I had actually had doubts about whether having my own passive income business would ruin travelling for me. I have a full-time writer and a number of my sites have suddenly decided to rank just before we left home so I decided to buy a 10″ emachine netbook and keep an eye on rankings and progress while on the road.
I was worried about the practicalities though. I know quite a number of people who do this successfully – for example Kirsty from Nerdy Nomad, Matt from NomadicMatt, and Dave from GoBackpacking – but they all have a common characteristic – they are all single and travelling solo.
I’m not single – I have a partner, who having just done 10 months of contracting was definitely in holiday mode. So how is it working out – do I resent that I get up early to login while he sleeps on, that I hide out in the aircon room while he scouts out the local town? In a word – no – its working quite well. Just as I’d read that people with kids are more efficient online when they can’t be online 24/7 – I think I’ve become more efficient too. We are travelling more flashpacking style than cheapo backpackers so my need for WIFI seems to match his strong preference for aircon.
The main difference though is that I’ve lost that dreadful “tick-tok” of the count down to go back to work – the feeling that you have just used all your vacation time for the next 2 year, 8 months and 25 days. More I am thinking along the lines of – we could afford to come here for each November and still have change from what we spend at home…
Some tricks for being connected to your business on the road:
Nebooks are the go – the smartphone has proven useless really – but the netbook is easy to connect and much easier to use. Although I think its now impossible to buy a netbook that isn’t auto-sensing for voltage – you will need a plug adapter. I found finding a single plug adapter rather than one for Europe, one for the UK, one for Asia etc quite hard (but your mileage may vary) – finally getting one in duty free on the way out. My little 10″ only has a battery life of 3 hours – ideally I’d want something with twice that and a non-glossy screen (really doesn’t work well anywhere you can see the sea – the glare makes the screen unusable).
Warn banks and paypal that you will logging in from strange IP addresses. In the process of booking this trip I had several calls from credit card providers checking out if I had really been booking flights online to and from countries I didn’t live in. That got me thinking and emailed paypal – saying I was going to be travelling and please don’t freeze my account. They said it may still freeze with their automatic systems – but the would file my email and unfreeze the account if required.
Remember you may loose the netbook – it may get stolen, more likely it may go swimming on a speed boat transfer or be bounced from the roof of a tuk-tuk. Losing the netbook would be inconvenient – loosing my work, my passwords, my photos is what would be the really tragedy. I am using SugarSync to backup my files and I am using the portable version of RoboForm on a USB stick for my passwords – so that if I do need to use another computer I have those as well. (They also have an online copy for customers which is a second line of defence).
18 replies on “Passive Income and Travelling”
Glad to hear your vacation is going well … laptop on the beach .. that’s the life. Keep havin FuN!
Glad it’s worked well so far. I particularly liked the part where it’s dawning on you that it can be as nearly as cheap (even cheaper at times) to travel than to stay “home ported” wishing you were rich enough to travel.
I’ve got an on-line friends couple with 2 small children who haven’t had a “home” per se in 5 years now and do just fine. (online schools now that their oldest is hitting school age).
I also had a Canadian/Filipino blogger friend who’s doing quite well living in Canada come to visit here in the Philippines … after a couple days .. and after learning the price structure and the figuring out a bit on his tax situation, said to me, “Wow, I could just live here instead of spending what I am spending back there in Canada, just for a roof over my head”. Uh huh, indeed, eh?
To be honest Dave – I know – the main thing stopping me making the move – is finding somewhere I can compete in ballroom dancing – seriously! I really, really like our dance teacher and it keeps us fit and when it look my partner’s health issues might stop our dancing we were both devastated. Oh and I need to get him to retire – but he’s starting to see the advantages of that too… – weird some men think that you have to work to 65. He can work for me – but I don’t work of course I just play on the Interwebs all day!
I was with you all the way until you mentioned Roboform. You don’t need it. Just use LastPass and you don’t have to carry any software at all for it.
I must admit I should probably look at lastpass RT – I’ve had roboform for ages so haven’t bothered changing
portable firefox is useful to; I just use that and firefox ‘export’ function to have my passes with me on any comp…. not that I travel around…wish I could!
Lis – I am officially jealous!! However I hope to go travelling in a few months so it was great to hear that working with a netbook is working out. My sister has an Emachine that I will either borrow or buy one for myself.
The picture looks like you are in paradise – how wonderful.
You have also helped to answer my other question – a backpack or a travel bag with wheels. Love that picture too.
Keep having fun. Happy Travels.
Yeah the little emachine is running everything I need – not great for design work of course with the screen size – but for stats and management stuff its great! Get yourself a closed cell sleave for it and a ziplock bag to put the whole lot in in case of accidents. Its got about a 3 hr battery life so you might want to investigate a longer life battery – I find I can get WIFI, or a coffee, or a power point, but rarely all in the same place if you get my drift!
Seriously leave the roll-along at home – packing light is the go – in tropics I am carrying about 8kg including the laptop!
Looks like you are having a great time. Sitting on the beach while “working” is what this business is all about!
LOL – I must find a fast car to pose against so I have all the “make money in your sleep” scam photos!
Oh yes you definitely need to do that! Can’t be “legit” without it.
I found your site yesterday from a pingback on one of Ben’s posts. I’ve learned a lot already and definitely see you as an inspiration! Thanks for keeping it real…also I’d like to share that one of my main motivators for online work is to afford to travel and explore NZ!
LOL – just remember to come in our summer Brooke and don’t plan on a tropical island weather you will be good to go!
I am very impressed. This is the best website that I have found. I am so excited to get started and I just want to thank you two for giving me this opportunity! There is so much information on here. Keep up the good work!
That battery life is a bit poor, I got 3x that when my Samsung netbook was new, it went down to about 6 hours after a year or so though.
Good post though 🙂 Nice to see someone non-single doing it too.
I’m glad to hear your having a great time – ah the open road, erm I mean ocean…
I’m hankering after a netbook as a backup for the laptop and to take on those little trips… While I’ve been a Dell lover for over 15 years (IBM before that), the Samsung has the edge on battery life. Oh how nice it is to even be in the position to have this decision to make… thanks mostly to kind uncle Google hahaha!
Anyway, enjoy the rest of your vacation!
Looks like you are having a great time! You are realizing your dream. Remember when you come to the states to visit Michigan and please come in our summer time as the snow is awful here in the winter.
Hi Denise – yup I have had one white Christmas now – that’s enough – i won’t be venturing to the northern hemisphere except in the summer! Michigan is certainly on my list!