What I Wish Everyone Knew About Remote Work and Travel.
Updated: Apr 18
Making the decision to quit the conventional job where I was making GREAT money, had benefits, security and all that great stuff, was the best one I've ever made - as of right now! Truth is I am well aware that maybe a few months from now, I may be back on the conventional lifestyle (vomit builds up). Here's the truth about following the dream to travel and work on the go.
Let me start by saying this- I Hate Money! But I need it! It's a catch 22 when you decide to go remote/nomading around. I believe most of, if not all people who choose this route, they do so to find more meaningful days, memorable experiences, a significant existence. That's all nice and cute but we still got bills to pay.
Don't let money worries consume you-
You're tired of living life on auto pilot, making money to afford your lifestyle, while having no actual life aside from the 10 days vacation you get right? But the minute you decide for the nomadic route, you will have money on the back of your mind constantly. Why? Because you won't have the stable paycheck. No matter how small; stability offers comfort. The trick is to change your priorities so money thoughts won't consume you.
Sound simple enough? A lot of people won't do this. They don't want to give up their precious apartment, their manicures, their fancy cars or even hotel stays. If you can't handle serious change, stay where you are because you are not cut out for this life! And there's nothing wrong with that. I wish I could have found contentment on my regular 9 to 5 , but something was always missing.
Remote work can be fun but also exhausting-
Do you dread moving and having to set up internet, phone, electricity, etc.? When you decide to work and/for travel this is a constant part of life.
I'm writing this post from Belgium, where I decided to house-sit for 2 weeks, in exchange for free stay. I arrived in Brussels where I stayed for one night. Then, figured out public transportation to the little town of Ghent. Spent one night at an AirBnB, and then on the 3rd day checked in at my host's place for the next two weeks. Factor in language barrier, jet lag, internet connection issues, and using any means possible to save money (ie. walking and public transportation). My first night in Ghent was a Friday night and I felt completely depleted. My mind and body were asking for mercy.
Now, I'm settled and back on schedule for work. For the next two weeks it's business as usual. Except that instead of going to my usual bar with my usual friends, I'll go to a castle, hop on a train and it all requires a little more research and preparation.
Loneliness can seep in constantly-
I am part of a lot of travel groups for women and I was surprised to learn how many of these women get the travel blues during and after their adventures. I shouldn't really say surprised because it has happened to me.
My longest trip to date was to Australia and that really took a toll on me. I wanted to cry, scream, catch a plane home, but that lasted just a few hours. I told my mom I was done traveling solo. It was a bit dramatic I admit, but it happens. You learn from it, you grow. And this was easier, I wasn't working on this trip.
Traveling and working is even harder. Maybe because it's so much like a transfer of your responsibilities, except that you are leaving your support world behind. At the end of the day you can't blow steam with your friends. They aren't there. You can't go to moms for a home-cooked meal, because she isn't around.
You need to constantly remind yourself of who you are, why you are there and not let any negative/difficult circumstances affect you. Someone is rude to you, don't take it personal. You get taken advantage of because you are a tourist; that's ok, it happens. It's a battle of the minds. If you aren't meant to do this for the long haul, you will learn from it, become more independent, strong and move on to the next thing in your life. Or you might find everything that you were ever looking for. That one thing that really fulfills you.
I always find comfort at bars. I find it easy to make friends. But sometimes it's hard. At times I wish I had the perfect partner to do this with, other times I look up and thank whatever is bigger than life for my life. I find myself high on life more now than ever before. I will be completely honest, I have no idea how long this feeling (or my money) will last. I hope forever.
At the end of the day you have to weigh the pros and cons. I don't know what the future holds, but right now, I am tremendously happy 95% of the time. I realize it's the beginning of my journey and things may change. And there's no right or wrong, live with no regrets and try things.
If you want to get started with a little remote work- this is one of the many things that I do that allows me to travel