Work and Travel
If you are like me, you probably love to travel.
One of the main reasons I wanted my own company and the reason I chose digital marketing is that I can work from anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, the pandemic put a stop to that, but I am hoping soon we'll be able to travel again and I'll be the first one to fly out to somewhere warm and exotic!
But for someone who hasn't experienced working while travelling, it may come with a few surprises.
1. You will need to stay for a longer period of time to get the full experience of the place.
I once made the mistake of booking just 3 days in Rome, thinking I'd have enough time to visit it at least enough to have a good idea whether I wanted to go back or not.
And whilst I'm sure I want to go back, I couldn't visit as many landmarks as I intended. I lost almost 2 days because of work emergencies. (Hot tip: If something can go wrong, it WILL go wrong whilst travelling). After working 8 hours in a day, you'll barely have energy to go anywhere.
Same with Brussels. I took a "day off" to visit Brussels as I was staying in the Netherlands and it was a 2 hour bus ride away. I had to stop at a coffee shop and work for 3 hours because even though everybody knew I had the day off, emergencies happened.
2. You need to be very careful about packing.
I never saw this mentioned anywhere, but working gear can get heavy and occupy a ton of space. If you have a laptop, an extra keyboard (I hate the one on my laptop), a mouse, ring light for meetings, external hard drives, chargers, adapters, pens and a notebook (I am oldschool, okay? I need to write down notes), they will occupy your full carry on. If you also have camera gear to take photographs, that's even more space occupied in your luggage. That leaves for very little space for clothes and other stuff. You can always purchase extra luggage, but if your destination is not your last stop, it will be rather hard to carry them around by yourself.
And it will get annoying. Every time you step into an airport, all tech stuff will need to be taken out of the bag and then you'll need to put it back carefully so it fits again.
All in all, it's a small price to pay, but no one mentioned this to me.
3. It's not going to feel the same as a holiday.
Day-to-day stress is still going to be there, you'll just be in a new place. You'll still have to take phone calls, you'll still have to put out fires. And all that in a foreign environment. If you're unlucky like I was in Naples, you'll also hate your accommodation and you'll walk around the room with your laptop to find good internet signal.
4. Your laptop will become an extension of yourself.
So make sure you have a laptop with a good battery life and is easy to carry. In Puerto Banus I dared to leave my laptop at home and go to the beach. Needless to say, I had to go back to the hotel and work. Didn't get any tanner that day! But such is the life of an entrepreneur.
5. You still need to keep your employees in check.
It is very tempting to give them tasks before your trip and count on them to do the job. But unfortunately, unless you keep them in check, some of them won't do the work. I was away for 2 weeks once and I discovered one of my employees took another job during that time and did nothing of what I'd assigned him to do, but still expected the full pay check at the end of the month. After looking thoroughly into it, I discovered he worked 4 and a half days that month. The amount of backlash I got from clients, you wouldn't believe. But they were right in being outraged and I was lucky they gave us the chance to make it up for them.
While I do very much enjoy my field, I just wanted to highlight it's not as glamorous as people think. You are always "on call". In the past 3 years, I only left my laptop at home once, for 2 days.