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Old 05-21-09, 01:20 PM   #1
n8tron
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how do you guys find the time?

for those of you who have full time jobs, where do you find the time for week long or longer tours?

I only have so many vacation days and many of those are used up for family or other stuff that comes up.
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Old 05-21-09, 01:34 PM   #2
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4 weeks vacation and no family to speak of sure helps, don't think I've had any other stuff come up to stop me from a tour either.
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Old 05-21-09, 01:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by n8tron View Post
for those of you who have full time jobs, where do you find the time for week long or longer tours?

I only have so many vacation days and many of those are used up for family or other stuff that comes up.


(1) college professor/education (30 years)
(2) self employment (sometimes)
(3) stock trader/options writer (sometimes).

Some other folks will probably chime in with other ways they do it. Keep in mind that as is often the case with shorter time frames (the time to run, or practice piano, or whatever) you often have to make the time. The most important person in your life is you, so you should set time aside for yourself first and foremost.


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Old 05-21-09, 01:41 PM   #4
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for those of you who have full time jobs, where do you find the time for week long or longer tours?

I only have so many vacation days and many of those are used up for family or other stuff that comes up.
Save 'em up! If your company allows for any kind of accrual, save a few per year. I've been at my job long enough that I have tons of vacation per year but I still need to save some so that I can go out and about on my own.

For the family stuff, see if you can use flex time to make up the time you have to or want to take off. I recently went to 9 hour days and get every other Friday off. It works out well so that I don't have to take PTO for stuff I need to do.
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Old 05-21-09, 01:50 PM   #5
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When I did work at a full-time, permanent job, I had 3-4 weeks of vacation, and could bank some extra time as well.

Over the past almost 5 years, I've opted to work as a temp. That way, I can take a month or more off at a time.

I don't use vacation time for 'family or other stuff that comes up' unless I can either combine it with cycling or unless it is an absolute emergency and I have no other options. Vacation time is for going away somewhere ...and cycling.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:32 PM   #6
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By not using up my vacation on "family or other stuff that comes up".
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Old 05-21-09, 02:38 PM   #7
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I make sure the company I work for knows I value vacation time more than $$$ or just about anything else. They either let me get away for a few months a year or I find a new job.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:45 PM   #8
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In the past it was possible with unpaid leave, but now it's possible by being self employed.
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Old 05-21-09, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quit your job. Unrealistic I realize, but possibly better than the alternative.
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Old 05-21-09, 03:16 PM   #10
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interesting suggestions

I do love my job, they give me full 2 weeks but they take a year to accrue. I guess it is about priorities. Last year I needed them for wedding/honeymoon, this year visiting family, plus on top of that I want to travel (non bike related)... 2 weeks is just not enough!

My work is pretty lenient during downtimes, and we get a good chuck off during the holidays... maybe I can work something out.
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Old 05-21-09, 04:53 PM   #11
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The other thing is that not all tours have to be a week long or more ... you can do short weekend tours as well.

