Recreating Real: Workation Peek #2

I get asked about my part-time nomading – why I go where I go, how I balance work and sightseeing, and what my trips are like. So, I thought I thought I’d post this peek into my January trip to the UK. (Click here to peek into my Scotland workation.)

This workation was divided into three parts: London-Chipstead-London. The reason I was in the UK was to work with a client. I decided to head over early because there wasn’t enough time for me to get to London inbetween the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit and when I needed to meet with my client. Host a Summit about living a global life from abroad? Um, ok! 😉

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Don’t you love that just-stepped-off-the-plane-and-I-can’t-believe-I’m-here feeling?

 

I started the workation in London so I get over jet lag, create a London Culture Kit for Carolina Navigators, and play tourist. During the few days I was in London I worked a couple hours in the morning and an hour or two in the late evening but spent the bulk of the day in the city. It’s dark by 4:30pm in January so I wanted to maximize the daylight hours.

I couldn’t resist!

 

After my weekend in London I headed south to stay in a cottage in the tiny village of Chipstead. Originally, I’d planned to rent a flat in London but when I saw this cute little cottage on Air BnB, I couldn’t resist.

When I arrived in London I started second-guessing my decision to spend the week in the country because I kept thinking of all of the things I wanted to see and experience in the city. I so miss living in a city. And London is pretty freaking awesome.

Chipstead

But as soon as I got to the cottage, I knew I’d made the right decision. The village was quiet and the cottage was cozy – perfect for a week focused on work. I loved not having many distractions (there were only two pubs in the village) and the ability to go out for walks in the countryside when I needed a break.

My attention that week was focused on hosting the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit, and I quickly fell into a routine: wake up, respond to urgent emails, eat breakfast, walk to the grocery store or just go out for a walk, eat lunch (at home or at the pub), spend a couple hours working on Summit tasks, Skype with Sabrina, host the Summit, chat with my husband, go to bed. I also taught a session of my UNC class one evening and Skyped into a couple meetings.

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Where did I get the best wifi signal? The bed.

 

Once the Summit was over I had a couple days off. I went to nearby Sevenoaks for a day and spent my last day in Chipstead going for a long walk, eating at the pub, packing, and cleaning the cottage. Doesn’t sound too exciting but it was perfect!

After a week at the cottage I headed back to London for a spontaneous meet-up with Rachel, an expat who had attended the Summit, and four days working with a client. It was pretty awesome to see this from the hotel:

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I’m loving these workations because at this point in my life they’re the perfect way for me to work and feed the travel bug. Getting an apartment immerses me in the local culture, even if it is only for a week or two, and I actually like that I’m not just on vacation.

What I loved about the times I lived abroad in high school, college, and in grad school was that it was that it was real life – I was going to school or I was working. I had responsibilities, deadlines, and friends. I was immersed in daily life and lived in another language. I didn’t ever feel German, but I didn’t feel like a tourist. I wasn’t on the outskirts of the culture, I was right in the middle of it. It wasn’t always exciting but it was real. With these workations I can recreate that feeling of real. I think that’s a “global life ingredient” that I hadn’t realized is so important to me until writing this.

After this workation I had almost 3 full months at home in North Carolina, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Now I’m getting ready to hit the road again for a couple months!

About the Author: Cate Brubaker

Dr. Cate Brubaker is a re-entry/repatriation coach, consultant, and author of the Re-Entry Roadmap creative workbook and the Study Abroad Re-entry Toolkit. Cate has lived in Germany, worked and traveled in 36 countries on four continents, and has helped all kinds of globetrotters successfully navigate global transitions for over 20 years.

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