The advent of online business and the blogging world has led to a surge of writers, artists, and entrepreneurs who use the web not only as a business portal, but as a means of sharing art and inspiring others to embrace their creativity, become aware, or be inspired. Blogs, vlogs, freelance writing, travel guides, online courses… the life of the digital nomad has introduced a freedom of living unparalleled by any other period in history. Perhaps feeding its popularity is the fact that this life is attainable by anyone who has reasonable writing abilities, social media skills (i.e. anyone who has facebook or instagram), and a laptop or tablet.
However, no matter how glamorous the successful few make it look, being a digital nomad is not always easy. For one thing, carting around a very valuable piece of technology is a stressful feat. No-one likes braving busy airports and foreign countries constantly having to worry about where they can safely put their laptop or tablet, and how they can use it without it becoming a nuisance. Laptops can be heavy and a whole extra piece of luggage if you choose to take its case, which is not often useful as much else. Tablets are constantly vulnerable in their flimsy cases, and simply putting them in your backpack without protection is a big no-no. So, how does one attempt the life of a digital nomad or travel writer while minimizing the stress of carrying your technology? Here are three things I have learnt while travelling with a laptop.
Take it as carry-on
One of the greatest tips I can give anyone travelling with a valuable piece of technology is to keep it on you at all times. If you fit your laptop into a travel bag instead of taking its original case, put it in your carry-on and NOT in your check-in luggage. Unfortunately, checked-in luggage gets treated rather roughly, and your laptop is not likely to withstand such treatment.
A multi-purpose bag
While lugging around your technology can seem irritating at times, taking the essentials of your office with you can make the world of difference for a travelling career. Find a case or bag that can not only hold your laptop or tablet, but easily all the bits and pieces too. Having all the technological paraphernalia, plus notepads and pens, in one place reduces stress immensely. Having to frantically scratch through various bags to find your charger or external drive tends to be a little tough on the blood pressure, in my experience.
The ergonomics of a multi-purpose bag is invaluable, and having it look stylish is not a bad thing either. But most importantly, it needs to be comfortable to use. Find a bag that is not only useful and efficient, but comfortable to carry, set-up, and easy to use. Shoulder or neck pain from a rough strap or awkward and difficult-to-set-up “travel office” when you are constantly on the go is not conducive to a successful travelling career, or to healthy stress levels.