Things I learnt travelling edited pic

Since I started my business 5 years ago it has been my long-term goal to travel the world and run my business from wherever I go. It is quite a simple goal, one that does not focus on a 6-figure income, but on freedom and happiness.

This year, for the first time, the criteria were right for me try it. I travelled around California for 18 days and I learned a lot. If you are considering this for your business and life, here’s what to bear in mind:

  • Set expectations before you go

Before I left I made sure I let all my clients know as far in advance as possible. I couldn’t keep track of which I had told and which I hadn’t, so my advice would be keep a note. I explained to them that this was my long-term business goal so they understood I wasn’t being frivolous but actualising a dream, that way they weren’t just understanding, but positively encouraged me! I told them I would still be working while I was away but warned them that my response times would be slower due to time differences, and if there were full day excursions I wouldn’t respond for possibly two working days.

  • It takes a while to get the balance right

Don’t expect to land off the plane and immediately be spending the right amount of time on both sight seeing and working. You will not get into the swing of it immediately. For me it took nearly 10 days of swaying between the guilt of not doing enough work and the frustration of working when I should out there seeing the world. You will get the hang of it, but don’t beat yourself up about it to begin with.

  • Spend a lot more time in one place than you ever would on a normal holiday

My mistake in the first two thirds of my holiday was travelling around too many different locations. It was not until I spent a whole week in San Francisco, which I could’ve done in 4 days, that I got into the swing of it. I was able to put in a half-day or at least a couple hours most days. I went by the weather (it rained a lot), how I felt (I got a cold so I stayed in bed and worked one morning), and whether I had events pre-booked (I booked my Alcatraz trip 2 weeks before, it was pouring down with rain the whole morning, so I dried off in a coffee shop and worked for 4 hours afterwards.)

  • Put sight seeing first

Every time there was a choice between going to see or do something, or stay at my accommodation/coffee shop and work, I chose sight seeing every time. You might not have more time in that place ever again; there will always be more time to work.

  • Take business cards

One thing I forgot? My business cards! I kicked myself so hard for that one. When you’re telling people about your trip and how you’re running a business, those there on business might want your business card. And in California there were lots of people on business. Believe me it feels crappy when you’re a graphic designer and you’re writing out your details on a scrap of paper (and, I’d imagine, when in any other profession, too!)

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat – but maybe in a slightly different way to save money and gain more time


  • Create passive income streams in advance

If I had been staying somewhere with perfectly sunny weather every day, feeling full of get-up-and-go energy every day, I don’t think I would’ve fully shaken the resentment of working instead of sight seeing. However, if I’d spent 3 months setting up a fully automated online course before I left, it would simply have been a case of checking in every now and then. This would take my business strategy in a different direction; one that focuses less on selling my time for money, and more on selling online products.

  • Transfer an RV or campervan – for FREE!

I spent my time in cities and got between them mainly by internal flight. However, to see the real America, it is all about the road trips! You can transfer an RV or campervan from one location to another for free or a heavily reduced rate and only pay for petrol (dirt cheap) and power hook ups ($30-50 per night), simply because some hire companies need more vehicles in one location than another and it works out cheaper for them. It’s not just for beds on wheels either – if you’d prefer to sleep within actual walls at night you can also transfer hire cars from one location to another on the cheap and book hotels to stay in instead. I tried this in New Zealand and had a whole month to transfer my hire car from the South Island to the North, for free. I have listed some sites to check out at the end of this article, and check out this article for some great advice too.

  • Become a house sitter

This has been a goal of mine for a few years now. Look after someone’s house and get accommodation for free. Sign up for some house sitting sites, get good reviews under your belt and the world is your oyster! After reading the great tips and starting points in this great article I signed up for a year with – stay tuned for updates on that!

I hope this has been my first practice run of many, and the start of my new business direction.

If you have tried travelling and working at the same time, leave a comment with your tips and advice below – I’d love to hear how you did it!