The more I travel, the more I realize how much I need to find a balance between my – very – different hats. In real life, I love wearing hats and I have an impressive collection at home, but this even makes things more complicated. A hat is always requiring a certain attitude and matched outfit and as I change very often during the day the to-do-lists, my weeks can be quite exhausting and hectic.
Let’s take my general though very specific example. I love a lot to travel and see at least one new thing every day. But I also love to cook and read and write about cooking, read as many books as possible and sometimes also to review them, do my regular customer service and social media consulting stuff, do from time to time academic consulting for PhDs in human sciences, take care of the home and family, do some learning each day, meet friends and if possible, relax a little bit. As my travel blog is getting more and more present into my life, it means more travel in sight and a lot of work to be done to balance the other hats. To be honest, I love a lot how my life is right now and I can’t have enough of enjoying it at the fullest.
But how to do almost everything on the to-do-list and still survive? There are a couple of little small things that I always have in mind and till now, worked smoothly in my advantage.
Take, for instance, the family. Once the week we have a day for ourselves: no Internet, computers, solo travel, worries and deadlines. We spend full 25 hours together: eating, discussing, going to visit friends, sleeping till late without the need to check the computers or the phones. Sundays are always busy and crazy but I have enough positive energy to go through all the work hardships for the rest of the week.
I try to wake up as early as possible in the morning in order to finish most of the basic, routine work till the middle of the day. Then, I either go to see a museum or to fish for a new blog subject or I spend some time on Twitter or other social media tools. Regardless of the busy agenda, one hour the day at least I spend learning something new. Another hour will be almost always spend cooking a good and healthy meal. I try at least once the week to have something new on the table, but somehow I feel that I need to increase the frequency of experimentation as I see a lot of recipes waiting for me. Another private hour is in the evening, when I talk on Skype with friends and relatives abroad.
The rest is a matter of spontaneous time management. At the beginning of each day, I have a look at my agenda, try to finish with the most boring tasks first and end up the day writing or doing something completely new and interesting. I read at least 10 pages the day and write minimum 500 words daily.
When I am on the road, life is somehow easy – I don’t need to clean the house or cook – but before leaving the home, I should be 100% sure that I have a minimal Internet connection, preferably for free, for basic 4-5 hours of full work and for being updated regularly with what is going on back home. It may sound easier, but after walking and taking notes for 6-7 hours, another 3 hours of careful work followed with maximum 5 hours of sleep in order to have at least 2 hours of work in the morning, is not everyone’s business.
My natural optimism tells me that as long as one enjoys what is doing there are always possibilities for achievement. Each traveller has its own personality and daily challenges and universal advices are not practical. I recognize that it is not easy to keep the pace with me and at least once in a while I feel so tired that I need 2 consecutive days of non-stop laziness. But, for the rest of the time, I spend my energy running words and trains and will not change a single iota from my past. The wonderful part of the story is that when I am happy with what I am doing, everyone around me is sharing the same feeling!
Do you want to talk about how to cope with the various challenging of time and travel and family chores? Drop me an e-mail at ilanaontheroad (at) gmail.com
Keep in touch!