Forth Approved: 7.24.17 by Amanda Glandon

Photo: Rhine Hall

Photo: Rhine Hall

GO, DO & SEE

This Week

July 25: Chicago Woman hosts Beautious, a night of beauty and style.

July 27-29: Jessica Zweig of SimplyBe teams up with Ms. Tech for the Fear Paradox Summit (and we'll be there!).

July 29: Rhine Hall holds a cocktail class.

July 30: Bon Vivant Cakes takes over Festive Collective for Drunken Donuts.

Upcoming

Aug 3: Festive Collective hosts Home Work Happy Hour.

Aug 6: FIG Catering and Radical Root Organic Farm partner up for FIGgin Radical Farm Dinner.

Aug 13: Lauren Ash hosts her ever-popular Self Care Sunday at REUNION.

Aug 27: Slow Food Chicago hosts a Farm Roast.
 

READ, WATCH & STREAM

Julie Schumacher is back for part 2 of how she makes her working sabbatical work.

Celine Neon released a new single, Keys.

Po Campo details how you can stay cool while biking this summer.

MAKING A WORKING SABBATICAL WORK PART 2: TOOLS, MONEY & THE REAL CHALLENGE by Julie Schumacher

Hello from Cannaregio, the northernmost sestieri of Venice. We're on the legit, real, away-message-on portion of our summer trip. 

After sharing a bit about how we navigate time and space and talk to clients, I'm back with a few specifics on tools we use and how we answer the question most people are afraid to ask but most curious about: how we pay for five weeks away.

MANAGING TOOLS

You Asked: What tools are necessary to make it work?

Our first summer we brought a Magic Jack with us and a Google phone number. A Magic Jack, y'all. It still cracks me up. We've updated and improved since we headed off to Iceland in 2010.

Now we travel as light as we can. Until the ban laptops and god knows what else, here's a breakdown of some of the hardware and software that keeps us up and running.

Hardware & Software THAT's Goodware

The Basics

I work on a Macbook Air. It is all I need to be super productive. I keep most stuff on Google Drive at home and while abroad. 

Before we leave, we make sure BackBlaze is all caught up and drop as much essential family treasures and info into an external hard drive, which is also set to BackBlaze. That not only ensure a disaster isn't a legacy-eraser but clears up storage for the eleven billion photos I take. 

We bring extra travel adapters and ensure some are surge protector quality. I tend to charge my phone through my laptop to save on an adapter and because I'm lazy. One year we had an adapter strip and it was awesome!

PS: Keep all your adapters in a bag and put them right back in the minute you get home, hell keep all your travel/work stuff in one place. I've bought Western Europe adapters in 1998, 2003, 2009, 2012. Didn't have to this year because I finally put them in ONE place.

Phones & Accessories

Data plans. Beyond looking into a travel credit card, a cell phone is the other fast place you get dinged. We add the 100 plan on Verizon and immediately get into a fight about data. Next year we intend to look more aggressive about T-Mobile which has a plan that doesn't impact our stress levels and bottom line so dang much. (I started this draft our first week in Vienna. I have done a crap job managing my data.)

I also recommend a supplemental phone charger. I use this subtle orange Jackery. I charge it (also on my laptop) and it keeps me feeling secure when I need my German translation app (all the time). I don't know what the light is for, but it's there too. 

For next year I'm flirting with the idea of some kind of waterproof case. There are times I want to take my phone out for pictures but there's too much risk of me hurling it off the side of a boat.

I will not and cannot carry a selfie stick. They make me want to scream.

PS: I also carry a Nikon D70 with a couple lenses and a Domke bag that's probably 100 years old at this point. It holds infinite amount of stuff. At the end of the night tonight mine contained: a scarf to enter churches, a half a bottle of white wine, two small glasses, a change of clothes + water bottle for the kid, my wallet, my camera, endless loose change + ephemera and may phone and extra charger. At least.

Domke bag in Iceland, 2010

Domke bag in Iceland, 2010

Apps & Software

I don't have a huge arsenal of apps that get me through the day. Skype, Google Drive and Instagram, but yea, you know that.

Slack. Amirite? You probably know that one too. Beyond how useful it is at home, it's the best way to be in real time (or not) with teams. It keeps me in touch with my Forth gals and the larger teams I work with. I can also post and if folks have sleepy notifications set not worry that I'm waking them up.

