Almost everyone we know from friends to clients, didn’t realise we had spent 10 days in The Maldives over the Easter holidays.
It wasn’t so much that we travelled in stealth or avoided telling people, it was more that we were testing a wonderful blend of work, life and travel in one of the world’s most exquisite playgrounds.
The Maldives, if you have yet to go, is truly paradise. Clear waters, white sand beaches, jungle vegetation from the interior to oceanside, breathtakingly gorgeous fish and coral and welcoming, happy people.
We stayed at Barefoot Ecolodge on Hanimadhoo, one of over 1,000 atolls and islands that make up this Indian Ocean treat. The food was a sumptuous choice from morning to night and being an alcohol-free island, juices and smoothies were the speciality in every flavour and colour combination you could imagine.
However, we weren’t here to simply relax and spoil ourselves, we were here to strike a relaxing work-life balance that kept us connected to projects and clients at home, at the same time as refreshing and refuelling after a long winter. Writing was the order of my day most days with chapters of my three new books flowing nicely and blogs aplenty, prepared, written and stored for future publishing.
A useful travel tip if you are planning on taking a work-life break like this and you have a need to keep in touch with clients and colleagues is that you head east. If you head west from where you are based, and particularly if you go long haul, then the timezones mean you are always behind enquiries, questions and issues. If you travel east then the timezones work in your favour. You’ll be waking earlier, will always feel a few steps ahead of life back home and never having to chase to keep up. This is a simple yet important way of truly relaxing.
Even if you aren’t due a vacation right now, with the wonders of modern technology you can simply load up your bag with computer, headphones, smartphone and chargers and your office goes with you. There’s no excuse, and as we found, almost nobody knows you have gone. You can if you choose, work from anywhere. Check TripAdvisor or Booking.com for details of wifi connection and availability of mobile data in the location you are planning.
Schedule your diary so that you have meetings arranged on your return (if you have travelled east then your return journey won’t come with the pain of jetlag either) and people will likely leave you alone whilst you are away. Give colleagues tasks to do and if you do tell them you are away, ask them only to bother you with business critical issues and that you’ll deal with everything else on your return.
Use the time to enjoy your partner and family, if they travel too, and perhaps they can contribute to your thinking, planning, reflection and writing.
We are planning to take trips like this, part holiday, part reflection and planning, part writing, on a regular basis. If it feels like work then you haven’t quite got it right yet!