By Julie-Ann Sherlock
I have been working remotely for over 7 years, and since my children are grown up, I am no longer tied to any particular place. This has allowed me to wander the globe at will (COVID excepting) while maintaining my work commitments. But, not everyone is as lucky as me—yup, I am a smug AF digital nomad!
But even if you can’t just throw your favourite shoes (yes, they are the most important things to pack!) and some clothes into a suitcase or backpack and just hit the trail, you can still enjoy a semi-nomadic lifestyle. As long as you can work remotely, you take a workcation.
What The Heck Is A Workcation?
These hybrid words that keep appearing are getting tiresome. We are sick of hearing about Staycations where we were encouraged to holiday at home. Now, the latest tourism buzzword is workcation.
Simply put, it’s a holiday combined with work. Yay! Fun. We all love to work during our vacation time, NOT. But stick with me on this one; it actually is fantastic!
Choose a destination (or a few if you are up for some moving about), and you go without taking time off work. You balance your days (or nights, depending on the timezone you need to work in) by getting your job done and then use your “lying at home watching Netflix” time to discover your new environment.
Evenings salsa dancing in a Havana club, wandering through glorious food stalls in Penang or curled up by a fire sipping Guinness in a quaint Irish pub are all yours for the taking as a reward for getting your work done.
If you have children at school, don’t let that stop you. Why not go during their holidays? Take them with you, and let them get a taste for a new place. Travel is the best education, after all!
Currently, I’m doing my workcation thing in Albania where the term “Avash, avash” means “Slowly, slowly”. It has become my motto as I try to calm my hectic, always on the move lifestyle and embrace the laid-back Mediterranean culture of my new coastal city home.
Slow travel, taking time to truly explore and experience the places you visit, is a big trend these days. But, unless you are very wealthy, it’s not really possible to take a 6-month vacation twice a year!
However, if your job allows you to work remotely, and thanks to the pandemic, many more people do, it is possible to take a few longer trips and immerse yourself in the cultures of the world on a workcation.
Pack your laptop, make sure there is good, reliable wifi where you plan to stay and live a more balanced work/vacation life. Stay a week, a month, a year, whatever suits you, and embrace the newness of your temporary home.
Getting The Job Done
Wherever I go, I generally rent an apartment. This gives me the option of working from the comfort of my “home” during the day, cooking for myself when I want and just having some space to relax. Others prefer the hostel vibe, co-living accommodation or staying in a nice resort hotel. It’s up to you, your style, needs and budget. But, just make sure you have somewhere to work where you can concentrate.
Co-working spaces with hotdesks are popping up worldwide, perfect for those who feel more productive in an office-style environment. Coffee shops and beach bars are also viable options if you enjoy working in a bit of a buzz. As long as you can get your job done to the usual high standards your boss expects, you can find your own perfect workspace.
Relax And Explore
Before the workday begins, when it finishes or the weekend rolls around, you can get out there and have some fun. It’s even possible to break up the hard slog with some relaxation that you probably wouldn’t take the time to do at home. When I was staying in Goa, I would work from a beach bar, taking breaks for a refreshing dip in the sea before getting back to the grindstone. Much better than just a chat at the water cooler!
Whether you are a city dweller fed up with the daily grind and want to escape to a serene countryside, or you are seeking adventures in a new city, you are not alone. Those who work remotely are increasingly switching up their lives and going on a workcation.
If you are stuck in a rut, taking a workcation can shake up your life, re-energise you and make you more productive. Trying out new foods, engaging in a unique cultural experience and seeing a different landscape, even if only for a few weeks, can get your creative juices flowing and your mojo back. And that is something most of us really need after extended lockdowns and the stress of current world happenings. Go on, get your workcation on!