Pocket has been a lifesaver. If you are used to pulling up an article and reading it on your phone out in the world, you will blow through your data in one good think piece on the crap state of things. Instead, I save a billion articles at home and read my face off (leveraging the Jackery) while Lo plays at playgrounds (or you are reading at a café you sophisticated beast).

My current reading list

My current reading list

Harvest is my go-to for time tracking, all the time forever. Not really travel related, but just wanted to share. I do like that I can track invoices due dates to make sure we can pay ourselves on time.

I recently started leveraging the free version of Calendly to try to schedule calls without totally screwing up time zones. I'll let you know how it goes!

Google Maps. We make a color coded map for each city we are headed to (I'm writing up a post on that on our family blog). BUT! Beyond that dorkiness, you can download a local map with your saved places onto your phone. It's a great way to create your dream day and it's a great way to navigate offline. Here's how to do it!

Mac's Messenger app connected to my cell number is a simple one but in terms of not chewing up data, I try to do my not-necessary-but-necessary texting to my girlfriends about things I think are ridiculous when I'm on Wifi and on my laptop. What about What's App? I know, I should know. I don't. Sorry, guys.

You Asked: How do you deal with connectivity and network stuff?

We complain about our Comcast Internet on the regular. It feels archaic. For all those complaints, we've yet to have better Wifi in any place we've stayed, ever. (Update. Our apartment in Budapest had CRAZY good wifi). It might be that like Americans with their giant closets and 10 bathroom houses, we think BIG and FAST is normal and everyone here is cool with shops being closed on Sundays and totally passable internet.

Our most recent Uber driver shared a tool that gives pretty great Wifi for 20 euro per month and costs 100 to start. Sounds super appealing but who know what great Wifi means for someone not uploading cuckoo big files or whatever it is that Brett does. I will report back if we purchase one! We're totes buying a Wifi/laptop antenna booster. Why we haven't yet? I dunno.

So, yes, we deal with connectivity issues. A lot. We make sure we both don't have major things scheduled at the same time (and if we do, one goes phone and the other Skype) and make sure non-imperative devices are turned to airplane more, including Bluetooth stuff like a wireless mouse. We're like stewardesses, trolling the house looking for offenders.

We also find the house's sweet spot. How? Get ready for dorkdom. If you are on a Mac, Opt click on your wireless network then while holding down Opt again click the wifi signal again and that reveals this hidden set of info about the network and adds new options to your menu. One is <Open Wireless Diagnostics> Click that and it opens and at the top is a menu. Under Windows, select <Performance>.

Then wander the space with your laptop like it's a divinging rod and you get information on the quality of the connection and data rate (speed). This house? It flips between 35 mbs to 350 kbs which is like resurrecting a dial up modem and your dot matrix printer. (PS: Once you do the Opt Click thing once it stays active so you have it as an feature without holding down Option.)

No joke, you can also figure out the orientation of your computer's antenna and the Wifi router it can make a huge difference.

No joke, no joke. You can also build a sun-tan worthy tin foil extender to surround the back of your antenna to boost it. 

In rural France with at one point five adults each with at least two devices things got hairy. Most of the time, these lil' tricks help enough that I stop complaining and Brett's content enough.

MANAGING MONEY

You asked: How do we plan for these trips as independents?

There's two pieces of this to me. First there's the straight up time to work, which I talked about here

We structure the trips mentally as weeks of working with weekends of good stuff. Over the course of the month, those weekends become a week or so of tourist goodness in a new place. Add in all the other stuff we do during the week when we work at night and we get a great sense of a place while still keeping the work lamps lit.

It is not for everyone. If you will be lured into sleeping in or spending more, you will come out behind. I've claimed it before but I swear having a kid who has to be home and sleeping is a good thing for our bottom line. There are hours we simply are not out doing stuff and we can work.

We even talk with the kid about the choices we make so we can make choices. She knows we stayed a bit out of the central area in Hallstatt because, welp, that way we could go to Hallstatt. We don't do every tour, go into every museum, go to all three caves if there are three caves. We pick and choose the same way we would on a shorter vacation.

 

The second piece is how manage work and money the rest of the time. It probably varies greatly for every person and it's changed just in the time we've been together and making it work. Just know that if you try it and reflect and document and plan, you can begin to find the trends and problem spots and ways to save and do it.

