I put the word vacation in quotes for a reason. When we tell people that we’re traveling around the world indefinitely, we naturally get a mix of reactions. Among those reactions we’ve seen a lot of ‘how can you afford that?’ and ‘it must be fun sightseeing all the time’. In fact, that’s not the case at all. While we are traveling indefinitely, we are also working full-time from the road. For that reason I also don’t like to use the word ‘vacation’ to describe this trip (besides for alliteration in a blog title :) but rather prefer ‘Travel as a Lifestyle’. We are still living a regular life, but with a rotating landscape every month or so.
Heden Coworking Spot in Lisbon
I am a software developer by training - also by passion, mind you. I’ve done freelance work before, both individually and professionally. So when we started thinking about this trip, naturally I thought I would simply pick up freelanceing work again. Sure, I’d be taking a hit financially and lose my employee benefits, but that’s a loss I was willing to take to do this trip.
About 3 months before our depart date, I walked into my 1-on-1 meeting with my manager at EBSCO, ready to break him the news. ‘It’s not you, it’s me’, I gentlemanly said. I explained to him that this is something that we needed to do, and gave a very reasonable timeframe where I would continue working and be able help with any transition necessary. The next day I get a message from him: ‘do you have a minute for a call?’
After speaking with his own manager, they felt confident in extending me an offer to continue working from the road. I was shocked as I did not expect that at all coming from a brick-and-mortar, mature private company. Once I lifted my jaw off the ground, I happily accepted!
These days, I work online with my team of 6 fellow developers. I am online for the regular workday hours, with few exceptions. In the morning I work by myself, this gives me time to plug in without distractions and maybe even pick up a story from a team member from the previous day, creating a sort of ‘relay development’ flow. In the afternoons (the rest of my team’s morning) we do our agile ceremonies and split off for any pair programming we may need to do. I sign off when they head out to lunch. I’m happy to say that this has been working very well for our team for the past few months and I’m sure they could attest to that!
Michelle and Tomer Loving Merkspace in Tel Aviv
I have had a passion for working with people with special needs in many capacities. Whether it’s letting people with disabilities choose their own adventure around Camp Krem, ABA therapy, or helping individuals learn to interact and live their lives in a more self-sufficient way, I love it.
Obviously, this doesn’t translate as well as Tomers’ job to a digital nomad lifestyle.
We did a fair bit of research in terms of what I would be able to do while on the road, but didn’t quite find something that I was actually excited about. I was dreading my remote work since I am not a computer desk kind of person - this is why I wanted to explore the world in the first place. I am a people person and wanted to learn about other cultures everywhere we go. Then unbelievabley, Tomer, love of my life and wonderous human that he is, saw an ad for ‘Relationship Coaching’ on Hacker News and sent it to me.
The ad mentioned an online job with a steady hourly rate, and the flexibility of schedule and location. Being familiar with my strong empathy and background in psychology, Tomer forwarded me the link. I am now a proud Relationship Coach for Relationship Hero. I love my job, I talk to peope all around the world and help them understand their problems with relationships and/or dating and coach them through tough times. I even got to publish a blog post on their site recently about how to argue in a relationship!
Even with both of our flexibility, it’s not always been easy to make sure our schedules line up, but we are getting better at it over time. We can now proudly say that we are working from the road and that is financing our travels as we go see the world!
TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) Coworking Spot in Zurich
One thing we learned from this search is that there is probably a job out there for anyone who wants to pursue Travel as a Lifestyle. Keep searching and be sure to approach new opportunities with an open mind!Written on January 11th, 2019 by Tomer Shvueli and Michelle McKenna