Motorhome - Traveling & Working
Thread poster: Cristóbal del Río Faura
Does anybody have spent a relatively long period moving around in a motorhome while maintaining his/her full activity as a busy translator? I would be glad to hear about any experiences, practical considerations, etc.
| | ViktoriaG
Local time: 14:08
English to French
| Internet connection || May 18, 2006 |
Although I have never done it, I must admit that I have always secretly dreamt about going away in a mobile home to work, and seeing a lot of sights. I hope you will get to do it someday...
The only thing I would worry about is the Internet connection - and maybe the security of my things in the car. Otherwise, if you're single without kids, there can only be advantages to this. However, I would be a little scared to do this with another person - yes, even if it was my boyfriend. A motor-home is just too small for two, and I think it would be a feat to not end up ditching each other. Or maybe I just have a fiery temper?
Oh, and if you get to go, send me a postcard!
| | Lindsay Sabadosa
Local time: 14:08
Italian to English
| A few suggestions || May 18, 2006 |
First of all, good for you! Sounds like a great plan!
I have never lived in a motor home but I travel very, very, very frequently while working full time. The first essential piece of equipment I think you'll need is a Blackberry or similar device (which I recommend for just about anyone). It is the only way you can respond quickly to your clients no matter where you are (it works wherever a mobile does). Let's face it. If you're traveling around, you want to see stuff too and the only way work and sight-see is to have some device that tells you a client has a potential 10,000-word translation for you but *only* if you answer ASAP. A Blackberry might also be helpful in the case that you can't get a telephone/internet connection in your motorhome because you can configure your computer to connect to the internet with the Blackberry (or even a regular mobile) so that you are never without (unless you are going to the Gobi Desert or some place like that where there is *no* coverage - in which case let me know how it works out - I want to go too!.
One problem that you should consider, however, is that you won't have a fixed address which can be a pain. If you're like me, you have your fiscal address, which is what I use on all my invoices, etc even though I'm never there (or hardly) but everyone wants to know "where do you live?" The answer is often "for the moment, here but next month there" and, I don't know, I guess I don't think that sounds very professional or inspires much faith. Maybe I'm wrong here but, naturally, we all want to sound professional and I think, personally, that that's hard to do when you have to keep clients up-dated about your constant moves. My solution to this is, as I said, to use my fiscal address and inform clients that that's where I am at all times (my blackberry number, in fact, is from there and my e-fax number as well).
I don't know how much this effects you but you also have to think about possible cheques that might arrive at your fiscal address or any other kind of mail and how to deal with that. If you have someone there who can handle this stuff for you, it's better (an accountant will usually do it if you have no one else who is reliable).
Oh, and you will be shocked at how often you have technical problems while travelling. I have had my computer adapter break in small-town China (not a lot of fun trying to find a new one but I did it). I left my blackberry charger back in Italy when I was in Malta and had to find a new one immediately upon landing... you'll get used to this stuff. It's part of the trade-off, I think.
Off the top of my head, those are the first few things that I can think of. In any case, you can do it. You just have to be super prepared and really flexible. Good luck to you!
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Thank you Viktoria and Lindsay for your comments.
I have no immediate plans, though I have been thinking over it for some time. Also, I have no experience in "motorhoming", and my first camping experience ever was last Friday night with my son... in our garden!
Yes, my first concern is Internet and e-mail access. Blackberry or 3G would work in general. For non covered areas - the most appealing for me, I would say- I think the only solution is a satellite system, which is rather expensive both in hardware and operating costs though.
For electrical power, I assume it would be good to have separate batteries specifically dedicated to everything related with work, and some kind of system to keep them charged in addition to the vehicle's engine, may be a generator set and/or solar panels.
No problem for other kind of communications or looking "professional"- my business phone is a cellular one and, like Lindsay, I have a fiscal-non-residential address, an e-fax number and an accountant in that same city. My oldest clients are well aware of my "geographical instability", and the first thing they ask when calling is "Where the hell are you now!?".
Anyway, one of the benefits of our profession is the ability to work from anywhere, static of mobile as long as technlology helps, and I am just looking for ways to take full advantage of this.
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