There are so many blogs out there that promise to show you how you can travel the world and become a digital nomad. Or better yet, so many blog posts that promise just what we are promising you, travelling without quitting your job, only to tell you to become a photographer, blogger, journalist, etc.
But let’s get real here! If you work an office job, chances are these are not going to be an option for you. They certainly wouldn’t work for us.
As you know, we are big advocates of a work-travel balance. We haven’t quit our jobs to travel the world because we didn’t feel like this was the best choice for us. We don’t make a living off of our blog and aren’t sure if this is ever something that will be of interest to us.
That being said, we have found so many creative ways to integrate travel into our professional goals in order to maximize our vacation time every year, from academic exchanges to conferences. And we’re here to share them with you! We’re going to show you that it is possible to travel when you’re working or going to school full-time; when you have student loans to pay and no trust fund to survive on; when leaving everything behind to travel the world just isn’t an option.
That’s why we’re introducing a series which will be posted monthly featuring one way to travel the globe while still working towards your academic/professional goals. All posts featured in this series will showcase ways to travel that have been done by us or some of our close friends.
In our first ever post in this series, we asked a a close friend of ours to tell us about her recent experience living and working in Warsaw, Poland as an intern for the Canadian embassy. We hope you enjoy reading about her adventures as much as we did!
How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job (Series, Post 1) – Complete an Internship Abroad
Caroline, who is almost done her MA in Public and International Affairs (woohoo!), has spent the past summer completing an internship at the Canadian embassy abroad in Warsaw, Poland. She shares a little bit about her experience as an intern in the paragraphs below!
Witam z Warszawy! I am writing from Poland, where I have opportunity to intern at the Canadian Embassy this summer. I just completed the first year of my MA in Public and International Affairs, and was thrilled to get the chance to move abroad and get a taste of the life of a Foreign Service officer. I am currently working in the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Services sector, but other Canadian missions call this the Public Policy and Political sector.
Work at the embassy this summer is particularly interesting to me. First of all, Warsaw is the host city for the 2016 NATO Summit! This means that the embassy is working in cooperation with other organizations and governments to prepare for this conference. I am looking forward to the visit from the Prime Minister! Later this summer, Krakow is the host city of World Youth Day. Millions of people are expected to arrive for this event. Additionally, Wrocław is one of the EU’s culture capitals this year. I hope to make a few weekend trips to these cities to check out the cultural activities. On a political note, the partisan environment of the government makes for an interesting time to study policy and politics.
Although I have travelled aboard before and visited Poland, it is the first time that I have lived in a foreign country. Being able to speak Polish makes it easier to navigate the city and restaurant menus, but my first few days in my new home for four months was trickier than I expected. This move definitely took me out of my comfort zone, as travelling alone is something new to me.
Now that I have been in Warsaw for about a month, I am already starting to feel like a local. I have mastered the transit system, watched more soccer games than I ever have, ate a lot of traditional food and explored the different neighbourhoods by bike and foot. In Poland’s music world, two female artists caught my attention “Brodka” and “The Dumplings” (as in the dish pierogies, haha).
In terms of the make-up of the city, it is amazing to see the combination of pre-war, communist and modern architecture. During the war, the city was completely destroyed by bombing campaigns, it is incredible to discover the history of the city. The Warsaw Uprising Museum and Polish Jewish History Museum offer great interactive exhibitions. I also hope to visit the Neon Museum soon, which restores and gathers neon lights that used to light the city during the Cold War. Additionally, the geography of the country is so vast, ranging from the Baltic seaside in the north to the Tatra mountains in the south. The landscapes of the country are amazing.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to gain such valuable professional and academic experience. As a graduate student, it really provided me with some clarity on the topic of my thesis. But that I will focus more on that when I return home to Canada. Until then, the adventure continues in Europe!
Thanks to Caroline for contributing to this post! Don’t forget to check back next month for our next post in the How To: Travel Without Quitting Your Job series. Next month’s subject will feature a study related opportunity, so stay tuned!
How do you balance work and travel?
Let us know in the comments below!
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