I am embarking on a truly excellent adventure this month: a working roadtrip. The plan was simple: visit a bunch of family & friends all while working as usual. We planned to be on the road four weeks.
You might be laughing right now, and indeed, it hasn’t exactly gone as planned. (Witness the lack of blog posts in the last few weeks.)
Let me be clear: seeing said family & friends (and thirteen states while we’re at it) has been awesome. We’ve had so much fun with everyone. It’s the work part that has been difficult.
But I’m not ready to give up on this idea–in fact, we’re already planning another version of this trip for next summer. And I would add in my defense that after seven years in one city (working on one project) I needed a change of scenery pretty badly.
So for those of you who are as committed to traveling as we are in my family, let me share what I’ve learned.
- Give your work good PR. I freely admitted my burned-out state and reluctance to work, and as a result few of my hosts/hostesses took my schedule seriously. My husband on the other hand, has made his job sound not only important but also exciting and lucrative. He’s gotten a lot more space.
- Instead of telling my hosts I needed to work for 4 hours, as I’ve been doing–I should have told them that I needed to write five pages (or some such thing) before hanging out. In this way, I could have cut out some of the lingering breakfasts that I felt were sucking away precious energy.
- I would have stayed in hotels a few more times. It’s cheaper to stay with friends, but a little more down time would have helped keep me energized at working times.
- I should have left the house to work, which I didn’t think of because I generally like to work at home, in my pajamas.
- I should have realized that most of the people I know do not work 9-5! I imagined having a house to myself all day, and that has happened exactly never in the first three weeks of this trip. It was relatively easy for my hosts to make free time in their days, which wasn’t expected and should have been accounted for.