Working and travelling in the Caribbean
I have had the opportunity to have a little taste of the digital nomad lifestyle while spending the last three weeks exploring Curaçao. This amazing island is part of what are called the ABC islands in the Netherlands Antilles found in the southern Caribbean sea, 65 km north of the coast of Venezuela.
Since 2010, it is considered as an autonomous country under the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a small beautiful island with a population of just over 150,000. The island enjoys a tropical climate with relatively constant temperatures of 25 degrees. Whilst there, I had the opportunity to explore the buzzing city of Willemstad with its colourful Dutch architecture. I also experienced some amazing beaches along Curaçao’s coast especially the ones on the west side including Playa Lagun, Playa Jerimi and Playa Kenepa. It was a unique island experience, close to nature and with lots of amazing vibes.
I wanted to explore as much of the island as I can, but I also wanted to keep my work going. Most of my work is remote and for this reason I had the opportunity to combine my work and travel. With a little bit of flexibility and the willingness to adapt, everything is possible! So... how did I manage to explore a new place and keep my work going alongside?
Adjust my working hours
Curaçao is four to five hours behind most of my clients’ and collaborators’ time zones. This meant that if I needed to speak with any of my collaborators or clients over Skype I had to wake up early and start my days at the break of dawn. This actually felt more natural and in sync with the rhythm of the island. I was waking up at 6.30am every morning, having a coffee and a healthy breakfast while watching the sunrise before starting my work at 7.30am and any calls at 8am or 9am.
Dividing my day
I worked everyday. However I explored something new or did something relaxing also every day. As I mentioned, I was starting my work days at the break of dawn, checking and replying to emails, planning calls and dedicating a good chunk of hours to projects on a daily basis. However, by early afternoon I was out and about exploring parts of Willemstad or visiting a museum, watching the flamingos at Sint Willibrordus (aka Williwood) or simply relaxing at the nearest public beach. On some days, when I did not have any calls to attend to in the morning I did it the other way around to avoid walking around in the hottest part of the day.
Respect the weekend
Weekends were dedicated for exploring and beach days. I always try to respect the weekends as much as possible, even when I am back home. I do believe in the importance of a good work-life balance and making sure I have time for relaxation, friends and family. I continued this practice while in Curaçao. The weekends were dedicated to exploring the island and enjoying the beaches on the west side, which as you can see from the images below are simply glorious.
Have you had the opportunity to work remotely successfully also while travelling or exploring a new place and have any insights and comments to share. Comment below.