A Summer Story: How I Fused Work and Travel

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This summer, I did something I’ve always dreamed of-I successfully combined work and travel. As a freelance writer, I’m not tied to an office, so I packed up my laptop and spent three months bouncing around Europe while keeping up with my writing workload. The logistics took some time, and it was challenging. But with some planning and the right mindset, working remotely while traveling is absolutely possible. If you want to earn a living from anywhere in the world, get out of the daily grind, and have an adventure, here’s how I made it work. My summer story proves that you can fuse work and wanderlust with the right motivation. The world is open for business, so go get it!

My favorite app to organize my day is Google Calendar, that way I can have it in all my devices and also see my day in a pretty clean and intuitive way.

A Summer Story About Working Remotely

Last summer, I decided to fuse work and travel in a way I’d never done before. As a freelance writer, I can work from anywhere, so I planned a 6-week road trip across the western United States, intending to write and research along the way.

My first stop was Utah, where I spent a week exploring Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. The stunning red rock formations inspired a piece on eco-friendly travel in the American Southwest. I hiked during the day, then wrote from a campground or coffee shop in the evenings.

Next, I headed to Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border. I rented an Airbnb for a few days and churned out some short blog posts for clients between swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding on the lake. The change of scenery did wonders for my productivity and creativity.

After that, I drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping in Big Sur, Carmel, and Monterey. I toured Hearst Castle and ate fresh seafood while finishing a long-form essay on sustainable seafood and responsible consumer choices. The crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean made for an ideal office setting.

My final destination was Portland, Oregon. I spent two weeks with a friend, eating fantastic food, checking out the craft brewery scene, and wrapping up projects. By the end of the summer, I felt recharged, inspired, and accomplished. I got to experience the wonder of travel while successfully running my business on the road. It was the perfect blend of adventure and achievement, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Planning My Digital Nomad Summer Story

As a freelance writer, summers are my chance to escape the daily grind. Last year, I decided to fuse work and play by becoming a digital nomad for a few months. Here’s how I planned my adventure:

First, I chose destinations that inspired me, with a low cost of living and decent Wi-Fi. Vietnam, Thailand, and Bali topped my list. I booked one-way tickets to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok, and Ubud, figuring I’d travel overland in between.

Next, I ensured I had steady remote work to fund my travels. I pitched several clients to lock in long-term writing contracts before leaving. I also pre-scheduled social media posts and blog articles to publish while I was abroad.

Then I organized the practical details. I obtained the necessary visas, scheduled travel immunizations, and purchased overseas health insurance. I also alerted my bank that I’d be using my cards internationally. As for packing, I only brought the essentials since I’d be traveling carry-on.

Finally, I was ready to embark on my digital nomad adventure! Over the next three months, I explored exotic locales by day and worked by night. I lived out of co-living spaces and used co-working cafes. While it wasn’t always easy, fusing work and travel was rewarding. I returned home recharged, with memories that will last forever.

If you’re an online professional seeking adventure, try the digital nomad lifestyle. With some planning, you can craft your own unforgettable summer story.

Packing Like a Minimalist: What I Brought

Packing lights was essential for my summer adventure. As a minimalist at heart, I aimed to only bring the bare essentials—anything more would weigh me down and reduce my mobility.


I packed versatile, lightweight clothing that could be mixed and matched, like t-shirts, shorts, a sundress, and a pair of sandals. A few accessories like a scarf, hat, and sunglasses added variety. I also brought a sweater in case of cool evenings, athletic shorts and sneakers for active pursuits, and a rain jacket.

\n\n### Toiletries

I kept my toiletries compact – a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, moisturizer, deodorant, and a multi-purpose soap for hair and body. I used reusable containers to avoid single-use plastics. Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, and towels were valuable extras.

\n\n### Tech

My laptop, phone, portable charger, and Kindle were my only tech devices. They provided entertainment and allowed me to do remote work to fund my trip. In case of limited connectivity, I downloaded books, shows, music, maps, and translation apps ahead of time.

\n\n### Other Essentials

A journal, pen, cash, bank cards, passport, and copies of important documents were must-haves. Earplugs, eye masks, melatonin, and medications were packed in my carry-on. I brought a reusable water bottle, collapsible day bag, padlock, snacks, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes – you never know when they might come in handy!

I gained flexibility and peace of mind by sticking to the basics and avoiding overpacking. My minimalist packing approach allowed me to fully immerse myself in each destination without being burdened by excess luggage or worrying about missing belongings. Traveling light gave me a sense of freedom to go where the wind blew me, adapting my itinerary on a whim. My summer adventure proved that less truly is more.

The Digital Nomad Best Place to Go in 2023: Bali

Bali has long been a premier destination for digital nomads and location-independent workers. As someone who has spent many summers working while traveling, Bali tops my list for the best place to be a digital nomad in 2023.

