I’m about to embark on an extended (6 weeks) “working while out-of-the office experience”. I don’t expect to work any less than I normally do which is to say – I’ll be working a lot. Meeting in person with clients and marketing partners is an important part of my job. Yet working in midtown Manhattan I don’t have nearly as many meetings in person in New York City as used to be the case. Part of that is due to having fewer clients based in New York. But it’s also a harbinger of the times since working people today do more with less time mostly because of technology.
For the past few years my wife and I have been building up to making our lives as portable as possible. The trip we are taking will be by car and after it’s over 6 weeks or so from now, we will have driven more than 6,000 miles. I’ve written about how much I enjoy driving and that with the onset of self-driving cars I think it’s conceivable driving one’s own car may not be practical. So I’ve got to get in my miles while I can!
Millennials have been onto the portable life thing for a while now. My niece and her husband are true digital nomads – moving around the globe from place to place (they do not yet have children), experiencing different countries and cultures, while they work from wherever – digitally and otherwise.
Baby Boomers early or late like me, have been a mobile generation overall. Historically they have moved somewhat frequently as they married and had children. However as they (we) have aged we become less mobile and less portable, more set in our ways and comforts. I have felt for a while that disrupting oneself is as important to keeping fresh as anything one can do. Working while being on the move is something we’ve experienced before so we kind of know what to expect.
New geographies combined with routine-breaking will create new memories and (I believe), the opportunity to think differently. That and where we’re headed – the desert in California has nicer weather for the month we’ll spend there.
I like working. I hate being bored and am not a giant fan of soul-killing routines. Disruption and uncertainty are ways to keep us fresh. And we’re very lucky that we have the ability to do it. That includes my business partner who supports it, the team members that I won’t see as regularly, the clients who know what I’m doing and expect (as they should) it will be business as usual. What I hope happens is that once I am on the phone, emailing and video-conferencing , where I am will be much less important – even forgotten.
It’s all about the quality of the work and that’s why a portable life is possible in your future too.