Being free to work from wherever you feel like, no boundaries holding you to a specific place or country. This is one of the greatest advantages of working remotely, and it's leading many people to travel around the globe while completing their work. Today Claudio Salazar, a Scrapinghubber from Chile, is here to share his experiences and tips for these who seek working on the road.
Claudio’s traveling adventures started in September 2013 and so far he has visited 8 countries and more than 20 cities. He was never the kind of guy that loved traveling, but motivated by the need to improve his English skills, he decided to buy his first flight ticket and get started.
When asked about the benefits from starting a journey like his, he points the escape from the routine as one of the most positive aspects, impacting both your morale and your open-mindedness. "I think that staying in one place for a long time makes you live in a routine, but staying in constant change refill your energies since every day you wake up with the discovery of new things in mind. This improves your motivation to work and keep you in a good mood."
But like many trips, things are not always so easy and comfortable. Claudio has faced some drawbacks since he left Chile, such as dealing with different time zones and adapting to new places and cultures. As well as planning a nice trip, you'll also need to be flexible, adapting your working hours and sometimes having to attend to virtual meetings during late or unusual hours. "An important thing when you try this lifestyle is the flexibility you'll need to have. Scrapinghub gives me the freedom to manage my working hours and actually work at any time without restriction."
After traveling around the world for 16 months, Claudio is currently living the good life with his girlfriend in Paris, France. If you'd like to start a journey like Claudio's, here’s some good advice:
Plans & Visas
First, you need to research about the countries that you want to visit - check if they are safe, its legislation, visa requirements, where do you plan to live and so on. Also, always keep in mind the following country you plan to visit, especially if you move as a tourist, because when you enter a country they will probably ask for your outbound ticket. Figure out the details before arriving and avoid unnecessary stress.
Make sure you have health insurance. You never know when you might get sick, and medical services are expensive in any country, so you better be prepared. You can find online many companies offering health insurances and many sites that offer comparisons between them.
If you want to visit multiple countries, a good thing is to look for a continental insurance and check if it fits your needs. Most of the insurances must be contracted from your country, so figure it out beforehand. Usually you can contract an insurance for 3 months and renew it, but if you miss the deadline while traveling you can't re-contract it. There are also a few more expensive options that allow you to contract the insurance independently from your departure or current location.
When you fell sick, you'll have to call the phone number your insurance company provided and they'll make an appointment in the nearest hospital from your residency. In case you need medicines you might have to buy it yourself in a pharmacy, depending on your health insurance, and then ask for refunds.
Make sure you rent an apartment or room before arriving to the country, because they could ask you where are you going to live while you're staying. Try to get a flat with a nice desk, a comfortable chair and internet connection so you can properly do your work. Sites like Airbnb are useful for finding shorter term lets; more expensive than a 6-12 month lease but cheaper than a hotel.
Credit Cards & Bank Statements
Print your bank statements before traveling because you'll probably be asked for them (in a typical "show me the money" case by arriving). Keep in mind to always travel with two credit cards, and have debit cards for emergency cases.
As a foreigner you will learn new things daily as you meet people. A good tip is to check beforehand for popular forums and communities online, or even the well-known Facebook, Couchsurfing. Another good option is finding a meetup site to meet people and have fun. Being a foreigner, you’re likely to receive some kind of special treatment from the locals.
Getting Things Done
Since you'll be working while traveling, one of your challenges will be to keep fulfilling your responsibilities at work while on the road. Aside from the trip preparations, you'll have to manage any unexpected travel issue and still get things done remotely.
Make sure to always bring your gadgets (smartphone, tablet) and your notebook with you - you never know when one of them may break or malfunction, so a backup gadget can save the communication with your team and buy you time until you address the issues. A good advice is to buy a prepaid cellphone chip with 3G or 4G internet when you arrive to a country so you have a backup internet connection if needed.
Also, before renting a flat or choosing a new place to visit, it is important to check for close cafes with internet connection, coworking spaces and wifi zones - so you have more options to keep on working in case your internet lets you down. A good thing is to narrow your choices for places with these resources available nearby.
In addition to Claudio, many other Scrapinghubbers have been traveling while working remotely, and you can see a few of their adventures and routes in the following map (feel free to navigate through the left menu for more):
Do you have an interesting story or tip to share about traveling while working remotely? We'd be glad to hear it! Feel free to share in the comments below. Safe travels!