Canadian travelpreneur reveals his five secrets to working while you travel

Michael Peres working in Waikiki, Honolulu
Michael Peres working in Waikiki, Honolulu

A Canadian-born travelpreneur has revealed his secrets to running a business from any given area of the world.

Whether he is working in shorts on the beach in Hawaii or an internet cafe in Israel, Michael Peres, from Montreal, is one of a new generation of successful entrepreneurs.

Now, after nearly three years on the road, the 29-year-old software engineer is offering his top tips to anyone planning to travel or work abroad.

From his current base in Seattle, Yahoo Canada caught up with Michael to see what his recipe for success is.

How do you cope with no WIFI?

When you work while you travel, you are your own boss so it’s good practice to have your own source of WIFI at the ready. Whether you travel abroad to a less developed area or find a café in a modern city centre, you’ll often experience a slow and choppy connection that impedes your ability to work.

You can get lucky with travel WIFI which is perfect when you find the ideal work environment and WIFI together. But it’s an even better feeling to know that you have 4G at your fingertips when you need it.

Hotspot is the best thing to happen to the nomad job industry. As long as you have a good provider such as T-Mobile, you can get 20-80GB hotspot for just a few bucks more - and you can also provide free hotspot to anyone else in need. What’s best is that T-Mobile offers this service when you travel abroad to Canada and Mexico.

How do you motivate yourself to work instead of feeling like you’re on vacation?

The most beautiful places are often far away, and that means lots of traveling time. That time spent on the road or in the air shouldn’t be a ‘cost to traveling’ but rather ‘a perk of traveling’. This is golden time to be super productive so plug in those noise-cancelling earphones and hyper-focus.

My top tip is to always have two types of works in the queue: Work that you can do online, and work that you can do offline. Interstate travel doesn’t always have cell reception, where the hotspot won’t work, and some flights don’t offer wifi so you need to be prepared for all scenarios.

Michael Peres speaking at the Microsoft Store University Village
Michael Peres speaking at the Microsoft Store University Village

How do you deal with the challenge of working across different time zones?

Know who you are talking to and where they are based. Your clients are the most important variable here, and they need to be prioritized.

When traveling, your work hours can be out of sync with your clients. It’s vital your operational hours are adjusted to maintain a smooth and efficient flow of communication between you and your clients. Adjust your schedule to fit theirs but setting multiple time zones into the clock function on your phone.

Be proactive instead of reactive because you don’t want to get this wrong and anxious clients will certainly hurt the quality of your travels.

Adjust your sleep hours, dedicate time to respond to emails and take phone calls before going off the grid for an extended period of time. Show clients that your personal life will not impede your ability to get them the quality services you’ve promised them. Remember, they’re funding your lifestyle and they take precedence.

How do you balance work and downtime?

All work and no play is no good for anyone. Taking time to relax and re-charge the mental batteries is as important to ensure that your work is quality and to the best of your ability. In fact, I would argue that knowing how to balance your time is one of the defining traits of success. You’re wasting time if you work when you’re exhausted, as that same time can return 10x the results when you work properly rested, or clear-minded. It’s a valuable skill learnt over time.

Traveling means you’re constantly exposed to new and interesting spaces. Running, hiking or even walking around can be quite refreshing. A 30 minute break is more than enough to give your mental state a complete recharge.I start to exhaust at about midday so my go-to activity is a 45 minute run to switch off and be hungry for more work.

Healthy body, healthy mind. I cannot stress that it is very important you make working out and staying fit a fundamental part of your life. Equally important to setting aside work time, is setting aside workout time. Start crafting your life in a way where working out does not get in the way of it, but compliments it, and working out while you travel is the ultimate test to this.

Slow and steady wins the race here. Make sure you have a clear-cut workout routine, with quantifiable goals. Hold yourself accountable but make sure you reward yourself for sticking to the plan and those goals. The mental and physical returns make it all that worth it - the quality of your work will actually benefit as a result too.

If you could pass only one nugget of information on to a fellow travelpreneur, what would it be?

Don’t get lazy when you have juice. I can’t stress it enough to stay charged at all times. Even when you have a full battery, get into a habit to be plugged in at all times. This will save you time and help you get ahead for the time when you don’t have access to wifi. Traveling is unpredictable and you never know when you will need to work.