There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about freelancing and travelling at the same time or going on holiday as a freelancer. I’d like to discuss my experience. In December and January, I spent two weeks in Marrakech before travelling to Paris overland via Fes, Chefchaouen, Tangier, Tarifa, Granada, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona – a trip lasting five and a half weeks. The main reason I decided to do this, apart from wanting to travel, was to re-immerse myself in my source languages – French (which is widely spoken in Morocco) and Spanish.
Impact on my business
I chose to travel during the Christmas holidays, a period which is normally very quiet for my business. I used my out-of-office auto-reply to explain that I was on holiday. However, I took my phone and laptop with me in case I had to reply to any urgent enquiries from existing clients. Indeed, one such event occurred and I had to shut myself away in my hotel room for a day to manage a last-minute translation request. Being able to access the internet also meant that I was able to keep up-to-date with news, social media and the development of my new website. Overall I found it remarkably easy to keep on top of things, although I have had a lot of catching up to do regarding marketing and administration since I got back.
Difficulties combining freelancing and travelling
That isn’t to say that my trip wasn’t without its problems. In several of the hotels where I stayed the wifi access was less than adequate and I found myself having to search for nearby wifi hotspots to send important emails. The other main difficulty was peoples’ attitudes to my working while on holiday. I was occasionally accused of being “a bit anti-social” or “a bit of a workaholic” by my fellow travellers. However, they soon changed the subject when I pointed out that I can do my work from anywhere in the world and didn’t have to return to a stuffy office by a certain date.
Mixing business with pleasure may not be for everyone but it’s a good way to justify taking a long break from the cold British winter.