Working Remotely:3 Tips for Balancing Work and Travel

The internet has changed the way many of us work; companies can hire people from anywhere in the world because their job can be done completely remotely; Skype and various types of communications software can connect two people from opposite corners of the globe instantly; freelance writers can base themselves anywhere, so long as they are able to get online to email assignments to clients. For those with a serious travel bug, these types of positions allow you to live a life that many only dream of —travel as long as you want while being able to bring in money to support yourself. As a freelance writer who has been traveling throughout SE Asia for close to two years while working, I would like to share some tips on how to navigate this way of life successfully.

Have a Plan

The type of life I have allows for great flexibility—if I had a day where I felt like doing absolutely nothing, I can totally do it; and there have been days like that—I am traveling after all and want to enjoy the places I am seeing; but, I cannot have five days in a row like that, or I risk seriously falling behind on my work. I am not on a typical vacation, it is more like I am living abroad really, and I actually work almost every day . It is important to have a plan of action each day and I do. I make a list of the things I want to get done, and as I get them done, I check them off—such a feeling of satisfaction to cross something off the list. Do not underestimate the power of writing things down. Time management is crucial to making this life work ,and in the beginning I struggled a bit, but have improved dramatically. Managing your time well will allow you to do all the fun traveling stuff you came to do while still tending to your professional responsibilities.

Get Clear on Your ‘’Why’’

There is a reason you wanted to have a job that allowed you to travel anywhere—maybe you place an extremely high premium on freedom, or you have such a deep passion for travel that you want to be able to do it anytime you want for as long as you want. But, no matter what your job, it can be a drag sometimes, and you may get too far into ‘’vacation mode,’’ which can spell trouble on the working end of things. You use your travels as an excuse to not do anything, and while it is important not to become obsessed with work and let yourself have fun, slacking too much is really not an option since you are relying on this income to fund your lifestyle. As much as I love my work, there are times I do not feel like writing—sometimes, it can feel like homework where I have to research and study to put together an article. But, then I remember that this very work is what allows me to live the life I feel so passionately about. When you are super-clear on why you are doing what you are doing, you can find the motivation to keep on even when you may not feel like it.

Make the Most of Travel Time

Whether you are sitting in the airport, on the plane, or stuck on a bus for the next 12 hours, take advantage of this time to get ahead in your work. Sometimes, you can feel more motivated to do something when you do not have any other options. Make sure the laptop is fully charged; I often gather research for articles I must do ,and cut and paste it in a Word document, so I can easily write them without having to worry about not having an internet connection. The time goes faster and I feel like I accomplished something; then when I arrive at my destination all tuckered out, I am not worrying that I still have to do work.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who loves blogging about thing travel; if you are traveling through AL, she highly recommends staying at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Montgomery Alabama.