My job went remote — so I got 2 more and started traveling the world in secret


A few years back, I was working grueling 80-hour weeks in finance, but the death of my father prompted me to rethink my priorities. I realized that my company would have given a perfunctory condolence and proceeded to fill my position if I were to die, and this revelation made me question why I was working so hard for a company that didn't care for me. I left my high-paying private sector job to work for the government, where I was required to come into the office only once a week even before the pandemic hit. I saw an opportunity to work remotely on days when I didn't need to be in the office, which led me to develop a life-changing plan.

I yearned to travel more, but the cost of plane tickets was holding me back. To tackle this, I landed a position with a major airline as a seasonal worker. Even after the seasonal work ended, I could still enjoy flight benefits. For three months I worked as a jack-of-all-trades at the airport, helping out wherever possible, such as assisting passengers with their boarding passes, cleaning planes, and transporting supplies around the airport. My new outlook on work made me focus more on the benefits of my job than on external validation or recognition.

The narrator started traveling more once they secured flight benefits, but the hotel costs were still expensive. They sought advice from other airline employees, who recommended getting a part-time position at a hotel to receive hotel benefits. So, they got a job at an international hotel conglomerate, which allowed them to work just 15 hours per month on average and get hotel benefits at low rates. They now balance their full-time government role with two other jobs, the airline work being seasonal and the hospitality work being part-time. 

When traveling, their day starts with sightseeing from 8 a.m. to around 3:30 p.m., after which they take a break and start working on their government job around 4:00 p.m. They finish around 10:00 p.m. and then go to sleep. The narrator enjoys sightseeing and finds it invigorating. Since their government job involves longer-term deadlines, they find it easy to balance their work. 

The narrator does not disclose their work-related travels to their bosses, as they see it as a personal matter. As long as they complete their work, they do not think it matters. If they want to extend a trip, they take a sick day and work from "home."

As a former corporate employee, I used to dedicate endless hours working towards securing external validation. However, my perspective has shifted significantly. My focus has switched to work being a means to acquire necessary benefits like medical insurance, free flights, or discounted hotels. My goal is no longer to receive validation through my career, but instead to secure a paycheck and benefits. 

Sometimes, scrolling through LinkedIn and seeing former colleagues advancing in their careers evokes momentary jealousy as I remember what it was like to work tirelessly toward career goals. However, I quickly remind myself of the freedom I possess. Over the past two years, I have been on 40 trips and even responded to work emails from underneath the Eiffel Tower. These moments remind me that my current lifestyle is exactly what I desire.

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