I wrote my first ever magazine feature sat on a balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
A balmy 30 degrees, lanky palm trees swaying in the warm breeze while hummingbirds hooned through the wisteria, and there I was, tapping away at my laptop like a budget Angela Lansbury in a bikini.
It was heaven, and I remember then thinking that this is the way we should work in the future. Little did I know that 17 years later it would be viable option for many.
One of the few positives that has come out of the Coronavirus pandemic is that companies now realise that in many roles people can work from anywhere as long as there’s a phone and an internet connection.
Seeing this as an opportunity, a number of countries have since introduced a Digital Nomad Visa to enable overseas visitors to live and work from their country, and in turn bring in some much needed tourist moolah.
Bermuda was one of the first to adopt the year-long visa scheme, followed by Barbados, Anguilla, and Estonia; now Croatia is considering the option, too.
As a travel writer (albeit currently on hiatus) I’m no stranger to working on the hoof. And, I’m not one to boast, but I’ve had some pretty spectacular offices over the years.
I’ve worked from a stilted water villa in the Maldives, while dolphins frolicked noisily behind me.
I’ve had a desk in a boutique safari camp in the Masai Mara while lions roared outside, while my working set-upin a five-star spa resort in Vietnam even had it’s own pool.
But it’s not always as glamorous as private pools and piña coladas.
I’ve also filed features from the back of a transit van on a switchback mountain pass in the Alps, interviewed an important CEO sat on the floor of Zagreb airport, and written pages and pages of web content from ropey roadside motels across the States.
I spoke to fellow travel journalists about the downsides they’ve come across whilst working on tour.
Travel writer and editor, Francisca Kellet was nearly crushed by a falling giraffe in South Africa on a research trip for a guidebook; similarly, Writer Hazel Plush was charged at by an elephant in Ghana, while she was distracted by writing her notes.
And keep your eye on the furry locals, warns Stuart Forster, who runs travel and food blog go-eat-do.com.
He found his room ransacked while he was out taking photos of the sunrise. Clothes were strewn about, but his electronic kit was safe – only his fruit bowl bananas were gone. It seems that a crack team of bonnet macaques had broken in through the bathroom to steal the goodies.
And journalist and photographer Jamie Lafferty was almost mugged in the jungle when a baby mountain gorilla tried to steal the notebook out of his pocket.
In addition, there are the practical hazards of working on the trot. Travel blogger Nina Clapperton nearly lost her laptop to the ocean while she working on a ferry in rough seas.
However, with the promise of endless sunshine, white-sand beaches and temperate turquoise waters, who wouldn’t want to swap a cold British winter for working in the Caribbean, or elsewhere?
Just check the wifi and watch out for the wildlife…
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