As glamorous as it may appear on Instagram, traveling requires constant effort – and the rigors of running a business don’t stop when you board that plane. Being jetlagged, exhausted or simply wanting to play the awestruck tourist means nothing to your clients, many of whom are working in an office and not particularly sensitive to the “plight” of the digital nomad.
I’m three weeks into my two-month Southeast Asian sojourn. Unlike last year, when I set up shop in a WiFi-enabled casita in Costa Rica for a month, this winter I’m making the rounds. With each stop on my itinerary, I’ve got ample baggage to juggle, multiple modes of transportation to negotiate and periods of uncertain internet coverage… followed by brand new scenery, cuisine and customs at which to marvel, and also foreign currencies, weather patterns and time zones to assimilate.
This morning, I woke at 4am to catch a flight from Manila to Ho Chi Minh City, only to see a calendar alert for a meeting, and a missed call from an HR person of a business I’ve been courting for months. My time-difference related calendar snafu left me feeling disoriented and somewhat discouraged about my ability to world travel while working full time. I earn my living on doing what I say I’ll do to make my clients’ lives easier. It’s my job to work around their schedules, and me playing hard to get is not cute. I tried time zone apps like Miranda, TimeBuddy and Klok, which should have helped me out, though Google Calendar takes it upon itself to make funky time zone adjustments, and to be honest, my general disorientation deserves most of the blame here.
Yep, travel takes you out of your both your time and comfort zones: showing you new things and challenging your ideas of the way things are, and who you are. This happens to me every day I’m on the road – and for that, I know I am #blessed.