Journey has at all times been a elementary a part of my life. A love for not solely locations, however for the journey to achieve them, is what led me to discovered my firm, SteamLine Luggage. So through the pandemic, being caught at dwelling whereas nonetheless selling journey inspiration to my prospects felt surreal.
In October of 2021, my husband Mark and I made a decision to pack up our luggage and embark on a year-long digital nomad journey whereas every operating our respective companies (he owns Good Mask Company). Oh, and with our 4 younger children, all beneath the age of eight.
Me with my husband Mark and sons Milo (8), Reuben (6), Benji (5), and Felix (2) in Lefkáda, Greece.
We’ve gotten to spend the previous 9 months dwelling it up in Lefkada (an island in Greece), Corfu, Mauritius (an island in Africa), and now Bali. Our companies proceed to thrive, and we haven’t utterly drained our financial institution accounts. In truth, now that we’ve seen how properly it’s understanding, we could even hold at it longer.
If it’s doable for us, I believe it’s doable for everyone. Right here’s a rundown of how we make it work, and the methods I’ve discovered this expertise is even helpful for my enterprise.
What It Takes to Make a 12 months-Lengthy Journey Occur
Essentially the most frequent query I get requested is how we’re pulling this off. Right here’s a fast breakdown of the price and logistical juggling it takes to be a digital nomad, enterprise proprietor, and father or mother in addition:
The Bills: What it Price for My Household of 6 to Journey for a 12 months
Lodging: €3,500/month ($3,700)
Childcare: €2,500/month ($2,650)
Different Residing Bills: €2,000/month ($2,100)
Complete: €8,000/month ($8,450)
When my husband and I have been mapping out the finances for this journey, we had a principle that we might journey the world for the very same price as dwelling in our dwelling in Dublin for the yr. We figured that our €3,500/month ($3,700) in hire would go towards Airbnbs, our €2,500/month ($2,650) in childcare prices would go towards flights, and all different dwelling bills could be the identical, if not cheaper, in different components of the world.
Generally, this turned out to be true, even contemplating how journey prices have elevated in current months. Airbnbs within the nations we’ve visited are fairly inexpensive, and we’ve been in a position to strike even higher offers by planning to remain for a month or longer and asking hosts for prolonged keep reductions. As a result of we aren’t jet setting to a brand new place each different week, flight prices have remained affordable (although we’re actively re-budgeting as flight costs skyrocket), and we’re in a position to seek for tickets with versatile dates and (even versatile locations) to handle these prices. And all the things else, from meals to actions for the youngsters to hiring the occasional caregiver to observe over them, has been less expensive than it was in Dublin.
We now have made the intentional determination to stretch our finances a bit to get absolutely the most out of this expertise. For example, we discovered that spending an extra €500/month ($530) on Airbnbs would get us properties that have been far and away higher. Our present place in Bali, as an example, is an enormous property with house for us to unfold out, a lush backyard and swimming pool for the boys to play in, and a personal chef and housekeeper to assist us out. We’re not usually lavish individuals, however paying a little bit extra for these extras has made the expertise of touring with the household (and discovering peace and quiet to work) a lot simpler. We additionally strive to not be too stingy with our finances for experiences, since we would like our household to absorb all the things doable.
Our home in Mauritius had two swimming pools and a seashore—not a nasty workplace view.
In the end, we’re spending about €8,000 ($8,450) a month for our household of six to spend time in a few of the most stunning locations world wide, which is a tiny bit lower than our price of dwelling in Dublin. After all, it helped from a finances perspective that we have been coming from one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in and customarily planning to journey to lower-cost locations. Your mileage could differ relying on the place you at the moment stay and the place you’re hoping to go.
The Logistics: How a Household of 6 Juggles Work, Life, and Faculty
Touring whereas operating a enterprise is unquestionably a juggling act, particularly if you add kids to the combination. My husband and I aren’t simply enterprise homeowners; we’re digital nomads who must journey plan, mother and father who must homeschool and entertain our youngsters, and vacationers who need to benefit from the locations we’re in.
