People seem obsessed with my travel lifestyle.   I’m always being asked “Where are you? I’ve lost track.” (Hint:  there’s a handy widget on my site just there to the right which you can check 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  Sometimes, I check it too as I also lose track!)

What people get excited about is what I call my Seven on Seven (or 7×7 for short).  7×7 reflects the way that I travel, which is seven weeks on the road and seven weeks at home.  That’s not a rigid structure, because it does flex around flight deals, conferences/events, and just personal preferences.

Here are a few common questions I get asked about 7×7, and the truth behind this life(style).

Why 7×7?

I kind of ended up here after a bit of trial and error, really.  The world’s a big place, so if I’m going to take a 14 hour flight (or more), I want to see a few things.  I like to travel slow, take my time, and meet lots of people on the way.  So anything less than 7 weeks doesn’t feel like enough.  Anything more and I feel like I’m drifting listlessly at sea.

But I like my creature comforts too – I like sleeping in and relaxing at home and spending the night on the sofa and a DVD.  So I feel like this style gives me a great balance between both.   Plus the 7 downtime gives me lots of time to plan the next trip and catch up on the special projects I am always working on.

It’s one of those things that for me, once you get in to the rhythm, you wonder why you ever did anything else. 🙂

What’s it Like running multiple businesses and travelling for so long?

It is…interesting!  You definitely must get yourself setup before you ever leave the house – a slow Wifi connection in cramped hotel room isn’t the place to be doing major product launches, that’s for sure.

Looking at Freckle, my time tracking tool, on average I work about 300 hours a month when I’m not on the road, and about 200 when I’m travelling.  That’s still quite a few hours, and strangely enough more hours than the average Joe Bloggs works in a corporate job.  I usually work in the evenings back at the hotel, or an hour in the morning.  I’m typing this in the back of a shuttle van driving down the Nova Scotian shore, for example.

I also plan days here and there that are just work days – for me, I love sampling the local café culture and coffee while still getting stuff done.    And when my typical day on the road is 7AM til midnight, you definitely need to find good coffee.

What’s Good about It?  What’s Bad?

Well, the bad things are that travel days can be long, and any mishaps on the road can really be stressful.  On Saturday, I was standing in the searing heat in a bank parking lot (black asphalt anyone?) where I found a strong enough Wifi connection to use Skype to make an urgent call about some travel plans.  And last month, we had a server problem which meant I was up really, really late.  I’m under no delusions on what I’ve signed up for, nor should you if you’re reading of a new lifestyle!

The bad things are few and far between – for the most part, I really do think I have landed myself a dream travel job! I’m out meeting interesting people, having some amazing experiences, all the while I continue to run my businesses, which are brands and businesses that I love.  It has been an elusive search, but I’ve found what it was I was looking for.

The secret?  You have to keep looking.  You have to keep trying.  You have to work hard, which is something a lot of people seem to be afraid of.

How do you afford to travel 7×7?

The thing is that when  you travel slow, and when you’re really flexible, you have more options and that usually means cheaper  options.

I also often stay with friends – I seem to know somebody just about everywhere.

As a journalist, I also accept media rates and subsidized travel from tourist boards.  Some people frown upon this practice – mostly travel bloggers – but the concept isn’t new to the publishing industry.  Since I try to add a lot of value for these businesses, it’s almost always a win-win.  Their support is awesome and I am very thankful for it.

Otherwise, I live a minimalist lifestyle which means I can focus my income on the things that really make a difference to me.

How do I find my travel life(style)?

That, my dear friend, is one thing I can’t answer for you unfortunately.  We’re all like snowflakes, each with different needs and wants and preferences.   So I would encourage you to be

  • open minded (what you are looking for might be possible),
  • be realistic (know what you’re getting into),
  • and don’t forget to have fun (over-planning and over-stressing can ruin your experience).

Any other questions?

If I can help you to make a lifestyle that better suits you, travel or just being more successful, let me know in the comments.