How in the hell do I manage to get so many leaves?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


It’s no magic, really!

It is surprising how no one will raise an eyebrow when someone says they took two months off from work because of marriage. And if I say I took a month off from work to travel, the first reaction is something akin to utter disbelief. That concept apparently doesn’t exist here! For the past three years I have heard this question time and again, every single time I meet a new person and every single time I meet an old friend. It gets as irritating as it is funny. Travel is perceived as a time pass and not as the life changing experience that it actually is. This makes someone who travels look like an idiot wasting his life having fun instead of doing something important like watching TV or wandering in the mall. They keep telling me, “I don’t have as much time as you do! “. In my head I retort back saying “I don’t have as much tolerance as you do for the mundane!”

If these are the non-believers there are few others who assume things. Assumptions that I get paid to travel or that I get additional leaves or that I am in the travel industry or my personal favorite, that I don’t work at all, and I am on a perpetual vacation(How I wish it were true!).

Quite recently a friend told me, he took a long break of a year or so to sort out few things, during that time he did travel a lot and came back to start afresh with a new job. He cleared all the technical rounds and then came the dreaded HR round, where someone tries to figure you out based on few questions, and how do they really do that anyway? But the point is, he didn’t say he was traveling during the break, he told sob stories of family problems and he landed the plush job! He says they don’t understand. I agree, they don’t understand, after all how is it possible to assume all these things about me when it is really quite simple. 

So how in the hell do I really manage to get all those leaves then? Let’s do some simple math here.

Number if weekends in a year   – 52*2 (Saturdays and Sundays)
Number of public Holidays       – 12
Number of Leaves at work       – 25
Total                                        – 141 days!

There, is the mystery solved?

What this means is, in a given year, most of us are on leave for almost 40% of the time. We can travel for almost three months in a year. If you apply for a leave of 5 days, you are actually getting 9 days including the weekends. This means in a year you can go for 5 major trips of 10 days each. So you can go to Ladakh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Andamans and one trip home, all in one year! And if there’s a festival or a public holiday around the corner, include that as well and you will get even more! See, it comes down to planning in the end. How well we plan in advance decides how many vacations we get. Now you know what’s the first thing I do at the beginning of the New Year and in case you don’t, I check the list of holidays, weekends etc and already decide when to go. Where to go is decided on go!

Being in Bangalore certainly has its advantages. Most places around here are just a weekend away. The treks in Western Ghats are doable in two days. Friday night we start and Monday morning we are back in office. No leaves to apply here, it is a weekend right?

Saving up the leaves and encashing them when I resign is not an option for me. I use up all my leaves and more if required but certainly wouldn’t let them be unused. My hometown is also just a weekend away, so there isn’t a need to apply leaves to go home either. All the leaves are used only for trips, not because I felt lazy in the morning to go to office or didn’t feel like working. If those were my excuses for taking a leave, then I wouldn’t have been writing on this blog today. I wouldn’t have traveled as much as I did.

You take all these leaves as well, you go home, get married or do something else that ranks high on your priority list. My priority list pretty much consists only of travel and that’s what I use the leaves for. There isn’t really much difference between what you and I do. You take leaves, I take leaves, we all take leaves, just for different reasons so don’t judge me next time when I tell you I am just back from a vacation.

You know when they say if you really want to do something you’ll find a way and if you don’t want to, you’ll find an excuse. That is true! I find my way to travel somehow. What about you?

More rants and related posts:

Top Five Annoying things to say to a Photographer
Travel and the not so pink and rosy side of it!
Food for Thought - Travel and Conscience!


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76 comments

  1. Travel and the friends i made during them changed my life for the good...I admire your passion for travel..Cheers

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    1. Thanks Maruthi! I've made some good friends too on treks.

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  2. :D I totally agree with you. I am fed up answering such questions. I just give a smirk and then excuse myself. I guess I can share your post for an explanation :-)

    BTW, the new template looks neat and clean.

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    Replies
    1. he he, I know! even I do that but it is so much fun to write a rant and maybe in the process I can clear the myths about the travel too! ;)

      Thanks!

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  3. People who don't travel much and use their free time for non-adventurous purposes are always baffled when someone does something different with their lives. It's baffling how they think getting married is completely normal, yet if you take a few weeks off to visit corners of the planet that you've never seen before, you instantly turn into a weirdo.

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    1. LOL, tell me about it! Totally freaks out people when they learn that money is spent on travel rather than a steady lifestyle and a house.

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  4. Absolutely right Neelima.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  5. AWEsome........that such proves where there is a will there is alwayz a way!!!!

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    1. Thanks Abhi! There will always be a way, if only we could find it! :)

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  6. I really really really am glad you wrote this post.I am gonna share it on my fb page.I can totally relate to this.

