I was told recently that it’s not healthy to take your work on holiday with you. This really surprised me as I’ve been doing it successfully for about six years.
Work/life balance is really important for me. I put a lot of value on holistic well-being and mental health. I’ve never thought it was a problem to take my work with me wherever I am. In fact, for me, it was a benefit.
Hard to switch off
So when I heard: “You become a slave to the company because they expect you to check your emails when you’re on holiday”, at first, I agreed.
How is it fair to expect you to plug in when you’re supposed to be relaxing?
If you still have to answer emails, pick up the phone, place orders or do any of the myriad tasks to keep things moving, where’s the freedom that running your own business should come with?
That’s not relaxing. That’s not freedom. I thought I was enjoying myself when I took my laptop on holiday with me. I needed to rethink things.
The first time I took my work abroad was on my first solo holiday to Corfu. It was a safe, lovely, all-inclusive hotel, so I felt free to bring my laptop wherever I went. Because I was alone, I knew I would be bored because there was no one to speak to.
So with a huge playlist and loads of books on my Kindle, I started working by the pool. I was studying then, and during that four-day holiday, I completed a whole unit in four days, where usually it would take 4-6 weeks! And I did it all while listening to Bashment and Reggae, sipping on Strawberry Daiquiri mocktails, on a golden beach with 30-degree sunshine while getting a beautiful tan. 🌞🏖️
When I came back from that holiday, I felt productive, relaxed, confident, calm and refreshed. I was able to balance my time between jet skis and studying. What could be better? 🌴
Does the ideal working life exist?
After that, I took my laptop with me every time I went on holiday, especially when I was travelling by myself. For me, being able to relax at the pool with a mocktail and get the work done is my ideal life. But this doesn’t suit everyone.
Some people like to keep work separate. Only some people are as lucky as I am to work for themselves.
But for me, it works. I love the fact that I can take my laptop anywhere in the world, and my business doesn’t stop running. I can still serve my clients, even when I’m sat on a beach sipping a Pina Colada. 😊
I really thought about what that person said to me, what makes me happy and what my “ideal” life is. I’ve got a few more holidays coming up this year, and I will be taking my laptop with me. This is because I love what I do and I enjoy my work. I’m still able to treat myself and live the five-star lifestyle I really want while managing my business.
You may feel the complete opposite. You may feel that when you’re on holiday, it’s time to switch off completely, and I get that.
I think at least once a year, I will have a holiday where I completely switch off from my laptop. Especially with family or friends, you don’t want to spoil the party by doing work all day.
When all is said and done, do what works best for you. Find a good work/life balance and prioritise what makes you happy!
If you want advice on running your business abroad or even some top tips for great beaches, drop me a message.