When you embark on something you’ve never done before its very difficult to plan for everything – after all if you’ve never done it there will be plenty of things you don’t think of, even obvious things! We found this out the hard way when we hit the road with three kids, a tent and a digital business.
When we left Tasmania in June 2014 we planned a little 2 month camping trip from Melbourne across to Perth and up the west coast of Australia in our 8 seater Toyota Tarago before catching a plane from Darwin and heading overseas. We all decided we needed to see a little more of Australia before we headed overseas. We loaded the Tarago with all our camping gear and the things we thought we’d need for our eventual overseas adventure and drove onto the Spirit of Tasmania ferry waving goodbye to our home with excited smiles on our faces 🙂
Before the camping started we decided to have a quick trip (via plane) to Northern New South Wales where our oldest son and grandkids live. So we left the packed Tarago at the airport in Melbourne and spent 7 days having a lovely holiday before our big trip finally began…
We were pleased to find the Tarago and all it contents intact when we returned and before we knew it we were on the road heading towards one of Australia’s famous scenic drives – the Great Ocean Road… We had numerous “interesting” things happen to us on the trip across Australia including a 7 hour re-pack on the first camping morning (we worked out a better system after a while), to a flattened tent in the middle of the night on the Nullabour, to having all of our “just purchased” fresh fruit and veggies confiscated at the South Australia/Western Australia border! It was actually a fantastic 6 day trip which we all thoroughly enjoyed apart from one thing… the lack of internet.
It was at this stage that we realised our digital nomadic dream may have a little glitch in it, and we hadn’t even left Australia yet…
I can’t tell you the number of times I had important calls suddenly drop out while we were driving (I was in the passenger seat :-)), or how frustrating it became to try and run a digital business with NO internet.
Once in Perth we took the opportunity to spend some time with our oldest daughter (who lived there at the time) and we were able to use the constant reliable supply of internet to catchup on a bunch of neglected digital jobs. This was only the beginning of what we were envisaging to be at least 18 months away from home – we really needed to work out how we could run our business while “on the road”? We already had a digital business and 3 full time staff in the Philippines, it should be easy, right?
What we needed was a readjustment of how we worked – you see we had been used to working with a constant reliable source of internet for years, now we were faced with 18 months of patchy unreliable internet supply. We decided to change our work habits by breaking our work tasks into things you can do without the internet and things that you can do with the internet.
When we headed out of Perth to drive to Darwin we started working differently (smarter maybe) – any thing that didn’t need internet immediately would be done while we were driving along. Who ever was in the passenger seat would take notes/scribe so that when we did have internet (often in camp grounds) all we had to do was copy and paste. We also explain the situation to our team and they stepped up and filled gaps where we needed them to. Go team!
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for me was our weekly group coaching call – running live webinars when internet is dodgy can be more than frustrating! However, with a bit of planning we managed to overcome that and we ran a number of those calls “live” from our tent in various places up the West Australian coast – it was actually great fun 🙂
Have you ever thought you had everything worked out only to find that you’d forgotten the most important thing (like internet access for us) ?
Next post from me will be about dealing with the unexpected – life is never a straight line!
Andy spends his time away from the computer cycling or hiking up mountains or catching a wave on his SUP.