An attempt at work without geography

Like a lot of other people in New South Wales, I took advantage of relaxed travel restrictions and the recent long weekend to spend some time away from home. I booked a couple of days in Kiama, mainly because it’s somewhere that I can get to by bicycle, without having to worry about crowding on a bus or train.

Since I’m no longer going to my office anyway, it occurred to me that I could in principle continue working in my holiday location more or less as I have been dong at home. So I might have the opportunity to try out the geography-free workplace I contemplated a little while ago, or at least try out what it might be like to live in somewhere like Kiama.

I did take leave from work, if only because I needed some time away from it to clear my head. Instead I had a vision of conducting my own private writing retreat, following up on the notes I’d made after reading through my major writing projects over the past two weeks. But even that didn’t really happen.

Instead, staying in Kiama for a couple of nights allowed me to visit places nearby that I’ve not been able to visit on previous day trips out of Wollongong, and it seemed ridiculous to sit around in a hotel room rather than take the opportunity to visit those places. The particular hotel room in which I stayed also wasn’t designed with sitting in front of a computer in mind, so that trying to do work would have been very uncomfortable. So I visited the new places and used the time left over to think about new projects or new approaches to old ones, as I usually do when on holidays.

The time out certainly had its benefits, even if the only writing I did was to answer a couple of e-mails and make a few notes on writing that needed to be done. More or less as soon as I’d booked the holiday, I felt free to begin thinking up new projects again, instead of pushing along the old ones that weren’t going very well. I haven’t given up on the old projects; several of the “new” projects are really different ways of tackling my existing projects. Even before I’d gone anywhere I had two or three ideas that seemed worth following up, after struggling to come up with anything at all for the two previous weeks plugging away at home.

I still have only the vaguest idea of what it might be like to live in Kiama. I could make further experiments in living without geography but I realise I need to approach them differently to the way in which I approached this holiday. Firstly, I took this trip at a time I was overdue for a holiday, and consequently not in much of a mood to do any work. For a future experiment I need to allow time to both explore my temporary home and to do some actual work. Then I need to arrange accommodation with a facilities suitable for doing work. And maybe I need a little more discipline to make use of those facilities.

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