Travel in the ‘New Normal’: Get Ready for Your Next AdventureEmployee Journals
I was in my early 20s when I started working in RareJob Philippines Inc. Currently, I am already in my early 30s, and I’m very grateful to say that I’m still part of the company. It has already been 8 years – time flies really fast when you love what you’re doing!
My journey started in RJPH as a Test Call Administrator back in 2015. After three years of working as a part-time employee, RareJob provided me an opportunity to leverage my skills and knowledge by accepting my application as a full-time Evaluator. In a few years, I got transferred to a different team and department. Currently, I am holding the Recruiter position. A few of my responsibilities are to screen and guide tutor applicants who would like to level up their skills by joining RareJob’s Premium Lesson Programs. This role has given me chances to get to know RareJob tutors more by conducting virtual interviews with them. It is always nice to hear stories from our passionate and hardworking tutors.
Now, with this position being done remotely, I always want to deliver an excellent job and be productive, but I also need to take care of myself and well-being by maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
To be honest, the transition was not a walk in the park, and similar to most, I also struggled so much during the first few months of working from home. During the height of the pandemic, when it was clear that we would not return to the office any time soon, I decided to go back to my parent’s house in the province. At first, I did not have a proper room for work. I could not focus so much because of all the disruption and different kinds of circumstances. My parents and I decided to fix up a part of our house, and it became my small area that is conducive for work. For a work-from-home setup, it is necessary to have a convenient space where you could fulfill your tasks more efficiently.
Since I have a secluded space at home, working alone in my room can be very lonely and draining at times. That is why I really appreciate moments when I get to talk with my teammates, even if it’s only online. Every Friday, as much as possible, we meet online and talk about non-work-related stuff, we call it “Marites session” although we do not gossip there haha. Plus, nowadays, since the pandemic restrictions have already been lifted, we can already meet in person. It is great to be able to catch up, eat together, bond, and have a nice chat again physically. The most recent face-to-face activity that we had was our team building activity – a chill overnight staycation – perfect for Titas like us!
Speaking of pandemic restrictions, aside from seeing our colleagues personally, one thing that we can go back to doing now is traveling locally and even internationally! Visiting some places has really been part of my interests, especially during the pre-pandemic days. During those times, we could go on a vacation without thinking about the requirements needed concerning Covid-19, like vaccinations, quarantine, and the like. I remember last year, before I went to Singapore, I had to process my vaccination certificate just to ensure that I will be able to enter the country without quarantine. On the other hand, back to 2018, before the pandemic, when I went to Taiwan, I did not have to prepare much aside from the usual travel requirements.
The good thing is, since I am working from home, it is more convenient for me to manage my time effectively, especially when I have to process the requirements for traveling. For example, the time that I would need to spend commuting from house to office and vice versa was allotted in researching about the things that I must prepare for my next trip.
Amidst challenges experienced during the pandemic and the new normal, more and more people are now traveling abroad to have a well-deserved vacation, myself included.
First and foremost, as a member of the team in RJPH, before I went on a vacation, I ensured that my immediate supervisor would approve my request to take some days off. Thankfully, my superior and my teammates were very supportive and considerate, so I did not have trouble asking permission from them. I also made sure that someone from my team would cover my tasks, so that the operations won’t be affected.
Secondly, it also necessary to know your destination’s requirements for visitors. Most of our neighboring Asian countries are now more lenient when it comes to tourist requirements.
In the case of my destination, Malaysia, we downloaded Mysejahtera app, which in my experience, was not asked to present when I checked-in to our flight. When we went back to the Philippines, we were required to register through the eTravel website where we filled-up our flight details. Thankfully, all these information are available online. If there will be changes in the future, we can always check it on the internet.
Aside from the requirements I have mentioned above, one thing that I am excited about pre-trip is planning my OOTDs!
I am the type of person who, as much as possible, tries to pack light whenever I go on a trip. However, I also make sure to bring all my outfits and stuff for the entire trip so I won’t have to worry about it once I’m there.
For my recent vacation abroad, I planned my OOTDs according to the weather and the places that we would visit. The weather in Malaysia when we went was sunny, therefore I packed clothes made from thin materials. For my shoes, when traveling, I always choose comfort over style, but of course, it would be nice to have both. That’s why I brought shoes that would match all my outfits hence I won’t have to carry a lot. I also managed to bring at least two practical bags for styling, so I could change them depending on which outfit I would wear. To organize my stuff neatly in my suitcase, aside from folding my clothes efficiently, I also used packing cubes. I was happy when RareJob gave us a set of those, which I was able to utilize for my recent trip.
To make sure that I won’t regret the clothes that I brought with me, I planned my attire beforehand by writing down all the details. I also tried them on, took some pictures, and imagined how I would look when I’m actually wearing them. I had it all planned out so I didn’t have to bring the clothes I didn’t need. If you don’t want to pay for extra luggage, I suggest that you pack only the practical pieces you can wear.
I try my best to be minimalist when it comes to packing, but there are some essential items I would never go on an international trip without. Here are my must-have travel items for travel:
– Travel Documents (Travel itinerary, flight tickets, accommodation—have all these printed. Also again, know your destination’s requirements for visitors.)
– Gadgets (mobile phone, laptop/tablet) and their chargers
– Cash or bank cards (I usually bring cash; I exchange money at the airport)
– Power bank(s)
– Snacks for journey
– Hygiene essentials (toothbrush and toothpaste, wet wipes, tissue, hand sanitizers/alcohol)
– Sunscreen and some cosmetic products
– Medication(s) (paracetamol, loperamide, and other meds for emergency situations)
Packing for a trip is fun, and could be overwhelming at times, but this is one of the things I’m excited about when traveling. I look forward to packing my luggage for a trip, but you know what, there is so much more to be excited about!
When wandering around a new place, I am most exhilarated about exploring different cultures and trying various dishes. May it be a 3-day trip or 2-week long vacation, I always see to it that my travel would be worth it. Travelling allows me to experience new things, meet new people, get out of my comfort zone, and most especially, make new memories that I would cherish for the rest of my life.
We all have different reasons why we travel. For some, it could be a business trip, and for others, it could be for leisure or vacation. Whatever purpose we may have, to enjoy a hassle-free trip, it is important to prepare ahead of time, and enjoy every moment of it. Appreciate each detail, from booking your flight tickets to packing your suitcase, and getting through airport security until you reach your destination! Lastly and most importantly, we must recognize and respect the cultural diversity and traditions of each country we visit.
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