many adventures

I used to obsess over my time off, waiting for the next quarter or pay period to “earn” more personal days. Using vacation time wisely was a delicate balance. On one hand, I needed days to attend a friend’s wedding, visit my elderly grandmother, or see my goddaughter perform at a midday school function. But it was equally important to save some days for me: to relax, regroup, or take a vacation.

I’ve always had a passion for travel. Even before I found Articulate, I wanted to explore the world, meet new people, and be adventurous. But I hadn’t yet found a job that would allow the flexibility to pursue my other passions while also challenging me and helping me grow professionally. Those two things seemed to be miles apart—a dream scenario.

In my initial discussions with folks at Articulate, I didn’t quite believe that there was no vacation policy. It seemed unreal that I could work anywhere I wanted as long as there was wi-fi. I asked question after question trying to find the catch. Surely I’d need to clock a certain number of hours or always be available during a set time of day. No matter what I asked, the policy stood firm.

There is no policy. Really. Work when, where, and how you want to. As long as you’re getting your work done, your manager and team won’t have any worries. I tried to explain this to family and friends who were concerned about the lack of a “policy,” but it fell on deaf ears. I figured if they were right, I could always find another job. What did I have to lose?

Image of Ashley overlooking a mountain

So I dove in. I started at Articulate three years ago–and I haven’t looked back.

At first I asked about time off, constantly worried about where I was working from: Did my manager needed to know I was at the local coffee shop and not at my home? Slowly, I started to realize that I was the only one on my team abiding by this old school philosophy of “seat time.” That’s when it clicked. If I continued to be awesome at my job providing rock-star support to our customers, it didn’t matter where I was working.

In these three years, I’ve worked from coffee shops, friends’ houses, coworking offices in random cities, trains, and planes. And I’ve experienced the things you can’t always plan your vacation time around.

Deciding to work from a new location one day meant visiting my friend in Washington, D.C. at peak cherry-blossom season. Taking a random day off meant spending extra time in Florida seeing DisneyWorld through the eyes of my littlest cousins and biggest fans. I was able to visit a friend and her newborn baby, who was all too happy to nap on my lap while I typed away. I could be there for my best friend doing last-minute planning and errands days before her wedding.

Because I work at Articulate, I can soak up every moment of time, adventure, and laughter with the people I love. And in that time, I’ve gone from a Community Moderator in our E-Learning Heroes forums to a Support Team Manager. It seems I’m doing something right!

Where’s my next adventure, you ask? Winters in Upstate New York can be cold, long, and downright brutal, so I’ll be living and working in the Canary Islands for a month. Hopefully, I’ll learn how to surf and hike up a few dormant volcanoes. And why not? They’ll be right outside my front door. If that doesn’t sound like the best job perk in the world, I don’t know what is.

Life is too short to be chained to a desk in a random cubicle, so I keep my laptop bag packed and a drawer full of travel-sized toiletries at the ready.