Freelancing has given me the unbelievable privilege of being able to work anywhere in the world I like. As grateful as I am for my situation, there have (of course) been a few learning curves.
For anyone doing anything work-related while travelling, I hope that my learnings can help you out even a tiny bit!
1. Factor in time for writing
It is easy to get overexcited and forget that, as much as you love writing, you will need to set time aside for it.
For me, what worked well was writing while – literally – on the road. The only reason I was able to do that was my very patient boyfriend doing 90% of the driving.
If you are travelling alone, you might need to search out some great freelancing spots in advance, and allow yourself the time you need to get your projects done.
2. Extend your deadlines to deal with international clients
Clients on the other side of the world will not be able to respond to you immediately, and visa versa, so make sure you allow a few days for correspondence alone.
Even if you are in the same time zone, I recommend extending your deadlines anyway. It should help you to avoid a panicked change of your plans to fit around work – I can tell you this one from experience.
3. Don’t write in the sun
This might just be my personal opinion, and it also depends on where you are, but I categorically cannot concentrate in the hot sun. Try and find an AC or (even better) a shady spot. It might seem trivial but trust me it will have you working much more efficiently.
4. Keep clients in the loop
Give your clients notice if you know you are going away. Be honest about how much you are planning on working so that they know you might not be able to drop everything for a last-minute brief.
Letting clients know when you won’t be reachable will stop them panicking if you don’t reply for a couple of days. Even if you aren’t working on anything for them that day, keeping everyone in the loop will help you manage any additional work that pops up.
5. Be nice to yourself
You probably won’t be working as many hours as you do at home, and that is fine. If you are going to be in new places then you should allow some time for fun!
Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t earning as much as usual, because that is probably going to be a given. Before I left, I sat down and worked out the number of hours I needed to work to earn what I wanted while I was away, while still leaving time to enjoy myself. A 5-minute conversation with yourself can make this aspect of travelling much less scary.
6. Be inspired
A change of scenery was just what I needed to come up with ideas for a project I’ve been struggling with (watch this space). Seeing new things every day might keep your ideas fresh and your creativity flowing. It did for me.
Writing down new ideas while you aren’t working is a great way to remember them when you are. While I don’t tend to carry around a notepad everywhere I go (I know, I know), I literally just have a rolling notes page on my phone for random thoughts and ideas.
Juggling work and travel can be stressful, but overall it is so liberating to work and explore simultaneously. I plan to try it again sometime soon… if Corona lets me.