Diary of a Digital Nomad

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Balancing Work and Travel

August 23, 20238 min read

“Balance is not something you find, it's something you create” - Jana Kingsford

I was really having a lot of trouble being on the road, and moving all the time and focusing on my business. And as I talk to more and more people about this, it sounds like a lot of people struggle with the same thing.

When you're traveling and out enjoying the sites and everything, you feel guilty that you're not at work or working on your business. And when you are working and you're inside, you feel guilty that you're not enjoying this wonderful new place that you're in.

And if you bring your laptop with you to the mountains or the beach or to the restaurant or whatever, then you're not really enjoying either because you've got one foot in and one foot out on work and the awesome environment that you're in.

How can we find more balance so we're not in this, lose-lose-lose situation.

I actually created a workbook to go along with this, and it's really to help you dial in and focus on your intentions so you can have a better plan to maximize both work and travel and really get out of both of those things, what you're looking for. You can find that HERE to accompany this post.


If you’d like to listen instead of read, then you can check out the podcast here, or wherever you get your podcasts. 👊


I find the balance to be a little harder for freelancers and business owners because the work is never done. As an employee it's easy to sign in and sign out and leave it at that.

But even if you don't own your own business still stick around because there's some really good tips for Intentionality and creating some stability in your life. No matter who you are or what you do, it's hard to live this life that is so inconsistent.

What's Your Why?

The first thing you really wanna get clear on for both your travel and your business is the why. Why are you doing this? Why are you traveling the world? Why do you have your business? And make sure that it's not just surface level. So, yes, of course you wanna see the world, but why? Do you want to experience new foods and new things and meet new people. Excellent. Why is it because you want to build connections and learn? You're curious. Why?

Just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper into these. Do this for both travel and business. This is an exercise that I really need to work on - getting really, really deep on my whys.

Once you have your overall understanding of that you can use it as your compass to refer back to. They can serve as a focal point and everything that you do after this you can always ask yourself, "Do these actions align with and lead back to why I'm ultimately on this journey?"

Goal Setting

After you've figured out your why, we're gonna look more specifically into our goals. For travel goals I write the destination and how long I think I'm gonna stay there. Then think about why you wanted to go there in the first place. What is it that you wanted to do?

Is it something as simple as it was the country that was next door? Is it because you wanted to visit a friend? Is it because it's halfway between you and a friend that you wanted to visit? Or is it something more than that? Is it you're studying the language? Is it a bucket list item? You have family from there?

It can be anything from big to small, but you get the idea. Once you've decided those, what are the top things that you wanna see and do and try? Keep this list short to maybe like five or six items, the top things that you want to do. As you start checking them off the list you can always add more to it.

Make sure that you put a date on it so you can know when you're going to do it. It is so easy to say, "Oh, I'm going to spend a month here. I can always do this or that thing." All of the sudden you've got a week left, a deadline for work, and you realize that you still haven't done your number one thing that you even came for.

So slap a date on it and it becomes a lot more concrete.

In the workbook you'll also see there's also a space for you to add resources and notes so you can refer back to it for yourself or when others ask you about it. You can redo this as often as you want - you could do it for every city, every country, or even every neighborhood.

After you've got your travel goals, then we move into the business goals and do a similar thing.


Think about your long-term goals. And then break it down by quarter, by month, by week, by day. Or you can obviously break it down whichever way you want, but I find it very helpful to break everything out into smaller steps. Seeing your goals laid out by two or three tasks per day makes it much more manageable.

It can also be by a project or however you measure time or anything. This is just going to help you get really clear on the next things that you need to work on.

Put your travel and your business goals side by side and see how, where, and when you can fit them together.

And maybe it's two to three things for travel and two to three things for a business or however you're, you're situating your time. I can check off my three things that I needed to do for work today and go guilt-free sight seeing around the city, or maybe the opposite. I have planned out the sites that I wanna see and check those off. And now I can go home and get to work without feeling like I'm missing out on seeing the place where I am.

Of course this varies sometimes, especially based on your time zone. Sometimes nobody's awake in the morning, so you do your sight seeing first and then you go and get your work done. Or other times it's the exact opposite where it's better to work in the morning and then you do your sight seeing in the afternoon. And sometimes it's a mix of both. Or you do your site seeing on the weekends, however you wanna break it up. You do you Boo.

After a while you'll start to get a lot better at estimating the time it takes to do certain things and really become more accurate in your planning.

True Balance

Doing this and having these concrete steps will also make it so much easier to be able to separate your work and travel, so make sure you go download the workbook so you can fill yours out!

In addition to all that in the workbook, you'll find some bonuses in there that help with habit building and some other great stuff because I know how hard it is to get everything figured out and then just have to pack up and move again. And so there are some really good strategies in there to help you, see some patterns and and work on some habits and some stability.

With all that being said, it's hard to disconnect and it's hard to balance everything. I think for me, when I talk about balance, I very much understand that it's something that goes back and forth and is never, really at equilibrium. If you imagine those old scales or a seesaw, it's always teetering one way or the other.

While it's always our goal to reach equilibrium, I think that's never quite the reality. And so having these tangible things that you can look at side by side will really help start to bring balance in whatever way that means to you. And it doesn't have to be a 50-50 split. Sometimes the better thing for you in the moment in the season of life is 70-30 or 60-40 or 20-80 or 100-0!

It's something that is always changing, always evolving. I think as digital nomads, we are so great at adapting to things, and this is just another tool in your belt to be able to adapt even quicker, and to kind of build that system into your life.

So make sure you go and grab a copy of the workbook because you can go through it over and over and over again in every destination that you go to or every quarter or every time that you need to do that you feel like you need to do a revision.

And so what I wanna leave you with is, what is it that you're working on? What is it that you are wanting to find more balance with, and what are the strategies that you're gonna start implementing to get that?

Are you a digital nomad and struggling to find the extra time to plan your travels?

Between your busy work day, trying to meet new people and getting to know the city you're already in - when are you supposed to find the time to figure out your next moves?

I'll find you accommodation options, a list of things to do and see suggestions on how long to stay and where to go next, all catered to you and your travel style.

Stop wasting your free time researching and actually get out there and experience. That's what you're here for, right?

Head to for more info and to schedule a free Discovery Call!

If this post resonates with you, I'd love to hear about it! Head to @roamingrootscollective on Instagram and shoot me a message!

Balancetraveldigital nomadwork travel balance

Katie Johnson

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