Farewell Belgium – Lessons Learned
July 26th, 2014
We have left Brussels now.
Now that we’re warmed up for a couple weeks and know how to live our lives and be comfortable in someone else’s home, we’re ready for the big time. We’re heading to Paris for a few weeks.
Now that it’s been a little while, and we’ve been proving the “Workation” concept – that we really can work from anywhere, I’m reflecting on a couple things that I would consider next time, and pass along as lessons.
We’re working California hours because the fact that we are doing this at all is a privilege. We don’t want to make the people we work with have to adjust for us or be inconvenienced at all. But being 9 hours ahead means we’re working a 6:00pm to 2:00 am shift. That’s fine in itself. We just sleep in, but THAT, in turn means, a couple things to keep in mind…
- As much time after work as one might normally spend socializing, or hanging out with the family, or doing whatever tasks and chores one does, is as much time as we have before work to do what we do. The fact that we’re not paying bills, or making home repairs, or other being-at-our-own-home responsibilities provides a little more time, but still, we don’t have full days to do our sight-seeing.
Therefore, I am grateful that we had over a week in Brussels, and 4 whole weeks in Paris. We’re not getting out of the house until noon or so, and need to be back by 6:00pm. If you ask the kids, 6 hours is more than enough, but when you factor in travel time, and all the “what-exactly-should-we-do-and-how-do-we-get-there” time, it leaves room for about two attractions.
So lesson 1: Know that you only have a limited time for sight-seeing. Use it wisely.
We’re going with the front-loading plan and seeing the big stuff early, and then nibble at the rest over the second half of our stay. It worked great in Brussels. We’ll try again in Paris.
- Everything above would normally be fine in most places and you just make your adjustments, but there’s a lot of beer here. And I did what I could to try several Belgian beers, but the problem is THEN I’m going to work. While that SOUNDS like a good idea, well…, you understand.
Lesson 2: Maybe don’t try to work from the road if the road leads you to an endless supply of good beers to drink.
I don’t know. This one’s thin, at best.
- An extension of problem 2 is that we didn’t get out at night in Belgium. I would have liked to spend some time in the city center at night, but that couldn’t happen. We’ll make sure it does in Paris, but it’ll have to be weekends.
Lesson 3: Make your Weekends count.
That might translate to real life too, but it’s a challenge for me at home, so this is good practice.