The post following this is a humorous version of the same events.
The first part of this post was written on the airplane with the intention of finishing it at the end of summer when my travels were done and comparing the front end of my trip to the tail end to see how traveling and writing worked for me.
(Working title) Practice run, but not running
Based on what Dave and I imagine, if this writing career works out, we will be doing a lot more traveling with flexible schedules. He’ll be with his family and I’ll be off exploring. The work week will definitely change. I’m sort of doing a practice run of what this projected work life will look like as I’m currently abroad.
So, while I’m on “holidays” I plan to work on various projects: the blog post, a section of the book, some personal short stories, and the newsletter. The idea is that with a laptop and some Wi-Fi I can write just about anywhere. I’ve proved to myself that even with a full time job, I am committed enough to keep writing as my official other job.
The main challenge is distraction. I’m not in my office at home or my backyard (the alternative home office). I’m in an airplane. When I land I will be in someone else’s house or the local coffee shop.
Can I say ‘get lost’ (politely) while I work? Can I stick to what I want and get it done? I mean, I haven’t even mastered saying no to people offering me food when I’m in the motherland. I say yes to every morsel even when I’m full. I hope I can say ‘leave me be while I work.’ We’ll see in a few weeks.
(Working title) Reality hits
I think almost everyone has placed preconceived ideas on an experience, right? You plan a holiday with your beloved and you imagine walking on the beach hand in hand or partying it up, eating at great restaurants, drinking wine endless conversations but all you end up doing is spending too much time eating takeout or walking around IKEA.
They keep you up snoring and getting lost is not a fun adventure but a total stress out. You totally miss the mark on what you imagined. And man, did I miss the mark on what traveling and writing would look like!
I’m back in Canada
Holidays are almost done. What I imagined was not what happened. This test run of writing while on holidays was an epic FAIL!! Okay, maybe it wasn’t epic, but I sure didn’t achieve the desired outcome of writing and traveling.
My computer died.
It couldn’t hold a charge. It wouldn’t shut down properly. I wasn’t able to work in that stream-lined way I imagined. Sometimes it turned on and sometimes it didn’t. It was so frustrating! I put everything in place to make sure that I wouldn’t have any troubles, taking my laptop in for a check-up before I left. I received a clean bill of health on Mr. Laptop but sometimes life just happens and stuff breaks. And we have to roll with the punches.
So thanks to the help of my generous friends, their laptops, desktops, my digital hand held device, and WiFi passwords all over northern Greece I did get some work done. People did not get in my way at all—technology did. I asked for time to write and everyone was beautifully understanding. I blogged, kept up with the newsletter and did some reading and edits.
I think my lesson is more about the bubble bursting on the romantic notion that I would be tapping away at my computer on the beach or the balcony overlooking the city, writing, reflecting, drinking ouzo, and living some literary life abroad for a month. Roll your eyes here if you like. I won’t go into my next holiday with that same idea. It doesn’t mean that I can’t do some work while I’m away. I can. I did. But I also realize that there are often hurdles
when I’m out of my routine and they can cause a lot of frustration, as can unrealistic goals.
*Originally written in part August 25th 2015