I came on a cruise to work on my business…
“You’re going on a cruise?” my friend asked me.“Yep”“Who with?” “Alone”“Well maybe you will meet somebody one night in the ship bars?”“It’s not a booze cruise! And it’s far from my intention on this cruise” I clarify.“So what is the intention of the trip?”“I am going to work”“??????????”
15 years ago I started mixing work with travel. At times I would feel like an alien among the tourists. I could feel their stares as I typed away in the cafe… “look at that workaholic” they would be thinking. Back then I would rarely see anybody else working in these tourist destinations. Nowadays, it is a lot more frequent – business owners take advantage of their freedom to work from anywhere. Not, apparently, on cruise ships though as I get some of those same stares!
In the early years I would run my businesses whilst travelling for 3 to 6 months of the year. I structured my companies so that I had the freedom to work from anywhere, so I took advantage of it, travelling to 80+ countries whilst running my small businesses.
Nowadays I travel a lot less frequently. The truth is, for a number of years now, I have been content living a more “settled” life and travels have been increasingly intermittent. However, I still get away each year to go on my own personal retreat, with a focus on my business as well as my wellbeing. I call these trips “workations”.
These workations are an investment in both myself and my business.
This is exactly what I have done again – I came on a 14 day cruise from Sydney to Auckland. In fact, I am writing this from my cabin balcony overlooking the infinite ocean, with a glass of red wine beside me…not a bad setting to do some writing I must say!
So exactly why did I choose to come on a cruise to work?
I had wanted to do a cruise for a few years now…the lure of being aboard a ship travelling from one exotic location to the next was pulling me. However I didn’t want to, nor was I in a position, to go on a work-free vacation. I wanted to enjoy a cruise experience whilst simultaneously working on my business, and on myself.
I love the fact that everything is taken care for you, no cooking or cleaning for two weeks! Not even a lot of movement required as I pass between my cabin, dining area, gym, pool and a luxurious spa zone! As a result I have freed up a lot of extra time to dedicate to reading, writing, thinking, visualising, planning and working.
I specifically chose a cruise where I knew I wasn’t going to be tempted to join shore excursions. I wanted to spend 90% of my time on the ship. A cruise travelling around Japan would not work for me – I have never been to the country and so I would be jumping off the ship at every opportunity to explore. Best reserve this destination for a vacation, not a workation. So I chose an Australia/New Zealand cruise where the temptations wouldn’t be so great – I am Australian, have been to NZ before, and so I don’t feel as compelled to take advantage of the shore stops. Sure, it would be great, but you can’t do it all – I remind myself, this is a workation not a vacation!
There are a number of reasons why I am such a strong advocate of these trips for small business owners. 8 reasons you should go on a “workation goes into more detail about the benefits but here is a brief rundown…
On these workations I step out of my day-to-day routines and environment, and step into a new and inspiring location. In doing this it jolts my standard thought patterns, gives an immediate mindset boost and triggers a variety of other positive cognitive benefits.
The time and space on these mini ‘entrepreneur & lifestyle retreats” allows me to look at my business and my life from a broader, more holistic perspective. In sessslowing down and stepping back I find more clarity and can see the bigger picture.
Over the years I have seen how effective these workations have been in being a catalyst for positive change in both my business and my lifestyle. I generally return home with a refined strategy, clear ideas and having made decisions on what changes I need to implement.
As we near the end of my first cruise workation I reflect upon what I have achieved over the past two weeks on the ship, and I can honestly say that I think it has been a great investment in both myself, and in my business…and, having said that, have a feeling I will be looking at other cruises to do the same over again!