Staying in a single place longer has helped us handle the logistics of all of those duties. We’re not having to continuously spend time and power reserving our subsequent factor, and we’re in a position to settle right into a little bit of a routine, discover individuals we belief to assist us with the youngsters, and never really feel like we’ve to hurry to do all the things a spot has to supply .
The pandemic additionally gave us a crash course within the expertise that will assist us make doing all of this doable. Not solely are we extra used to having the youngsters underfoot (though we had a nanny at dwelling), my group was already accustomed to working remotely.
However, nonetheless, succeeding at operating a enterprise whereas touring requires some scheduling flexibility. My days usually seem like this:
- 7:30 am: The youngsters swim or train earlier than faculty.
- 8am-12pm: The youngsters homeschool. Relying on our workloads, both my husband or I’ll look over them whereas the opposite has a number of hours of centered work.
- 12pm-2pm: Our youngest naps, the opposite children have quiet time for artwork tasks or artistic play, and my husband and I get some work achieved.
- 2pm-6pm: The youngsters could go off to a membership exercise or go to the seashore with a caregiver, giving us a little bit extra work time, or we could determine to do a household exercise and both my husband and I watch over them so the opposite can have a number of hours of centered work.
- 6pm on: Proper now, all of our conferences and calls are carried out at the moment after which after the youngsters are asleep (which occur to be good occasions to coordinate calls with individuals on the opposite facet of the world). I don’t love taking calls after 9pm, however I make it work to foster this way of life.
- All through the day: I collaborate with my group of 10 workers and contractors through WhatsApp, they usually know they will attain out to me at any time—however additionally they know I belief them to make choices with out me.
I nonetheless get all of the work achieved I must to maintain my enterprise shifting ahead, however quite than realizing I can sit down and get it achieved in a six-hour stint, it’s a bit extra advert hoc. Even if you happen to don’t have children, it’s good to have this sort of flexibility to have the ability to go on adventures through the day and to handle working throughout totally different time zones. And anytime I’m struggling via working at an odd hour, I remind myself that I am in [insert amazing country here].
What Lengthy-Time period Journey Has Given Me and My Enterprise
Generally it’s exhausting when individuals solely ask in regards to the specifics of how we make this work, as a result of I as an alternative need to gush about all of the optimistic issues the expertise of touring has given me. There are the very apparent private advantages of attending to see the world, spend high quality time with my household, and provides my children uniquely enriching experiences. However I’ve additionally gained a lot as an entrepreneur and chief.
What I’ve Realized as an Entrepreneur From Journey
For one, I’ve discovered it a lot simpler to drawback resolve and suppose creatively whereas I’m overseas, as a result of my perceptions and senses are heightened by new issues, individuals, and experiences on daily basis. I used to be in a position to carry a few of my group to Mauritius for a weeklong retreat, and we noticed this expanded creativity throughout the corporate. In truth, we’re implementing a number of thrilling tasks right this moment that began as concepts whereas all experiencing a brand new surroundings collectively.
I additionally suppose this journey has helped me step again and achieve a fowl’s-eye view of the enterprise. Being within the weeds could be harmful for an entrepreneur, and once I’m at dwelling, it’s simple to obsess over the small stuff or get too hands-on with sure tasks. Being so distant has helped me step again and perceive what’s actually necessary and the place I’m actually wanted.
How My Enterprise Has Completed Throughout a 12 months of Journey
So, how has all of this translated to my enterprise’ backside line? To this point, our gross sales are up 63 p.c over final yr. And whereas a few of it is a pure spike after the pandemic, our journey has additionally helped. A part of our objective this yr was to share what we’re doing and why with others, and we’ve already achieved six press interviews throughout the first few months of journey, which have introduced elevated consciousness to SteamLine. I’ve additionally fostered some vital gross sales leads in every place I’ve been.
Lastly, I’ve additionally met new potential artistic companions alongside the way in which—individuals I’d have by no means encountered in my day-to-day life in Dublin, however who’ve fostered concepts that I hope to carry to life in future collections.
In the end, my greatest recommendation for any enterprise proprietor contemplating digital nomading is to simply do it. The fears earlier than leaving are so nice, however the rewards of doing one thing like this are so excessive that any challenges you face actually begin to really feel small.