The benefits of being self-employed are well-known, but dictating your own work day while being surrounded by unexplored beauty is a tricky balance to strike, especially when you’ve got the attention span of a baby, like I do.
It’s all too easy just to put work off and go out sightseeing. In the long run, obviously, that wouldn’t be very helpful to our careers. On the other hand, we didn’t decide on a travelling lifestyle so that we could sit in front of a computer and watch the world pass by.
When we first got to Yogyakarta, we found it hard to stick to our work plan. We were terribly undisciplined. There was always something that we had to see or do which created a backlog of work for us.
Over a nice cup of coffee we discussed this Tom-foolery and resolved to change our work ethic. We set out clear goals and time periods, and it really made a difference. That was, until we went to Bali for 6 weeks. We were travelling too much to keep up a proper schedule.
So far, our time in France has been incredibly productive. For the first time, we’ve created a routine that allows us to enjoy the local delights while still putting in a lot of work. One major reason for this is how much we’re enjoying our work. I love writing my journal entries, editing HDR One, and processing photos. I wouldn’t want to swap it for another job.
Rachel’s commitment to keeping fit and experimenting with new recipes are what fuel her daily blog. In fact, she’s just finished baking some cinnamon apple slices – very nice.
And at the same time, because of my commitment to producing daily photos and blog posts, I’m motivated to get out and look for some adventure rather than staring at the computer for too long.
Another key ingredient in the balance we’ve managed to find is looking at the future in a round-about way. While I spoke recently about the uncertainty we face in the future, we know that our sites have already proven a reliable source for supporting our lifestyle, and the more we can improve upon them, the more concrete our future will be.
My weakness, however, is getting up early. I’m a night owl. If I had my way I’d be up until 3-4 am each night, but usually we hit the hay at around 1:00am. Rachel forces herself to get up bright and early, while I enjoy the idea of not having a boss or job that dictates my waking time and will happily sleep later.
I also dress like a homeless guy and sport a kind of half-hearted beard until it gets too itchy and I’m forced to shave.
I have to confess, mind you, red wine is a bit of a distraction. When Rachel waves a wine glass at me and asks ‘A little bit of vino?’, I generally cave in. She would say that it is me who usually gets the wine out, but she’d be lying – she lies a lot – that’s her thing.
It’ll be very interesting to see how our careers pan out over the next 12 months, and measure how successful our efforts will have been, especially if we manage to keep up this level of productivity.
I’m about to contradict myself now. We’re finishing work early and heading out to a ‘magical’ garden soon. You’d have to be mad to pass up a magical garden.
Here’s a photo of another magical place we visited recently – Belvès