Productivity On The Road: Work Full-Time, Travel Solo, Have Fun


I’ve traveled solo while working full-time for ten-plus months, across more than 15 countries. It’s one of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve ever done. My work breaks over the past year have included things like scuba diving in Belize, polo lessons in Buenos Aires, music festivals in Hungary, and more.

Working full-time while on the road is not easy, but it’s definitely a skill that can be mastered over time.

For those interested in the nuts and bolts of how to travel while working, there are already several great articles out there explaining how it’s done. If you’re not familiar, I recommend starting with Toptal COO Breanden Beneschott’s guide.

In terms of logistics and planning, pulling off a full-time work schedule while on the road is much easier and cheaper than you probably think (at least in my experience), and the infrastructure for doing so continues to grow rapidly.

However, the following problem is far more difficult to solve, especially when traveling solo: Can you fully enjoy your travels while not sacrificing the quality of your work?

Striking The Right Balance

Can you navigate travel logistics, work full-time, and take care of yourself physically and mentally, all while setting aside enough time to explore the places you’re visiting, find fun things to do, and meet new people?

Since you won’t have much of a support system when you’re alone in a foreign country and (usually) don’t speak the language, finding the right balance is critical. Your routine has to be sustainable in the long run, and if you aren’t careful, things can go downhill in a hurry.

As I’ve been traveling, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends and colleagues about the psychology of this lifestyle, including everything from how to avoid loneliness to how to maximize productivity.

It’s not for everyone, but this lifestyle can be both incredibly fun and extremely productive, provided you figure out how to do it in a way that works for you. As I’ve traveled, I’ve noticed some key habits, mindsets, and tricks that are important for anyone who is considering working and traveling to keep in mind, regardless of their occupation or interests.

This post covers some of the most important strategies I’ve picked up while on the road.

Go To X To Do Y

When you have the option of living anywhere, it can be difficult to choose a destination, and going to places to see/do touristy things can get old fast. I’m a big fan of going to places to do specific (non-touristy) activities, as opposed to just going to places that sound interesting on paper.

In the past months, I’ve gone to:

  • Portugal to learn how to surf.
  • Berlin and Zurich for conferences.
  • The UK to take a trip through Wales.
  • Santorini to join friends who were on vacation.
  • Israel to visit family and work on my Hebrew.
  • Belize to learn how to scuba dive.

Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina for the Toptal Roadtrip.

Working full-time and traveling the world might be easier than you think, especially when you’re traveling for a purpose.

I’ve found that having a purpose to your travels leads to a few great outcomes:

  • It’s a lot easier to structure your time and priorities.
  • It’s easier to meet fascinating people with shared interests.
  • You learn amazing new skills that you’ve always wanted to learn.

When you’re traveling solo and devoting a lot of time to work, it’s important to limit the extent to which you’re “re-solving” the same problems on a daily basis. What I mean by that is, you don’t want to find yourself waking up every morning without any plans for where you’re going to work, what you’re going to work on, where you’re going to eat, who you’re going to meet, what non-work things you’re going to do, and so on.

Not only is it easy to waste a lot of time and energy answering the same questions over and over again, but it will also quickly make you feel like you’re swimming in circles without accomplishing much.

To be clear, I am just as strongly against doing anything that’s “too organized” while traveling. I’m pretty averse to resorts, guided tours, and so on.

As a good friend of mine likes to say:

“I always love seeing big cruise ships. The more I see of them, the fewer people there will be wherever I am.”

The adventure and uncertainty of traveling is half the fun, and it’s important not to lose sight of that by planning too much.

In short, don’t just go to Thailand. Go to Thailand to motorbike from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Go to Brazil because you’ve always wanted to experience Carnival. Go to Nepal because you dream of hiking the Annapurna trail.

The possibilities are endless, and it’s when you go somewhere with a goal in mind that things begin to take off.

Set Aside Time Every Day For Learning

When you’re working at a startup, there are always a million different tasks that need to be accomplished, and you’re constantly in a race against time. You can easily spend all of your waking hours knocking things off of your to-do list, and with so much that needs to get done, it can be hard to justify investing time in anything that’s not the task at hand, or at least directly related to the task.

Being on the road is no excuse for complacency. You can work, play, and master new skills, just as you would from home.

However, taking time each day for the explicit purpose of improving your skills and learning new things has a profound and positive impact in several important ways: Continue reading “Productivity On The Road: Work Full-Time, Travel Solo, Have Fun”


Organise Your Life And Improve Productivity By Using These Free Tools.

Proper organisation of people’s day-to-day undertakings can be demanding and very challenging. Deadline difficulties, forgetting what you have to do, getting overwhelmed as a result of too much activities to process or loosing track of what you planned doing can be a major setback to human development. In most cases, this can have a negative effect on our delivery either as individual, entrepreneur, as a freelance or even in the corporate world. To avoid such setbacks, having a To-Do list can be the simple solution you need.

