By Janette Speyer, Web Success Team
Editor’s note: This article was published in 2009 on a trip to South East Asia, were we traveled and ran the Web Success Team while on the go. This is still relevant information. Wi-Fi and Internet cafes are everywhere and with the advent of tablets and smartphones we are able to go anywhere without interruption. Our Web Success team staff writer is presently in Australia and contributing from there.
Traveling and running a business sounds like an oxymoron. Well, it can be done. Thanks to Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Wi-Fi. Today with all the virtual offices around you never know if you are talking to someone in the UK, America or in India.
As one of the main partners at The Web Success Team, I am running a little experiment. We were traveling around Southeast Asia for 3 weeks technically on vacation but not quite. I still have to take care of my clients needs. Even though I have a support system back in Los Angeles, my clients still want to know that someone is in charge of the operation. Here below is a small part of a diary I am keeping.
Day 1: Thursday, March 12: After traveling for almost 24 hours, Bob and I arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where settled in a charming boutique hotel, The Blue Lime. Before booking our hotels we carefully checked to see if all room had Wi-Fi. We were able to take care of all emails and reassure our customers that we are in contact. And since we were 15 hours ahead, it was easy.
Day 2: Friday, March 13: Visited an orphanage, Save Children in Asia – a must for all people visiting Cambodia. We brought the kids toys and purchased a 50 kg (110 lb) sack of rice to feed them for a month. We fell in love with the kids and we are now helping them with their website and the social media efforts.
The next day we visited S-21, the Khmer Rouge prison where the Communists tortured and destroyed the educated class of citizenry. The afternoon was spent designing and writing a direct response website. One gruesome note. In the evening we went to dinner at in a colonial mansion where street teens were reeducated into learning cooking and waitering skills. The meal was delicious, including Bob’s appetizer – fried tarantulas. Bob ate all four and said they were crispy but delicious!
Day 3: Saturday, March 14: Early flight to Siem Reap, home of the famous Angkor Wat temple complex (one of the 7 man-made wonders of the world). Work wise, I managed a shopping cart issue for one of my clients while sitting by the pool.
Day 4: Sunday, March 15: Caught the sunrise at Angkor Wat at 6 am (with all the tourists in the world, chasing after the rising sun with their cameras), visited the amazing site for 3 hours, returned to the hotel, and with around 5 hours of downtime (too hot to go anywhere), I worked on the direct response website and a social media plan.
Day 5: Monday, March 16: Flight to Saigon (now named Ho Chi Minh City), delayed…opened up my computer and reviewed client statistics for the month. Arrived at the hotel, checked email and wrote and uploaded client blogs and sites. Saigon‘s city streets are awash in motorcyclists (thousands), honking, surging and buzzing around like disturbed hornets. The city itself lacks charm and is quite polluted. Even the motorcyclists wear doctor’s masks.
Day 6: Tuesday, March 17: It had to happen sometime, we both got sick with bad tummies. So we decided against an all day bus trip to the Mekong Delta and chose to stay close to the hotel and visit the city instead. After breakfast (chicken noodle soup and tea) went to the war memorial museum. Very graphic but a must see visit. It documented the American war atrocities, very real and very tragic. War knows no humanity – on both sides. Worked in the evening, it is the morning in LA we are 15 hours ahead, good thing.
So far my clients seem happy, some are not quite sure where we are and don’t even care as long as they get what they need in a timely manner. My objective is to do this at least once a year. It seems to be easier on vacation then when I travel for conferences, where most of my day is taken.
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