Work from Home, Anywhere in the World

Our favorite office by the river

By Hannah & Chris of Love, Play, Work

This month, we have set up our laptops in a beautiful condo in Mexico across the bay from Puerto Vallarta. So how do we manage to combine home exchanging with work?

How we got started

Since 2007, Chris and I have adapted the way we work to allow us to travel and run our business from wherever we like. What started off as a plan to abandon the UK for 2 or 3 of the dreary winter months has blossomed into something much more regular and long term. To begin with, we rented properties in developing countries where the cost of living was a bit lower. This allowed us to maintain our UK home whilst enjoying some winter sun. But in 2010, we stumbled upon HomeExchange.com and the way we travel was changed  drastically for the better. Here are just a few tips on how to mix business and pleasure using Home Exchange:

Plan longer Home Exchanges.

We tend to look for Exchanges of a month or more; we’ve learnt that this is the minimum to allow us to settle, get on with our day job, and get to experience all that the new areas has to offer as well. You will never get to do any work if you go away for only a week!

Our mobile office in a bag

Our mobile office all packed up and ready to go

Make sure the Home Exchange has wireless Internet.

Our lifestyle works for us because today’s communication systems mean that we are never too far away from our customers or our team. Most Home Exchange properties have a high speed connection, but we always make sure to double check before we agree to an Exchange. Internet access is our number one necessity when it comes to running our business remotely.

Look for Home Exchanges with inspiring office spaces and locations.

We look for homes which have great views, easy access to hiking or stunning scenery, and accessible amenities; these things help us work more efficiently than we would if we were stuck in the same place for too long. We can work in the morning and weekends, then go out and explore the area in the afternoons when the crowds have died down and everyone else is at work.

Our favorite office by the river

Our favorite office so far

Combine a conference with a Home Exchange.

We combine events such as overseas meetings or conferences with Home Exchanges whenever we can. Not only does it save money, your experience of a foreign city will be much richer and more authentic if you’re living like a local instead of a hotel guest.

Choose a Home Exchange in a time zone which fits your work schedule.

Depending on what work you do, you may not need to worry too much about the time difference; in fact, a difference can be an advantage. Imagine going to bed having allocated tasks to a team and waking in the morning to find they have all been completed! However, if you need to hold regular calls or online meetings it may be more convenient to find an Exchange that isn’t more than one or two time zones away.

Australian time zone

The time difference for our Australian Exchange was perfect!

It’s more accessible than you might think.

Remote working or ‘location independence’ is a growing trend. For as many people who already do it, there are an awful lot more who could but haven’t quite realized it. Some people take off for a month each year, others choose to travel the globe almost permanently. Whether you’ve always wanted the experience of living a tropical beach life in Thailand or skiing a season in the Alps, thinking outside the home office makes it possible.

Do you have any questions about doing longer Home Exchanges or working remotely? Ask us below!

Love Play Work

About the Authors

We are Psychologist Hannah and IT expert Chris and we’ve spent 5 years traveling the world whilst running our own business. Home exchanging has been a big part of making that happen! You can learn the 7 refreshing ‘get there quick’ shortcuts to creating your own location independent lifestyle from our loveplaywork.com homepage. You can also follow us on Twitter for updates

9 Comments on “Work from Home, Anywhere in the World

  1. We no longer work but like the idea of staying for a month. We have been in forty five nations and would enjoy longer stays. Do you have a few suggestions. We are new at this Home exchange but have a lovely large second home that we could exhange and it could be worked out most anytime with advanced planning

    we

    • Long term home exchanges sound perfect for you! There are plenty of options for people like yourselves who want to visit for a little longer. We have done plenty of exchanges of a month or more, it’s just a question of starting the conversation with potential exchange partners and seeing where it goes! Hannah http://www.loveplaywork.com

  2. Thanks Hannah & Chris for this great insight. We just moved to a great new house here in Holland, and can both work location independent.. but just never thought about swapping our house..

    My only concern is that no one want’s to come to this location in Holland, Breda (near Belgium)… but maybe i’m wrong.. 😉

    Best, Rogier

    • Hi Rogier, you never know! Give it a try and see, you’d be surprised by how many people want to visit all sorts of destinations. We never thought a family from Tahiti would be interested in our apartment in the UK but turns out they love the nearby forest…! Just give it a try and see what happens! best of luck- a location independent lifestyle is a lot of fun, Hannah http://www.loveplaywork.com

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