(Editor’s note: Jason Clark, president and CEO, of Via Studio, spent the past month working remotely from Greece and Croatia. Here is Pt. 2 of a two-part series with his observations and tips about this increasingly popular alternative to conventional work. Jason’s daily digital nomad diary was first posted on LinkedIn and has been aggregated into two posts for Dispatches. You can read Pt. 1 here.)
If you’re interested in working remotely and traveling at the same time, here are some lessons I’ve learned from the past month. It’s all about expectations.
Lesson 1: Don’t think you need to do ALL THE THINGS
Vacations can be expensive. Don’t think of every day as vacation. If you do, you’re going to drain your bank account and disappoint your teammates back home. The (amazing) hostel I stayed at on Ios catered to a younger crowd that likes to party. I absolutely LOVE going to bed early, which made me the odd person out in the hostel. That was A-OK. That also meant I got to spend some quality afternoons with the locals who ran the establishment and get a feel for daily life on the island. Today I’m in a room catching up on work, and will probably not leave except for some exercise and a bite to eat.
Lesson 2: Packing
Pack light, but bring enough to be productive.
– Power converter. You need juice for your gadgets!
– I brought my favorite trackball mouse, which I use daily.
– A week’s worth of clothes is fine. Just make sure you know where the laundromats are. One nice outfit is all you’ll need (if even that).
– Wheeled suitcases are terrible in Europe because of the cobblestone walkways and endless stairs, so bring a nice backpack. I have an Osprey EXOS 58 backpack that is ergonomic, comfortable, and highly recommend.
– Good shoes that are broken in. I hope you’re going to be walking a lot. Proper footwear is essential.
– Sleep aids and medication. I think about this one a lot, because not being able to sleep is the worst, and Europeans love their espresso. Melatonin, diphenhydramine hcl, indica thc in edible form, and Ambien can all aid a good night’s sleep. Don’t forget the Advil. Once on a hike through the Tour du Mont Blanc (look it up), my wife and I were so sore we could hardly stand up, and we had to split our last Advil in half to share. 😂
– A good rule of packing is, get all your stuff out and ready, then take away half. It works every time. You have to be able to carry all of it, possibly for a few kilometers getting from one place to another.
– Don’t forget to save room for gifts or souvenirs.
Lesson 3: Your schedule might change, and that’s OK
Since I’m seven hours ahead of home, I have gotten used to going out in the mornings for 3-to-4 hours for sightseeing, exercise, etc, then getting a few hours of work done before the work day back home, sitting in on meetings, then going for dinner, then working a bit in the evening. Anyone who knows me knows that back home I’m a 8:30-to-5 guy all day, every day. It’s been interesting to see that change here.
I’ve gotten enormous response from these posts, both publicly and privately. Thanks for following along! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.
Picture above: Ios Island at sunset. That’s the view from Francesco’s Hostel. 😍🥰
Check out Dispatches’ post listing all the countries offering digital nomad visas here.
About the author:
Jason Clark is President and CEO of VIA Studio, an agency in Louisville, KY providing branding & marketing strategy, design, web development, and other services for an international roster of clients.
Jason has been awarded an AIGA “Visionary” Award, and has been named “One of 20 People to Know in Advertising” by Business First of Louisville. Jason’s hobbies include electronic music production, travel, and cooking.