The Perfect “Office Space” for Work AND Travel

I took this picture the other day, while sitting in Newark Airport waiting for my flight to Madrid:

While checking my email and making a few last minute calls, it struck me that it’s kind of awesome to be able to “work” from any spot in the world.  I remember having to drive over an hour (each way) so I could sit in a little cubicle where I worked on my TPS Reports.

Now, with a few simple tools, I can work from any spot in the world.  A lot of people have this misguided notion that they need a large space to get things done.  In reality, it’s pretty easy to accomplish a lot of your work with only a few necessary items (you can see most of these from the picture above):

Laptop– When I travel, I use a basic laptop: Toshiba NB300.  This tiny sucker has a great amount of battery life.  Sure it’s not very powerful, but it’s great for doing a lot of writing.

Internet Access- I’ve recently discover that with a simple Boingo account, you can pretty much access the Internet in almost every airport and train station.  Furthermore, I’ve found that every major city has some form of wireless access.

For most “work” you don’t a fancy networking system with lighting fast downloading capabilities.  Honestly, you can usually get by with a simple wireless access that’s available almost anywhere.

Pen and Paper– Talk about super high-tech…I carry a pen and pad of paper everywhere I go.  This always includes my weekly to-do list and a few critical documents.  It always amuses me to see people with piles of paperwork they feel is “necessary” to have while traveling.

Telecommunications – I’m not much for talking on the phone.  However, I’ve come to realize that sometimes you need to speak to real human being when something can’t be fixed with a simple email.  When I’m home I use my over-priced, iPhone with its lowly one app installed (Meowcenaries). Overseas, I use Skype if I need to make a call.

In the last six years of being self-employed, these are all I’ve used to talk to people.  Again, you don’t fancy technology to do the basic things.

Computer Gadgets- There are a few assorted computer gadgets I use to make life simpler.  This includes a mouse, 2 USB thumb drives, a headset with a mic, a digital camera, and a Flip Video Camera.

Beer– The all nourishing ambrosia of life.  Usually when I’m about to get on a plane, I like to have a beer or two.  Kind of helps me forget that I’m about to go hurtling down a runway at breakneck speeds, in a giant metal tube.

Well…all of these items (besides the beer) fit neatly into a tiny daypack I bring with me everywhere I go.

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13 thoughts on “The Perfect “Office Space” for Work AND Travel”

  1. Oh, this looks awesome. I’ll be travelling in less than three weeks! I love airports, they make me think clearly and focus! I have always wanted to be able to work from anywhere, but it is not until now that I’m really starting to figure out how I’m going to make it.

    Actually I’m studying to become a lawyer. But right now I’m doing everything I can to figure out how I can avoid having to work as one once I’m done studying. It’s a mess really. My current plan is to develop my blog, get lots and lots of subscribers and then figure out what to sell/advertice. Now that I type it up here it doesn’t exactly sound like a well thought out plan though. It is even possible?
    .-= Marthe´s last blog ..What have you always wanted? =-.

    • I’ve always kinda liked airports as well. (Besides when I’m stressed out). They always promise the excitement of traveling to a new place.

      Where are you going in three weeks?

      I do think it’s possible to make money with a blog. Lots of people do it. But with that said, I would definitely think about what methods you’re going to use to monetize it. This should be done EVEN if you’re not planning on implementing this strategy right now.

      When I first started this site, I knew how it would make money, but it took me six months to START implementing these strategies. Hopefully this long-term view will pay off.

  2. Steve,

    You’re making me jealous. The ability to work from wherever is the dream of many of us out here. Hope you enjoyed your trip.
    .-= Joe´s last blog ..Marketing Lessons from Sarah Palin =-.

    • It was dream for myself for a long time…just reaping the benefits of many years of effort…what’s interesting is I kinda want to find a nice quiet place for a week or so and get some stuff done for this site. Guess it’s hard to turn off the “work mindset.”

  3. Steve, some great tips here. A couple of things from my perspective (I’m UK based). I have a Airport lounge pass with my credit card company, so I get free access to the airport lounge (typically with free beer 🙂 newspapers etc) but mainly the advantage is it’s quite a bit quieter than the cut and thrust of the main lounge.

    When you said over priced I phone, I’m guessing the costs are nothing like when you travel overseas with them. Last year I went away for a fortnight and ended up with a $1000 phone bill for the fortnight….fortunately as a ‘good customer’ the phone company wrote it off.

    I’ve used blackberry’s previously and the way they work is far, far cheaper when travelling. I have the opportunity to upgrade my iPhone in September. I’m tempted to go back to Blackberry.
    .-= Matthew Needham´s last blog ..Are you getting a bite of the Apple? =-.

    • Thanks Matthew… Actually I was complaining about my $100 a month phone bill which seems absurd. When I’m overseas, I don’t have a phone. If I need to make a call, I use Skype. For the most part, this works out just fine…But I’m thinking once I hit Ireland and will be renting a car, I might invest in a phone.

      So which do you prefer, the Blackberry or iPhone?

      • which ever you get, be SURE to sign up for World Connect on your phone service (which ever international phone service your carrier has) so you won’t be getting a 3K phone bill when you get back. Plus you can get it just for the time you’re going, so you can start it when you leave and cancel it when you get back and be billed for just when you’re there. Have a swell trip!

  4. I wouldn’t be without my bb
    .-= Gail´s last blog ..Investing in Junk Coins by Keith Hamburger =-.

  5. Great tips Steve! I’m anxiously holding my breath for my birthday this week (Saturday!) that I may get an iPad and will be able to implement these great applications on a trip to Block Island, RI for the weekend to celebrate.

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