For the whole of December 15′ and January 16′ Bossanova Design was based in the land down under. We went to visit family and stayed in Mike’s Mum’s house in Brisbane for eight weeks. During that time it was business as usual, so we had to adapt pretty quickly. We thought we’d share what we learnt to any intrepid explorers or people enjoying the freedom of working for themselves. Just as a preface, we are by no means digital nomads. There are many amazing adventurous people who have taken working overseas to a different level. We’re not in their league, but we do have a few tips nonetheless:

1. Go prepared

For such a short trip it wouldn’t have been cost effective to buy all our equipment from scratch. But we still needed keyboards, monitors and a mouse each. We bought one monitor and borrowed another. Renting equipment was nowhere near cost effective enough for us, it was about the same as buying. Before we left we invested in a wireless keyboard and trackpad. They were so slimline we could keep them in our hand luggage, and Mike actually still uses his trackpad now we’re back in the UK.

We also prepped all our work, and put together a pack of all the everyday things we needed, from banking widgets to graph paper. Having all this to hand meant we could get started straight away.

2. Use the jet lag to your advantage

The jet lag between UK time and Australia time is brutal. After a 24 hour flight plus a ten hour time difference, we will never experience the 5th December. This led to us falling in to a routine of waking up at around 5am, being at our desks to work by 6.30. It really worked to our advantage, as we ended up finishing by 3pm ready to explore for a few hours. It can be difficult to focus on work when you’re somewhere exciting and undiscovered. By creating a routine and sticking to it, you can balance working with exploring.

3. Learn to love the time difference

One of the wonderful things about the time difference was that we were always a day or so ahead of the deadlines we’d left behind in the UK. It also meant that the phone calls and emails we would usual instantly react to during the day suddenly went quiet, because all our clients were asleep. It really helped some of our working relationships become a little more independent and creatively satisfying, as we were able to get our heads down and come back with some solid work. It also taught as that sometimes its OK to switch off the emails and divert to voicemail, something we’re trying to continue now we’re back.

4. Schedule opportunities to stay in touch

When our clients new we were travelling overseas, they went very quiet on us. So we made sure that we kept poking and prodding them, to remind them that we weren’t on holiday, we were just working in a different location. One of the things we tried to do was have some keeping in touch calls booked into the calendar prior to us leaving. That way we were still on Skype, FaceTime and emails, and very much still in contact with our clients and their projects.

5. Enjoy your time, it might make you more productive

Make sure that you give yourself permission to really soak in the atmosphere. Have some “must do” activities in your calendar, so that you don’t wind up at the end of the trip regretting missing out because you got swamped with work. For us, we had to go snorkelling and we really needed some special days out with our family. We’re so glad we did this, because not only did we really enjoy our time, we also came back to the Uk feeling so inspired and although it sounds cheesy, really replenished! We’ve since won a couple of really exciting projects and are getting some important milestones nicely wrapped up. We’d like to think our time in Australia contributed to this.

That’s what we found out when we tried working abroad. We’d love to hear about your own experiences; Do you have any tips? What puts you off traveling whilst working? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter @bossanova_io