To-Do List is an organised and prioritised list of all the tasks that needs to be carried out. It can also be seen as a list of everything that needs to be done, with the most important assignment at the top of the list, and the least important assignments at the bottom. It can help a person stay on top of important assignments and loads of tasks or results. If you want to beat down work stress or burden, To-Do List can be a lifesaver. It can be prepared in two steps, which are:

  1. Write down your assignments clearly. If it’s a large assignment, break it down into smaller assignments. This will give more clarity and a better action plan.
  2. Read your clearly defined assignments and allocate priorities to the assignments. Don’t forget to differentiate urgency and importance when prioritising.

You can also do this by using a diary, mobile phones calendaring, Gmail, MS-word, Excel, Outlook and various To-Do Lists Apps. When used properly, one can be a better-organised person, and be much more reliable. By using a To-Do Lists, one can:

  • Remember to carry out all necessary assignments;
  • Tackle the most important assignments first, and reduce time on unimportant assignments;
  • Reduce stress on a large number of unimportant jobs;
  • Help cut down stress level;
  • Know how to prioritise;
  • Know how to be organise and focus;

And in return, one would develop the habit of adding value on time and be more productive.

Nowadays, planning projects (e.g. Home projects, planning a party, planning finances, school projects, planning a trip, self improvement program, time management, exercise program, shopping lists to name a few) on a paper based to-do list can be a daunting task. Not even in this modern day where technology adoption rate and awareness keeps increasing on a daily basis. Using a free To-Do Lists Apps can help us simplify the process of having to manage so many sheets, re-writing or trying so hard to assign assignments. To-Do List Apps are more efficient, can save time and can help prioritise easily. These To-Do List Apps are useful but to maximise its uses, one must be self-disciplined.

Below are 10 free To-Do List Apps that can help us plan, organize, manage our daily activities easily and deliver on-time results.

  1. GTasks – is a simple and efficient to-do / task management app with Google synchronization. You can customize your to-do list, set reminder, share tasks with your friends, family members or colleagues and sync with your Google Tasks perfectly. With it, you will never miss a task and focus on what really matters to boost productivity.
  1. TickTick – is a simple to-do list app, which helps you to get all things done and cloud sync tasks. It is cross-platform, available for Android (UI suitable for tablet also), iOS, Chrome Extension and web. With TickTick at hand, you can organize your life in an easier way.
  1. Remember The Milk (RTM) – Take your to-do list anywhere with this feature-packed app; never forget the milk (or anything else) again. Trust me, you can do more than not just to forget the milk (hehehe). Remember The Milk (RTM) for Android connects with the popular online service of the same name. With millions of users worldwide, Remember The Milk is everywhere you are: from your phone, to the web, to your Google apps, and more.
  1. Toodledo – is an incredibly powerful tool to increase your productivity and organise your life. More than just a to-do list, Toodledo provides you with a place to store your notes, outlines and habits. Access your data on any device or browser.
  1. Todoist – Join the 4-million+ people around the world who are accomplishing amazing things with Todoist – the beautifully simple to-do list and task manager built for the pace of modern life. Whether you need to collaborate with your team, keep track of your most important projects, or just remember to pay the rent, Todoist is there to help you achieve more every day.
  1. Pocket Lists – is an amazing universal to-do list app for iPhone and iPad for managing checklists, focusing on important to-dos, reminders, and sharing your checklists with friends. Pocket Lists app understands your input and automatically sets a reminder according to what you typed.
  1. Wunderlist – helps millions of people around the world capture their ideas, things to do and places to see. Whether you’re sharing a grocery list with a loved one, working on a project, or planning a vacation, Wunderlist makes it easy to share your lists and collaborate with everyone in your life. Wunderlist instantly syncs between your phone, tablet and computer, so you can access your lists from anywhere.
  1. do – Millions around the world use to capture ideas, things to do, and collaborate with the people around them. From planning your next vacation to organising a big project at work or sharing a grocery list with a loved one, makes it easy to keep your life organized in one place. seamlessly syncs between your mobile, desktop, web and tablet so you, and everyone around you, can access it from anywhere.
  1. Workflowy – is the world’s best tool for taking notes and making lists. It can be use to be more creative and productive. It is simple to use and incredibly powerful. WorkFlowy can help you manage all the information in your life. If you’re the kind of person, who fills notebooks and notebooks with ideas, projects, objectives and brainstorms, then you should get your hands on Workflow.
  1. Planner – is the user-friendliest App that helps you plan better and manages your goals and projects, get focused and accomplish goals much faster than any other method. This App is excellent for personal, business and academic goal setting and task management.

Hope the list would help you improve on the way you manage your day-to-day activities or upcoming projects either in the corporate world or personally. Feel free to share and thanks for reading.

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Reference: Google Play 2015. Retrieved from