A photo of my final office. Well actually, an office minus all the furniture. When I undertook to travel full time, I disposed of most of my furniture. It shows my last few days at home before I left and put up for rent.
Whilst the items have been updated to today’s technology, this is about the same as what I use when on the road. Well except for all the cheque books. Now I only have one because the US seems to think cheques are still an efficient way to move money around.
The landline and answering machine has been replaced by a mobile phone with voicemail. The external hard drive has been replaced with multiple ones that hold terabytes rather than megabytes. I’d hate to think how much that old one cost compared to today’s versions. The Apple MacBook Pro is a more current model. The modem/wireless router is a more current version although usually in the places I live and not something that travels with me.
It took me six months to be able to get down to this level of equipment and still be able to function. All my paper-based records were scanned and discarded if possible. I had to keep some and they were stored away. The scans allowed me to access any of my information from anywhere in the world.
Setting up an electronic filing system has the added benefit of making it so much easier to dispose of old records when no longer needed. When I want to delete a year’s worth of records because I no longer need to hold then, I just delete the folder.
During that six month preparation period I also set up with all my current providers to send things electronically or I would log in to retrieve them. For example, bank statements, credit card statement, mobile phone invoices. Running a 100% electronic filing system requires the same discipline as a physical one. You still need to ‘file’ items.
Unfortunately some things still require physical pieces of paper. For those items I have family/friends that help. They hold the paper and send a scan though to me.
A future post will elaborate on what travel teaches us about ourselves. In the case of work spaces, for me it means I need to be comfortable. Some places have been about as comfortable as sitting on the floor as above. Working in a coffee shop isn’t for me. Working on a beach isn’t for me. Working on a plane isn’t for me. Two reasons for this:
- Most of the time it is not comfortable, you can’t see the screen properly, or everyone around you can see your screen and that’s not always a good thing,
- These are times I like to relax and enjoy. Coffee is much nicer if you are sitting back enjoying the scenery or having a laugh with a friend. Same goes for the beach. As for planes, it’s to uncomfortable except for maybe a bit of photo editing.
The best thing about a mobile office is visiting a location where you can set up a nice workspace. I often see people walking to their office and the looks on their faces is not good. Life is not about doing something you don’t enjoy for the majority of your life in the hope you can enjoy it in your later years.