Imagine a working holiday in Portugal…

10 Day Blog Challenge: Day 9

‘Location Independence’

Can’t say I’ve come across the term before. Natalie Sisson, the lady who choreographed this particular 10 day blog challenge, defines it as ‘knowing you are independent of your location’ specifically in relation to work and cash flow.

If I was ‘location independent’ it would mean I could choose to live, work and play from anywhere in the world, or that I could take off for a vacation at a moment’s notice.

One option that would make this a reality would be having a virtual, digital business up and running.

The specific challenge for today is to imagine I’m going on a month long holiday to Portugal, where I’ll be visiting medieval castles, coastal towns, vineyards, going surfing, sipping cocktails in the Algarve, checking out roof top bars in Lisbon….you get the idea! Sounds quite heavenly, right?

Algarve Benagil Cave
The challenge comes in that I need to imagine doing all this as a working holiday, and writing about how I would balance both work and play!

My initial reaction to Natalie and this challenge:

‘Natalie, this would not be an option for me. Maybe, in your world you could structure a working holiday in Portugal, adventuring as you have described while maintaining and honouring work responsibilities, all be they virtual!’

Allow me some context to this reaction…

It traces it roots back my personal experience of being part of a four week divorced family pilot trip to Israel to explore the option of moving to Israel. This was a substantial undertaking. It was like a work contract, with the task being to explore Israel on a practical level in terms of cities, schools, work opportunities as well as from a tourist point of view.

It felt like there was too much to do….

We did our best to blend the two, on the one hand the practical ‘work’ of investigating, which took the form of meetings with municipal and educational representatives, real estate agents, agencies that assist new immigrants, others who had immigrated, to the ‘adventuring’ side of things, experiencing sights, sounds and flavours of Israel. Not forgetting about day to day general life responsibilities, such as food preparations, laundry and cleaning up, which were part and parcel of the picture too.

The only way it was remotely possible to succeed in the task at hand was to define just how much ‘work’ we could realistically commit to materialising and being strict with ourselves to set aside times for exploring.

Getting the balance just right :)

I also found at times it was necessary to have whole days that we did nothing at all related to the ‘work’ side of things, to completely disengage, and have a complete break. There were other times, we would split the day, allocating specific times to fun, and other times to work. Between fun and work, there was also the need to completely veg out and catch our breaths!

So upon reflection, let me rephrase my initial response...

‘Natalie, it would not be impossible for me to craft a working holiday. It just wouldn’t be my preference. I would much rather have a stretch of focussed dedicated work time, building momentum, working towards a specific goal, putting in some crazy hours, and then taken a complete break. Going away and not having to factor in work, but rather having some time to complete disengage!’

That said,

if was offered a month long Portugal trip, with all those adventure opportunities, with the ONLY snag being that I needed to take it as a working holiday, then boy oh boy, would I come up with a plan! I certainly wouldn’t be turning it down!

So to make it feasible my plan would include:

  • Defining the work that would need to be done in that month, realistically evaluating the time it would require, and quantifying the weekly hours that would be expected;
  • Crafting a schedule that would roughly outline when I’d expect myself to work, to ensure I accomplished all that was required, setting up sessions early in the day so I could get work done and dusted first thing. I would want to be clear from the start.
  • Communicating my availability and non availability clearly to those I would be working with, as I would have set times I would work, and equally set times I’d be adventuring.
  • Scheduling some days with longer work hours, so that I would have some consecutive free days, to completely disengaged from work pressure and demands.

So that’s how I’d do it!


To read Day 10’s Blog Challenge episode, the Grand Finale, click here.

Ps. This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

You can join blog challenge here