As we begin the new year, the idea of combining work and travel are –now more than ever – a cohesive and very real possibility. 2020 gave us a few twists and turns. But, one gem it has left us with was the ability to work from home on the comfort of our sofas. All while wearing the coziest two-piece sweats. And as we could no longer step into the regular work spaces we once did, working from home was quickly weaved into the fabric of our new norm. It became so commonplace that the millennials and gen z’ers out there could not help but dub the concept with an appropriate, and arguably necessary, mainstream acronym: WFH.
With the onset of a worldwide pandemic, companies readjusted their work structures to lean on remote workers. To use digital tools and continue business as usual. And as it turns out, in most cases, all you need is a Zoom account, email and the good ole world wide web to keep it all afloat. I understand there are more logistics to it than that. But, in this digital age, the success of remote work was upon us and we were ready for it more than we realized. Moreover, with the necessity of working from home, this cultural shift was just the normalcy nudge your boss needed to get on board with the idea of you not being in the office.
WFH in Tulum, Because Why Not?
Enter in the millennial who took the opportunity to live the dream we all talk about – working from home, from anywhere. In this case – Tulum, Mexico. Let me backup to explain the journey that led me here. In October of 2019 (pre-COVID-19) I shifted my work goals to take a chance on myself and start my own marketing consulting business in Los Angeles, CA – Subject Line Studio.
While the economic and social shutdowns brought on some unexpected turns, I fortunately landed several work opportunities due to the pandemic. Having a regular set of clients, already working out of my home office, and a long-time desire to get my feet wet as a digital nomad, the stars had aligned for me to work and travel. Or was it. Let’s not forget that by the summer of 2020, the entire world essentially closed its doors to American tourists and non-essential travel; but I did not let that stop me from finding a solution.
During the summer of 2020, while I was considering where to work and travel, there really weren’t any viable options. And the idea of traveling and potentially catching COVID-19 was still a very scary thought. However, I took my chances and booked a 2-bedroom apartment. I bought a plane ticket, paid extra for travel insurance and crossed my fingers that this trip would come to fruition. As it turns out, it did, and this WFH experiment was the best decision I have ever made.
From October to November of last year, I was able to work from the comfort of a beautiful apartment in Tulum. In my free time, I explored the region. I went on daily excursions to the beach, tried new restaurants, went on small jaunts through the downtown area (the Puebla), and used the weekends to explore sights and cities that were further away. All in all, working from home across the globe is really all that it is hyped up to be; and I highly recommend it.
You can find Wild Bum’s Tulum travel guides right here.
Work + Travel in 2021
Now that the concept of working from home is widely accepted and will continue to be post-pandemic. More people will consider how and where they work. Many hotel groups are jumping on this trend and offering deals to remote workers who want to work and travel. Giving them access to beautiful and quiet hotel rooms, office amenities, and later check out times to accommodate the work day. In addition to that, many cities domestically and internationally, are seeing a benefit to attracting long-term remote workers. They are offering free plane tickets, discounted hotel stays and complimentary amenities to boost their local economies.
Is this Right for You?
Working and traveling sounds like the life we have been waiting for! However, in reality, it may not be fitting for your situation. Here are a few considerations to make before deciding if this is right for you:
- Will your employer allow you to WFH across the country or out of the country?
- Do you have the discipline to manage your workload and stay on task? Remember you are not entirely on vacation and distraction is real!
- Depending on where you go, consider the time difference and how that will affect your work day.
- There is a cultural and geographical learning curve to any new place. Do you have the patience to figure out everyday tasks – transportation, groceries, office supply/printing stores, etc?
Working while traveling is a very rewarding opportunity. It gives you the freedom to optimize your time by making a living and taking care of your responsibilities. All while creating an unforgettable experience!
Where will you work and travel in 2021? Check out this post for 18 careers that allow you to work remote and start gathering ideas!
About the Author
Jennifer Perez, owner of Subject Line Studio – a creative marketing agency – is based out of Los Angeles, CA. As a digital nomad, she is able to work while traveling. Allowing her to immerse in new cultures, indulge in the local foods, meet new people and discover architecture and design. In her free time, she writes poetry, plays tennis and is an advocate for women entrepreneurs. Find more at her website: www.subjectlinestudio.com