Working Remotely is the Holy Grail for Many Workers
Travel is liberating. It allows us to experience places and cultural happenings beyond our wildest imaginations. It puts things in perspective and gives us countless stories to recant to friends and family members who want to know what it feels like to dip their toes in the ocean, live out of a backpack or suitcase, and visit outdoor marketplaces where fruit and vegetables are sold by the bushel and where independent artisans weave rugs, handcraft jewelry, and paint portraits under the watchful eyes of tourists.
Travel lightens our spirits while toughening up our skins. It teaches us to be patient and resilient and encourages us to live in the moment, a place often void of modern conveniences like BlueTooths and Cheez Whiz. Travel takes us to new spiritual levels, provides us with fresh sources of inspiration, and forces us to think outside the box and to improvise.
For those that are inexperienced, long-term travel can cause anxiety. There are a few reasons why people feel apprehensive. Work and family obligations can limit a person. Lack of financial resources can also damper an adventurous spirit.
Rather than forgo the trip of a lifetime, why not consider applying the skills and experience that you learned in the workplace to your new life on the road? You would be surprised at how easy it is to be an excellent employee from any location in the world.
Nora Dunn, a freelance writer and “professional hobo”, enjoys stable income while she treks across the globe. In addition to creating content for a number of websites and magazines, she has traded skills in order to secure accommodations. One of her most memorable experiences involved milking goats. She has also painted murals, led eco-treks, and landscaped yards in exchange for a place to sleep.
She offers this advice to fellow travelers:
Even if you don’t work in trade for accommodation, travel in general is an exercise in flexibility and having an open mind. It may not be a matter of life and death, but it will certainly affect your ability to “survive” the trip and come out the other side feeling fulfilled.
Negotiating a remote work location with your employer is far easier said than done. It often requires a positive attitude and persistence. Here are a few arguments to take to the boss:
- Some people double their efficiency by removing distractions. You happen to be one of them. Your track record speaks volume. Not only are you a valued team player, you also know how to work alone.
- Your people skills are exceptional. You know how to communicate with people from all backgrounds. You may even know a language or two that will help you with your travels.
- You are irreplaceable. You know your position inside and out. There is no sense spending money on recruiting and training another individual when you can do your job from any corner of the globe.
Once you have agreed upon a plan, exceed expectations. Communicate frequently with your employer. Meet all deadlines and turn in quality work. There is no excuse for failed internet connections or downed phone lines. Have a backup plan just in case you run into any problems while abroad.
Living your travel dreams is possible with some assistance from your employer. Keep a steady stream of income available to fund your journey by coming up with a plan that allows you to work remotely. A week’s vacation in an exotic location pales in comparison to years of traveling and living in the country or countries of your choice.
Jeremy’s comment: As Charissa has explained, working remotely can be very rewarding. As you’re reading this I’m doing some remote working of my own. In addition to this blog I’m also a writer for About.com and work with Bundle as an editor, but guess what? I’ve been driving across the country over the past week while still using technology to work remotely regardless of where I am. It’s great! No longer am I bound to the office and I’m able to get all of my work done while enjoying the sights away from home. I know not every job has this type of flexibility, but it is becoming more and more common. At the very least, it might be something worth discussing with your employer if it’s something that interests you. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread. She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.