Our eigth Door of our Advent Calendar!
Living in the van and working from anywhere in the world. An idea that I did not have a year ago. But that’s exactly what my last months looked like. At the beginning of the year, I still had a steady job in a large company and, like many, had a 40-hours plus working week. Had my apartment and was glad when I could sleep in at the weekend. You can find yourself in it and would like to change it? In my working remotely experience report, I will give you an insight into my story and show you how you can work and live while on the move.
Why did I choose to live in a van?
As I said, stuck in a full-time job, tied to the place of the company, I often wondered, why am I doing that? Of course, my work was fun and my colleagues were great! But I have often bothered that even though the framework conditions were really very good, the time I has often just sat down.
You may know that, you’re sitting in the office, just have had your lunch break behind you and would love to get on the couch or just some fresh air, but you have an appointment at 1pm. And I had a lot of appointments, and days when I just ran from appointment to appointment. That means you had to be concentrated for about 8 hours at a time, but that’s no one I know. At least I can not imagine. And so, you often stay longer and longer and longer. And then, your are late at home, only wants to go to bed, and do nothing else. Do laundry, buy food ?? So often, I had to do that on Saturday, but I also wanted to see my family or friends or just drive away for a longer time.
These thoughts finally got me thinking why not just do it? You do not have to work full-time for a company unless you have the freedom to live your life. And my decision to leave everything behind, to buy a van and just drive away, I have not regretted until today!
And now within 7 months I was in the Czech Republic, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Holland, England, Ireland and Scotland.
On which resources should you pay attention when working remotely
Remote work in itself means only that you do not work in a fixed office, but classically also from home. In my case, it’s probably the more extreme version and I also worried that my resources would not always work that well. Because fast internet and power for my laptop are essential for my work.
At home, you do not pay much attention because a fixed electricity tariff are part of the standard in an apartment. For me, there is electricity but either on the solar panel, from the campsite or in a café. But you do not know today where you might be in two or three days. And especially in Scotland, where it is often raining, very cloudy, and you tend to be in areas with less civilization, I had to save my electricity many times and could only do the bare necessities.
Another topic is the Internet. At first, we’ve always been in places with Wi-Fi, but that was often not enough to really make something productive on the Internet. So I had to look for an alternative and so I managed to buy a mobile Wi-Fi router and have concluded an additional contract with 12GB with Telecom. So at least I was not bound to the place anymore. Because I always had my Internet with me! But even here, Scotland was an outlier and in the Highlands it was often difficult to get any reception. I can remember a few days, where I went after a good reception. In the other areas it was not a problem and if you’re near the city, it is not anyway.
In the end it always worked somehow. And the places I could see, it made me forget the stress of searching.
A flexible office and always a new outlook
In my van, I have everything I need: laptop, headset, mouse and maybe even a writing pad. The rest of the office atmosphere comes over the current place where I am. For example, I used to stand on a wide beach in Ireland, my friend was surfing and I talked to colleagues about a project via Slack. After that, I was able to sit on the beach for a while and take some pictures from my friend trying to stay on the wave. Or, an exciting time, I worked for Inpsyde in the mornings and was able to help out on a farm in the afternoons with ducks, chickens and lots of vegetables for harvesting and planting. And in the evening I was able to work up a few topics.