Your Virtual Work Plan: Working from the Road

Your Virtual Work Plan: Working from the Road

Whew! Today is the last day of my cell phone plan, so I’m working from a cafe with free WiFi. I only have a few MB left on my internet data plan. The last few hours of my work day have to be on someone else’s WiFi this month. Just made it!

That’s how my life goes — living and working here (wherever that is). Some days I run out of water and have to refill. Other days it’s WiFi. But if I lived in a house it’d be something else, too, and I wouldn’t get to meet mule deer nose to nose…

Mule deer nose to nose

or hand-feed grey jays…

Hand-feeding grey jays

In just the past 6 months I’ve had some pretty amazing experiences, and I’ve worked online every day, too.

I’ve eaten artistically presented raw vegan food in hippie Asheville, North Carolina. I tried Navajo fry bread in the Navajo Nation capital of Window Rock, Arizona.

Admittedly, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. There’s the gross stuff — plumbing stuff that you just don’t have to deal with everyday when you live in a house or apartment. There’s the inconvenient stuff — where am I going to park tonight to sleep (in this strange town I’ve never even heard of)? I never had that worry when I had an address.

But then, there’s a lot of super-cool stuff that happens to me just about every day. In my case the question is never, “Why am I doing this?”. I live this way because right now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I don’t want to live in the same place all of the time. I don’t want to go to the same grocery store all of the time. I don’t want to have the same view out of my window day after day.

Sure, living in the same place can be comforting. I lived in the same town for 20 years a while back. I didn’t have to work hard at remembering how to get to the grocery store, or to the library. I’ve had that experience. Now, I travel.

I am often asked the question, “Why travel and work”?

Since, “Why not?” isn’t a very satisfying answer to most, I answer people who ask this question in terms of “how” not “why”.

Mostly folks are puzzled about how I get things done. Some people are perplexed by my bathroom (in which resides a small, port-a-john made for boats). Others want to know about how I charge my electronics (12V power inverter plugged into the lighter socket in the dashboard of my truck).

What about if it’s cold at night? I have a little (and powerful!) Webasto heater that taps into the truck’s diesel fuel tank and uses a fraction of the fuel the truck engine uses, but throws many times the heat. (My little heater is my second favourite possession. It’s second only to my reading glasses)!

Once people are satisfied with the details of “how”, I start talking about “where”. How cool was it that I was able to spend three blissfully quiet days in Thunder Basin National Grassland in Wyoming? How incredible was it to drive through the Badlands National Park at lunch one day? How incredible are the views from the top of Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina (highest peak in the east, or so they claim. I’m not getting in the middle of that argument with Mt. Washington in New Hampshire).

Running an online business from your van or RV makes it possible to do all of this, and more. I have a disciplined lifestyle. I wake up early to get the “extras” done. I work, and then I get to explore.

The mobile lifestyle isn’t for everyone. I’ve talked with people who’ve tried to start it too soon. They weren’t ready. They were mobile, but they didn’t have the income. Some people do “workamping” in this case (where they travel to a destination and work there to earn money, then move on to their next stop, get a temp job there, and repeat).

For me, virtual work is the best platform to support my RV travel lifestyle. With the income stream in place, I can work all of the other details of life around my online life. And for me, this is the only way to go.

Note to animal lovers of all kinds: The mule deer buck in the top picture didn’t come into my van, even though he wanted to and started to step in. Thankfully, he walked away peacefully instead. And about hand-feeding wild birds… I don’t make a practice of it and I know it’s not a good idea to interact with wild animals this closely. So my official disclaimer on both of these pictures is this: don’t do this. It wasn’t smart of me to get this close to either animal, so take my word for it; it was dumb. And I’ll probably do it again when I get the chance.


Ready to start your own virtual lifestyle and live the life you’ve imagined?

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Amy Biddle
Amy Biddle is Director of the Advisor Team for SiteSell. Amy lives in and works in a small RV, and explores marketing frontiers as well as the frontiers in the lower 48 states of the US.