A new perspective on how to work and travel by Maps and Merlot.

I'm sure you've read travel blogs with people that discuss how they are able to quit their jobs and travel for long periods of time. Well, Maps and Merlot takes a different approach by keeping her job so that she can continue to travel. Why should we quit our jobs to travel?

Check out more on my interview with Melissa:

1.     Where are you from?

I’m from Sarasota, Florida, and it’s amazing!

2.     Could you tell me briefly about yourself?

I’m actually a full-time risk analyst in corporate America. However, I have a secret: I’m obsessed with travel. Any chance I get, whether it be a long weekend or holiday, I try and jet off somewhere new to explore. I love photography, stand-up paddle boarding, and a nice glass of red wine.

3.     What inspired you to travel?

Growing up, my family always made an effort to travel each year and expose my sister and myself to different cultures, adventures, and distinct perspectives. Honestly, I can’t imagine it any other way!

4.     How long have you been traveling?

I’m a part-time traveler, but I’ve been adventuring since I was a kid.

5.     How would you describe the way that you travel? Do you stay in a city for a long period of time or visit many cities in a short period of time? Why?

The best word to describe my travel style is a whirlwind. With a full-time job, I don’t have the time to lollygag, so I’m usually only in cities for a short period of time trying to soak up as much as possible! I figure I can always catch up on sleep when I get back to Florida.

6.     What are some of your favorite countries traveling? Why?

I absolutely fell in love with Venice, Italy. The combination of old buildings, culture, and smell of pasta perpetually wafting through the air had me totally hooked. One of my other favorites is Switzerland. The natural beauty of the snow-capped mountains and bright blue lakes was especially breathtaking for me. Plus, need I mention the chocolate??

7.     What are some of your best experiences traveling?

One of the coolest things I did was bareboating through the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. Basically, every morning we picked up anchor, sailed on to the next secluded bay, and explored. I got to spend some quality time swimming with turtles, pretending to be one of the rich and famous on St. Bart’s, and sailing through some of the most pristine waters I’ve ever seen.

8. What helps you in deciding which country to visit?

That's a tough one. If I'm taking a solo trip, safety is obviously a huge priority. I never want to put myself in an uncomfortable safety situation. The other thing I consider is what I'm trying to get out of the trip; is it outdoor adventure, culture, city explorations, etc? I like to plan a good mix for myself throughout the year so I don't get bored! And of course the bucket list...countries I want to hit in the next few years are Bolivia, New Zealand, Chile, and Iceland!

9.     Are you able to support yourself traveling from an online business? If so what kind of business?

Not yet, but maybe one day! I’m relatively new to the online space, but would aspire to get there in the future.

10.     Do you have a blog ? If so, what topics do you discuss? What inspired you to start one?

I do have a blog! I started my blog after I got the same question so many times from friends and coworkers: with a full-time job, how in the world do you manage to travel so much? (The answer: a lot of juggling, but it’s totally worth it!) The goal of my blog is to show that it’s 100% possible to have absurdly amazing travel experiences while climbing the corporate ladder.

11. Being a full-time risk analyst, how do you go about planning your vacations?  Do you plan in advance with your job?

I plan in advance as much as possible and especially try to take advantage of long weekends and holidays. (Holidays help stretch those vacation days!) Sometimes a flight deal with come up last minute though, and if I can swing it with my work schedule, I do.

More With Maps and Merlot:

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More Photos from her travels:

View of Lake Brienz after hiking through the beautiful Swiss Alps

View of Lake Brienz after hiking through the beautiful Swiss Alps

Nothing beats a fiery sunset in Barbados!

Nothing beats a fiery sunset in Barbados!

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