Low Cost of Living

Bali is very budget-friendly, especially compared to most US or European cities. You can rent a lovely villa or apartment for under $1,000 monthly. A delicious meal at a local restaurant costs only a few dollars. Groceries, transportation, and activities are all very affordable. Your money will go a long way in Bali, allowing you to stay longer and live comfortably for less.

The low costs mean I can work and live in Bali without breaking the bank. I don’t have to cut my trip short because I’m worried about expenses. The money I earn working remotely stretches much further, leaving more to enjoy the experience.

Beautiful Natural Scenery

Bali is a paradise filled with lush green jungles, terraced rice fields, volcanic beaches, and stunning sunsets. When I need a break from work, I have plenty of opportunities to get outside and explore the natural surroundings. I can go hiking in Ubud, surfing or sunbathing on the beaches of Canggu and Seminyak, or watch the sunrise over an active volcano.

Working in such a gorgeous setting does wonders for creativity and productivity. I always do my best work when I have opportunities to get outside and be inspired by natural beauty. The refreshing environment helps prevent burnout and rejuvenates my mind.

Welcoming Community

Bali attracts digital nomads and remote workers from all over the world. Connecting with like-minded people through co-working spaces, networking events, and online groups is easy. I’ve made many new friends and professional contacts by joining the thriving community of location independent workers in Bali.

The open and welcoming spirit of the people in Bali also fosters meaningful connections. Locals are quick to smile, offer help, and make you feel at home on their island. Combined with the solid digital nomad community, Bali offers a strong sense of belonging for those who choose to live and work there, even if only temporarily. Bali has the ideal setup for an enjoyable and productive summer of fusing work and travel.

Exploring while Co-Working

One of the best parts of my summer working remotely was being able to travel while earning a living. Since I didn’t have to commute to an office, I could explore new places during my downtime and on weekends. My favorite memories were finding co-working spaces in the cities I visited.

Exploring Barcelona While Co-Working

Barcelona was one of my first stops. I rented an apartment off Las Ramblas, the main tourist street, for a month. During the week, I’d walk 15 minutes to a popular co-working space called MOB, which had a vast open area with long tables, private offices, and a rooftop terrace. Between meetings and work tasks, I’d go out for paella lunches, visit the Sagrada Família church, and wander the Gothic Quarter. I traveled outside the city on weekends to the coast and the Pyrenees Mountains.

Beach Days and Co-Working in Tulum

After Europe, I headed to Tulum, Mexico, for a change of scenery. I swapped out my usual coffee for fresh juice and worked from a rustic co-working space with no walls and sand under my feet. When I needed a break from my laptop, I’d swim in the turquoise sea or nap in a hammock under the palm trees. The pace of life felt slower there, more in tune with the natural surroundings. I found my creativity flowed more freely, inspired by the tropical landscape.

Making Connections in Medellín

My final stop was Medellín, Colombia, where I rented a room in an Airbnb and worked at a popular co-working chain called Selina. I met digital nomads from all over the world there and made lasting connections. We’d organize after-work activities like salsa dancing, hikes in the Andes, and game nights. The social atmosphere and opportunities for adventure made it hard to say goodbye.

Those three months of working and wandering were life-changing. I proved I could work from anywhere, explore new cultures, learn practical skills, and form a community. The flexibility to fuse work and leisure into one rewarding experience is something I now crave. My summer adventure taught me that the world is open for exploring, one co-working space at a time.

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Tropical Beaches for Digital Nomad’s Summer Story

One of my favorite parts of being a digital nomad is being free to work from anywhere—especially on tropical beaches! Some of the best spots I’ve discovered for remote work and play are in Central America. The weather is warm all year round, the scenery is stunning, and the pace of life is slow and relaxed.

Costa Rica has become so famous for digital nomads and remote workers. The coastal towns of Tamarindo and Santa Teresa offer the perfect blend of nature and modern conveniences like co-working spaces, gyms, and organic cafes. I usually rent an Airbnb or long-term rental near the beach so I can walk between work calls or meetings. The sunsets in Costa Rica are breathtaking!

Belize is an English-speaking country with over 200 miles of coastline and hundreds of small islands along the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The cayes (pronounced “keys”) off the coast have secluded beaches, eco-lodges, and dive shops where you can rent gear to explore the reef. I spent a month on Caye Caulker, a laid-back island with no cars and dirt roads, working daily at a beachfront co-working space and kayaking or snorkeling in the evenings. The island’s motto is “Go slow,” and that’s just what I did.

