The employment landscape has seen some significant shifts in recent years. Among the most visible of these is greater accessibility to remote and flexible work. This certainly holds potential benefits for everyone involved. As an employee, the most important outcome can be a better work-life balance.
Not being tethered to an office provides you with the freedom to approach your work in a way that makes sense for you and your life. This means you get to establish practices that empower you to find the point at which work and relaxation meet. You no longer have to sacrifice one for the other. As a remote or nomadic worker, it can take some preparation, focus, and independent leadership skills, but you can thrive.
So, let’s take a closer look at some key ways you can leverage a more nomadic working lifestyle to merge work and relaxation.
Live the Van Life
The van life has become more popular over the last few years. This is where you buy or modify a van you can travel, live, and work in. You then head out on the open road to explore different parts of the country, starting each new work day in a fresh landscape.
The jobs you choose here will need to have a degree of flexibility to them, though. You may not always have the kind of stable internet connection that allows you to stay online to handle lengthy customer service calls or run intensive software. Your traveling schedule might not always mean you’re available for staff meetings. As such, jobs like content creation, graphic design, and statistical analysis that you can perform relatively independently tend to work best.
To get the most out of your relaxation while at work, it’s important to plan each day’s “office” environment ahead of time. Map out efficient routes to nearby parks or trail systems, so you can perform your tasks in nature and still have time to hike afterward. Identify beaches with cafes nearby so you can utilize their stable Wi-Fi if needed, but perform your core tasks on the sand. Remember to implement strong security precautions, like virtual private networks (VPNs) when you use public Wi-Fi. You don’t want to expose yourself, your coworkers, or your clients to cybercrime.
It’s important to remember that this constant nomadism can be draining on your health. This is certainly something that can disrupt your ability to both work and relax. As such, it’s important to implement measures like taking breaks from behind the wheel to stretch and walk around. Don’t be tempted to rely on fast food restaurants on the road. You may have a busy schedule, but preparing healthy meals in your van ahead of time can keep you nourished and well.
Seek Destination Roles
A more flexible attitude to work can lead to opportunities for jobs that also double up as vacation experiences. Perhaps the most common way to pursue this is through connecting with resorts and businesses in popular vacation destinations. You may end up following the seasons and change both destinations and employers as peak periods change. For instance, you may spend winters working at ski resorts and summers at popular camping or hiking destinations.
This doesn’t limit you to taking lower-paid service jobs, although doing so allows you to see more of the country or the world without significant responsibilities. Resorts and luxury destinations also require support from photographers, digital marketers, and other professionals to keep the businesses running. These roles can help you cultivate connections with locals, providing an opportunity to get off the beaten path while making new friends.
There are also more specialist and even in-person roles available in different vacation destinations. For instance, many tourist destinations need trauma nurses, because there’s significant potential for injuries resulting from sports, extreme activities, and long-distance travel. Your expertise will impact patient recovery while your empathy will help you interact with patients from different cultures. While this can be more stressful than working a service job, you can benefit by furthering your career and being surrounded by the beauty of a vacation destination.
Flexible working while relaxing isn’t necessarily limited to either resorts or living out of a van. If you have in-demand expertise, you can become a consultant in your specialty area. Often, this involves working on behalf of larger companies who are looking to expand into new territories or improve operations in their branches abroad. As such, you can spend significant amounts of time in new countries, working alongside locals and developing your professional network.
The people you’re working with can be a great resource for your relaxation while working. Get to understand the nuances of their cultures and perspectives. Be open to joining them for team nights out and local leisure activities.
This kind of work may involve less continual movement than living the van life. Instead, you may still have your home base and then spend extended periods away from home. Upon returning, you may have some time at home before going to your next destination.
When you’re gone, you’ll find it easier to relax and enjoy the experience if you’re not worried about potential issues with your house. Prepare your property for extended periods of travel by utilizing home security best practices. Lock all doors and garages, use a mail forwarding service, and invest in a security system. Mitigate possible damage by turning off your water supply. It may also be practical to temporarily rent your home during these periods. This earns you some passive income while also keeping the property occupied.
Working in traditional environments means you have to squeeze in relaxation wherever you can find it, but this doesn’t have to be the case with more flexible employment. Seeking destination roles can pair your skills with beautiful surroundings and fun excursions. Taking to the open road in the van life can help you experience more of the country while you perform your tasks. A career as an international consultant may take you abroad for lengthy periods. Making the most out of these jobs requires some adaptation and planning, but you can have both an enriching and relaxing working life.