Working Remotely While Traveling by Motorcycle
by Charlie Ford
It seems as though everyone I talk to wants to travel more and they don’t know how. It also seems like just as many people flirt with the idea of being a motorcycle rider. Working a job that can often be handled remotely, I find that traveling by motorcycle is one of the best ways to get out and see new parts of the country while still managing to keep up on my workload.
Working remotely and traveling by motorcycle can be challenging, but it’s also very rewarding. One of the most important things when managing work while on the road is being able to excel not only at motorcycle travel, but also at working as efficiently as possible. Below I’ve compiled some resources that I’ve used while working remotely in order to make sure I can get all my work done well while still traveling safely.
Put the Work In
Learn how to ride well, first and foremost. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has classes nationwide that are often subsidized and inexpensive. Beyond riding, make sure you can be confident in common motorcycle repairs. Being able to handle emergencies (emotionally and financially) is a big part of motorcycle travel. Save up for some good riding gear—comfortable boots and clothes that help you stay dry and protected in the rain are important. Aerostich carries a line of Made-in-America motorcycle gear that’s aimed for long-distance travelers.
For help on how to pack a motorcycle for travel, I’ve turned to the folks at ADVrider.com (warning: bar-style language), as well as motorcycle-specific forums. For my mechanical needs, I have a paper manual and manuals on my computer.
Several things have helped me get my work done while traveling:
- Mint – This budget tool looks at your finances in read-only mode and can help you spot trends in your spending habits. For example if you think you’re only eating at a restaurant once per week, it can verify whether or not this is an accurate description of your weekly budget. Being out of the house for longer periods of time can really affect expenditures, so it’s important to keep an eye on things. (Web based application)
- Rescuetime – This background application and browser extension shows you exactly how time is spent on the computer within your internet browser, as well as helping you monitor how productive you’re being. (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- F.lux – That blue glow that everyone sees from devices at night? That keeps us from getting the high quality sleep that is needed to feel refreshed in the morning. When traveling long distances, it is especially important that you’re able to stay alert on the road each day. F.lux corrects the color tones of your screen and devices at night to make sure they aren’t impairing your ability to get good rest. (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- LibreOffice – Having a free and open source office suite that’s incredibly flexible means I can save money on software to use for gas when I travel. I’ve used this (or OpenOffice) for over a decade without problems. (Windows/Mac/Linux)
- Sticky notes! – Sticky notes fit great on a laptop, and if used sideways, they fit great on the side of your monitor. This is a great way to keep important, time-sensitive tasks at top-of-mind.
- Internet connection – Depending on the kind of travel you’re doing, most work can be done at various coffee shops or diners. Look for a place that provides free, consistent internet with no distractions when you need to pull over and get something done.
The biggest step involved in motorcycle travel is just to pack up and go. Technology today allows people to keep in touch regardless of the distance between them, and using the tools available, motorcycle travel can be a great way to see new places in combination with a remote-work job. Plus, it’s more fun!