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    1. LOL, please do! More the people will know, lesser they will think of us as weirdos or jobless! :)

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  7. excellent article neelima .. cudnt agree more :) especially liked the 1st para - i use to face exactly the same questions and feel the same way a couple of yrs back.

    when my travel frequency came down a little ... a lot of people used to counts it as 'settling down'!

    btw ... there are periods of time in ur life, where this logic may not apply as well - like when u just had a kid :) but, if the 'period' takes up ur entire life then its not right

    ReplyDelete
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    1. he he, agreed! Sometimes there are more important things in life than travel. :)

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  8. As usual excellent post Neelima. Just curious, where does family, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, neighbor-you-know, neighbor-you-dont-know, near-relative, relative-from-other-galaxy blah blah social commitment fit into all this :)

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    1. Hmm, I barely manage to keep up with family commitment, social commitment practically doesn't exist in my life. But I try to keep up with friends too. And the rest I keep meeting them on treks and travels. :)

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  9. LOL!! I couldn't help but notice that this post is almost a retort to someone who really stepped hard on your toes this time.

    "....so don’t judge me next time when I tell you I am just back from a vacation."

    "....I don’t have as much tolerance as you do for the mundane!”

    Hope you sent that person an exclusive link to this post!!

    Other than that cheers and travel madi :D

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    1. LOL, not one person in particular but I like that accusing tone in writing, it works very well to drive the point home and quite entertaining too, don't you think? ;)

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  10. Bangalore is indeed a strategic location for outdoor guys. After coming here in 2007 Jan, I've been out on 22 adventures http://goo.gl/jR690 (self promo? hehe )

    22 - that is excluding normal trips to the hills, to the beaches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, we can actually make a lot of trips in a year being in Bangalore. Hard for people elsewhere to understand.

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  11. Came here through Vamsee"s FB Link. I get this "you must be having a load of time on your hands to travel so much" A LOT !! Why don't they understand how enriching travelling is ! and all it needs is time management that's all !! (off course you also need itchy feet:) ) !

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    1. Welcome to my blog Ruchira, exactly my thoughts. A little planning and a lot of willingness is all it takes! :)

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  12. true story! and a great travel blog - will revisit to read more wanderer's tales!
    cheers!

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  13. the mystery solved at last !! happy trekking...

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  14. Yes, one cannot just live for the weekends. That means you are relaxing only for 40% of your life. Of course, I am discounting public holidays here. Also, if one works for 30 years like a mad man that takes away the healthy window of life. What a shame.

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  15. Nice Post Neelima. I suggest you a book called - "4 Hour Work Week" if you haven't already read it. To me that proved to be a guide of how to break through the monotony of work with small travelling vacations now and then.

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    Replies
    1. Haven't heard of it, will try and pick it up!

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  16. Awesome post!! It's not only about travel..the same applies to Sports/Photography/others ..Same question..U have lot of time to do time pass :p

    Thanks for sharing n am gonna share it on my fb!!

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    Replies
    1. True, if we do anything out of the ordinary, we are by default jobless! :)

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  17. True... hte nature the friends and the unexpected things hapen only in ppl who take challeges

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  18. Thanks for this post... I was directed here through a friend..I am jus 3 months into my new job and am struggling with my leaves already cuz I want to at 2 places with no excuses - a week long Ladakh trip and my 1 month old nieces bday..they are happening within a weeks time of each other...I need a push!
    is it right to ask for a leave so early?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll never know if you'll never ask! :) Maybe your team/manager is okay with you taking leaves. Tell them how important it is to you, both the events.
      Worst case, prioritize, and ask leave for any one of the two.

      and 1 month old niece's birthday? How so?

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    2. First kid of the first kid in the siblings...
      the baby is going to be one spoilt brat!

      Delete
  19. I dont think so taking and getting leave is an issue. Actualy you must know what you want to do ... before we apply for a leave we try convince ourselfs we will not get so much of leave.. and company needs to so much and thats the bullshit !!

    if you manage your yelf you will get it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha, true but one also needs to manage/convince the manager! :P

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  20. Hi,

    Well written blog. And I really admire the way you do what you want - travel while continuing office.
    The statement “Number of Leaves at work – 25” made me wonder, if we both work in the same place and yes, it turned out to be so.

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  21. ha ha.. nice answer. Will keep this in mind when I asked the same question next time. :)

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  22. Am already looking at 2013 calendar..
    Mailed this link to many of my friends who ask me the same questions..:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He he, yeah! Do that! More people should know so they stop asking us these questions. :)

      Delete
  23. Agree! however knowingly - unknowingly we do build up constraints in our life that don't seem to be constraints in the first place. For instance I love my pet dog, though in some instances i feel he is a constraint for me but then i love him so much that the feeling of love goes beyond constraints.
    Still amongst all these, i do go out on long drives. Probably the only passion still alive in me, after so many years of seeing my passions die a slow unknown death.
    But great blog, i liked it.

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    Replies
    1. You said it! If we set our mind over anything, it takes little to figure out a way around the seeming constraints.
      And thanks, am glad you enjoyed reading my blog. :)

      Delete
  24. In my last job, I did not have Saturdays off but as you said it didn't in the least stop me from taking up those travelling sprees... If not anything, i head towards South Mumbai coz places/things/people are never going to be the same as they are today...

    P.S.: I came across your write-up as i was going thru different write-ups of Goa YH cycling and its nicely covered... I too completed the same in Jan 2012...

