When I was 19, I traveled for six months in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Everything I needed fit in my backpack and I was carefree. My plans changed on a whim and my final journey didn’t resemble the one I had planned before I left Southern California. I had one commitment: to send a postcard to my parents every single week letting them know where I was and that I was okay. Done.
When I was 22, I took off with my friend Kymberly Williams-Evans (check out her story!) to spend the summer in Southern Germany. We were going to get jobs in Munich. Hah!
We ended up in West Berlin (it was 1982 and there was a big Wall isolating West Berlin from the rest of Germany). I stayed for two years and never made it to Munich. I didn’t need much and found a job working for the U.S. Command Berlin, first as a secretary at the U.S. Army Hospital and then later as a word processor (a Wang!) for a community support office.
Until I taught myself how to use the Wang word processor, I had never used a computer, but without knowing it, I was learning how to live the “laptop lifestyle.” Travel light and adapt to your situation to get your work done (or find work so you can stay longer!).
In 1996, I moved from Los Angeles to Eastern Ontario, Canada to start a business coaching practice with my (now) former husband. We started with zero and built a 6-figure business in six years living out in the middle of a 100-acre farm property, 45 minutes away from any decent size town. We had one dial-up phone line and one desktop computer. We figured it out and made it work.
Risk. Experiment. Adapt. Thrive.
Now, 14 years after returning to Los Angeles from Canada, I’m ready to hit the road again. I’ve traveled a lot around the world. This time, I’ll be living in Cusco, Peru for a month. I’m experimenting with the laptop lifestyle since I’ll be maintaining my online business while I’m in Cusco. With the exception of a five-day trek in the Andes, I’ll continue to mentor my clients, work on two book launches and connect with a mastermind group I run. No problem.
Today’s tools and technology make living and working anywhere in the world easy to do. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what I’m bringing with me and how I’ll manage my business so I’m laying out for you here.
Starting with obvious, I’m bringing my laptop and smartphone. I just upgraded my phone to the Samsung Galaxy S7. It was time and I wanted the improved camera and storage. I added a 64 GB SD card.
There’s no doubt I’ll be using my S7 for most everything I do, from shooting video to recording audio to creating images for social media. Here’s what I’m bringing to aid with those tasks:
3 portable backup chargers (I’ll be trekking in the Andes for 5 days and want to make sure I can recharge my phone!)
My intention is to experiment with Facebook Live, if I can get a good enough Wifi connection. If not, then I’ll shoot some video and upload later. Another plan is to record an audio journal on Anchor.fm in the event I have trouble with recording and uploading video.
Managing a Laptop Lifestyle Business
I doubt I’m unusual in this regard: I use the Cloud to store and access most of my files.
- Most of my documents, especially client docs, are backed up on Dropbox.
- Every photo I take is backed up to Dropbox.
- Everything I post on Instagram is auto saved to Dropbox with an IFTTT recipe.
- I use Google Drive to share docs with clients and colleagues. A friend is joining me for a couple of weeks and we’ve created a shared worksheet for travel details and a packing list.
- I use Evernote for saving content I want to share or reference for blog posts. I also keep backup images of my essential travel documents as well as my itinerary and contact info.
For client and mastermind meetings, I’ll use Zoom, or Skype if necessary.
I don’t anticipate any issues while in Peru. Cusco is a big city, high in the Andes. It’s a major hub for anyone who is traveling to Machu Picchu, so they know what travelers need. I’ve heard there’s also a big ex-pat community in Cusco.
Most of my clients are far-flung, living all over the United States and other countries. I’ve told them connecting will be the same as if I’m in Los Angeles, but I’ll be in Cusco. 😎
Adventure and business and experiencing them both simultaneously wherever you choose to be is easy now. All I need is a laptop and Wifi and I’m good to go! If you want to follow along on my #AdventureInPeru, check it out here.
I’d love to hear from you. Are you living the laptop lifestyle? What are your must-have gadgets and tools in order to maintain your business while you’re having adventures around the world?
Note: all links to the gadgets are Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the tools I recommend, I may earn a small affiliate commission.