In less than 24 hours, I’m hopping on a plane bound for the Golden State where I’ll be spending over a month on the road. I’m leaving my comfy bed behind to drive nearly 1000 miles, stay in the homes of complete strangers, and walk countless miles each day.
I’m looking forward to every second.
That’s all it takes to do something for more than 10% of the year. Once it was decided that 30 days was our minimum duration for worthwhile travel, scheduling and booking bumped the total duration of this trip to 37 days.
And just like that, we’ll be traveling for 10% of the year (Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?).
Road Work Ahead
Deciding that we had to spend at least a month traveling was not without it’s pitfalls, however. Specifically, I have projects in motion that I want to keep moving forward on so I seriously questioned whether now was the right time to be jetting off and risking downtime on these projects.
Constantly feeling like you don't have time for something means that you'll never have time for it unless you ignore that feeling
— Archetyped (@archetyped) April 26, 2012
Instead of postponing departure, I’m using this trip as an experiment to see how much work can feasibly be done on the road while traveling. Even longer trips would be ideal, and while my work (design, development, consulting) does lend itself to location-independence, if my work is negatively affected by the stresses of traveling, it simply may not be a viable option. To that end, I’ve picked up a small netbook (Acer AO722-0828) to handle work-related tasks while still keeping things small and light. A netbook is no quad-core workstation, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Eclipse and Adobe Bridge run reasonably well, although video editing would be a stretch in the extreme.
Traveling can often be quite the task in itself, so I’m curious to see how well I can balance work with travel over the next month.
When Foreign becomes the Norm
One day while walking down the produce aisle of a grocery store in France, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a mystery:
Was this grocery store any different than the grocery stores I’ve been to countless times back in the States?
Try as I might, I could not recall any particular differences. At the same time, I distinctly remember feeling that everything was different and unfamiliar when I first arrived in France a few months earlier.
At some point, a switch flips and what was once foreign, has become the norm.
This switch is a great reminder when undertaking new challenges. At first, a challenging situation can seem unbearable, but in a surprisingly short time we adapt to the new situation, and it becomes part of our daily life. Soon enough, you’re asking yourself what the big deal was, and in fact, how boring life must have been before this new situation came into your life!
This is something worth being reminded of on a regular basis, which is part of the reasoning behind traveling for a minimum of 30 days at a time; by being away from the comforts of “home” for over a month, we’re probably going to encounter some challenging situations, and that’s a good thing.
It’s been far too long since our last trip so I’m definitely looking forward to lifting off the runway tomorrow, and I’m doubly interested in seeing what kind of results I get from the experiments I’ll be running during the trip.
The Whole Story
- 37 Days on the Road (you are here)
- Packing Light