Managing expectations: Time

Steve here…IMG_0117

This is a little about a non-technical side of this living remote experiment: managing our expectations of time. Initial expectations were along the lines of “Yay, a remote-working job! I can get paid while we travel around seeing national parks, etc. Kick our heels up in the evenings around a fire. Awesome!”

And that’s what we’ve been doing and it has, indeed, been awesome. But one problem we consistently have to work around is time. I still need to put in 8 hours every work day on the computer logged in over the network to a server in Pennsylvania. Lisa still needs time to work on academic articles and business plans (and now a cool job for the summer which I will let her describe).

IMG_0873Camping itself takes time. Time to setup and take down our tent, pack and unpack, time to find things like stores in the area, time to cook, even more time to walk to the bathroom.

Traveling takes time, whether that’s time to drive to a new campsite or just the time to relocate somewhere interesting to work for the day.

And then we need time to sleep and finally time for these hiking and biking excursions when we get the opportunity to explore.

We initially tried going on outings during the middle of the day, but then I would have to make up the time in the evenings and ended up working into the night which made us feel like we’d spent even more time working.

IMG_0822So how do we enjoy these wonderful places when we’re spending all this time on logistics? How do we respond when we’re somewhere wonderful, but don’t have time to fully enjoy it?

Our answer has generally been in two parts so far: first, by managing our expectations. We simply can’t do everything we want to do every day so we need to avoid feelings of failure by not expecting to do everything we want to do every day. And second, by slowing down. We plan on staying in a given area for at least a week, traveling only on the weekends if possible–and trying to limit that to only on Saturdays, and preferably having at least every other weekend a non-travel weekend so we can stay put somewhere and have time to see what’s around us.

We aren’t always able to follow these rules strictly, but we’ve found the adventure to go most smoothly and enjoyably when we can. So here’s to slow travel in wonderful places with a wonderful companion!


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