Those who know me well are familiar with my wanderlust! I've been passionate about solo travel for decades now and I've been fortunate to have explored many wonderful countries. For a long time it's been my ambition to combine travel with writing and become, at least for a while, a nomadic novelist. All I need to work is a computer and a decent internet connection, so the idea seemed very achievable. In addition, there were several trips I longed to get under my belt, and most of them were west of the UK, in the Americas. Combined with the nagging feeling I was in somewhat of a rut in Bristol, and it wasn't a hard decision to arrange another overseas jaunt.
This time I liked the notion of travelling without a set return date. I bought a one-way ticket to Canada to enable me to fly to Toronto in April 2017, with some vague plans as to where to visit after French Canada, which I'd missed on my last trip to the country back in 1990. I've been travelling for six weeks now, and loving it! When I drafted this post, I was in Quebec City, staying in the heart of the historic Old Town, which is stunning (see the photo above). My aim is to spend a couple of months in Canada before crossing the border into the USA, where I have several friends I want to reconnect with.
My main fear before I set off was whether I'd be able to combine travelling and writing. Previous trips have usually been done as a fast pace, with lots of planes, trains and buses involved - hardly conducive to the quiet writing environment I prefer! I've posted before about how hard I found it to write the first draft of His Kidnapper's Shoes while travelling, and how I only completed the book by parking my butt in the gorgeous city of Sucre, in Bolivia, and not leaving until I'd finished. Hence my concern. How would I manage all the sight-seeing I'd want to do while writing my novels? As well as maintaining the rest of my business - marketing, finance, etc?
It turns out I needn't have worried; if the past few weeks are a sound indicator, then I'll be fine. I'm maintaining a full work schedule and still getting to visit the sights I want to see. The evenings here in Ottawa, my current location, are light until about eight pm, so I've been working during the day and getting out and about in the evenings when it's cooler anyway. I've also been trying to arrange travel and sight-seeing whenever possible at the weekends. It's all working out well and I still have plenty of time left to practise yoga, read and socialise. It helps that I don't have a set itinerary; there's nowhere I need to be at any particular time.
From what I understand, this way of working is becoming more common, with more and more people choosing to become digital nomads. and why not? If your work is internet-based, such as web design or life coaching, then you can earn money wherever you are in the world. You're not location-dependent for your income. It's immensely freeing and if, like me, you love travelling, it's the ideal solution. As I mentioned earlier, I'd become aware I was deep in a rut in Bristol, and needed to break out. It feels exactly right to be backpacking again, with everything I need in a couple of bags, moving from one wonderful place to another, doing as I please. To reflect that, I intend to change the focus of this blog; I'll still post book reviews, author interviews and other book-related topics, but I'll also post updates about my life as a nomadic novelist and how I'm making it work for me. Who knows, maybe I'll inspire some of my readers to become digital nomads! See you in Rio, perhaps!
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