13 countries in 8 years. Not the most impressive stats, but this is what it’s like to travel while working a 9-5. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.


It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my travels. Life got in the way. It’s not easy to juggle traveling while working a 9-5 – especially early on in my career. I’ve been adulting so hard these past few years that I’ve put traveling on the back burner. There are only so many hours in a day and it doesn’t help that most American companies only offer an average of 10 vacation days.

This year, I’ll be using those 10 vacation days to visit family in China. It’s triggered my nostalgia for travel blogging. 2008 was the last time I was in China. I studied abroad in Shanghai, where I was bitten by the travel bug. I wanted to go everywhere and anywhere as long as I came home with all my limbs intact. And I did.

In the six months I spent studying abroad, I visited 11 new places – almost one every weekend. I also started my first travel blog, A Pair of Panties & Boxers. It no longer exists. I outgrew it. I also couldn’t keep up with all the professional travel bloggers who were so passionate they quit their full-time jobs to pursue life on the road. Like many of us know, it’s hard to travel while working a 9-5.

When I was younger, I used to be so inspired and so jealous of these travel bloggers. I wished I could just pack my bags and go, but as the eldest child of immigrant parents my obligation and duty to take care of my family trumped pursuing my desire to travel. Over the years, I learned to curb it. I realized that traveling doesn’t have to be crammed in a few or done over the course of a lifetime. Traveling doesn’t have to be my entire life. I am happy as long as it can be a part of my life because the other parts of my life are just was wonderful and gratifying.

Since 2008, I’ve made a conscious effort to travel at least once a year.

This blog doesn’t document my travels according to the right dates (I manually migrated my old blog posts here), but I love going back to my old posts to reminisce about the places I’ve been and jog memories I’ve made. While I can’t promise to blog consistently, I am grateful to be able to travel when I can.

Any advise on how you travel while working a 9-5?

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.