On Working, Technology and Traveling (and Drum and Bass)

Well I have officially departed my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina! See you in a month Asheville (If I come back!!). My first destination is Bogota Colombia where I will meet up with my Mami and Sister to celebrate Thanksgiving. More on Bogota later. So much to tell.

Today I want to talk about how I am prepared with the right technology for travel. One of my main goals when traveling is to maintain my work flow. This time of year I have a lot of my plate and it is not feasible to take time out for a month. I can’t just leaving things behind because things would stack up and it would not be fun to come home to this. My work is very important. For the last six years I have been the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization, the American Herbalists Guild. I LOVE MY WORK. I am truly a passionate and devoted career woman. I have dedicated my life’s work to keeping plant wisdom alive and to serving as an advocate for both traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding. The job of an Executive Director means that I am always on call to respond to issues and to check in with staff and board members. Anything that happens with the organization I am ultimately accountable. We recently went through the peak of our busy season with our Annual AHG Symposium, an event I have directed for the past six years. This event is incredibly rewarding as it is exhausting for those of us who work it. This year was smooth and the staff felt a nice sense of accomplishment after hosting near 500 attendees, 30 presenters, 12 board members and eight integrated social events while out of town in the beautiful Georgia mountains. Even though the event has concluded there are still many tasks at hand. Closing out the fiscal year while formulating the 2019 annual budget always keeps us on our toes during the end of year. Also, we are welcoming new board members and I am involved in their orientation for early January and I would like to be ready for this. I also have a monthly meeting with our treasurer, weekly meetings with my Assistant Director, weekly afternoon meetings with my staff and dozens of emails to keep up with  each day. I need to make sure that the end of the year membership campaign goes smoothly and that our website audit is met with the proper solutions. This is the tip of the iceberg for what my current work to do list entails.

The AHG Board of Directors who acts as “my boss” for the most part is very supportive of my idea to work remotely. There were some legitimate questions raised. Will I be dumping my work on the Assistant Director? (not at all). Am I prepared for keeping my data and technology safe? (I am now). Do I have a plan for office hours? (YES!) What would members think? (I hope they are excited to follow). I appreciate that we are experimenting with this together. I am 100% grateful for the opportunity to explore working in this format.

Generally I’m a very restless person. It is difficult for me to stay in one place for too long. I work well and I have a more keen focus when I travel. As such, it is important that I maintain the right technology and apps to complete this work with ease. For example, I am using Zoom video for conference calls with staff and Assistant Director. I’m also using Zoom webinar to maintain my Monday night webinars on Understanding Medicinal Plant Constituents, a mini course I’m teaching after hours to help me raise money for the surgeries I had earlier this year. I have Skype so I can make international phone calls at a very low rate. I have a traveling universal outlet and a traveling charger. I use Apple products, which I feel are not the best value for international travelers but I’ll do my best. My colleague and board president uses Google Fi phone service which clearly seems like the best plan for international travelers. I have PayPal so my housemates can send me rent so I can pay our house rent online. I have been reassured that every place I’m staying at has dependable Wi-Fi. In fact one reason I’m traveling to Lithuania, is simply because they rank as the most freely available secure Wi-Fi for digital nomads. In addition I obtained a VPN and encryption on my laptop based on the concerns of one of our board of directors. All my files are on cloud, mostly on Dropbox but also some on Google docs. My Google Map is all ready and starred with all of my destinations, hotels, sites and important landmarks that I plan to visit. It will guide me through the London Tube easy as pie.

Speaking of Digital Nomads it has long been my dream to dabble in such flexibility. Simply put digital nomads set up home abroad while they maintain work and office hours from international desks, cafes, Airbnb, hostels, etc. The appeal is that if you stick all your stuff in storage or sublet your hometown housing that settling abroad for a while can actually be equivalent to or cheaper than hometown rent. I recruited an additional housemate this month to offset my on rent. It’s got to be all in the discipline though to maintain office hours while simultaneously coping with jet-lag and time zone changes. In fact my weekly webinar which usually takes place Monday nights at 8pm EST translates to 5am in Lithuania. My office hours which are usually 10-5PM EST now will be 5pm-12am! Good thing I am a night owl!

I also will have some vacation time along the way and I do plan to listen to as much drum and bass music as possible! I have at least three girlfriends who send me daily DnB mixes and songs. I have several DJs I follow for the latest in releases. I have loaded apps on my phone: Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Spotify and YouTube. I always have a queue of music I am catching up on. I have Apple Airpods as headphones which I have realized are not quite as loud as I would like. Don’t get me wrong, they are crisp and clear and they are very secure and comfortable in my ears but I just tried the Boss SoundSport Wireless Headphones at the at the Orlando Airport. They are $30 off today which makes them $139.00. They are clearly louder with deeper bass but they don’t stay in my ears as well. I have to think hard about the expense. Probably not.

One last note to consider about technology especially if you follow astrology is that Mercury is in Retrograde. Often this means glitches, communication breakdowns and technology challenges. For me this simply translates into patience and rolling with the complications as they arise. I’m already feeling the glitches and keeping calm while listening to my daily selections, enjoy!

Soundcloud of the Day:

Mixcloud of the Day:

YouTube of the Day:

Spotify of the Day:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/4Ixo3zq2yYkWcNzPKsAker” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 2.21.04 PM.png

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