After two years of missing out on seeing the world, many people are now exploring the idea of working while travelling over the summer.
Concepts of work and office culture have been reimagined since the start of the pandemic – and we are no longer tied to our desks. The world is truly our oyster, and working while travelling could open up a whole new range of possibilities.
This style of ‘anywhere working’ is now hugely popular. A study from Fiverr and Lonely Planet shows that 60% of anywhere workers work full-time, and 40% even reported earning more than before living this lifestyle.
But how can you make this dream lifestyle really work for you?
Sam Laliberte, a 30 year old podcast expert, felt the corporate lifestyle was making her sad and exhausted, so in 2016 she decided to travel while working through freelance platform Fiverr.
Since then, Sam has been able to extend her stays and live in up to eight countries a year.
Whether you’re self employed or have agreed with your employer to work remotely, here are Sam’s tips for working while travelling:
Familiarise yourself with the cost of living in your chosen country
Working from anywhere in the world is supposed to be fun. The last thing you want to do is be stressed about money.
That’s why Sam says familiarising yourself with the cost of living in your chosen country is so important.
‘Consider the cost of your accommodation, an average meal, transportation and even a beer – as these can vary greatly depending on where you live,’ says Sam.
‘For example, when travelling in South America, I was surprised at how expensive Costa Rica was relative to Guatemala. Once you understand how far your money can go depending on where you stay you can then budget accordingly.’
Understand time zones
‘Be mindful of where your clients are based so that you can navigate the different time zones, together,’ suggests Sam.
She says some clients may start their day as you fall asleep, so it is important to appreciate the time zones they operate within so you do not bombard them with emails when they’re off.
‘At the moment, I have a lot of clients based in North America so scheduling calls from Bali would be challenging,’ she says.
‘That said, there are several websites that can help you schedule meetings across time zones. This will make sure you can stop work at a reasonable time to explore the country you intend to visit.’
Be strict with your time
The beauty of working from anywhere is that you can see the world. However, you won’t be able to see much of it if you’re not being strict with your time.
‘I’ve found that there’s no bigger incentive to work efficiently than working in a desirable location,’ says Sam.
‘Even so, it is easy to find yourself over servicing clients if you don’t plan your work schedules. Make a plan and stick to it – the benefits will soon become evident.’
Prioritise strong WiFi
As an anywhere worker, most of your work will be online. So, it goes without saying that when choosing accommodation, strong WiFi is essential.
‘It is worthwhile to check with your Airbnb host or hotel whether you have to pay extra for WiFi as doing so may make your stay a lot more expensive than initially bargained for,’ says Sam.
‘You could also try to use co-working spaces which should have WiFi – this is also a great way to network and meet people.’
Secure a ‘Digital Nomad Visa’
Since the pandemic, a lot of host countries have introduced what’s called a ‘digital nomad visa.’ Sam explains that this allows anywhere workers to stay longer in their chosen country than they could on traditional tourist visas.
‘You’re likely to be accepted if you can demonstrate that you have a stable income,’ she says.
‘You then don’t need to open a bank account or pay taxes, which is normally required of those who extend their stay.
‘There are different visa requirements for each country so it’s important to do your homework before you pack your bags.’
Protect yourself with International Health Insurance
‘Protecting yourself with international health insurance is so important when working abroad,’ says Sam.
‘If you want to truly immerse yourself in the experience by trying new sports or activities I recommend being covered by an insurance provider.
‘I use SafetyWing Insurance to make sure that I have peace of mind that should I fall sick or get into an accident I am protected and don’t incur unnecessary costs.’
Decide your location based on important life events
Another benefit of working anywhere that Sam identifies is that you can attend your loved ones’ important events without worrying that you have used too much holiday.
‘This year I have three friends who are getting married in Canada, Chicago and Portugal respectively,’ she says.
‘I’ve put these big life events in my diary and used them like anchors when deciding what location I’ll be working from.
‘As the old adage goes, you should work to live, not live to work. Life’s too short not to see your best friends walk down the aisle.’
Consider whether you would prefer to live the ‘slowmad’ lifestyle
‘Many people who are new to anywhere working, try to see how many stamps they can collect on their passport,’ says Sam.
‘I consider this one of the biggest mistakes that you can make.
‘Moving too often can get in the way of establishing a workflow which is key to meeting client deliverables.
‘I’ve found that staying in a location for at least a month, ideally three, is the sweet spot.
‘Not only do you establish a rhythm at work but you also get to make friends and become part of the community.
‘My advice to budding workers is to take it slow, the countries you want to visit are not going anywhere.’
Scope out child care offerings
Since the pandemic, the world has seen a massive shift in the way that people choose to live and work. Sam says living a nomadic lifestyle is no longer limited to single individuals in their early 20s with a disposable income, but has become a normal part of life for a much larger group of people.
‘Parents have the extra consideration of whether their chosen destination has good childcare offerings,’ she adds.
‘Identifying whether there are childcare facilities, good education services and whether the area is safe will help make sure anywhere working is beneficial for all members of the family.’
Question your excuses
‘There is always an excuse to not take the plunge and become an anywhere worker,’ says Sam.
‘Many give the excuse that they have a pet, a house and a car.. I have all three yet I still make it work. There will always be someone who will look after your pet, rent your house and somewhere to park your car.
‘If you want to become an anywhere worker badly enough, you’ll make it happen. It’s all about your mindset. What’s stopping you?’
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