We all have endlessly bragged about the fact that we can take our laptop and theoretically work from anywhere! After the end of my part-time contract at FORTH, I decided to put this theory to the test! It was a rather long time since my last trip outside Greece, so I decided to make it worthwhile! I booked tickets to visit friends in Europe and managed extend the trip to 4 weeks.
Before you book the tickets, try to see if there are any flights during a weekend. Presumably that you are not working during that weekend, you can finish your last project on a working Friday without having to get stressed for an approaching deadline. Plan your time, stick to the plan!
I am a firm believer that all needs to be sorted before I leave the country. So, to put your mind at rest, you need to make sure that you have planned all your bills to be paid somehow (if you have not arranged a direct debit) having nothing of this sort to worry you.
It is also wise to call your accountant and informed him/her of your absence. As it applies in my case, I have to send physical invoices to my accountant every month so that he can calculate e.g. the VAT and enter invoices’ data onto the tax system, so I had to make certain arrangements with him. I even took the invoices’ booklet with me just in case a payment is made while I am away and I can send him a scanned copy of the invoice. Internet banking is a blessing for checking payments.
An other essential issue that you need to make sure is sorted out before leaving is to check the roaming services and options for your mobile phone. Sometimes, mobile phone companies charge enourmous rates for their roaming services, so do get in touch with them to arrange the best plan for your smartphone. You will need to have access to your emails and be available to be called while you are abroad.
I decided that in order to be on the safe side, I should take my laptop and my small notebook with me, just in case one decides to let me down. I installed all the needed software in the notebook (CAT tools, dictionaries etc). I also decided to take a small external drive containing a complete archive of my computer.
I also took my stamps, seals and stationary with me, just in case a client of mind needs a stamped translation. I could do the translation while travelling and then send the documents by post. Take some flyers, some business cards, not that you are going to a conference or any other business related event, but I always carry some with me wherever I go!
With the luggage already packed, it was time for the take-off! Stay tuned for next week’s The Travelling Translator: Week One