Panama’s Caribbean coast has a similar vibe to Costa Rica and Belize, with rainforests, beaches, and an affordable cost of living. Bocas del Toro is an archipelago of nine islands with secluded beaches, jungle trails, and some of the best surfing in Central America. Rent a bike or golf cart to get around and work at one of the co-working spaces with ocean views and strong Wi-Fi. By night, check out the beach bonfires, live music, and nightlife along the main strip.

A summer working remotely from tropical beaches is my ideal blend of work and play. When the workday is done, adventures await—whether snorkeling pristine reefs, hiking through rainforests or enjoying a sunset cocktail. A slower pace of life and natural beauty all around makes it easy to recharge and gain a new perspective. My summer stories always lead me back to the sea.

Vietnam: An Adventurous City for Your Summer Story

Vietnam was an exciting city to spend part of my summer working remotely. The bustling city streets, delicious food, historical landmarks, and natural scenery created an ideal combination of work and adventure.

I started early mornings to work for a few hours at cafes with strong Wi-Fi and good coffee. My favorite was Cong Cafe, an artsy space that served Vietnamese coffee and fresh coconuts. The buzz of the city faded into the background as I focused on my work.

In the afternoons after work, I explored the city. I wandered the streets of Old Quarter, weaving between motorbikes and vendors selling pho, banh mi, and fruit. I visited Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and the Temple of Literature, a historic university. On the weekends, I took day trips to Ha Long Bay to kayak between limestone islands and Bai Dinh Pagoda, the largest pagoda in Vietnam with 500 Buddha statues.

The food in Hanoi was terrific. I usually grabbed bun cha, grilled pork, noodles, com tam, broken rice with grilled meat, and fried eggs for dinner. Dessert was che, a sweet coconut pudding, or kem, French-inspired ice cream in tropical flavors like passionfruit or jackfruit. Each meal cost only a few dollars, so I happily tried new dishes daily.

At night, Hanoi came alive. Crowds gathered around the Hoan Kiem Lake, drinking bia hoi, fresh beer for around 25 cents a glass. I joined locals at the street bars, practicing my Vietnamese and making new friends over cheap cocktails and laughs. The city’s energy pulsed late into the evening. Still, by 10 pm, I was usually back in my room, tired from the day’s adventures but excited to do it all again tomorrow.

Vietnam struck the perfect balance of productivity and play during my summer abroad. Work’s allure faded into the background as I immersed myself in the culture. I returned home recharged, with memories of buzzing streets, tranquil lakeside sunsets, flavorful food, and new friends. A summer well spent and a story I’ll be telling for years to come.

A Summer Story: How I Fused Work and Travel FAQs

FAQs about my summer story of fusing work and travel:

Have you ever wondered how digital nomads can work while constantly on the move? As someone who has done it, I get a lot of questions about the logistics. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about my experience working online during my summer travels:

How did you find remote work that allowed you to travel?

I’ve been freelancing as a writer for several years, so I already had established clients and could continue working for them remotely. I also met some new clients by pitching to various websites and blogs. With the rise of the gig economy, remote and freelance work is becoming more common and accessible.

What were your living arrangements like?

I mostly stayed in short-term rentals through sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway. I looked for places with good Wi-Fi, desk space, and budget-friendly prices. For shorter stays, I used hotels and hostels. The key was finding lodging that provided a decent workspace since I worked regular business hours daily.

How did you handle technology needs?

A reliable laptop, high-speed Wi-Fi, online collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom, and cloud storage services were essential. I ensured all my files, documents, and work were accessible anywhere. I also regularly backed up everything in case of device issues.

What challenges did you face?

The biggest challenges were dealing with time zone changes, finding good Wi-Fi, and fighting occasional feelings of isolation or restlessness. The time zones, in particular, required extra effort to coordinate calls and meetings with colleagues and clients in different places.

How did you balance work and travel?

I separated work and leisure time as much as possible. During the week, I worked regular hours, like at home. Evenings and weekends were devoted to exploring the places I was visiting. It was all about creating boundaries and avoiding the temptation to constantly check email. The key to success was being disciplined with my schedule so I could enjoy the benefits of both work and travel.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely! Fusing work and travel was a rewarding experience. I gained valuable life experiences that have made me a better person. The opportunity to immerse myself in new cultures and surround myself with natural beauty was rejuvenating. I plan to continue working and wandering whenever I can.

Traveling with kids?

And that’s how I managed to fuse work and travel this summer. It wasn’t easy and required discipline, but by focusing on what mattered to me, sticking to a routine, and making the most of every spare moment to explore my surroundings, I had an incredibly fulfilling summer. I got to satisfy my wanderlust, spend quality time with loved ones, work on my business, and return home recharged and inspired. If this pandemic has taught me anything, life is short, and such moments should not be taken for granted. Though the future remains uncertain, I know that as long as I have my laptop, an internet connection, and the determination to make it work, I can build a life where work and adventure go hand in hand. Who knows where I’ll end up next!

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