Feet up, hands down – The Freelance Working Vacation

The idea of a working vacation may sound like a starry-eyed dream full of sand encrusted keyboards, but for a Freelance Copywriter with a passion for travelling, here are five reasons why it’s SO possible.

Firstly, I’m not going to apologise for going quiet these past few months, because this time I really do have a dazzling reason (yes, even shinier than the usual “I’ve been too busy pleasing clients”, which to be fair, remains a very valid part-excuse).

What, where, when, W-H-A-T?

Last December, life was turned on its head. I swapped police sirens for shark sirens, grey clouds for blue sky, sleet for sun, rolling hills for arid bushland, wellies for thongs, sledging for sandboarding, shots for stubbies (have you guessed what it is yet?), oh, and a retired cat for two bounding dogs (I can explain), as I headed to Singapore, Malaysia and Australia (or Asia and Oceania, if I’m to sound like a seasoned traveller).

Who can enjoy a working vacation?

As you probably guessed, I’m not an American Copywriter, it’s just “working vacation” flows far more naturally than “working holiday”. I don’t know why. It just does.

Now we’ve cleared that up, providing you own a laptop or some sort of portable writing device (skin, if you must – works for me), one of the many perks of being a Freelance Digital Copywriter is you can take your office anywhere.

Take your office out

Some time ago I wrote about life being better on the beach and I wasn’t kidding. I always struggled to settle into permanent positions.

Travelling the same route every day, seeing the same faces every day, working the same hours everyday, and sitting at the same desk every day (yawn) wasn’t a life I could settle for, however many times I mixed up my route, desk-hopped or affectionately called people different nicknames – none of which (surprisingly) spurred positive reactions.

Why take a working vacation?

My escapade abroad has benefited me in so many ways as a Freelance Copywriter.  Seriously, why the hell didn’t I do this sooner?

Here are five reasons to fly:

1. Perfect your work-life balance

Be prepared to enjoy the best work-life balance of your life.

When you’re spoilt with exciting new places to explore in a beautiful climate, it’s never tempting to forget you have a life outside work.

And it’s far easier to produce your best work when you’re in your happy-writing-zone.


2. Please your clients

Be honest and plan ahead. Your clients will love you for it.

Admittedly, you do need to build a remote client-base before you go, to ensure you keep a steady stream of work flowing while you’re away… That’s if you want to work all the time. You’re in charge, after all.

For me, it was another chance to eye my cake and nom it, and much to my amazement, clients were not just incredibly understanding – they actually seemed impressed with my globetrotting antics and passionate commitment to their projects.

Thinking about it, that makes sense, because wouldn’t you rather your Copywriter presented a fresh head full of ideas inspired by exploring new cultures, as opposed to the stale depths of the coffee cupboard in a stuffy office?

3. Recharge and sustain

Top-up your energy AND your bank balance as you travel.

Gone are the days of the annual summer blowout you looked forward to since the previous summer, because let’s face it, that’s just simply not enough to keep you fully charged all year.

As a Freelance Copywriter, you can throw your laptop in your hand luggage whenever you desire… Between projects… During… You’re the boss.


4. Stay in touch

When I originally backpacked around Australia during my pre-university gap year, my only lifeline to the UK was sitting writing novel (quite literally) emails in cybercafés every evening.

At the risk of sounding at least 100 years old, it didn’t seem like the internet had been around for long, so Hotmail was as jazzy as it got (digital cameras definitely hadn’t been invented).


This time, it was so much easier. I held client meetings over Skype (in my bikini – with the webcam aimed above shoulder level, of course) and kept up with clients over email and industry updates over the ‘nets. I also picked up an Australian SIM card and hundreds of minutes for just $30, which allowed me to make international calls (and surprise my family and friends on Christmas Day!).


I was fortunate enough to have wi-fi and a “proper” poolside desk at our housesit in Perth. As for everywhere else we travelled, most accommodation offered free or pay-as-you-go wi-fi access. If not, you can always pick up wi-fi in plenty of urban coffee houses and working areas. Hit the streets and hunt. And if all else fails, there are of course good old cyber cafes.

(Very) remote desktop

Camping along the Great Ocean Road was a little trickier, but it wasn’t a problem, as I’d given clients plenty of warning that I would be unavailable during that week. And of course, I’d wrapped up all my outstanding <blush> work beforehand. As long as you’re organised and plan in advance, travelling around remote areas shouldn’t be an issue.


5. Stay ahead

It must be the “pome” in me, but when I was away, I couldn’t stop thinking about what time it was in the UK. In fact, I was always on UK time. This meant I was constantly a day ahead of my deadlines, so clients not only received work on time, but a day early.

You can also add extra round-the-clock mileage to clients’ social media activity, by tawkin’ in real time to wider global markets (I was catching the U.S. audience). Of course, you’ll need a UK helper!

P.S >> Catch me if you can >>

I couldn’t possibly speak for myself, because I wouldn’t dream of doing this or even advise it. But, I recall someone saying to those scary looking men in caps with bats that, “I’m not here to work… I’m on an extended vacation”. Maybe I dreamt it.

Feeling inspired?

If you’ve turned an enviable shade of sprout whilst you’ve been slurping your tea, I suggest you start eyeing and scoffing those cakes immediately. As for me, the next working vacation is getting closer by the day, because it sure beats a life settling for the same old.


About the Author: Sally Symondson

Sally Symondson

Running Salsify Creative, Sally grows local and global brands with meaningful words that relate. Customer or business – the roots are human, which is why Sally likes to keep it natural. You’ll find her muddy soled at the copywriting “allotment” with a cat in tow.


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