This was my second experience working from the road in my last five months as a freelance writer.
The first was when we went up north with my husband’s side of the family and stayed at a cabin for a week.
This time we met friends (sans kiddos!) in San Francisco for a few days. Both times were both fun and productive.
Workation versus Vacation
A lot of people want to keep work and vacation separate. They want to completely unplug from the office while enjoying a break from work.
I get that, I really do. I used to feel that way too. Since starting freelancing, I’ve come to think of it a bit different though.
Writing tends to be a very creative thing and you can’t always decide to turn it on or off. That means when ideas strike, you best have paper!
Since I’m currently building my business on the side of a full-time job, I also have to use time wisely and work when I can. I have two toddlers, so when I’m away from them and have down time, I mise well work on building my freelance business.
Internet access seems to be easier than ever to find. From free wifi at both airports, to it being included in our condo rental and having 12 free passes for it on the actual plane (due to my recent Chromebook purchase, score!), internet access hasn’t been a problem.
On the off chance that it wouldn’t be available, I recently purchased a Karma hotspot (referral link for $10 off). Instead of paying ~$30-50 per month for a smart phone data plan or monthly service, I decided to buy the Karma and pay as I go ($14 per GB).
Since I’ve had such good fortune finding free wifi so far, I didn’t need to use it. I’m glad to have it as a back-up though for when I do.
Full disclosure: You have to buy the equipment in addition to the pay as you go data. It was $99 for the actual equipment, but I’m anticipating a pretty quick break-even. If nothing else, it’s like internet insurance, which from a piece of mind standpoint, is necessary!
They have a new version coming out and when I asked if I could return mine and upgrade, they said no problem, since I was within 30 days of purchase. The newer version comes out in December (you can pre-order with $50 off for the next week or so) and is supposed to work better anywhere. The old version works best in metro areas.
Since I live in the country and we travel to northern Minnesota a lot (where internet is fewer and farther between), I thought this was a better fit for me. I’m so glad that their customer service was so great. I don’t even have to pay for return shipping!
Working When I Want
The best part of my freelance writing and VA work is that I just operate on deadlines. As long as I do my work by a certain date, it doesn’t really matter when I work. Providing I have internet access, of course!
I tried to get the majority of my assignments done before I left. There were ~3-4 that didn’t have to be completed on my trip, but that I found time do do anyway. It was nice that I could write when I found extra time (without taking away from our trip or encroaching on anyone else’s fun). Win-win in my book!
I found that I work really well in an airplane. I probably always work really well when I don’t have the distractions of two toddlers underfoot, but it was nice to be productive while I had to sit on an airplane anyway. In the past I would have read a book or been bored. The flight went by super fast!
More Workations to Come!
I can see myself taking more workations in the future. Taking the above into consideration, our dreams of traveling via R.V. are even looking a bit brighter.
Why not mix work with pleasure? Especially if you’re doing something you’re in like with (most of the time in love with), that is also not location dependent and flexible from a scheduling standpoint. We might never get this opportunity again!
Have you ever taken a workation before? Liked it?
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