The Real Truth about Working Globally as a Nomad

This article is two months late. That’s because I thought I was doing the working nomad thing right, but it was a bit harder than I expected. Everyone wants to travel the world and have an online job they can do from New York City or an island off Bora Bora, but is it as glamorous as it seems?

I planned this one month trip across both the UK and the US (ambitious, I know.) I was visiting Brighton, London, New York, and Indiana for a mixture of family visits, tourism and work travel.

I didn’t expect to change anything about my two remote jobs since I’m already doing them online when I’m home.

Wrong.

When you’re traveling, everything is different. You tell yourself you’ll do the work later and spend the day walking the Brooklyn Bridge instead (I mean, how many times will you have that opportunity?!) That all makes sense. But, when travel becomes your lifestyle, like Damon and Jo over here, you can’t always let go of everything in the sake of tourism.

Working abroad has to be done a certain way, or not at all. You think you’ll be walking through the streets in Paris then sit in a cafe for 20 minutes to get some work done. But the real truth is you’ll be up at 6 a.m. in your accommodation getting a meeting done because you scheduled it to fit your home timezone and forgot. Or you’ll have to ditch your friends and sit down somewhere to respond to your boss who needs something immediately that you know you can’t skimp on.

And this is real life, you can’t just skimp on this stuff. Trust me, I’ve tried and it ended up being a disaster. My roles and jobs were jeopardized, but it taught me so much about working on the road. I can’t say I’ve mastered it yet, but my own piece of advice is to plan.

I use a little moleskin planner to write down all my deadlines and action items that I need to do, and it works great. Organizing apps are also great, I recommend Wunderlist for the chill of you and Trello for those who want extra organization.

Also, talk to people!

My biggest regret is not communicating to those who I work with that I will be traveling.

If you won’t be completely unavailable, that’s great! But, still communicate your plans and the times you’ll be available is essential – I learned that lesson the hard way.

Don’t get me wrong, working remotely can be awesome, you get to be in your preferred settings doing your preferred work, sometimes in your PJs. You just have to be well organized so that you can maintain that lifestyle for as long as possible!

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