Today brings us another story in my Women with Wanderlust series told to me by Erica Virvo. She’s constantly traveling and working remotely. I think you can learn a lot from her story if you too want to successfully work from anywhere in the world.
It was 7pm in Bangkok and I hadn’t moved from the hostels’ kitchen table since before lunch. I was seated, drinking filtered water, with my eyes glued to the screen and my fingers clicking away. This was what remote work was supposed to be like right? Travel to Bangkok and spend all day sweatily working in your hostels’ kitchen as other travelers go to visit floating markets and photograph temples? Wrong! Working remotely is a delicate balance of work and play. You can’t play too hard or your work suffers, and you can’t work too hard, or else you might as well be sitting at home.
That weekend I decided to travel across the border and check myself into a yoga community in Sihanoukville, Cambodia called Vagabond temple. A gate wrapped around the two-story home where 30+ travelers bunked together to take a break from their always-on-the-move adventures across Southeast Asia. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to work remotely. The schedule of the yoga center worked perfectly with my needs. Each day, I woke up at 6am, practiced yoga from 7-9am, ate breakfast and showered. Then I left to work at the cafe nearby. I worked as hard as I could until my 5pm yoga class, dinner, and nighttime activity.
Why does living in a community like this work so well for remote workers? Everything is planned for you. All of your meals are made, your classes are set, the time you have to work on the Internet is limited to a certain chunk of the day, and you have a warm community to surround yourself with when you want to socialize. Plus, if you’re doing yoga — you probably won’t have late nights out or hangovers (like you would have at a hostel)! I was the most productive I’ve ever been on the road while I was staying at Vagabond Temple!
A short excerpt from the communications and working on the road section of Women with Wanderlust. I too work from the road and have found that Wi-Fi is essential to my success along with actual structured time to work AND play.
It can be hard sometimes to find Wi-Fi while traveling abroad. Some countries like Japan and Australia, although advanced, don’t have ubiquitous Wi-Fi like we do in the states. Your best bet is to watch for Wi-Fi signs or find the closest McDonald’s or Starbucks. However, when I was in Taiwan I discovered that to get the Wi-Fi to work at Starbucks you needed to already have Wi-Fi so that you could verify your account with your cell phone. The other option was to have cell service.