The internet has made it possible to travel to the other side of the globe and work for clients as if you were living just down the road. This wonderful new freedom has allowed many people to travel and work at the same time without having to worry about where they are located.
However, just as the internet is becoming faster and more prevalent than ever, so too is our dependence on it.
When you live and work abroad, you will almost certainly be using the internet to some degree. If you work for clients back in your home country then you may rely on it for many hours each day. And if this is the case, there is no way that you can go without it for long.
When it becomes difficult to find a connection abroad it can become a real nightmare, especially if you need to talk to a client or send an important email.
So what are your options?
Rent an Apartment with Internet Provided
In many countries you may be able to rent a furnished apartment with broadband included. This would be the best option if you are going to be settling for a while because then you know that you at least have the internet in your place of work.
Invest in Mobile Broadband
A fixed internet connection may be fine if you are going to work from the same place every day. But what if you want to work from other destinations, or fit in some travelling in your new country at the same time as working?
Mobile broadband is one option. The problem with mobile broadband is that you may not be able to enjoy the same download speeds and it may end up costing you more than fixed broadband if you use it a lot.
However, it could help you out if you just need to send the odd email or do the odd bit of online research whilst away from your desk.
Scout Out Your Local Internet Locations
A good idea when you first arrive is to take a walk around your neighbourhood and make a note of all of the internet cafes as well as restaurants and other establishments providing free Wi-Fi.
Although you may not want to spend too much time working in any of these places, it is good to know where they are when your own internet suddenly goes down and you need to contact a client urgently.
Buy a Smartphone
A smartphone, even quite a basic one, can provide you with the ability to send emails and access the web from anywhere.
You have two options when you get a new smartphone: buy one before you leave home, or buy one when you arrive.
The choice will depend upon a number of factors. In some countries, electronic goods are a lot more expensive than you may be used to in your home country. In this case it may be worthwhile buying one before you go.
But if you have a data plan in your home country and use your phone from abroad then you may be charged heavy roaming fees whilst you are overseas.
The best option may therefore be to buy a smartphone before you leave home and then buy a SIM card upon arrival in your destination country, and this way you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Just remember to buy a phone which will work in your new destination as not all phones work in all countries.
Stay Connected Wherever You Are
The internet might provide you with the freedom to travel where you want and continue to work without any problems, but it is also an essential service and you don’t want to get stuck abroad without a connection.
Just make sure that you prepare to stay connected wherever you are and this will help to make your time away a lot more enjoyable.
Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad.