Life is filled with choices, some easy, some hard. And when you make your decisions, there seems to be and endless array of new decisions to be make. And so it is with life on the road. We made the decision to gather our family, a few possessions and take off in our RV in 2012 since then we haven’t looked back. But, life isn’t all play, we do have to work in order to make this life a reality. As such, we’ve been working and traveling for over three years and have amassed a huge amount of knowledge on the subject of working on the road. Keep reading for our top tips that pretty much hack life on the road!
Recently in a heated discussion, Dan reminded me that he is not, in fact, on an extended vacation. That as much as he’d love to put down the computer and accompany me on every hike, bike and climbing adventures, he must summon self-disclipine and work if we want to continue traveling, let alone eat.
He does drop the code and hit the river with us every time, because no way in hell am I getting on the river without him. Not ever. I know my kids love me and need me, but Dan, he loves me and he NEEDS me … nothing will ever happen to be if Dan is on the river with me!! LOL.
We are both blessed and lucky. Blessed to have had the courage to embark on such an incredibly crazy and virtually unheard of journey. And lucky that Dan’s company was one that could be and works beautifully well with mobility. In fact, since we’ve been on the road, Dan has more than doubled his client base!!
However, balancing work and family fun is by far the biggest struggle we face.
Below are 5 Tips for Making Working On the Road a more seemless and integrated experience … this is still a work in progress, but these 5 tips have taken us 3+ years to put into affect!
Kick The Kids and Spouse OUT!
Seriously, this is the only way it works for us. The kids and I have to vacate the premises. We tried the perfect in theory process of the kids and I doing school while Dan works, but that did not work. Not at all.
First, our kids are crazy. They literally have more energy than any one human should ever have. And so school does not go well when done in the early morning … we learned this the way we learn everything … the hard way. So, school is typically done after a long day of play. They can focus and aren’t concerned about what they are doing for the day … cuz it’s over!
Second, Dan is an early riser, as in 5 am early. He gets up, chugs an energy drink and gets to work. By the time most businesses are open, he’s halfway through his work day. Dan has clients across the country and into Canada and so, he tries to conduct meetings in the am to early afternoon. We cannot be around for these meetings … no way.
Have A Dedicated Work Space
Focusing on work is already difficult when you are in an RV, but even more so when you are in a new place, with new things to do, new rivers to run, new routes to climb, etc.
Having a dedicated spot, where you work and where you are comfortable can aid in the task of getting work done in as short a time as possible! After all, this is the goal when you travel often. Who wants to be the schmuck left home while everyone else is out having the time of their lives?
For Dan, it is helpful to pull the blinds, throw on some white noise and clear your computer of all tabs so as not to become distracted by a FB notification or an email alert!
When looking at RV’s be sure to take a good look at the interior and ensure you will have a space that will work for your needs. Surprisingly, the Newmar Dutch Star was like a bunker, in that it was particularly sound proof and sound did not travel as it does in our Georgie Boy … a perk that will no doubt be missed by Dan on Thursday during his regularly scheduled meeting!
Headphones are Your Friend
Barring the ability to vacate your RV of all inhabitants, utilizing headphones is a biggie in the working on the road world.
White noise, or some elevator music can help you forget your surroundings and really focus on the task at hand. They also send a clear message, “Do Not Disturb”.
Take Advantage of Inclement Weather
In college I always crammed for exams, I wasn’t one to take up weeks of my time methodically learning. I preferred to utilize my precious time wisely and refresh my memory the night before.
The same applies here. We work like mad in the KelloggShow RV when bad weather hits, or someone gets ill or while we are traveling … in fact, this blog is brought to you as we travel into KY via OH! Working ahead, if possible, can get you that time off needed to get you on the river, that rock face or heck, even the mall!
Wake Up Uber Early
This has been our takeaway, it is hard to get work done when either the kids are awake or we are off doing extraordinary things. Hence, Dan gets up at the crack of dawn and works while we are asleep. By lunch time, he’s ready to hit it with us.
The converse is to stay up really late, which is what I do. I’m a night owl and I get the majority of my blogs written in the middle of the night after everyone is asleep.
Downsize Your Equipment
RV space is limited already, start adding PC, faxes and printers and you might as well get another RV to tote all your work “gear”. As a software engineer, all Dan needs is a laptop, an internet connection (link to our wifi blog) and his cell for talking to clients.
Of course, at home, he has a fully decked out office, but RV’s can only accommodate the bare minimum, everything else that comes up gets outsourced.
This tip applies to life in general, but when talking about working on the road, being adaptable is the key to success. The ability to move around your schedule, deal with issues and problems as they occur, and go with the flow is tantamount to success.