One piece is planning our income to make these trips possible, before we go. We work with a financial planner, Brian Plain. We do even though it is also an added expense. He's awesome and is focused specifically on Gen-X and younger families. Instead of being product based, selling us the next batch of life insurance, he understands and champions the lifestyle families want now and in the future and guides conversations about what changes we can make or need to make or don't need to make. He has rolled with us through us having incredible months of work but no money coming in (we called it Cash Crunch 2016) and patiently sat through my post-election let's buy gold and stash it under the mattress freak outs. We really appreciate Brian and his blend of realistic support, you can learn more about him here.

He helps us make sure we're meeting our other obligations (retirement, taxes, cash flow on the daily) while helping us map out trips as an integral part of our life. 

You Probably Want to Ask: Yea, but how do we really afford the trips? For real.

How rude! I kid.

The thing folks really want to know is about how many dollars it takes and how we get those dollars. I get it. I really do. Especially once folks realize we aren't trust funders or independently wealthy. Oh, how I wish we were! I'd be an awesome independently wealthy person. We do put a ton of it on credit cards while we are here as we got that international card, but we don't spend more than we have. I'm married to someone who physically cannot do that or he implodes.

Instead, we pay for it by prioritizing the trips. Whenever we make any financial decisions down to how much clothes shopping we do or how often we GrubHub the trip is in the back of our minds. I'd order in all the time if I could. But I'd rather travel. We plan in small ways all year, setting aside for taxes and other expenses throughout the year so we aren't slammed. 

If you want to do this as a whim, it's not easy. If you build it into your choices about work and life along the way, it's still not easy. Or fun. But it makes it doable. And that's worth it to all of us.

It impacts everything from the size house we have (big enough but no bigger) to our gifts to one another during the year. We drive a million year old car and, despite my deep desire, have not redone our downstairs bathroom. We don't take other big vacations during the year minus weddings and visiting family.

We took one year off as it didn't seem like a financially smart decision and have worked since then to make it feasible and responsible. 

Some Specifics

Take housing. We rent our house out (I'll share more about that on our family blog soon). That helps us set a rough budget for housing for the month. We find an Airbnb that offers a monthly discount. If you search hard and carefully, many spaces offer discounts for a week or a month. So we leverage the time away to our benefit. If we went for just a week or so, we wouldn't get that discount and we'd be inclined to spend more time out and less time working. So the longer time actually works better for us.

We pick places that might not be super central but, because we're there for a month, we don't feel stressed about fitting everything into two days.

And then there's eating. We eat at home more than you probably want to on a vacation. Because it's not a vacation. We eat out on weekends and maybe once a week, much like we do at home but even during the vacation portion of the trip, we're shopping and cooking. 

The kid and I ate a picnic lunch nearly every day we were out together. We even bring a jar of peanut butter with us because we've been burned before. A giant, giant jar. 

We also aren't huge shoppers-for-souvenirs on trips. We pick up a Christmas tree ornament and a few things for the kid and that's about it. Not only do we not want a lot of crap in our house, we can't afford the crap and we want our kid to see what travel is about for us. Which is, for us, not crap. She's picked out a couple small things over five weeks. Not bad considering she asks for everything everywhere.

And, you know, we work. 

While I might not crank at 100% of my full earning power, I might have an off month in November, too. So I don't look at it as closely as "how much did I make this month" vs looking at whether we are meeting our monthly and quarterly and yearly goals each month. 

We are fortunate to earn enough to make these kinds of adventures possible, even if they aren't easy. A benefit is we are protective of our rates and our schedules and the kinds of partners and projects we take because it's a thing we're thinking about when we plan our work lives.

WRAP IT UP ALREADY

You Asked: What's the biggest challenge we've had to face on a trip?

Honest to goodness, we're a good team. We have one fight each trip which ranges on a variety of things, is generally short lived and leads to a real good conversation.

Our kid is easy, extroverted, healthy and flexible. 

We've had hiccups. Projects go off the rails and that means long, long nights for one of us. But we do at home, too. 

We've had kid fevers and some epic puking (and this year less epic puking) and even a case of Lyme's Disease pop up.

I am mindful of, but not deterred by, global security and terrorism.

