How to earn a whole year traveling the world with your family
It is difficult to combine work with a long journey, especially when traveling with a family. Scott Wharton, the man who did it, shares his ideas on how to improve his productivity on the road.
A couple of years ago, my wife Mariette and I finally decided to do what we had dreamed of for many years. We got rid of the Silicon Valley home and cars, left the rest of our belongings for storage, took our 10- and 13-year-old sons Reid and Dan from school and set off, taking only one bag for each. We realized that we will either do it now, or never will.
At that time, I was finishing work with a startup, in which I participated and which we sold, but I had positions on the boards of several companies, including one small telecommunications company.
While we were traveling, this business was also sold, and as Chairman of the Council I needed to stay in touch with my colleagues more than I expected.
So I had to develop several productivity strategies on the go. They helped me focus on work if necessary, but at the same time gave me the opportunity to spend time with my family, as I had planned. The most important thing in these methods was the flexibility that would allow me to work in any situation on the road. That's what helped most effectively.
Take time to be both “at work” and on vacation.
One of the advantages of the difference in time zones is that you can communicate with colleagues and make work calls in the evening without denying yourself sightseeing during the day. The video link helped me a lot. With the help of this year's video, I managed more than I would have done using e-mail and regular telephone communication.
Of course, once you need to still have time to sleep, and constant travel is very exhausting. Even though I enjoyed the advantages of the time difference and creatively approached drawing up my schedule, I did not want to wake up at 3 one o'clock in the morning from the call of my colleagues, who on the other side of the globe went to dinner. Here I was very helped by the “do not disturb” mode on the phone.
Think of how to stay in touch.
Many people think that traveling makes it hard to stay in touch, and sometimes this is true. But I could find some simple and affordable ways to be online almost always and everywhere. I invested in the purchase of a tariff from T-Mobile with unlimited Internet in most countries of the world, and I didn’t need to frantically search for a new SIM card and connect a new tariff in each new location. So, wherever I find myself - in an unfamiliar city, on a remote island or in a rural area - I could at least solve certain tasks of work.
Other collaborative applications are known to everyone, for example, Google Docs. Cloud services like Dropbox I used for personal purposes.
By downloading all the documents, from a passport to a vaccination card, to the cloud, you can save a lot of time, money and effort.
And if you sign up with iBooks, Kindle Unlimited or a similar system, then all the books (including guidebooks) will be at your fingertips, and you will not have to buy new ones every time and store them somewhere.
I learned from personal experience that nowadays cellular communication or Wi-Fi can be found almost anywhere in the world - both on the beach and high in the Himalayas. Once I even participated in a teleconference right during the ascent to the base camp on the way to Everest. I also took with me an unlocked phone in order to be able to use SIM cards of local operators at longer stops. In Nepal, I managed to find a tariff that included 3 GB of traffic for about $ 10 and calls to the United States at a price of two cents per minute.
In addition, text messages can be sent via WhatsApp, and calls to regular phones via Skype. If you have access to the Internet, you can call ordinary phones in the US through Google Hangouts for free.
Bring a laptop and batteries
And try to bring spare batteries for all devices - the more the better. The last thing you want is to be tied to a power outlet in a cafe or hotel room instead of seeing the world around you.
Put the old phone on the bottom of the suitcase
When you are constantly traveling, you should expect a larger portion of surprises from life. I realized this when my phone was stolen from my hands while I was riding in a tuk-tuk (hybrid of rickshaw and motorcycle) in Cambodia. Soon, to my misfortune, I learned that different models of phones are sold in different regions of the world, and different frequencies are used in GSM networks around the world.
Fortunately, one of my colleagues sent me a new iPhone, but he was stuck in customs for several weeks. Therefore, it is best to carry with you a spare device just in case. I had an old but still working iPhone 4. He was not perfect, but certainly better than nothing.
Learn to refuse to work if necessary.
Digital infrastructure that allows us to be in touch anywhere in the world is a modern miracle, but it is equally important to maintain a balance between work and personal life. I had to remind myself to disconnect from work and enjoy the places we were in - otherwise what was the point in all this?
In fact, it was a family trip, and I was initially set up to communicate more with my family and friends around the world. We often talked on Skype and FaceTime with family and friends. Once I explained to my father, who was already in 70, that talking to him on a regular phone cost me $ 3 per minute, and I could make video calls for free, and he was very surprised.
When I thought about it later, it also seemed funny to me. Then I closed the app and went out on the air ...
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