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On Travel & Work

Coffee & WritingTraveling provides fuel for my creativity. When I don’t explore my surroundings, my writing and photography become stagnant. One of my 2014 intentions is to travel once a month to keep my creativity flowing. Visiting friends and family often and exploring Siskiyou County are important to me. Since the new year began, I’ve been able to both renew my relationships and revitalize my creativity.

Typically when I travel, I work too; especially when I travel during the week. For example, earlier this week I traveled to Red Bluff to spend time with my mom and Henry. And, tomorrow my mom and I will be traveling to South Lake Tahoe for a long weekend. While my mom skis down the slopes at Heavenly Valley, I will be working and exploring. I spent half my childhood in the Lake Tahoe area, skiing in the winter and playing in the summer. I’m excited to visit old friends and to walk along the lake.

For those of you who are interested in traveling and working on the road, I’d like to share what I’ve learned so far.

1. I try to keep my mobile office simple and lightweight. But, sometimes that doesn’t happen. For example, on this trip I packed a few extra goodies. In addition to my MacBook air, I packed my day planner, journal, extra books, pens, and a few good luck charms. I decide what to bring based on the type of projects that I’m working on.

2. While I’m traveling, I work in the early morning. I get up early and finish my work projects. I love doing this because it’s quiet. Plus, I can use the rest of my day for adventuring and hanging out with friends.

3. When I am out and about, I carry a scaled down mobile office with me. In a small backpack, I bring my wallet, iPhone, a journal, and a few pens. When I’m out exploring, I don’t like to carry a lot of stuff with me. It’s not good for my back and it’s not fun to carry a heavy bag. Also, keeping a tiny office with me gives me the option to write down ideas or essays in my journal.

4. I make time for play. Play is a key part of the creative process. Also, research has shown that “play — doing things just because they’re fun and not because they’ll help achieve a goal — is vital to human development.”

When I travel, I make time to get my work done. I also make time to enjoy the people and places that I’m visiting. If I didn’t make time for the latter, I might as well stay home.

What do you carry when you travel? Share your tips and stories in the comments section.

Be well,

P. S. When I arrive in Tahoe, I will post photos of my mobile office on Instagram. Follow along if you want to see additional pictures.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sandra Pawula March 6, 2014, 10:07 am

    This is a wonderful reminder for me, Tammy. I tend to be an introvert and stay home or go to the same place. It might be time for some mini-travel, even just a day or afternoon exploration. And, of course, I wouldn’t complain about a little fun!

  • Linda @ Notes from the arena March 6, 2014, 10:30 am

    Ah, I know the stagnation feeling well! I feel like I have a very limited choice as to where to go to take photos, and winter has been especially tricky in that respect! I love exploring new areas and finding new photo and writing opportunities.

  • Caroline McGraw March 7, 2014, 4:18 pm

    Thanks for this, Tammy! I’m going to be traveling quite a bit in the next few months (and wondering how best to get work done), so your post came at the perfect time for me. I like your tip to work in the early morning and save the rest of the day for exploring and friends/family time — it does get much harder to make oneself step away and do work as the day goes on. Wise words!

  • Susan March 7, 2014, 5:04 pm

    One of the reasons I have found this winter so difficult is the lack of getting out and taking photographs caused by the snow and ice. I TOTALLY agree with your first two sentences.

    Glad you didn’t let it stop you.

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 8, 2014, 7:08 pm

    I also prefer to get work done early and then go out to explore.

  • Delicia March 11, 2014, 2:54 am

    Great tips! On my recent short adventure to Paris, I decided to leave my laptop at home and only take my journal along. It meant I was more disconnected from the online world and that was a conscious choice. On longer travels, I pack both my laptop and my journal. Of course, my iPhone hasn’t stayed home yet! And it’s more a camera than a phone to me. Seeing how light I can travel is definitely a challenge I enjoy, especially when I want to take journals and books along. Thanks for sharing how you do it.

  • Kayla Dawn Thomas March 12, 2014, 11:49 am

    Great tips! I just got a MacBook Air and am looking forward to less weight in my bag when I travel. I put an app on my iPhone called index card that allows me to make notes and organize them by project when I’m out and about and don’t have a journal with me. I have a very small purse!

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