The hardest part about these trips? How vulnerable they feel like right now. Sure, having a kid start school last year limited our flexibility and ISIS is a total pain in the ass. And the threatened laptop ban was a real doozy to work though. But even that we had a plan for. The biggest risk, to be crazy frank, is the rising cost/insecurity around health insurance. We pay so much working for ourselves to make these trips possible. It's entirely possible we won't be able to afford the flux in costs and the trips. The alternative is one of us taking a full-time position for benefits, which would invariably make things more challenging. It's a hard pill to think about swallowing.

It feels especially pressing as we watched the Senate from afar, aware that next year's trip could be in the balance as much as our crazy high deductible plan.

I'll get off my healthcare soapbox (for now) and leave you with an invitation to ask questions here, follow along on Instagram (I'm trying to post regular stories on our trips) and our blog.

Travel like this, to me and to us, is a priority. We don't do a week beach vacation. We drive a '99 Civic. We make intentional choices and have intentional conversations, heck intentional careers even!, to see if we can keep this going. Hopefully I'll be back next year telling you what tools and tricks saved our butts on our next adventure.

Forth Approved: 7.17.17 by Amelia Hruby

Photo by Larkspur Chicago.

GO, DO & SEE

This Week

July 18: Rhine Hall Distillery hosts a Pantry to Plate Panel + Party with YumUniverse and local wellness experts.

July 20: Visit Larkspur at the South Loop Farmers Market.

July 21: Healthy Happy Hour with Alia Dalal is back at The Chopping Block.

July 23: Self-Care Sunday with Lauren Ash is back at REUNION.

Upcoming

July 27-29: Jessica Zweig of SimplyBe teams up with Ms. Tech for the Fear Paradox Summit (and we'll be there!).

Aug 3: Festive Collective hosts Home Work Happy Hour.

Aug 6: FIG Catering and Radical Root Organic Farm partner up for FIGgin Radical Farm Dinner.
 

READ, WATCH & STREAM

Julie Schumacher explains how she makes her working sabbatical work on our blog.

Lauren Ash shares how she uses intentions to manifest her best life.

Forth intern Amelia Hruby interviews Forth-er Annie Higgins and her band Weatherman for CHIRP Radio.

Jessica Zweig advises on being worshipped online.

 

Forth Approved: 7.10.17 by Amanda Glandon

Photo: Alia Dalal

Photo: Alia Dalal

GO, DO & SEE

This Week

July 10: Early to Bed shows you how to "hit the hot spots".

July 11: Lauren Ash hosts a mindfulness workshop.

July 13: Alia Dalal teaches a "Very Vegetable" edition of her clean eating workshop.

July 15: Paige Worthy offers a free yoga class at 3pm at Zen Yoga Garage.

July 16: Bon Vivant pops up at West Elm with Cone Cakes.

Upcoming

July 18: Rhine Hall Distillery host a Pantry to Plate Panel + Party with YumUniverse and local wellness experts.

July 21: Healthy Happy Hour with Alia Dalal is back at The Chopping Block.

July 23: Self-Care Sunday with Lauren Ash is back at REUNION.

July 27-29: Jessica Zweig of SimplyBe teams up with Ms. Tech for the Fear Paradox Summit.

Aug 3: Festive Collective hosts Home Work Happy Hour.

Aug 6: FIG Catering and Radical Root Organic Farm partner up for FIGgin Radical Farm Dinner.
 

READ, WATCH & STREAM

Julie Schumacher pens another update from her working sabbatical.

Jessica Zweig shares "How to Become Rich by Simply Being You".

The Black Girl in Om podcast made Nia Magazine's list of 15 Podcasts by Black Women That You Should Download Today.

 

Making a Working Sabbatical Work Part 1: Space, Time & Clients by Julie Schumacher

Hello from Alsegrund, the 9th District of Vienna!

Outside the Palais Lichtenstein, down the street from our apartment.

Outside the Palais Lichtenstein, down the street from our apartment.

That's our daughter, a-twirling the day after we arrived in mid-June.

Over the course of seven years, my husband and I have taken five working sabbaticals, relocating to a new city for a month while still working. We're both independent creatives (he builds websites, I write) and we take our kiddo, now six, with us. We've done international trips (Iceland, France, and New Zealand) as well as domestic adventures (San Francisco, Washington DC).

We get a lot of questions on how we do it (and a few on why) so I thought I'd share a bit with my favorite creative community.

