No, I'm Not on Vacation
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Work is the consistent variable in working remotely.
The Travel Thing
Let me start off by saying my job does not fully understand what I am doing. This travel thing. Outside of the American approach to travel, it's simply a different way of being.
"But what if we need you in the office for something URGENT?"
Even though my industry is not necessarily in the business of saving lives -- plus out of 4 years there, I only traveled for a client once -- I stay on the Latin American side of the world because flights to NYC are just a few hours. In a race to NYC, I could beat someone coming from California.
But I understand it is still new and different, even if we have all worked remotely for almost 2 years. I give credit to my company for exploring it with me. We humans are weary when it comes to change.
Similar to how changing your environment comes with a bit of anxiety. Things are not known. You have to rediscover everything. And when you travel solo, you are in it by yourself. There's no friend along for each of the rides. Connection becomes part of the unknown - who will you meet?
When I get to a new place, I have anxiety. It takes me a week to settle in and about 3 weeks to fully become comfortable. There's something calming about knowing where to go to get your coffee in the morning -- and being able to zone out on the walk there.
That sounds scary to you, doesn't it? A few weeks to feel comfortable?
You have to remember I am not on vacation time. I only have weekends free. I couldn't imagine finding something to do all day, everyday for a month. That sounds exhausting.
This is where work comes in.
Work is the consistent you bring with you as a digital nomad. At least it is for me. Travel and work positively reinforce each other. I look forward to work in the mornings after an evening of salsa dancing with a random group of strangers. And I'm motivated to get my work done so I can make it to the beach for sunset.
"Work is the consistent you bring with you as a digital nomad."
Which is why , even though I mark it as vacation while going through customs, I have to consistently remind others that just because I am in a different country, I am not on vacation. It goes against the American ideal that foreign countries are for business trips and vacations only. This is simply daily life for me. My desk just constantly changes.