As I have been traveling the past month, I am still able to keep up with my online business and still enjoy the benefits of traveling. In a November post on Web Work Travel - by the way great blog, he talks about 12 reason to have an online business and travel. These are the best 12 items to just travel.
photo of our workstation... macs on macs on macs while in Colombia
Live minimal, when I travel - I only bring my carry on. Whatever I can fit in my carry on is what I take with me. Other items include leaving the winter and learning the language with new people.
But anyways, with all these new experiences how do you keep up with your business? How do you make sure you are still making money and enjoying your new location around the globe? Simple, discipline.
When I was in Spain a couple months ago, I stayed focus. This is my routine in the morning where ever I travel. I wake up I work. I have lunch and usually after lunch I do the tourist stuff or go explore. After dinner I try to do more work to catch up with what I missed during the day.
That is it. Simple enough. The problem is keeping this as a routine, because you need to turn this into a routine. Believe me there are nights where I am up til 5am and do not wakeup until 3pm. Which throw off my whole day. This happens from time to time and I either take a day off from exploring to catch up.
Here are somethings that you might find helpful while traveling and working..
- Internet! Get it!
The most important part is the internet. You do have an online business and your income depends on it so get internet and make sure the places you are staying have internet. Cell phone, mifi, airbnb places, hotels, etc. The internet is key to your business, even if you need to check stats form time to time you will need a data provider that can give you data fast and cheap.Luckily I utilize AT&T for my cell phone and I don't ever need to get a new sim card. It automatically just switches to the nations leading provider or with the strongest signal. Yes I pay extra for it but its easier for me to just switch automatically than trying to translate a conversation at a local cell/data provider.
- Line2, Perfect App or Skype Line
Make frequent phone calls? This is the perfect app or chat/talk system to stay in communication. Making national US calls can be placed while overseas because your skype or Line2 line attaches itself with a North American number. I use this app a lot when I have wifi available so this way I do not use up any of my data. Line2 App is perfect, it syncs with your contacts so you can easily dial and once again you get a North American line.
- GetFlow/HipChat, Stay Organized
I have used multiple task management platforms in the past. With my new company I just started just last year, we are now utilizing GetFlow. It was recommended by our developer and it seems to work flawlessly with what we need and our growing team. In the past I wrote a post about how to stay organized with an outsource team and I mentioned task management is key. This is the only way you can communicate very well with your team, especially if you are on 2 different time zones.We also utilize HipChat instead of skype as it provides a much better organization of chat between our customer care reps, traffic team, and development team.By simply staying organized and having a foundation with where team members are at, we can literally work anywhere as long as goals are met.
- Morning Routine, Stay on It
Usually when I land in a new country, my routine from my personal home gets broken. My routine usually before work is exercise, meditate, breakfast. Depending on the hour I land in a new country I become pretty much exhausted from the plane ride and nap. Which then breaks my time schedule, which breaks my morning routine.Also doing some exploration and partying can also mean the breakage of a long disciplined routine. After about 3 days my body will feel like crap, I try to go and stick to my morning routine that I have at home or at least a minimal routine. Jog and get lost somewhere, do in-hotel workouts, etc.Also I try to do most of my work during the day before I do any tourist stuff, this way I have the afternoon to go explore which is usually more active anyways. I will take my laptop to a local cafe spot and work after my morning routine. Even if you don't exercise, having a mini work or half day schedule will benefit you and your business a lot.
- Travel with Entrepreneurs or Meet them
When I travel, I use to travel by myself because prior I use to work by myself, self employed. Now I travel with like minded entrepreneurs and my partners. Now a days my entrepreneur travel buddys' are now my partners. Prior I would go on meetup.com and try to find an american entrepreneur group or even a teach myself the language group. So this way I can meet new tourists and people who are travelers as well. Meeting with like minded people tends to make the trip more beneficial but sometimes can also be a burden.Some entrepreneurs like to party hard, I just like to meet locals. So there can be conflict. Luckily as entrepreneurs we can go off on our own and do what we feel best is good for our own travel insights and round up the same minded users if need be. All in all meeting new people is essential for a great travel experience and learning a new trick or two about someone's business which may even benefit yours. I met a call center buddy, which can save me around 10k a month.
- Take a Break
There are days where you just want to stay home. When I travel I don't use every moment to explore and work, I sometimes just want to stay in. When I travel I don't like being a tourist. I try my best to do all the tourist stuff the first 3 days. I would rather go to the bar, travel the barrios and bad neighborhoods, go to local eateries (yes I am a foodie), and chill on the bench and watch diesel smoke out of cars. I feel the experience of being a local instead of a tourist provides more depths of how luckily I have it and how grateful I am to be where I am at. I also do a lot of thinking and compare the lifestyles back home.The reason is because people fight over Jordan sneakers while others overseas have been wearing the same sandals the past 5 years.Take a break, life moves fast, you just have to move a long with it at your own pace. Being a tourist vs being a local can be both fun, you just have to decide what you want to do. I personally find being a local is has a far greater experience which you can tell stories about rather than being a tourists.
When traveling, also accept the fact that you are in someone elses' home the rules and reasoning you come to learn may not have any affect in another country. Most people assume their way is correct when it fact it can be wrong. Also, when traveling be yourself. There is no need to worry. All the bad media shouldn't stop you from exploring a city or stopping you from going in a bad neighborhood to see how life really is.
Life is an experience and experiencing it should be what it needs to be. Stay productive on your next travels.