Aug 3

Observations from one month as a digital nomad

On the morning of July 3 I boarded a ferry in Calais and began my first day in a new job. For an hour on that July day the family area of the Spirit of France became my office. While the hordes queued for tea, coffee and beer, I tapped away furiously at my long-suffering laptop, emerging in Dover 100s of words better off and with a newfound love for aquatic offices.

Working this way suits me. I need deadlines. For most of my working life I’ve started every day a few hours away from a deadline. It focuses the mind. And while I’m adjusting to longer deadlines – days and weeks instead of hours – I still work best knowing that something needs to be done within the hour. The ferry was perfect.

Since then I’ve continued to fill dead hours with work. Arrived early for a train? Work. On a train? Work. Suffering from inability to sleep in past 6am? Work. Up early on a Sunday morning? Write this blogpost.

That might make it sound like a lot of work. It has been, but it’s work on my terms. And filling odd hours with work allowed me to take two-thirds of Thursday off to go for a bike ride and swim in a lake. This way our days out are dictated more by the weather and our whims than the day of the week.

Will it get tiresome? Maybe, but I’ve not felt anything to suggest that so far. The level of stability provided by medium-term house-sits probably helps. I’ve huge admiration for the likes of the Life Remotely trio – working while driving from Seattle to Argentina – but for now at least I quite like the halfway house of multi-week house-sits.

A table, chair and reliable WiFi – that’s really all I need to work. But I really need all that to work.

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