Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Meet Emma, Blogger, Lawyer, and Traveler

Roots and Wings is a blog written by Emma, a lawyer and world traveler who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She describes her blog as sharing her journey to try and have roots (career, family, relationships, etc) at the same time as wings (travel!).

1. How did you decide on the title "Roots and Wings" (R.A.W.) for your blog?

I was on the plane coming home from eight months in Europe, and I was feeling very frustrated and torn about coming back to Australia to pick up my career. It took a few more years, several holidays, and a job change for me to realize that my frustration was a result of my struggle to "have it all." I was trying to lay down roots and a foundation, while still having the freedom to explore and spread my wings. At first, I didn't really know what to do with this realization. I briefly contemplated an ankle tattoo of "Roots & Wings" before the light bulb idea to start a blog. I think I made the right choice!

2. What helps you to balance your career as a lawyer with finding time for travel and other pursuits?

A strong work ethic and a good relationship with my boss. Although travel is a non-negotiable part of my life, I still view it as a privilege rather than an automatic right. I work hard, establish trust, and encourage my boss to value "performance over presence." If the work gets done well and on time, there's no reason to decline my holiday request. I very rarely have enough annual leave but am more than happy to take unpaid leave--you always seem to have the money or the time for a holiday, but rarely both. So, instead of trying to earn more money (although, that's always nice), I'm focusing on scheduling the time to actually spend it--preferably in the Mediterranean!

3. When you travel, do you prefer to do a lot of planning ahead of time about what you'll do when you visit a certain place, or do you prefer to let things happen more spontaneously?

I’m much more of a planner! I actually just wrote a post about this because I think that people (wrongly) assume all travelers are aimless wanderers. The perfect holiday needs to balance both, so that there is some pre-planned structure and space for spontaneity. Read more and get a copy of my template holiday planner here.

4. What would your advice be for people who want to travel internationally but feel hesitant somehow, maybe because of the expense of maybe because of the unfamiliarity of going abroad, etc?

Just do it. It will be challenging but it will be amazing. You can overcome a lot of those issues by researching and planning--work out a budget, research the cities, look at discussion boards, and find the best hostels/hotels. If you're not keen on solo travel, join a tour group, teach English, volunteer, or find work through companies like WWOOF or WorkAway. This is a great way to meet like-minded people, save money, have support, and get a really authentic experience.

5. As you imagine your future self, what do you picture yourself doing?

I'm not exactly sure, but I'm excited! I'd love to be in a role where I'm doing something strategic and innovative but able to work with my own hours and location--my career path is looking more like a scatter diagram than a line graph but it's not going to be a "cookie cutter" life and that's the main thing ( I'm currently exploring opportunities for another extended working holiday in 2015--six months split between NYC and Italy is the dream. I'm loving being a blogger, too, so hopefully Roots & Wings will take me somewhere amazing.

Check out Emma's posts here.

Thanks, Emma!

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