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My Mobile Office

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Three and a half weeks and I’m on the road.

We have a loose goal of winding up in Panama sometime towards the end of the year, October probably, maybe November if we spend a little bit of time lingering in Europe. My travel plans will depend largely on workload, the fact that we are meeting Ben’s parents in the South of France for 2 weeks in mid September and, of course, our plans to become tax residents of Panama.

Once we’re in Panama we’ll have a clearer idea of if we’re basing ourselves in Panama long term or just setting up bank there and moving on. We have no idea.

At the very least, we will have from the end of July through to the end of October on the road, nomadic. Moving from one place to another, sampling the best the city has to offer and then moving on. That’s at least three months juggling work, life and travel.

For me, it is my dream! For others, it would probably make them a bit anxious.

The truth is, my work isn’t that demanding.

In order for it to function – exist as it does but not grow – I probably only need to spend 1-2 hours a day maintaining things, organising my writers, forwarding email and negotiating deals. However, to take things to the next level I probably need to spend at least double that, which can be quite challenging when you’re balancing flights, crappy WIFI connections and actually enjoying your time overseas, so how do I do it?

Firstly, I have all these things in my “mobile office”, many of them are new editions to make my life easier:

mymobileoffice1. MacBook Air: It doesn’t really matter what kind of computer you use, I use Macbooks because I prefer their function over Windows computers. I bought this laptop a year ago when my Macbook Pro was on its way out and I love how light it is. I have back problems and so it really makes a big difference for me in having such a light computer.

2. Samsonite Carryon Suitcase: Again, with the back problems. In the past when I have travelled and worked I have just placed my stuff into my backpack and walked around with it. Now I will be placing all my work stuff in this suitcase, as well as a change or two of clothes for carry on. It has a few compartments which will make dealing with adapters and cords even easier to keep organised.

3. Wireless Apple Keyboard: My old Macbook was so worn that the keys had fallen off, so I bought this keyboard. I actually find it a lot easier to use because the keys are slightly thicker so on days when I have a lot of writing to get through, I whip this badboy out. My partner, Ben, also has an iPad which this keyboard might be handy to use with it on the days where our laptops are flat.

4. Pacsafe Bag: This is sorta part mobile office, part travel girl. I had always just deal with generic bags overseas, but I wanted something more secure for our time in Europe. Pacsafe bags have heaps of safety features, including being slash proof and it fits my laptop in it so it will be perfect for walking to cafes to get some work done.

5. Mighty Purse: This clever little clutch purchase CHARGES MY PHONE. It is amazing. I have used it a ton since being it a month ago and know it will be so helpful on the road. Quite often when I’m traveling I’ll buy a local sim and just deal with emails on my phone, so having a fully charged phone is essential.

6. A Moleskin Notebook: I like writing down thoughts, ideas and goals in a little notebook. Sure, I could do it on my iPhone but it doesn’t feel as nice or as personal, so I prefer old school.

7. Fuji X100s: I previously owned a 5d Mark ii, but have recently “downgraded” to this camera. It hasn’t come in the mail yet, but I can’t wait. It’s not so important for my finance blogging, but pretty key for my travel blog.

8. iPhone 5s: Having a smartphone means I can deal with emails without having to lug around my laptop, which dramatically reduces stress. It also means I can easily use Twitter without logging onto a computer.

Where do I work on the road?

Anywhere and everywhere!

I like to make the most of the down time and, trust me, there’s a lot of it. Time waiting in airports, on buses, trains, planes or even on ferries. For example in Thailand you can choose to take the overnight bus or ferry between Chiang and Bangkok. I chose the train because it’s easier to work and then tethered my phone to my laptop. Using my local sim and the internet plan I had, I managed to get a few hours work done before watching a movie, falling asleep and waking up in a new town.

Is it hard working “on the road”?

Yes and no. I think it would be hard trying to juggle a 40-50 hour week on the road, but thankfully that’s not my reality. There can be times where the Internet is so crap you can’t manage to load a post, but for the most part I don’t find it too bad. At the end of the day it’s the same work I’d have to do if I was in my hometown, just with the added bonus of being somewhere cool to explore.

That’s my mobile office. Do you have any bits and pieces you simply can’t work without? Share in the comments below

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10 Comments

  • Charlotte says:

    WHAT your purse charges your phone?! I need one of those, stat!! I also have a Macbook Air and love it. Your mobile office looks very transportable which will be useful in the upcoming months 🙂

    • Christine says:

      It’s amazing, seriously…. they should have sent me a free one for the amount of promotion I’m doing for them since I bought it, but it’s so great. One charge of the purse charges my phone maybe 2-3 times and it’s so handy because you just plug the phone in, zip the purse shut and go about your day, knowing your phone is charging!!!!

  • I am also location independent, but I am terrible at it! I am so easily distracted that it’s very hard for me to get any serious work done if I am not in my house where it’s quiet. I’ve tried working outdoors and can’t do that either. Too many things going on in this crazy head I guess!

    • Christine says:

      That’s so interesting, Holly! I find that I can’t really concentrate for too long and am more productive in shorter bursts/later at night. I really like working in cafes as the sounds seems to keep me busy… I get bored if it’s too quiet haha 🙂

  • I just found your blog and have spent the past hour browsing through so many of your posts! This is awesome! congrats on establishing such a well rounded online career. I make money online but not anywhere near the level you make. I’ve used it to pay off debt and now we’re using any extra money to save up for a house.

    You mention a series of websites you have. Without giving too much away, are those niche websites? I’ve heard of that concept before and I’ve considered it, but it seems like a LOT of work. I’ve been dinged by Google 3x due to sponsored posts so I’m always looking for ways to diversify.

    • Christine says:

      Hey there! Thanks so much for your comments. Well, we have to start somewhere 🙂 It’s really great that you’re already making some money online. They aren’t really niche sites, not super niche, lifestyle, travel, finance. That’s basically my shindig. I would like to start making different types of income. I have all my eggs in the sponsored post basket, which I think is dangerous. Lovely to connect with you and I’m going to check out your blog now.

  • Kassandra says:

    I need to look up the Mighty purse! I too carry a pretty notebook to jot down ideas with my favourite Cross pen. I feel relaxed when I’m writing things down with pen and paper. I have gotten used to working in different locations other than home but as you said when the internet connection is beyond horrid not much gets done.

    • Christine says:

      You totally do – they’re pretty cute. I want a few purses in different colours, but know I don’t need one… I think it’s so much nicer to write down with pen and paper. I also find it great to browse through the pages to get ideas.

  • FI Pilgrim says:

    That sounds really cool to be able to travel and still get your work done. I’m with Holly though, it’s nearly impossible for me to focus away from my home office or real office. Thanks for sharing your methods!

    • Christine says:

      My secret is lots of coffee and short bursts. I can’t seem to focus for too long anyway. Thanks so much for dropping by FI

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