Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How to Balance Work-Life while Travelling

Finally got the time to send a new article for ZALORA. Work was hectic (think you guys know why. Praying for the industry to get better) and I had to do the packing for the new house so I never really got the chance to draft anything for my editor.

So what's a girl to do?

Drafted an email to my editor to apologize. As last resort, I looked through my blog archives to see if there's anything - and this topic came about when I stumbled across my travel posts. PHEW.

Thought that maybe it'd be helpful for others who're in the same shoes - if you travel a lot due to work, hopefully you can relate to this!

How To Keep Your Work-life Balance While Traveling



Often times when you receive an email from your boss, saying “book a ticket to XXX, you’re going on site visit/business trip” – your heart sank. You’d think about leaving behind your family or if you could afford to buy tickets for them too, but chances are most of the time, you’d be alone, abroad.

 But it doesn’t have to always be that way. Your mindset matters. Your attitude towards the order matters. Hey, you’re lucky to have the chance to explore the world – you should treasure every moment of it!

 So in order to have your work and life balanced during these trips, it’s important that you’re happy. 

1. Get a good smartphone

 It would become your first and foremost life/travel companion. Get one that would have the capacity to be the medium for you to contact your loved ones, your office, and one that can help you maneuver through the unknown city you happen to be in. Whether you like it or not, you’re probably out of touch with most of the people in the strange city – so train/tram rides could easily become a lonely time. A phone that could hold all your songs, videos and entertainment related apps would be your sole companion during these times.


 2. Get good and useful apps

 As mentioned above, download all apps that will help you – Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Tango are the common useful apps for communication. Of course, backups are important to avoid your hyperventilating episodes when one doesn’t work and you need to talk to someone urgently. You can also have teleconference meetings with your boss or colleague via Skype – this is useful especially when you’re in a different time zone from your boss. By the time you’re at the hotel and ready to go to bed, it might be 9 am in Malaysia and your boss emailing you to find out the progress of the project. So always be ready.

Also, find out about train/tram schedule apps – you can check the train timetable on the go.


3. Establish a personal daily routine

To keep your emotions intact, it’s important to have a similar routine every day so that you don’t feel out of place. Strange places could be daunting as you’re not familiar with it so always find out beforehand in order to plan your day-to-day activities. For example, find out the tram timetable so that you could plan what time you will reach the office and when to go out of the house; and vice versa in the evening. You could also plan for teleconference meeting with your boss/colleagues at a designated time so that you’d be well prepared and know when to check your emails. Explore around to get familiar with the stores and restaurants in the city you are in so that you’d know where to go for lunch. Little things such as not knowing where to go to get lunch could lead us feeling lonely – something that could affect your emotions and capability to stay on top of the tasks.


4. Take advantage of free Wifi

Most places especially in Europe provide free Wifi connection – hurray! You don’t need to spend lavishly on roaming fees which could get very expensive. Hotels, cafes, libraries and some fast food restaurants provide Wifi so you can have your meals while Whatsapp-ing or Viber-ing with your loved ones. Some trains have free Wifi too, so if you’re planning your journey, it would be helpful to know this.


5. Have some alone time

 I know, it doesn’t get any lonelier than being alone abroad – but get some alone time, even without your phone. It could be roaming around the city just to breathe some fresh air, visit to the spa for massage or a quiet time in the nearby library – just de-stress and have the time to yourself. No replying emails or answering calls whatsoever. Better yet, go out for a bicycle ride around the city as sweating could be a nice change for you. Most cities in Europe have rent-a-bike programs you can easily find which is convenient for you to spend the day.



Then maybe, you’d realize being on business trips a hundred miles away from your loved ones actually isn’t so bad. You might even look forward to the next trip!


(You can also read it here)

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