30 Days. No laptop. No work. Total freedom.
Traveling without strings for a month was no easy feat, but not only was it possible, I did it while continuing my client relationships and booking five new clients in the process.
I decided to go two weeks in advance, roughly planned out how to get from country to country, and reserved half the hotels just a few days prior to leaving. I landed without a plan and it was awesome. Total adventure travel. And…why not? But the question I get asked most is: Tündi, how did you do it? My answer: how could I not?
Since I started freelancing, my goal was to live life on my terms. That meant taking vacations when I chose to. For however long I chose. Going with clients I hand picked. And doing it without fear of money or not having work when I came back. And yes, I made it happen.
So. How was I able to travel for a month, and get booked out for most of 2016, and grow a waiting list of clients 6+ months out?
There were no easy tricks. But here’s how you can do it too.
1. Make it a priority.
I wrote it down incessantly, and had to remind myself that work is now a choice. I could work, or I didn't need to and it was really up to me. Adventure travel was something I decided to do at the beginning of the year, and I knew I’d like to go for about a month. By writing it down and keeping it in mind throughout the year, I stayed focused on my goals.
2. Realize that the time is NOW. Mini-retirements are in.
What are you working for? Because if you're just waiting to retire and then travel, let me tell you friends...you'll be super let down. The time is now when you're able. Why wait? Take the experiences when you're young and use them as lessons in your life now through retirement and beyond. Waiting when you’re older is risky. I can't imagine have pulling this trip off when I'm already retired…there's too much to explore and that requires a ton of energy. Energy that I have now, but not necessarily later.
3. Tell everyone you're going before you're ready, and get past the judgments.
Nothing like a bit of social pressure to get you going, huh? Most people rolled their eyes, as if to say yeah right...you wish. Joke's on them now, huh.
4. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing!
I made sure that people kept me top of mind. That meant meeting with the right people, making the phone calls that needed to be made prior to the trip, getting recommendations, keeping up on all social channels and blog posts, and making sure everyone knew when I was returning and ready.
5. Don't put it on a calendar too far in advance.
This is where the spontaneous part came in. With freelancing, sometimes it’s easy to plan in advance, but most of the time it doesn't work that way. I had to push off a LOT of work in order to go on this trip, which stung. So I set myself up with work BEFORE I left, and only departed after wrapping up a major launch. Timing was key.
6. Live minimally. Save.
For those who don’t know me, I’m a minimalist. That means, if I don’t love it, it’s going to get donated. My home is filled with an extremely curated collection of clothes, personal items and books that I absolutely adore. I decided not to buy new clothes for a year. People waste so much time and money buying stupid shit, ever wonder where all that stuff goes once it used? It’s not good for the environment or my peace of mind. It was time I was way more conscious with my purchases.
7. Think of the craziest place to go...then DO it.
A month is a really long time, so I thought of the farthest destination that would make me feel uncomfortable and went for it. I just jumped for the opportunity, instead of mulling it around in my head forever. I made a list, then chose, then went.