Travel has always been a part of my DNA. As a child, my mother worked in the travel industry and instilled in me a passion for finding new adventures and seeing other places. In college, I spent a semester studying abroad through a program called Semester at Sea. We circled the globe on
a ship, going to class while at sea and learning through field excursions in the ten differ
ent countries we visited. Many of them are places I likely never would have seen otherwise. Spending time in third world countries, meeting people whose lives were so different than mine, made me realize that there’s so much more to life than the little corner of the globe I was growing up in.
This translated to a deep interest in other people and how they lived, what they thought, what their lives were like. My storytelling bug was born. It took years for me to figure out how to combine my passion for storytelling and my passion for travel into the perfect career for me. But let’s be honest … very few people can make work and travel together pay off. The discipline to do the job when you could be exploring the bistros of Paris, is tough. To top it off, auditioning for projects and marketing to new clients are two primary ways I make money. In short, if I’m not doing the work, I’m not getting paid!
This summer was a test: can I spend two full months traveling, yet still pull in a salary that allows me to pay that mortgage back home, cover airfare, food, trains and tours, and put something in the bank? One month in and I’ll be completely honest … it’s hard! I’m a focusedperson, but staring out the apartment window at the cutest French bakery ever makes it so hard to concentrate on work (not to mention the amazing smells that come my way)
Now, I’m not one to back down from a challenge. Armed with my travel equipment and a determined spirit, I set out on this epic summer of travel and work. Creativity and inspiration are engrained in my soul, and boy traveling has fueled my artistic fire! Every nook and cranny of the places I visited sparked new ideas and fresh perspectives for my storytelling.
Here are 3 tips on how to find balance while traveling and working!
1) Embrace Slow Travel
Instead of racing through cities, consider slowing down your pace. Spend a week or more in one location, allowing you to truly immerse yourself and strike a balance between work and leisure. This works surprisingly well with a large time difference. I love to explore a new city in the morning and then head to a cafe with my laptop in the afternoon/evening when my clients back home are awake.
2) Time Zone Tango
Along those lines – there are some great tools at your fingertips. Most cell phones have a world clock feature which can help you avoid accidentally scheduling a client call during your dreamy dinner in Venice. Be a time zone ninja and maintain that work-life balance even when the clock hands seem to spin faster than you can say “croissant.”
3) Power of Buffer Days
Imagine this: You are in a quaint Italian village, surrounded by cobble streets and the aroma of freshly baked bread. Your deadline is looming, but you don’t want to miss out on exploring. That’s where buffer days come to the rescue. When planning your schedule, build in extra time before your actual deadline. These buffer days act as a safety net, allowing you to wrap up your work stress-free while still having a cushion to enjoy the local experiences. It’s like having your cake (or gelato) and eating it too!
So, go ahead and weave some buffer days into your travel and work itinerary. You’ll find that having that extra breathing space can make all the difference in maintaining your sanity and delivering exceptional work, all while relishing the wonders of Europe.
Bonus Tips: Learn to embrace the bad weather!
Use the bad weather days to catch up on any work you have pending!
Do yourself a HUGE favor and research the Wifi connectivity where you’re going before you head there (my “where’s the wifi” emergencies could be an entire blogpost in itself)!
I’ve learned a thing or two about finding the sweet spot between exploration and productivity. Balancing work and travel isn’t just about ticking off tasks and exploring landmarks; it’s about finding harmony between our passions and the world that surrounds us. Spending extra time in a new city where you can explore like a tourist and then work with your laptop and a good Wifi connection like a local, really is a sweet spot.
So my fellow adventurers, even if you’re a recording a voiceover amidst the historic beauty of Rome, remember that the real magic lies in your ability to blend your craft with captivating essence of traveling the world.
Here’s to an endless journey of creativity and wanderlust. Until next time, keep chasing your passions across this beautiful world!