02 Jan The Travelling Business Mum and Son – Beach or Pool Swim?
…and other ‘work’ decisions a travelling entrepreneur has to make each day!
When I first started dreaming about travelling whilst still working in my business and being a responsible mother to my 10 year old, I had no idea how it would work…I just knew I wanted it to and was determined to make it so.
10 months on and I’m sitting on the large terrace of our rented apartment in South Australia; laptop, phone, notepad and freshly brewed mug of coffee beside me with pen in hand (yes I admit it, I’m a traditional pen and paper kinda gal when it comes to creative writing!), with an awe-inspiring view across the Adelaide CBD and suburbs to the hills in one direction and aquamarine sea in the other. All I can hear is the gentle lapping of waves on the sandy beach and a chorus of bird calls; from the beautiful green, blue and red lorikeets flying in pairs from tree to tree, to the raucous corellas that can apparently strip a gum tree bare of its leaves in a matter of days!
I’m feeling a mixture of emotions as I realise some of the key things I’ve achieved:
- Organising and packing for our big adventure
- Gaining approval from my son’s school and Education Department to home school him while we’re away
- Ensuring my business and I have sufficient cover & support whilst travelling
- Renting our home out to a family visiting the UK from NZ
- 2 months of travelling around Australia, exploring new places and visiting friends & family
- Finding and settling into rental accommodations
- Continuing work with existing clients as well as on my business – with less-than-ideal wifi/phone signals!
Initially, I was concerned with how I could make my work fit around my travels, but considering 75% of my client work is online (holding coaching sessions over Zoom, for instance), I just needed to schedule these around the various time zones we’d be passing through and plan my face to face/corporate coaching and consultancy work around the dates of travel.
The next obstacle was getting the time out of school approved; as I’m sure most parents know, it can be so difficult to get even a week’s holiday out of term time authorised now and you generally accept that to do so you’ll face a penalty fee. However, I knew that I wanted more than just a week or two away and that I didn’t want to negatively impact upon my son’s education either…no mean feat! Whilst I’m strongly of the opinion that travelling provides a whole host of education opportunities that you simply cannot replicate in a classroom, I’m also aware that my son had his SATs exams that they’d be preparing for during this academic year that I didn’t want him to miss out on. So, I contacted his class- and Head-teachers, fully prepared to need to defend what may be seen as an ‘outrageous request’…only to be pleasantly surprised by their wholehearted support and approval to home school him during our travels. I cannot thank them enough for having the perspective they did to see this trip as the great opportunity and life experience it would be for a 10 year old and can only hope that other Head teachers would react in the same way for anyone else wanting to embark on a similar adventure!
I’m so proud for not only allowing myself to entertain that initial dream as a possibility of reality, but for plucking up the courage to take that leap of faith and go for it! So often, we can talk ourselves out of going for our dreams; they can seem too hard or so big that we don’t know where or how to start. It may be that we worry about what others would think of us if we acted against what society deems as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’, or forever stall over thousands of ‘what ifs’. And yet, what great experiences or innovations have ever been created by accepting routine and normality and never stepping outside of these boundaries and our comfort zones? Using my destination country as a prime example – if Captain Cook hadn’t set sail, determined to explore the great stretches of uncharted seas and territories back in the 1770’s, with the courage to face the doubters and scaremongers, let alone whatever befell him and his crew on such a daunting journey, we may not even know such a vast and beautiful country existed!
And so, as I’m drawing to the end of my work session this morning, I find my mind drifting to the one outstanding and pressing decision I still have to make: shall I swim in the sea or the pool now to cool off? So far, I’m leaning more towards heading to the beach, as I can also fit in a relaxing walk along the seafront promenade to ease my mind into ‘holiday mode’ and I just love being amongst my new neighbours as they skate, cycle, jog and walk in the sunshine too!
As we start to embark on a new year, I’d like to invite you to think about what you’d love to achieve this year. Is there something you’ve been dreaming of for a while but keep putting off for ‘when I’ve got the time/money to do it’? Or perhaps that negative inner voice is throwing up lots of reasons why you ‘don’t deserve it’ or ‘shouldn’t do because you have too many responsibilities that need fulfilling first’?
Is this the real life? Is it just fantasy?
If this resonates with you, I have a great exercise to help you work out whether to follow that dream and turn it into reality, or not:
- Imagine pressing fast forward to a point sometime way in the future, knowing that you only have a matter of days to live (I promise this isn’t as grim as it may seem!).
- Now imagine looking back over your life and realising you never took the opportunity to turn this dream into a reality.
- How does that feel? What thoughts come to mind? What emotions do you sense in you?
- If there’s any sense of regret, then I say ‘stop dreaming and start taking action!’
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make”.