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    1. Wasn't it a wonderful route? I loved the three of cycling in the forests and national parks of Goa! :)

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  25. Hi!

    Love the blog! I'm a big nature lover too.
    Do you travel solo?

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    1. Welcome to my blog Anisha! Yup, I do travel solo at times.

      Delete
  26. Planning longer leaves at least 4-5 months in advance helps. If you apply leaves well in advance it becomes a planned leave and no manager can say no to it. If you move between projects then tell them in advance. The motto should be simple, "work between your travel" :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, correct! The motto should be "just travel" but yeah, "work between your travels" works as long as we haven't found another option! ;)

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  27. I can so relate to this. People assume that you are wasting your leaves if you take them for travel! Worse still, they assume travel is always luxury. Tough notions to break.

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    1. Ha ha, don't even get me started on the tough notions travellers and photographers have to deal with! Few such notions only propelled me to write this post in first place. ;)

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  28. Hi Neelima, I myself is a travel crazy person and have written few articles on my blog sushant18.blogspot.com

    But wish to travel frequently like you and meet you some day for few tips. Keep up with the journey :)

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    1. All the best with your upcoming travels Sushant! Some day we might cross each other's path. :)

      Delete
  29. That's so true. But unfortunately for those of us who are not in India, most of our leaves go in visiting India itself :( so hardly get few long weekends but still I somehow squeeze in trips here and there :)

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    1. True, I can imagine that. I get to travel so much only because my home town is a just weekend away. But still, good you are making best use of whatever leaves you are left with. That's the spirit. :)

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  30. Hi Neelima,

    Really nice post....and slap in the face for those who complain about not getting enough getaways from office.....

    one question for your page though....in the link states of india...how come andaman falls in the eastern zone with sikkim and nagaland....???

    is it poor geo ?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ha ha, good question. Considering how far Andaman is from Mainland and how far into the east it is, by drawing an imaginary line down from West Bengal, I have put Andaman in the East. With such early sunrises and sunsets, it feels weird to call it South. That's my logic in clubbing Andaman with the other eastern states. :)

      Delete
  31. As someone who has FB friends asking me if I'm rich just because I travel often, I totally get this post. The concept of saving and putting travelling before marriage, weekends out and partying seems to be an alien concept. These are people who spend 2k-3k drinking and I tell them that's a one way budget flight. They spend 15k on a car audio system and I tell them that's a budget return flight to an international destination.

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    1. Ha ha, true. To each his own, as long as people get it, we will have no questions to answer. :)

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  32. Awesome! I have been travelling a lot recently and I'm about to graduate and get a job in Tokyo. Reading this made my day. I believe I'll still be able to continue travelling :D

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    1. Of course you can, make time for it. If it doesn't work out change your priorities a bit and you should be able to travel. All the best! :)

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  33. Loved your blog....just landed a job in pune and I staying with friends...like you haveade a firm decision to travel on every weekend and use up all holidays.......

    Dream of going to ladhak !!!!
    Nice blog !! Cheers !!!

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    1. Great! Pune is an awesome place, so close to the Sahyadris, don't waste any weekends, have fun! :)

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  34. I admire your energy. You have a job and you travel relentlessly whenever you get time - that is during weekends and holidays. Unfortunately, this might be difficult to keep up much longer. Work or personal life demands will likely go up - like getting promoted at your job or getting married and having children. What will you do then?

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    1. I won't lie to you, it gets hectic but traveling is something I have to do. As basic as breathing, so I make sure I my priorities are adjusted accordingly. For instance, I wouldn't take up a new job or promotion if it means, I won't get to travel and I haven't. Coming to family, if I can't go meet them, I plan extensive vacations with family, I spend a lot of money on it to make it happen but I get meet my folks and travel at the same time. And coming to marriage and having children, they are not on the immediate agenda! ;) And I'm sure whenever that happens, I will still make time for travel. There's no other way about it.

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  35. I can totally relate to it. Being a teacher I get a lot of offs and utilize them for travelling. If you want to travel even a weekend is sufficient. Loved reading your article

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    1. Exactly, we'll make it happen with whatever we've got! :)

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  36. like the calculations..really we are on leave 40% of the year

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  37. All your travel essays are inspirations for travel enthusiasts like me. I have been following your blog since the last 10 months and now I know how to take a leave to nurture my passion. The words used to describe the journeys and the places are simple and connects well with the readers. I am a content writer myself and I am extremely discerning while following a blog. I wish you all the best for your future adventures. Stay well.

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  38. Loved your article Neelima. Thanks for sharing. Hope to join you someday while I take up my passion of travelling. :)

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  39. So true, i travel frequently and people kept on saying oh no again you went for a trip? "You must be earning a hefty amount" or "how u get so many leave" .. I tell them in January I know how many long weekends are there and I can plan a big trip. Jan every year I plan two major trips. I do not spend hefty amount in weekend breakout hotels n all .. nature is important not the 5-star luxury..Luvd your Blog Neelima... the world needs free souls like u.

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  40. Totally loved this post! Its all about managing time and planning a little in advance!

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