I’m on my 8th week in Amsterdam right now with ten days left before I move on to my next destination. Very recently I decided that Thailand will no longer be my next stop and instead I will continue travelling through Europe. Right now, the countries on my list to visit are: France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Italy and Belgium. The plan is to go to a number of different countries for four nights each. This way we’ll get to see most of Europe in a short space of time and have a month which is a non-stop adventure. At the end of this month I will reveal where I’m going and what I’m doing after the euro-trip. You’re in for a surprise. Living in Amsterdam and working online is not the first venture into Cloud Living, but it’s the beginning of a trip that has already resulted in some big internal changes. The last two months have also taught me quite a few things that I’m going to share with you today.
Do As Much As You Can, Before You Leave
While this point makes more sense if you’re travelling for a short period of time, I believe it also applies to people who travel for over 6 months at a time or even as a continual thing. Before I left for Amsterdam, there were a number of things I wanted to finish off so that they would give me more free time here to explore. The biggest project I had to complete, by far, was Reality Switch
. I was literally working on it day and night for two weeks in order to get it finished before leaving the UK. I also spent two days completely organising my email inbox for maximum efficiency. I ended up having to clearing out over 5,000 emails manually, but the result was worth it. My email productivity is through the roof now so I’m definitely getting those two days back. If you’re working on some big projects, try to get them finished before you move. If there is anything you know will help you be more productive on the road, then definitely try to do it before you start travelling.
Sometimes Things Get Messy, and You Beg
Wherever you go, there can be issues with communication that some times leave you wondering whether travelling is worth it in the first place. My issue cropped up when I had to deal with a stamp (fine) on my passport which meant that I couldn’t go into certain countries. When I remembered the fine, it was too late to have it processed before moving to Amsterdam. I decided that once I arrived, I would send it to the UK, have it processed, and then sent back to me within 2 months. Everything seemed simple enough, but about two weeks after sending my passport away, I received a letter from the Government, asking for my passport. The first thing I thought was “how would they know my new address or anything about a passport if they didn’t have it?” I am not joking when I tell you this countries’ passport operations in the UK are literally all handled by one
accessible phone number. Not only that, but the line is only available for 4 hours per day. After calling them well over 100 times and not getting through once, I resorted to emailing as many people as I could find on their website. Out of the 30 different people I emailed for help, only two responded. Eventually, after around 10 emails back and forward to a Johannes K Tiba
, I was told they have sent the passport back to me. I haven’t received it yet, but I’m confident it will be here in the next day or two. When the going gets tough, especially in a foreign country, you may
have to beg, and grovel, and do everything you can to get things sorted. I’ve sure had to.
Prioritise Destinations Like You Do With Goals
Working on the road is not all about working, of course. The places you visit are likely to have enough reasons to stop you from staying inside in front of a laptop. In the case of Amsterdam, I’ve been here for a few months so had more than enough time to see all of the attractions here. However, in some places there’s so much you want to see yet so little time. An example of this will be when I do my euro-trip next month and only have a few nights to experience each city. Just like you would do with your goals, pick places to visit which are the most important to you, and pick attractions in those cities which matter the most. It may very well be the case that you can’t get to see everything you want to see, so at least make sure you see the things you just can’t miss
Remember Your Long-Term Goals
I’ve always had quite a lot of friends, but for around a year at 16 years old, I didn’t spend very much time with them. My long-term focus was to be able to quit my job and make a living online, and I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. I decided that I could either ‘balance’ my year and get some work done and hang out with friends at the same time. Or, I could choose one over the other (my work) and get double the amount done. After my year of non-stop work, I was offered a job in South Africa which really got the ball rolling for where I am today. Right now, I have enough funds to travel the world for 2-3 years and not have to work. I’m sure many of you would jump at that opportunity and start living it up. Yet, here I am, writing another blog post and preparing myself for more work than ever over the coming year. This is simply because my long-term goal is not to be able to travel for 3 years and then go back to work. Now that I’ve managed to quit my job, my next big project is to help my brother and sister do the same. I want to earn enough money so that they can do what they want to do in life as well. And then I’ll do the same for my parents. Once I reach this (I will) I want to open a school in a country like Thailand or Vietnam where kids are not as privileged as they are in the rest of the world. I currently pay for two children to go to school in Vietnam and Bangladesh but I would love to build a school and help more people — an aim of mine I wrote about on the first ever PluginID post. Don’t just focus on the quick wins of what you can have now, but what you can achieve over the long term.
Things Have to Get Done
The first thing I noticed once I arrived in Amsterdam was how quickly my work went from being my main focus to ‘something I’ll do later’. I guess that is natural when you want to explore a new place, but it’s still important to realise that if your work was important before, it’s probably still going to be important now. Unless you have a virtual assistant, your to-do-list is not going to get any shorter until you start taking action. Enjoy your travelling and make the most of it, but don’t forget that things still need to get done after you visit that beautiful attraction. My strategy is to simply plan what I want to do, where, and dedicate whole days to doing that. Then I’ll use my spare time as productively as possible. These tips are what I’ve found to be some of the most valuable while on my journey and I hope that you’ve found them valuable. For those of you who work on the road (or have) what other tips would you give to our readers?
(See you in the comments!) Update
: My passport arrived 30 seconds before hitting publish. Life is good.