This weekend I went with my family for a quick visit to Stockholm, Sweden. Even though it was a getaway weekend, I also had to do some work while traveling.
Combining travel with work is definitely a challenge. If we travel often, then every trip can’t always be a complete holiday away from our jobs and studies.
My main reason for the trip was to attend Stockholm Open, an ATP Tour tennis tournament. I also wanted to do a little bit of shopping, and to go someplace different all, as the past few months had been a bit uneventful.
About the city
Stockholm is not far away from Helsinki, and it only takes one night on a cruise ship. It’s one of my favorite places to visit because I’ve lived there, so it’s like my second home, but at the same time, it always has something new and exciting on offer.
The city is a mix of old and new. It has plenty of history, gorgeous buildings, and pretty parks. The people, both the women and the men, have effortless style – they’re super fashionable without trying too hard.
I love Stockholm so much that I sometimes get a little annoyed with the Swedes because I’m not sure they know how amazing their capital city is. They’re so lucky to have it. But of course, there are downsides to Stockholm, especially that it’s crazy expensive to live there (if you can find an apartment, at all…).
Packing for work while traveling
When I packed for the trip the night before, I tried to keep it light. The most important thing to pack was my backpack that fits my laptop. My laptop is actually pretty heavy. Having it on my back means that I don’t feel the weight like I do when I have it in a handbag or laptop case.
I also packed one of my notebooks, a small one that is easy to carry, so that if I didn’t have wifi or battery on my laptop, I could write by hand.
In Stockholm, I took my backpack with my laptop everywhere:
- lunch with a friend
- watching tennis
This way I could work whenever I had the chance. Actually, the first thing I did after arrival was to go to Starbucks to work (I had my first pumpkin spiced latte of the season!).
Starbucks is great for work while traveling, because you can always spot them when walking around in a foreign city. Also, each Starbucks has plenty of sockets to charge your electronics and of course, wifi.
Game, set, match
This was the second time I went to Stockholm Open, and it was amazing. We saw some of the best pros of the world, including del Potro, Fognini, Dimitrov, and Verdasco.
Tennis is something that has grown on me over the years. At first, I wasn’t that into it, and I didn’t understand the scoring system, so I certainly didn’t enjoy watching matches. But having played regularly for a long time now, I love it.
It’s so inspiring to watch these players that have practiced for years and years. It makes me want to push myself more, both when it comes to playing tennis but also in general.
Work when you can
The number one rule for work while traveling is to work when you can.
Also, without prioritization, you don’t get very far. Since travel takes so much time, if you’re going to work while you’re doing it, you might need to skip something else, like workouts or watching TV, in favor of sleep.
I had many frustrating moments when I didn’t have an internet connection.
Thursday night I really wanted to get a post published, but we were in the middle of the Baltic Sea. The boat’s wifi is always terrible, and my phone wasn’t of help, either. Thankfully, someone suggested that I might get a signal if I go out on the deck, so I did. It was windy and absolutely freezing, but I got my post out.
New places inspire you
Especially if your work requires creativity, traveling is great. Going new places can give you new ideas, and help you make new connections.
At the very least being in new surroundings feel be like a breath of fresh air. When you go back your mind is rested and you’re ready to hustle again.
I love walking around in Stockholm, on my own. I know the city well enough that I’m not afraid of getting lost. However, I loved the fact that I had some scheduled meetings with friends because it kind of meant that I enjoyed my alone time more.
Of course, shopping was also fun. I only ended up buying some scented candles, but they’re ones you can’t find in Finland, so I’m happy. They smell like autumn and Christmas.
When I got home from the trip I felt excited to get back into the swing of things and to get lots of work done.