A Quest to Work from Abroad.

Posted on May 26, 2016 in digital nomad, ramblings
Packing List

Yes, the dirty iPod still works! I never travel without it.

As I write this I am on a plane from Austin to New York. I’m not only headed there to see my family for Memorial Day – I’m also starting a little quest to work from abroad.

For the next six weeks or so, I’m taking a hiatus from my home in Austin. After New York, I’ll explore Amsterdam and then I’ll be working from Porto, Portugal.

In Porto I’ll be joining a program called Hacker Paradise, which gathers together remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs from around the world. They set you up with a desk in a co-working space and arrange for group housing, as well as provide language lessons (bring on the Portuguese!), speaker sessions and meetups with members of the local community.

I have been freelancing full-time for the past year and a half. And while I’ve been doing my best to embrace my flexible schedule from a daily standpoint – going to the gym, working in coffee shops – it was time for something a little bigger. I joined Hacker Paradise  to cool my travel bug, but also to renew my love for freelancing, to collaborate, to meet other creators and to get fresh ideas.

I plan to keep all of my current clients during my time in Portugal and bring on some new ones. I hope my client work will stay strong – or even improve from my renewed perspective. I’m hauling a good amount of design tools with me (including a Wacom tablet and a slew of pens and markers), so I’ll be ready for any project that comes my way.

That said, I will be combating a 6-hour time difference from my clients in Austin and an 8-hour difference from my clients in California. While normally I respond to client emails within minutes or hours, my responses may now take a full business day. I will mitigate the challenge by using my typical approach to a project: plan ahead, stick to a schedule and allow ample time for review and edits.

I’ve also set a few goals for myself while on this trip:

Take at least one video every day. Last summer I took a 1.5 second video each day and strung them together into a compilation. The compilation is a great snapshot of that summer – it reminds me of what I did and how I felt. I hope to have a similar outcome with my video project in Europe.

Find visual inspiration. I will keep an eye out for visual inspiration like patterns in tiling, colors of buildings and even typography in signs. Look out for a post or two on that.

Share my experience. I find that I rarely post on social media and my blog has been stale lately. This is a great opportunity to post photos on social sites and update my blog. While I will share my experiences publicly, they’ll also serve as a personal diary and provide something for me to look back on.

See you soon – te vejo em breve!