For my first trip as a digital nomad I went to Barcelona. In this blog I’ll share my experiences and 5 tips that will hopefully help you to have a successful worktravel trip.
1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
Having the opportunity as a digital nomad to combine work and travel for the first time in Barcelona was awesome. But to be honest, there were times traveling alone was uncomfortable as well.
I’m used to having breakfast or lunch alone in a restaurant. But going to a restaurant to have dinner alone for the first time wasn’t something I was really looking forward to. But of course I had to eat, so I got over my feelings of discomfort and went to a restaurant.
To be honest, as with most of these things, it was a lot less uncomfortable then I expected. After going to restaurants alone for a week it still doesn’t feel completely comfortable. But if you get over this feeling and avoid the urge to hide behind your phone you can have a really good experience. I had some fantastic food and got into contact with some really nice people.
2. Find the right balance
Finding the right balance during your first worktravel trip can be tricky. You don’t want to work too hard, because you didn’t come to a beautiful place to work all day. But you don’t want to relax too much either, after all you are on a work trip not on a holiday.
For me it worked really well to follow the rhythm of the locals. In Barcelona this meant I worked from 09:00 to 14:00. Then I took a 3 to 4 hour break. This gave me plenty of time to have a good lunch and explore the city. After my break I would get back to work until 21:00. The renewed energy I got from my break helped me to have a very productive end of my day. I liked this new habit so much that I have continued this routine after I came back home.
3. A good co-working space
Your co-working is the place where you spend a lot of time. It’s your best opportunity to meet new people. So, finding an inspiring co-working spaces with like-minded people is key to having an awesome experience as a digital nomad.
During my time in Barcelona I visited a different co-working space everyday (check my upcoming blog about Barcelona’s top 5 co-working spaces). But I wouldn’t advise you to do the same.
If you go to one place for a long time (let’s say a month or longer) it makes sense to visit a couple of co-working places (like I did) before you decide what your workplace is going to be. But if you are only visiting a place for a couple of days or weeks I would recommend to do some desk research before you arrive and pick a place based on what you read in blogs and reviews.
Picking one co-working place to work from is not only cheaper, it also makes it a lot easier to connect with other digital nomads, entrepreneurs and freelancers working there. Most co-working places organize activities to stimulate interaction, these are the best opportunity to meet new people.
4. Open up
After the first two days of working in different co-working places I noticed that i didn’t have a lot of contact with the people working around me. I quickly found out this was happening because of something I did.
When I’m working I love to put on my headphones and listen to my own music. This helps me to get into the right focus, but it also creates a wall between me and the people around me. After realizing this I happily sacrificed some focus by leaving of my headphones. Opening up this way really helped me to get into contact with like-minded people and have some really interesting conversations.
5. Work smart
Being a digital nomad is awesome, but combining work with travel can be difficult. You want to work as smart as possible, so that you have as much time as possible to do what you love.
For my trip to Barcelona I made sure I had clear goals and a good working routine. Each day I started by looking at my goals and decided what my key priorities were. These were the first on my to do list. Finishing my top priorities first thing in the morning gave me a lot of freedom. Because I knew that whatever happened that day I had already taken care of the most important stuff.
I have experienced a lot with tools and strategies to work as smart as possible. I’ll be sharing my working routine and some of the best tips in one of my next blogs. Subscribe for our weekly update and be the first to get it in your mailbox.
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