I still feel coy saying it, but I started working remotely full-time. No guilt at all working anywhere!
So, what did my family do? We loaded up in our SUV and headed to see some dear old friends in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Then, they got Covid. So, we pivoted. We stayed longer in the Duke City than we planned, tacked on a trip to White Sands, and ended our tour of the Land of Enchantment in our old haunt of Roswell, New Mexico.
Now, that trip was a lot. When we returned to our house (we did eventually come back), we were all exhausted. We needed time to recover.
But, we learned one key thing, which is that we can make this work. If we pick a spot and stay there for ~5 days at a time, we can all get into our normal life flow, which is not as geography-dependent as we thought.
Let me break down some requirements of the place where we stay for the week and a key observation gleaned from those requirements.
Our lodging requirements for remote work-friendly travel
- Fast-ish Internet connection for Zoom + Slack + Google Docs (work stuff)
- Internet connection stable enough to share with the family (writing + unschooling + entertainment)
- A kitchen with refrigerator, oven, stove, and all the usual kitchenware
- Space to spread out (Sara and I both need a quiet space to retreat—where you can shut a door—for working/thinking/being alone)
- Minimum of three real beds (none of these should be a sleeper sofa)
- Proximity to a coffee shop (preferably local, but a chain is acceptable)
- Proximity to a grocery store
- Proximity to a handful of attractions (zoo, museums, parks, etc.)
Reader, the three proximity items are all the things that make us love where our house is right now.
The bottom line: a lesson learned
For remote work to work on the road, we replicate as nearly as we can the stability of daily life at home decoupled from our physical home. The daily plumbing that enables our routine is there. It turns out that is all we need. The rest we fill in by being with each other.
We have one more big road trip planned this year out to the Pacific Northwest. Before then, I hope to share even more thoughts about the kind of work I am doing these days and how/when I do it. It is completely new to me, and we are all five of us figuring it out together.