Ever since I made proclamation to nut up or shut up, I’ve been pretty busy with implementing my “escape plan.” Like I mentioned in the post, my intention is to travel through Europe for an indefinite amount of time and prove that you mix extended travel with work.
So here’s an update on what’s going on…
My departure date is all set. On April 25th, I’m taking a one-way plane ride to Madrid, Spain— The land of bull-fighting, flamenco dancing, and giant tomato fights. I have a rough idea of what I’ll do once I’m there, but I’m going to leave the details till the next update.
I’m now living a pretty Zen-like experience. Over 90% of my possessions are sitting in storage and all I have are a few books, my clothes, and some business-related gadgets. I’ve found that I really don’t need most of the “stuff” that I once thought was once valuable.
When (if) I come back, I’m going to do some serious purging of all the crap I’ve accumulated over the years. Till then, I’m perfectly content to have it grow dust in my Public Storage unit.
Implementing Physical Challenges
I don’t want to travel just to see stuff. Instead I want to find a bunch of little comfort zone challenges that’ll be bit physically demanding.
One of my ideas is to run a few marathons in different locations. There’s one that’s in Norway in the middle of an extremely scenic forest. And there’s another where you run through Venice, Italy at night.
Besides running, I want to find some places to surf, hike, bike, kayak, and do anything else that strikes my fancy. The point behind all this is I want to feel like I’m truly enjoying the outdoors, instead of walking around looking at tourist sites.
In the last week, I’ve done a ton of research into what’s known as “travel hacking.” The concept is pretty cool. There are a number of little tricks people can use to receive free (or very low-cost) airfare and hotel reservations. If you follow a set system, you can easily accumulate massive amounts of frequent flyer miles which can sharply reduce the cost of an overseas trip.
Yesterday, I purchased Chris Guillebeau’s products: Become Your Own Travel Ninja and Frequent Flyer Master. Both are excellent guides about how to receive sharp discounts on your travel plans. So while it’s too late to get a cheaper ticket to Spain, I will use this information to hopefully land a free ride to my next major destination. Maybe Australia next winter?
Buy, Buy, Buy
I do find it’s kind of ironic that I’m living in a Zen-like state of no possessions, but I’m now forced to buy more stuff. Case in point… right now I’m sitting in a Starbucks Coffeehouse after finishing a shopping trip that would have put Paris Hilton to shame.
Unfortunately, all of these purchases were a necessary evil to help me travel in an efficient manner. Here’s some of the stuff I had to get:
- Durable clothing that could handle a wide-range of temperatures.
- A Toshiba NB300 which has a battery life of 11 hours and is a lot more portable than my heavy Dell Laptop.
- An Amazon Kindle filled with Kindle Versions of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks. (This was paid for by the lovely people at the Coinstar who accepted my $350+ of loose change in exchange for an Amazon Gift Certificate.)
- A number of small toiletries and personal items
As you can see, I’m kind of obsessed about not having to carry a lot. My goal is to be able to strip down my possessions to the point where I can comfortably carry everything for at least 10 miles. This might not be possible, but it’s the goal I’m trying to achieve.
Managing My Online Business
This is the one problem that’s given me the biggest headaches. I want to maintain my business while still having fun. So I’m having a hard time trying to figure out which tasks I can eliminate and which ones I want to keep.
For now, I’ve made a few hard decisions. My goal is to maintain a working capacity of 20 tasks each week. As I mentioned in my post about to-do lists, I structure my week in individual task blocks of 45 minutes apiece. So my plan is to do roughly 15 hours each week while I travel.
These tasks are broken down into the following system:
- 12 tasks on creating content for this blog
- 5 tasks on my affiliate newsletter
- 1 task on my information product
- 1 task on weekly tracking and email replies
- 1 task on outsourcing correspondence
The hard part of this plan is I have to sacrifice any action which propels my business forward. I don’t want to reduce the amount of posts that I publish on this site. But beyond that, I won’t have the time to do stuff like blog commenting and website promotion.
To finish my work every week, I plan on reserving a hotel on Mondays. Then hole up and finish most of my work in a single day. After that I’ll do my best to work during those “down times” when I’m waiting for a train or traveling on a bus.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is a pretty rough plan. But for now it’s what I intent to do.
The Tip of the Iceberg…
These actions are just the beginning. As I move closer towards my departure date, there are a lot of things I have to do. For now, I’m pretty excited that I’ve completed so many things during a pretty stressful week.
Anyway, I have a favor to ask…
Again, I’m sure if this kind of information is interesting to you as a reader. If you’re not interested in reading about this sort of thing, let me know. Or if you have any questions, also let me know. I do my best to include content that most people would find valuable, so I want to make sure I’m delivering on this promise.
Please comment below and let me know your thoughts…Take Action. Get Results.