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Yes, I admit it. I dream of having a camper van, roaming the lands and work occasionally between surfing lessons.
Recently my neighbour got this brand new Fiat Ducato All-In one Camper. It’s black, shiny and even has a fully functioning shower. Then, theres also my old classmate, Micha: He bought an UAZ-452 Van and kitted it out by himself. He’s documenting his build on Instagram. The other day we were all sitting around our dinner table and chat about camper vans, life on the road, exploring etc and I couldn’t help but feel a little left out.
This got me thinking: How can I have a slice of this in my everyday life? I love the idea of being at different places every day and still be able to work.
Drumroll please…. I am presenting to you my MOBILE OFFICE!
Yes, it’s our old family van. I took out the middle seats (wrapped them in cling-wrap and stored them in the basement). Now it’s a 5-seater with a pretty large empty space in the middle. Some people use the Toyota Sienna as a base to build their own little camper vans. I am keeping it much simpler.
It’s a simple and effective mobile office.
Camping desk with adjustable leg length. while sitting in the car, it’s the perfect height as a sitting desk with enough space for a laptop and all the accessories I may need. When I move it closer to the door, it turns into a standing desk. Miraculously with exactly the correct height for me.
The Internet: I am tethering to my iPhone (unlimited data plan) and found that 4G connection with half bars is enough to have solid video call speeds
Macbook. I am using my few years old 13 inch macbook pro. It works well, with direct sunlight on the screen it becomes difficult to read though.
AirPods. I find it easier to deeply focus during a coaching call when my clients voice lands directly in my ears.
Moleskine Notebook: I enjoy brainstorming or taking quick notes on paper
iPad. I use it for multiple tasks including consolidating my coaching notes and also as a secondary screen to the Macbook via SideCar (did you know your Mac could do this!?)
Powerbank. This one’s important since my laptop drains relatively quickly during video calls.
I also have a LED camping light, it helps to brighten up my face in video calls if it’s gloomy outside and runs for 30+ hours on one battery charge
So where do I drive my mobile office too? I prefer quiet spots in nature, ideally near a river or lake or forest (or all at once) with decent internet connection. There’s a phone app called park4night. It’s intended for campers who are looking for a free (and beautiful) spot to camp for the night. I find that those spots are usually empty in the daytime, quiet and in nature.
Occasionally I may have a meeting in the city, no worries, I can just drive my mobile office there, have the f2f meeting and be on a client call 2 minutes later.
I use a virtual background for my video calls and nobody could guess that I am sitting in the backseat of a car. Gotten some great reactions when I reveal the location.
Why am I doing this “nonsense” kind of experiments you may ask!?
It’s simple, to try out new things and experience life a little bit different each day. This allows me to stay sharp as a coach, balanced as a human and full of joy for life. I personally dislike when things get too predictable e.g. get up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, start work at 9 … it’s the thief of joy for me. So my simple and cheap mobile office is an attempt of breaking the patterns and experiencing life fully while still being productive and somewhat professional.
Do you have a strategy to break “the rut”?