With the more frequently asked questions, we tried to group them in ways that make sense. If you have another question, leave it in the comments, and I'm happy be answer whatever I can!

Managing Productivity

Workspaces, Times Zones, Motivation

First, folks tend to ask about logistics. Three pieces that pop up when we talk about the day-to-day include where we work, when we work and, quite emphatically, how the hell we work. 

You Asked: Where do we manage to work?
We seek out apartments, houses or yurts (just kidding, we've stayed in a yurt but not during a working part of our vacation!) that have some kind of dedicated workspace, even if it's less than perfect. In DC, that meant a small dining room table but the kid was out of the house. In San Francisco and New Zealand, the homes had a dedicated office. Here in Vienna there's a desk in a third bedroom that tends to stay cool (we're in the middle of a heatwave) but I'm totally working at the dining room table a buncha days. Our daughter is used to parents who work from home so piles of cables or laptops out are generally respected by her tiny hands. 

The light in this place is cuckoo.

The light in this place is cuckoo.

We have nixed plenty of houses because of the lack of a workspace. AirBnB has a "laptop friendly workspace" amenity filter, I suggest you eyeball those photos carefully. Ask questions, too. Most owners are happy to be honest before you book to avoid a negative review.

And, yes, coffee shops exist almost everywhere. Cafês are great but not every country is Starbucks USA. In Vienna you are welcome to spend the day nursing a cup of coffee but plugs are in high demand. 

Now, if we didn't have a kid and needed to be productive out of a smaller apartment/house during the day, I cannot recommend coworking spaces enough. You can connect with locals, get shit done and feel like a part of the community. (PS: Full disclosure, I write for them but Deskpass is an awesome flexible option if you are trying out working in LA, NYC, Chicago or Denver.)

You Asked: How the heck can you be motivated to work when you are in ____________?!

I know, right? Who wants to work in Paris!? Or anywhere, ever, really? So we've got the workspace sorted and now we need to, you know, work.

For starters, in some ways it's easier. Being some place pretty can be good for your creativity. Talk about busting up your usual yoga pants / couch experience. At least for yoga pants on a foreign couch.

In an ideal world, we'd be fabulously wealthy and not ever need to work. Since we do need to work, we spend a good chunk of time planning out how to eek the most out of our time. We leverage time zones to take afternoons or days off. We work nights and sometimes crazy early morning.

We're both wired to be high achievers and pleasers, and while there are times that's exhausting and frustrating, it also makes us very good at being independent, wherever we are. We maintain deep respect for each other's work. I have a call, he is happy to do bedtime. If he was up late, I'm happy to run interference with a chatty kid in the morning.

Hanging out at Palmenhaus so dad can take a standing weekly work check-in.

Hanging out at Palmenhaus so dad can take a standing weekly work check-in.

A kid! Having a kid means we're not out at night most of the time, it often lines up with mornings or afternoons at home and as I told one friend, wanting to do all the things makes being insanely productive a must during the hours I got.

In part, it's why the month makes sense. Over the course of a glorious 28 days we do way more (beyond night culture) than we'd likely fit in in a week, whether because of jet lag or weather or whatever. 

On the way to Schönbrunn Palace as a family.

On the way to Schönbrunn Palace as a family.

And, we take a full week or more off at the end. This year we're driving through Austria down to Venice, across Slovenia and back. That alone is a dream trip. This month is a dream trip. I know working lets these trips happen, so I'm happy to make work happen.

Most of the time I work a tad in the early morning and a good chunk at night. Brett's a developer and having unbroken blocks of time is more helpful for him. Still, I like a good chunk of hours too.

We've worked it out so that I have a full day on Wednesdays to work with no one else home. I move around a ton in the apartment, the back room is cool in the mornings, the light-filled living room great in the afternoons as the sun moves to the back of the building.

I wrote about how we schedule our days and nights on our family blog if you want a more detailed breakdown of days and nights.

You asked: How do we navigate time zones?

Right, now that we can and want to work, how do we do it when it's daytime there and nighttime here (wherever here and there are).

More and more this is something folks are navigating all the time if they run any kind of service-oriented studio or consultancy with more than a local reach.

I work on one all-remote team with members across the continental US. While we were in New Zealand, we had a client in Hawaii. While I was in DC, we had (and continue to work with) a client in France. 

