I take a week of ‘vacation’ each month without telling my boss

  • Some workers are now choosing to live and travel abroad because of the popularity of remote work during the pandemic.
  • Insider spoke to a 38 year-old man who travels for one week each month and does not tell their job.
  • Insider reported that they used only to travel once or twice a years. “But I found a way to combine my passion for travel with my job.”

This essay is based upon a conversation with a 38 year-old working in the publishing industry. Insider has verified their employment and identities. The conversation was edited for clarity and length.

I have a little secret. Since May 2021 I have been taking vacations for at most one week each month without telling my employer. I just bring my laptop with me, find a neutral background, and call in from wherever I am — whether that’s Iceland, Portugal, or Colombia.

I realized last year that I could work and travel.

After getting vaccinated in spring 2021, I knew that I had to travel. The pandemic was hard for me, just like it was for everyone else. I ended my relationship to the person I thought was going to be my husband, and I began to look around and realize that I needed change. 

After people began getting vaccinated, and borders opened again, I made my first of many trips to Iceland, Reykjavik. After seeing that it was possible for someone to work from Iceland, I decided to keep going. 

Each month, I work from home for around a week.

I traveled to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Yellowstone, Spain, Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Costa Rica, and Norway. My job requires me to be in the office only one day per week. I typically go into the office on the day of my shift, then fly home the next day to return to the office in time. No one is wiser!

Because of my limited vacation time, I used to travel only once or twice a year. I have found a way to combine my passion for travel with my job. Although I know that I am not allowed to travel around the globe without my boss’ permission, I feel like the pandemic has changed my priorities. 

After seeing the changes in the world and the fragility of life, I knew I had got to spend my money the way I wanted.

My mom always said that money and time are two options in life. I’ve usually found that to be true — except now, when I seem to have found a way to have both.

It’s indulgent in a certain way, but I should be enjoying it. Why not? Plus, the publishing sector infamously underpaysIts employees, so I feel like I kind of owe them.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if a plane crashes and no one knows where I am.

I flew to Nantucket on a very short flight the other month. I planned the flight for my lunch break and worked at the airport until boarding. There were some problems with the plane while I was on board. Before landing, we had a lot of trouble getting around the airport. 

I was thinking, “Please don’t allow this plane to crash. Then my boss will discover that I wasn’t actually working at home.” Although I knew I would be dead in the event of a crash, it wouldn’t really matter. I was just thinking about how everyone else at work would think that I had disappeared. They’d eventually find out that I had been killed in a crash and be like, “But why was she sitting on a plane during lunch?” 

One time, while on a transatlantic flight I thought that if the plane crashed, and I were killed somewhere over the ocean, I wouldn’t be able explain what I had done. Fortunately, none have ever happened.

My motto is: If someone asks for permission, they might say no

If you don’t ask, it’s almost like there’s no harm. If someone ever found out that I was traveling while I worked, I would pretend it was a once-off. And then I’d continue doing it.

Do you have a story to share about working remotely without permission from your employer? Email Fortesa Latifi at whatsyourstory920@gmail.com.

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