My Plans…And I Do Have Some

For someone who forsook her cubicle-based existence for a life of location independence, I’ve spent a surprising amount of time cooped up at home of late.

After I quit my job at the end of last year, I got on a plane eight days later and went to Disneyland and many other points of interest in California for a week, then dashed around South America for several more weeks.

Since I returned from South America in the second week of February, I have been at home in Canada. For the past five months I’ve been spending long days in my Lair of Words working on establishing myself as a self-employed freelancer again. I’m not going to be coy about it. It’s been a helluva lot of work with many ups and downs, twists and turns.

Now I need to take this show on the road.

photo by MarianOne
Connemara, Ireland – photo by MarianOne

Digital nomadism has been my goal for awhile, and a month from now I will be embarking on my first extended trip.

So, the big news is that I am going to Europe for a few months!

Purple Georgian door DublinI will start out in Dublin where I have rented a nifty apartment for 12 nights. It’s a city I already know and love. I arrive in time for Ukulele Hooley, which I am inordinately excited about, Then I intend to explore other parts of the Republic and Northern Ireland for most of September before returning to Dublin at the beginning of October for TBEX Europe.

Next, I will hop over to Scotland and stay in Edinburgh for about 10 days before heading to England for TBU London at the beginning of November.

Finally, the best bit. I’m going to Spain! In the middle of November I’m doing a stint as a volunteer and will be spending a few days in Madrid and an entire week in La Alberca before returning home on December 2.

It’s all very exhilarating and daunting at the same time. Aside from this rough outline, I haven’t done a great deal of planning. It’s been chaotic and time-consuming getting my business going, and a family emergency in late May put the whole thing in question and diverted a lot of my time and attention for a stretch. Finally, I just made the decision to go ahead with it and booked my airline ticket before I could second-guess myself or guilt-trip my way out of it.

keep going sure it's grand
(IM)Pertinent advice from my last trip to Ireland. Clever postcards by grandgrand.ie

It remains to be seen whether I can earn a proper living while travelling. That’s going to be a huge challenge and a big test of the sustainability of this whole enterprise. I’m currently putting a ridiculous number of hours into my work, and it would be insane to do that while travelling and miss out on experiencing the places I’m staying in. So I’m either going to go broke, find some gigs that pay better, or somehow become mega efficient.

I could have waited until I had all this figured out, but I’ve spent too much of my life waiting for the perfect circumstances and talking myself out of things. It’s all a crazy mess, but I like it.

W00t! I’m going to Europe!

P.S. If you know of anything geektastic I need to check out, cool people I should get in touch with, or good places to stay in any of the aforementioned destinations, please mention them in the comments below or get in touch with me privately. I’m very much open to suggestions!

22 Comments

  1. Woo Europe :D.
    You sound like me I’ve been cooped up in Australia just working for the past 4 months looking forward to breaking free again in September 🙂

    Best of luck in your travels and juggling work stuff and travel at same time. It can be pretty challenging, I struggled even just keeping my blog up to date while travelling without sacrificing travel experiences.

    1. Thanks Brendon! It will be an adventure. It will be fantastic to finally meet you in Dublin and hang out with our nerdy travel tribe. Bring your ukulele!

    1. Yes, I’m super excited!!! Although I still haven’t finished logging all the snarfs I photographed when you were here! Why does having a boyfriend have to be so time consuming 😉 (not that I’m complaining lol!)

  2. Yeah!!!! This is great news. Waiting never gets you anywhere – so I’m excited you decided to take the leap as you never know where it will lead you. Hope to see you in Dublin!

    1. Thanks Sherry! That’s hugely reassuring. It would be lovely to see a friendly face at TBEX Europe. I hope you make it there. Happy travels!

  3. Have fun! I’ve got tonnes of geeky suggestions for London (I’ve blogged about some of them), and a few for Edinburgh (I’ll assume you’ve already been to everything cool in Dublin). Definitely don’t miss Surgeon’s Hall or the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh!

    1. Thanks Jessica! I’d love to hear your recommendations. I don’t know, maybe I’ve missed some cool stuff in Dublin. Now I’m getting angsty about it. 😉 I’ve hit most of the major stuff, but I’m always open to funky, offbeat things that often aren’t in the guidebooks.

      1. I haven’t got any Dublin suggestions too far off the beaten path (I was only there for two days!), mainly the Chester Beatty Library and the delightfully antiquated Natural History Museum. London-wise, I’m partial to the Hunterian, Dennis Severs House (which you have to book in advance), John Soane House (excellent Hogarth collection), Museum of Docklands, Carlyles House, the Cartoon Museum, Greenwich Fan Museum, the Horniman, and the Royal London Hospital Museum. Of the larger museums, my favourites are the V&A, British Museum, Wellcome Collection and the National Portrait Gallery. And Hampton Court is the best of the HRP sites! I could go on, but I think I’ve probably already gone overboard!

        1. Loved the Chester Beatty and the Dead Zoo (as the nat. hist. museum is known. Did you get to the Book of Kells and the library at Trinity College? If you go back I recommend the Printmaking Museum and a trip out to Newgrange if you haven’t been.

          So many great museums in London! Been to a lot of the ones you mentioned, but some I didn’t have time for last trip, so it’s good to get your recos on what’s good and worth the time. Loved Soane’s house and the Cartoon Museum. Bloomsbury is probably my fave London hood 😉

          Thanks Jessica! We’ll have to find an occasion to go museum hopping sometime!

    1. Thanks Michelle! It would b great if we ran into to each other at one of these events. Keep an eye out for the geeky one with the funny hat looking dazed and confused 😉

  4. Wish I had some insight for you, but I haven’t made it to those parts of Europe {yet!} although I’ve been in and out of London (Heathrow) twice. From a photography perspective, I’ll just point out the obvious to have plenty of memory cards on hand, an extra battery and don’t forget to charge your battery and phone every night before bed! Have a fantastic trip!

    1. Thanks Kristi! Yes, it’s a pity you weren’t able to share your tips earlier on. Never fear, Wales warrants a trip in its own right and it’s already on my wish list, especially with the Dylan Thomas anniversary coming up.

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