See my stories up in the Travelog section:
http://www.bikeforums.net/hosted-travelogs-stories-road/ (scroll down)
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Old 05-21-09, 05:27 PM   #12
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Job?
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Old 05-21-09, 09:23 PM   #13
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It's reduced to sacrifice. Thats basically what everyone is saying. You just find a way to make room in your life and do it. At times, I will admit, it seems a bit selfish, and self indulgent. But in the end I think it makes me a better person, a better employee, more self confident and healthy...so thats why I'm leaving tomorrow for four more days. Yeehaw!
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Old 05-22-09, 04:40 AM   #14
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In my co. I accrue hours every week. Every 2 weeks I get 10.5 hours of vacation time (18+ years in). While I'm on vacation, I still accrue hours. I can save up to 360 hours at one time.
When I need an extra day off, I swap a day with a co worker int eh same week. This means I would work a 6 day week.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:41 AM   #15
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For the Trans Am, I quit my job. I expected to get back home and freelance or pick-up a job not necessarily related to my field—just something to pay the bills. Who knew the economy would tank during my time on the road? The agency I left ended up hiring me back—though, I didn't ask 'em. A valuable lesson in not burning bridges if there ever was one. That and I must not be too bad at what I do. Even though I'm an old fart for my line of work. Down-side? I may have to cancel RAGBRAI (some friends talked me into it) seeing as how I have no vacation built-in and new agency regs don't allow for unpaid leave. Rats. On the bright side (ftbs), while it goes against my grain to use sick days for vacationing, I'm obligated to an ocean race and I have just enough, between personal and sick days. I mentioned what I was thinking about to management and they tacitly gave it a green light, but "officially" didn't want to know.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:52 AM   #16
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I'm a teacher with summer vacations. I'll really start touring when I retire in 10 years or so.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:35 AM   #17
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if something is important to you, you make time for it. no matter what "it" is.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:37 AM   #18
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I can chose the hours I work, which has both advantages and disadvantages. As it turns out I have to take time off to take care of the kids &c with some frequency, so it's hard to justify more time off for myself. The result is it's easier to justify a bike tour if it's done at a time when I have to stay home for childcare purposes anyway; which means I take a kid or two along. This is both an enabling and a limiting factor.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:24 AM   #19
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Next summer or the summer after, I plan to quit my full-time job to do the TransAm. Fortunately, I work in a field where there is a shortage of workers. I believe my employer would take me back, if not, I'll find something else. But I want to complete this tour while I'm 'younger' and before I accumulate other responsibilities. I figure women (and men) take months off for maternity leave. For me, experiencing this tour is right up there with life's most important goals. I guess it depends on how bad you want it and what you are willing to sacrafice.
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Old 05-22-09, 03:54 PM   #20
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I retired at 39, been at it full time for 10 years. It's no picnic because I don't have the cash, health, or benefits I used to have, so I don't really feel that much more free to travel than I did when I was working, and I have 4 people to suport besides myself. Time isn't the only thing. Don't put it off life has a way of catching up.

A few years back when a cousin in UK was starting out in the workforce, I asked him when he might be coming over here for a visit. He said it was really tough to get away because as a guy in his first year at work he only got 7-9 weeks of vacation time under the EU rules. Tough life, I can see his problem. Nobody ever thinks they have time, you have to make time.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:15 PM   #21
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I'm self employed, and business tends to slow down in the summer. So that's when I do my trips.

Family obligations is also an issue. My family knows that touring is important to me, and we build time for my trips when we plan our summers. I used to go away for up to three weeks per summer, but at this point in my life, a week is plenty. I might do nine or ten days this summer.
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Old 05-22-09, 07:57 PM   #22
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When I was employed full time I would take a lot of weekend trips. As you discover your area you become more addicted, and eventually you fine time to work in a long tour. As cyclocommute I would often take unpaid time off for family stuff, a few days for christmas for instance.

Now I am moving, so I just quit my job and decided while I was in between I could take two months to tour. If I was still working then I would probably do week long tours for vacation (I got 2 weeks a year paid). Do you know who wonderful it is to get paid to cycle? Save up those vacation days!
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Old 05-22-09, 09:11 PM   #23
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Long ago when I worked for others I took the options offered that gave me four day work weeks and long weekends or time to add to vacation hours. The long weekends and bike commuting gave me that extra bit of free time for self, family and community demands. Then as kids grew up vacation time could be redirected to longer trips.

Once I started working for myself time meant more than money so I planned more bike tours farther and farther from home. Now retired I should have more free time but so many new demands have arisen that I sometimes long for those days in work harness-- not really!

It is always a difficult balance to maintain between all parts of one's life and to take the time to bike tour. It is well worth the sacrifices needed in the long run.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:56 PM   #24
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Another vote for weekend trips. Although I`d love to take a long tour, I`m not brave enough or dedicated enough to quit my job for it. One way I stretch out my time is to take a few days of vacation in conjunction with a weekend- I find a four or five day trip (bicycling or otherwise) to be very refreshing and I`ve been doing that since long before I discovered bike touring. One of these days I may or may not have the chance to just take off for several months. If I never do, at least I can enjoy the shorties.
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Old 05-23-09, 06:25 AM   #25
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We met a Japanese man in Southern Laos who was walking around the world on his vacations from work.

He started at home and walked to the sea for the first leg. The second vacation he flew to China and started from the closest point to the spot he had finished the last time. Each night he draws a line with chalk before flagging down a taxi or truck and returns to it in the morning. At the end of his vacation time he flies home and begins planning the next leg.

This seemed to me to be a good balance between his responsibilities and his adventurous spirit.

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