July 01, 2019

Living a laptop lifestyle: desirable reality or unobtainable myth? My experience with what it’s really like running a business whilst on holiday

For all that you hear about living the laptop lifestyle, working on holiday is not all that it’s cracked up to be. 

Last week we spent 7 days travelling in Italy. We were hoping to spend our first extended period of time since setting up Cariki away from our laptops, determined to take a full break from our business.

As it turns out, the dream of working by the beach may be just that. My experiences of working whilst on holiday were far from what I first believed they might be...

Days before we left

Working full time in order to pay rent, enjoy ourselves and invest in our business, we felt a sense of overwhelm that I am sure many can relate to. It was time to take some time off. 

We had been looking forward to taking a bit of time away and allow ourselves to completely unplug for months. What this meant in reality wasn’t as glamorous as you might think. 

In the weeks leading up to our holiday we had been working longer hours than usual, getting everything lined up so that it would survive whilst we were away. 

Needless to say, this meant that the midnight oil candle became red hot from overuse. However, we felt we left in a reasonably good place, ready for a break and to forget about the hours we had put in. 

It was almost perfect, all except for one supplier who had been causing serious delays over the weeks before. 

Being forced to work whilst on holiday

If you are anything like me, you are a bit of a perfectionist. It irritates me when things aren’t finished or not how I expect them to be. 

This was one of those occasions. 

In our drive to get everything ready for our departure, one supplier was incredibly laid back in their response time. 

Not only did this lead to frustration whilst trying to wrap things up before we left, it meant we still had a few loose ends when we left. 

The feeling of incompletion was not only frustrating, but as we had taken the active decision not to bring laptops, it also made it very difficult to resolve whilst away. 

Yes, you are able to switch off and distract yourself with all the amazing things that a holiday brings, but you are also reminded at certain points that you haven’t quite finished all that you set out to before you left. 

The result, we had to spend a few hours on our phones placing final orders and approving artwork, hardly ideal when in a foreign country trying to unwind. 

My thoughts on the laptop lifestyle

We are only small. We are by no means able to rely on Cariki for our income, but I can only imagine the pressure whilst on holiday if we were. 

Cariki is far from selling hundreds of items a day, and certainly isn’t generating anything like the revenues you see from successful entrepreneurs that you might one day aspire to be. 

Yet I can only wonder how they feel when they travel. There must be a constant feeling that you should be checking emails, responding to customers or communicating with suppliers. 

If I struggle to switch off, I must admit that I doubt the existence of a desirable ‘laptop lifestyle’ truly exists for those more successful.

That being said, don’t let this put you off starting something yourself! I wouldn’t swap what we are trying to create for anything in the world.

Living the laptop lifestyle not what expected


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