Beat Your 9-5 Routine

9-5 Routine sounds familiar to you?

You’re handcuffed to your desk, a monkey at a typewriter filing and emailing and typing until you get RSI. It’s the nine-to-five grind, and huge swathes of the population suffer it every day. Well, we did that as well.

Travelling to Lhasa, Tibet

In those dark moments when the sheer greyness of the office hits you like a punch in the face, you can’t help but imagine some clichéd paradise – all palm trees, white sands and cool ocean spray. All you want is to find the key to those handcuffs, head for the airport and fly to the first destination that catches your eye.

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Always working even when on the road

But in fact it is much easier that you think. By using Stansted Airport as your base of operations, you can leave your cars with the meet and greet parking in Stansted, booked a ticket and flown to a random destination – all to report back to you, of course.

Total madness at Ko Phi Phi Island for less than $25

So, what holiday treasures can be uncovered?

Bratislava

You might not know much about Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava – and if not, you’re missing out on an architectural treat.

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Stunning Bratislava. Photo credit: Gionni Bravo

Awash with the kind of central European architecture you’d see in a Bram Stoker novel, the city is a tribute to its surroundings, with extravagant vineyards providing an excellent counterpoint to these boxy buildings.

It’s a region filled with enough castles to shake a medieval sword at. Bratislava Castle is the main one in the region, standing on an isolated hill on the Little Carpathians. It boasts tremendous views from a rocky outcrop – but you’ll be most gobsmacked by the castle itself.

Cagliari

Cagliari is an Italian municipality and the capital of the island of Sardinia – and it’s the perfect location to soak up some sun.

Indeed, the capital glimmers in sunlight, and the best place to enjoy it is on Poetto Beach. It’s a small beach, but not as busy as on some Italian hotspots.

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Breath-taking Cagliari. Photo credit: Pier Paolo Lampis

And if you ‘d like to brush up on your Italian language skills, Cagliari hosts a regular language network where students and ERASMUS members meet up to chat in their non-native tongue. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet with a few likeminded people.

Nature lovers should head to Parco Natural Regionale Molentargius Saline, a park featuring an array of beautifully coloured birds, including a lagoon of flamingos. Can you think of a better way to spend a day?

Chania

Crete is an island with a rich history. It’s tied into the rich tapestry of Greek mythology, of romantic voyages and grand constructions. But Chania, the second largest city in Crete, relies on more than myth to pull in the tourists.

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Awash with museums and beaches, this is a small city in which to relax. You’ll feel fully refreshed by the time your nine-to-five is knocking on your door.

Have you ever been enslaved by your 9-5 job?

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26 Comments

  • The location really does help when you feel like you’re stuck in front of a computer doing work. Especially when everyone around you thinks you’re just on Facebook having fun. I’ll have to keep these places in mind when it comes to travel (never heard of any of them!). Thanks for the tips!

  • While working in an office I always dreamed of traveling as well. Reading blogs and planning my future trips kept me busy and helped me to not suffer too much from wanderlust. Every single day off I used to travel. I’ve been to Argentina, Chile, Morocco, Prague, Portugal and Istanbul among others. All trips I will never forget. Especially as a European you will have quite some days off and if you plan cleverly, you’ll even have more days among the public holidays. As everything is so close and cheap airlines operate all over Europe, you can easily get out of 9-5, at least for some days to forget routine. And if that’s not enough, well we both know, there are other options as well ;)

    • Yes, that is so true. When I returned to Europe and started working full-time in Amsterdam I go for small trips during the weekend and go 3-4 times a year on bigger trips. It helps a lot with beating your 9-5 routine and getting more travel inspiration and stories for my blog :).

  • That feeling is exactly what made me go freelance last year. Now I work more than ever, but I decide when, what and where, so it’s never a boring routine. This summer, I’ve been traipsing around Central and Eastern Europe, but I missed Bratislava. Do you recommend visiting during winter?

    • Hi, girl! Winter could be too cold for backpacking. I went travelling across Central Europe 3 years ago and I was struggling with the weather and heavy backpack. When it’s cold you get to back heavier clothes.

  • It can’t get any better than this: doing what you like and earning money out of it. Still, some provocations remain… like: being able to maintain the lifestyle, also thinking of your future and include other perspectives, having free time, evolving professionally etc. etc.

  • I do really enjoy my work but it can be exhausting and that’s why I try and make the; most of all my free time and annual leave to travel (and hence the name of my blog!) I keep hearing such wonderful things about Bratislava and hear that it is still relatively a hidden gem compared to many of its neighbouring beautiful but more popular Eastern European city! Very intrigued to visit it myself!

  • YES YES YES. There have been so many times that I’ve felt enslaved by my 9 – 5 job, or even my 11 – 5 job (English teaching!). But not any more – ever since I started splitting my time between Melbourne and Lahore. Although last week was quite stressful – but I’m never more than 7 months away from shifting locations again!

  • Hi Agness,
    Slightly puzzled why you are not travelling to Stansted by bus eg. 133 from Colchester via Braintree or even train from Liverpool Street in London. If you do not know, Stansted is well served by both.
    The Channel Islands eg Jersey and Guernsey are well worth visiting and plenty to see with occasional flights from Stansted

  • Thanks God, we were never enslaved to 9-5 job. When we started dating, we agreed that ‘normal’ life won’t be good for us!
    We spent an entire year on planning and preparing to full-time travel. And we did it.
    Life’s too short to be anything but happy ;)

  • I daydream about exotic locales and read a lot of travel blogs, like yours, in the hope that someday I can be in those places you write about. If I don’t get there, reading about your experiences is the next best thing.

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