Today I read a post at Freelance Folder about taking a vacation as a freelancer. It got me thinking and left me somewhat perplexed, because one of the benefits – and sheer joys – of being a freelancer is the freedom it offers. As an independent worker, especially for those of us whose office is wherever we set our laptop, we are not shackled by a 9-5 routine nor a particular location.
Currently I’m reading a book called Twitchhiker, about a freelancer writer who used Twitter to travel from the northeast of England to New Zealand, and he wrote articles on the various flights and wherever he found a bed for the night. This is, to me, the beauty of being a freelancer. We can find ourselves in a board meeting at a magazine or we can work in our underwear in bed if we choose. Alternatively, we can travel each and every day and work in whatever capacity we can. In short: there are no restrictions. As for myself, I’ve been staying in America since January and will be returning to the UK later this month – with a wife-to-be, a lot of ideas and memories and, most important to this piece, much work completed. Had I been employed by a specific person or company it would have been impossible for me to be away from home for six months, but as a freelancer (or rather, self-employed writer) that luxury is afforded to me.
So the question of holidays as a freelancer is one I hadn’t really asked before. Certainly I’ve wondered about managing taking a dedicated holiday with no work whatsoever, and the main concern is there is no income while we are not working, but on the other hand travelling to the other side of the world needn’t detach us from work. Whether we wake up early, type while the other half has a snooze, or knock out a few articles before bed, we can holiday and work. Now to some working while on holiday defeats the purpose of a holiday, but for me, I enjoy my work to the point that I am quite happy to write while away, because writing is a creative process that does not weigh me down like sitting in an office all day. Rather, the unfamiliar sights and sounds before me can spark fresh ideas and motivation.
However, for those who do want a dedicated holiday with no work, it’s as easy as telling clients you’re going away for a while. I’ve done this numerous times and it has never been a problem, so long as money can be saved up beforehand. This is, of course, the biggest obstacle. But in response to that, my attitude is decent spending money can be raised by just working a few hours a week.
The joy of being a freelancer is having it permit you to live life on your own terms – your own scenery, your own schedule. It’s much more than having a regular job but in your own home.