It’s been quite a while since my ‘brainchild’ and personal project “Good Things Everywhere” was being planned. Still, in the very end things got a bit hectic (not surprisingly). To be able to start my trip around the world i had to make myself job- and homeless, safe enough money to be on the road for some time, choose the right (light) gear and of course celebrate a multitude of good-byes from Berlin and my beloved friends and family. “The devil is in the detail” is a common (not only) german saying and i definitely consider myself a very thorough planner and a perfectionist. In this article i’d like to make a short introduction into how everything started, some thoughts about the project and the equipment i chose for a life as a “developer on the road”.
Since you’ve probably read my about page, you know my motivation behind this idea. It will be a learning process in many aspects, both for my work and for me as an individual…
Do you want to spend your life in an office? That’s the question i asked myself for a number of years. Although i was very lucky with my job and had the chance to work on some amazing projects, i’ve still spent uncountable nights doing late shifts finishing projects where i’ve questioned myself about the sense of those work marathons. How can i combine what i love doing with travelling and seeing places? Another motivation to this idea was the fact that i wanted to travel without being a tourist everywhere. By meeting local people, working for them and skipping the “gringo-is-looking-for-a-hostal” part, i hope i’ll be facing a different perspective of the places i’m visiting. Luckily web development is something you can do from everywhere and also something everybody needs. The idea about this project came about when i was travelling in south america, at first in a very rough shape. The month and thoughts that followed made it clear and i knew what i had to do. I took me almost 1 year and a half to get ready, to make the transition of the multitude of projects i was involved in and slowly detach from all my responsibilities at home. At times not an easy process, but definitely worth it.
Will it work?
It’s an experiment. Almost every business needs a website or help with one, specially in tourism. I’ll be meeting many people needing my expertise, but i can only offer it to a few. I’ll have to choose the right projects and the right people. I can easily end up working late nights in paradise if i underestimate the workload of a project or if it grows bigger then expected. The work philosophy of this trip is something like 30-70. 30% work, the rest should be good times. If that gets out of balance i’m doing it wrong. I mostly won’t be working for money after all…
The most important thing you’d want to do is to travel with little weight. If you start thinking of all the gear, clothing and tools you could be taking, you could end up carrying a hugely heavy 70L backpack, filled with things you will never use or just need once in while. Make a list, then cut it to half. I’ve chosen a 55L backpack, intentionally small so i can’t carry too much around.
My first thought and worry about a work & travel life as a web developer and designer was dependency on data (some of you may laugh). What’s the best way to be on the road but not to be worried your photos are gone or that client data get’s compromised if your laptop, camera or hard drive gets stolen or breaks. A paid dropbox account, keep things in sync, i thought.. but still with a limited amount of storage. I went for the real deal, a NAS server with enough storage for whatever i’d need, connected with a good upload rate. So i’ve sorted myself my own 3 TB cloud and everything i store on my laptop while i travel will be sent home as soon as i am online. Pretty cool. What else?! A good computer, obviously. I waited patiently and got the latest 13 inch retina mbp right on time for departure. This little computer weighs nothing compared to what it can do and I’m a happy man with it. For additional safety i secure my data in different vaults with a handy tool called Knox. Additionally a good USB 3.0 external hard drive, some adapters for connections and a smart phone to be able to access emails, maps and data when you’re on the move.
I also needed a camera, but nothing too expensive or too heavy. I’m not the most experienced photographer, but i know what i want in imagery. I got a small DSLR with a standard lens for a start (the Canon EOS 100D). For reading a good ebook reader (i chose a standard Kindle) should do, and don’t forget about power adapters for all those different power sockets around the world. Computer, camera, ebook reader, backups.. you won’t need more.
Am i really doing this on my own?
Right, it’s just me. Our world of smart phones, computer and Facebook & news feeds is shutting down our senses and i’m very much part of it. When we’re waiting somewhere or on our own we’re usually online, chatting to friends, scrolling through news or at least keeping our mind busy somehow. Look around in hotel lobbies, airport waiting halls and even beaches nowadays. It’s about time to get back to some quality “just me” time. It will get lonely sometimes, but that’s a good thing.
So this it it, i’m really doing it.. looking forward to good things. Come back soon, i’ll keep you posted in this Journal.