Some people call it location independence. Other people call it being a digital nomad.
These are both new terms for the concept of being free to move around and earn money from anywhere by using your laptop. This is what I now do full time (when not chillaxin with relatives in Florida).
And I LOVE it.
There is just one tiny (or not so tiny) caveat: YOU NEED A COMPUTER AND YOU NEED THE INTERNET.
Thus I am never really location independent. I cannot work ‘anywhere’. I must work where I have reliable internet. My grand plan is to keep evolving my business model until I am not as reliant on actively needing to be plugged in almost every day of the week. I am getting there but I am nowhere near that right now.
It hasn’t been a big issue for me until this week. I am trotting (not quite like a horse) around Europe and so I decided to spend a few days in Barcelona.
I typically use a mish-mash of sources to find accommodation (friends/facebook groups/classifieds/guesthouses/hotels). But I finally decided to whip out my AirBnB eBook I purchased from fellow bloggers Mish & Rob of Making It Anywhere (which I do recommend -especially if you’ve never booked through AirBnB before). I did a quick review and started my search for the Barcelona apartment (flat) that matched what I wanted.
After a quick search I found a match and wrote to the owner and was reassured of fast wifi access.
I arrive in Barcelona around 11am. Make my way to the apartment via bus and metro (which was VERY easy). I meet the owner there –let’s call her Tabby – who begins to show me the place and give me TONS of tips about the area:
Where to eat
Where to go
What to do
Then I ask helpful Tabby about the internet.
She looks at me with a pallid-almost-shameful look as if she has been caught with her hand in the virtual cookie jar.
“Oh” she mumbles.
“It’s not working for some reason. I will be calling the company now to find out what the problem is.”
Womp Womp Womp!!!
During the evening, I called Tabby who said she did call the company and that the internet should be on any moment.
Well folks, it never came on that night or the next morning or the entire next day.
I can only think that Tabby is a lying-sack-of-s***%%$$$$ (play nice, Alicia. Play nice. It quite possibly COULD have been a totally honest mix-up. Trying to give the benefit of the doubt here).
I hear this doesn’t happen often with AirBnB. Most people I know say they have had good experiences using the service and I am in the middle of booking somewhere else using it.
I like to think this was a one-off incident. Luck of the draw?
What made it worse was that I had a tough time finding a place to plug up and get internet. Even Mcdonald’s claimed their internet was out. What What? Are you for real Mcdonald’s?
I found a Starbucks. They had a 45 minute internet access time limit.
There were a few places in the area where you could pay to sit and use one of their computers for internet or to print something. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to use MY laptop and just access the internet.
Lesson learned. This was poor planning on my part. Sometimes I am TOO spontaneous. I had at least a few hours of work to do and hadn’t scheduled in enough ‘buffer’ time to transition and allow for possible issues like this.
A few landmarks.
Cold showers in the dead of winter.
A Scotsman who proposed my hand in marriage after a brief encounter.
2 achingly tired legs and a scratchy throat.
And I booked it out of Barcelona.
My time was up. I had only planned for 3 days anyway.
It was over so fast.
Ohh Barcelona….the big beautiful blur.
I will save you the typical pictures. My photography skills are on my list of things that need improvement, as I am sure you’ve noticed. You can find the big tourist attraction pics in a guidebook anyway.
What I would like to share -as always – is something totally quirky that I stumbled across. I didn’t see any neat bookstores (which I usually look for), but I found a wonderful market with every imaginable fresh food available.
It is located in the Gothic quarter on the big main street, La Rambla. I couldn’t help myself from buying freshly diced fruit and also raw nuts. Health Nut Heaven. There was just too much temptation.
Take a peak
BARCELONA………….. I’LL BE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!
(in my most annoying ARNOLD accent).
Have you ever made travel plans too hastily? Gotten so wrapped up in the excitement that the actual plan is is full of holes? Pray tell. I would love to know I am not the only one.