I’m not a full-fledged digital nomad (yet!), but I’m able to book trips that last for weeks to months at a time. I travel while working on my tasks as a freelancer. I do my best to finish all the big projects and shoots before my trip, and just do light tasks through my iPhone and MacBook while I’m soaking up by the beach or exploring a new city.
Sounds glamorous? I wish! It’s not as smooth-sailing as people think. In fact, for the last few years, I noticed this always happens the week before my flight out:
A s***t ton of work falls on my shoulders.
It’s not just any kind of last-minute task. I’m talking about overwhelming, panic-attack inducing work that cannonballs out of nowhere and is out to kill you. It’s as if there’s a bitter, anti-wanderlust pixie whose main mission in life is to keep you from pursuing and enjoying that glorious trip.
“Oh, you’re going on a two-week hiatus to a bohemian tropical island? Here’s a list of additional deliverables from your editor and let me tempt you with an invitation to a big photo shoot that will be held the day after your flight,” said imaginary anti-wanderlust pixie. “Let’s see if you’d still want to pursue that trip.”
Cue imaginary pixie’s evil laugh.
This always happens to me. Work piles up on the last few days before the trip. Responsibilities at home quadruple. An acting/modeling project is offered, but alas, the shoot falls on the day after I leave.
Then I go through the usual crisis of: “Should I rebook or cancel my trip? Was it a stupid idea for me to schedule it this month? Why do the good projects get offered just as I’m about to leave?”
I know I’m not the only one. Friend #1 was asked to make a new presentation for his ad agency the morning of his flight to Bangkok. He made it by the hair of his chinny chin chin. Friend #2 had a meltdown at work a few days before her big solo trip. Friend #3 had to finish and email a presentation during his layover. I’m telling you, if you believe in guardian angels, you should beware of the evil anti-wanderlust pixie.
Despite the setbacks, your heart is determined to pursue that trip, but not after a few anxiety attacks and panic attacks (I have a diagnosed mental health condition, so I use these phrases justly).
And then after that magnificent trip, you come home to several weeks of… crickets. Boredom. An extra light workload. Wanderlust cravings. An itch to book another trip because it’s too mundane at work.
The evil pixie is laughing maniacally at this thought bubble.