Making the decision to travel full-time as a family was probably the most exciting (and life changing) decision we’ve made since deciding to start having babies. We packed up our house, put everything we owned inside a storage shed and took our three kiddos to explore the world.
But before we got on that first flight bound for London, there were some logistics that were really hard to wrap my head around. Probably the biggest being, how I was going to condense my big office (that I absolutely adore) to fitting inside a backpack. I can’t even tell you how much time was spent trying to figure out how this was ever going to work.
I searched on the girl boss’s version of Google (Pinterest of course) but with no help. That’s why I wanted to blog about this, maybe someone else out there is trying to figure out how to become truly virtual too.
My plan was to work while we traveled, so I needed all of my essentials. It’s funny because I had always thought of myself as “virtual” since I do work from home but I quickly realized that I only seemed to know how to work from my big pink chair.
I needed to learn a whole new skill. I needed to learn how to work from anywhere in the world. From London to Hong Kong, Tokyo to Bali… All places we’ve been in the past year. I had no idea how this was going to work!
So the challenge was to fit my office into a backpack. I needed to get down to the absolute necessities. I’ll admit there were some moments where trying to convince myself that gold staples and pretty Kate Spade trinket dishes were not crucial, it wasn’t easy! What can I say, I’ve always been a sucker for the details.
Knowing this change was coming, I worked my way down from dual monitors to one monitor to finally a laptop. I purchased a portable storage drive from Costco and got everything that I was going to need, stored on the drive with a backup in the cloud and a backup in Dropbox. It was important to have a portable hard drive that did not rely on the internet connection to get what I needed because I knew there were times I might have zero access for days.
Today I thought it would be fun to show you what made the list, and after months of traveling what has become my absolute must-haves.
This is it! This is my must have list. The only thing not pictured is a universal adapter for my laptop charger by Twelve South. I got mine from The Apple Store and love it because it gives me one extra USB port, and let me tell you – that extra port becomes incredibly valuable when you have as many devices as we do and you’re looking at an outlet that is not a match to all your charging prongs.
I also knew I would need a mouse! Most wouldn’t need it but I’m special (and not in a good way in this instance). Even after months of working on my laptop now, I’m still slow with the trackpad. With a mouse comes the need for a pad, so my weekly schedule notepad doubles as a mousepad.
So in the backpack, I have one medium size zipper pouch that holds my portable hard drive, mouse, small notebooks, pens, earbuds, and thumb drive.
Then I have a larger journal for sketching out ideas and thoughts, my schedule pad that does double duty as a mousepad, and a little coin purse for money, transportation cards, and Starbucks gift cards (my typical workplace when I need a quite space. Well, quieter than being surrounded by the family in our latest AirBnB. And then, of course, I have my cell phone.
We are now back in the US after traveling for almost eight months out of the country. And while I am excited to have my office back someday, I never want to loose this availably to truly be virtual.
WHAT’S IN MY BAG:
Herschel Outdoor Laptop Backpack (my only complaint is that there is no drink holder on the side).
MacBook Pro Laptop
Apple Magic Mouse
Notepad Mouse Pad. I love these two by Rifle Paper Co. – See here and here.
Zipper Pouch with small notepad, pens, USB
Smaller Zipper Pouch with transportation cards, cash & Starbucks giftcards
Seagate Ultra Slip Portable Hard Drive – 2TB
Twelve South PlugBug World Adapter with extra USB