Photos: Northbound & Down

12/18/16

Northbound and Down

Alyssa and Brian left their full time graphic design gigs in March 2016 to live and work on the road.

We quit our jobs, sold everything we owned and hit the road so that we could spend all of our days outside exploring, but to sustain this lifestyle we do have to spend some time in front of a computer screen. Luckily we enjoy our work, but we still try to maintain a balance that prioritizes travel and adventure. Finding and maintaining this balance isn’t easy, and we’re still working on it, but here are some insights we’ve had along the way.


Limit the work you take on
The best way for us to limit how much time we spend working is to limit the number of projects we take on at any given time, but this isn’t always easy. In the earlier part of this series we talked about how finding work while you're on the road can be a lot of work on it’s own. We’re constantly submitting proposals, contacting potential clients, and receiving referrals from clients and fellow designers, and sometimes we find ourselves with more projects than we’d like going on at once. In this scenario we can work with the client to start the project at a later date or have to pass on some of the work. Giving up a project sucks, but we always put our happiness first and know that taking on too much will take away from living on the road and will result in less than stellar work.

Another way we limit our work time is by determining which projects to pursue. We ask ourselves a few questions before taking on a project—

1.) Will the project inspire or challenge us?
2.) Is it a client we communicate with well and will be able to work with remotely?
3.) Does it pay well?

These questions continue to evolve the longer we’re on the road, and if the answer two 1 & 2 are yes, and 3 is no, we still consider it, but having a set of qualifications to judge opportunities against helps us only spend our time on work we’re excited about.

Set aside time for personal projects
While working for others can be a great source of revenue, we’ve discovered it’s important to set aside time to be creative on our own. For us our personal work is design related as well, but we’ve met people who do one thing to generate income and then have a vast collection of personal projects going on at any given time. Personal projects like blogging, photography, videography, writing, and illustrating help us discover new passions and continue to develop marketable skills.





Finding a balance is hard in any aspect of life, and we’re still seeking the perfect balance. Our schedule is fluid, and some weeks we work a lot and others hardly at all. There have been times we’ve taken on too much and have to reevaluate, and we’re learning that this constant search for balance between working and not is something that people have struggled with throughout the centuries, so we try to cut ourselves some slack. In the end everyone’s idea of the perfect balance is different, so don’t base yours off anyone else and alway make sure you’re still having fun.



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