Everyone craves the lifestyle of the freedom to work from anywhere. I’ve traveled and work plenty of times before, but coming to Bali with the sole purpose of transplanting myself to a warmer climate and continue working was a bit of a challenge at first.
I’m sure it all depends on who you’re traveling with, and where you’re going, but I really struggled during the first week with creating a new routine here.
I had a pretty rock solid schedule back home. But I realized that I couldn’t keep up with the exact one I had in Iowa, obviously, and therefore needed to create a new one while I’m here.
At first when it was just four of us, I found it hard to say no to activities and adventure to stay back and work. Because of this I found myself maybe working an hour at first each day.
I’m sure if you were surrounded by a group of other online entreprenuers it would be a different story. But everyone I’m traveling with is in their “off season” of work so they don’t have to do anything work related while they’re here. Because of this they are much more in vacation mode than I want to be. Which is fine. We don’t always have to be doing the same thing as the person next to us.
I just needed to learn to say no. It was a good lesson for me. And a good challenge to find the balance between work and fun.
My first breakthrough came when the group wanted to go to Monkey Forest in Ubud, and I had zero interest in that activity. So, I looked up a cool little spot, Clear Cafe, mopeded my way over there, and fell in love. The atmosphere, the food, the juice, the coffee, the music….everything was perfect. I was finally able to sit for more than an hour and really focus on work without distractions.
I only made it to Clear Cafe once more, but I’m really finding my groove now that we’re on the North coast.
The pace is much slower up here. The setting is serene and calm — perfect for sitting down and pounding out some work.
The first day here I decided to start my day with a cup of coffee on our balcony, my stack of journals and plenty of inspiration to surround myself with.
I sat there and wrote my morning pages, in my two other journals, and planned out my day in my bullet journal. I then continued to work until around 3:30 p.m. and do you know what? It felt great.
I missed out on a pretty awesome looking waterfall, but everyone in our group is eager to get back again so I might get my chance to do some cliff jumping still!
Today, was much the same. I started my day out on the balcony and realized that my simple habit of journaling in the morning really set me up to feel much better about my days. We went to the only Buddhist Temple in Bali, came back, jumped in the pool, started working, got a massage, continued working, and I’m feeling great about the pace of the days here.
So, if you’re flailing a bit, outside of your normal routine, first you need to take a step back. Everything is going to be ok. The world is going to continue to spin. Realize that you may not be able to keep up with everything you were doing at home. Take the time to really look at those habits you miss and know make a difference in your day. Where can you fit those into your new schedule? Mornings work best for me. And learn to say no to activities you don’t want to do, even if the rest of the group is participating.
While I don’t plan to be a digital nomad with FemmeHead, I do desire the ability to continue working while traveling at the same time, because if I can continue to master this skill I can say yes to spur of the moment trips. For example, Michael has a race in California right when we get back. Because I have the freedom to work from anywhere, not to mention the fact he has companion pass on Southwest, I was able to say, “Mind if I come with?” and now I get to skip out on Iowa’s winter for a few more days.
Share your tips for working while traveling, creating a new routine and finding time for your favorite habits.