I feel like most weeks I'm coping with time zones already. Anyone else?

Still, yes, I get it. I'm not working 8 hours a day at the time zone I usually am. And that can trip folks up, me included.

Easier to be available on Slack at night with al fresco + view vibes.

Easier to be available on Slack at night with al fresco + view vibes.

One of two things helps.

First, I set times when I am available for calls. Here it's M-F, 10-4 CDT. I've always been a night owl (and a morning owl, I just don't get/need a ton of sleep all the time). That's a pretty wide swath of Chicago's work day and includes East and West Coast reasonable times.

Two, and related, I'm trying Calendly this summer to book calls. That way I can block days out if I know I have a writing thing I need to focus on or we've booked something for the night. (I'll be sharing more awesome tools next post).

And there's a third thing. I just flex. If someone really wanted a 8 am call Chicago time, Brett and I can figure it out. If someone wanted an 8 pm call, I'd figure it out. Exceptions are just that, the once in a while-s we do to have the most of time-s. I've done 4 am conference calls in the foyer of our apartment in Auckland. Because when it was done, I was still in Auckland and it was awesome.

Managing PEOPLE

Talking & working with Clients while away

So, now you know it's possible to get work done in a foreign land. It really is! But those other people...clients...do they get it? How does it work with them? 

This seems to be the source of the most it'll-never-work anxiety.

Thus far, I've had really, really limited negative impact from our trips. I think there is one project in seven years that I had to pass on because I wasn't sure if it would be a great fit.

In part, it's because we're already pretty choosey about work. I don't typically work extended onsite engagement as is, Brett rarely does. So being remote isn't something that is a huge hurdle for us or our clients. It's more the normal stroll we're on together. 

You Asked: How do you tell them you are going?

I'm not going to prison. So, I kinda just do? As a project starts if it falls during the trip I let the organizer or project manager know. If a project is slow and delayed (that never happens, right?) I give a head's up with a reminder that it's not a big deal. Because it's not.

We've both built great relationships with our collaborators and clients (see high achiever / pleaser above). So for ongoing projects and collaborations it's part of the larger conversation.

For the most part, clients and collaborative have responded not only positively but enthusiastically and usually (dare I admit) with some envy.

I do have some who wish me a wonderful, extended vacation. I have to remind them I'm working, which is not what I expected to have to do. The most impactful pieces of the trips to date has been reminding clients I'm not unavailable. I'm here! Let's do this!

You Asked: How do you manage them once you are there?

First, I add all the timezones for Chicago and for all the people in various places for project into my phone. I really should to that all the time.

Then, I do things in the exact same way I do at home. Open, honest communication. A dash of humor. And then I meet every damn deadline.

We have a kid, she gets sick. Things come up. Life is messy. Being a responsible and reliable independent is essential wherever I am.

If it's someone I've worked with before, they're aware of the trip as soon as we book tickets since I tell them first the week I'll be offline at the end and then remind them the month before I'll be available, but away.

If it's a new potential client I frame things accurately and set expectations. I offer the caveat that if an in-person is essential, I can start on X date. Again, I've never had someone pass that I can think of. That may be because folks are flexible or because so much of my work comes through referrals.

I also back up what I say I can do with third party proof. Often I can reference that the person referring me collaborated with me while I was abroad and can share how it worked for them. Or I have a handful of folks who I know I can ask to speak on my behalf wherever I am when a project starts.

Then, it's business as usual.

Here in Vienna I can take a call with some advanced notice anytime between 5 and 11 or 11:30 pm, earlier or later too if need be, and everyday Monday-Thursday. I've had folks with way less availability than that stateside so I feel good offering a pretty big window most days of the week. 

If I can manage a jet lagged 6 year old, I can manage clients.

If I can manage a jet lagged 6 year old, I can manage clients.

The schedule changes with each trip, in New Zealand calls tended to be super early morning or post bedtime. But, seriously, things just work out. There's always some overlap of times.

To be honest, I found navigating part time childcare at home with a toddler way trickier and less "acceptable." If there's an emergency on either of our ends, we blow up that schedule I mentioned and figure things out just like we do at home.

Now, I don't deal, not does my hubs really, in physical products with warehouses or expiration dates.We don't have employees. Or pets. I own that that makes things easier in some ways. I'm sure there are smart ways to build teams and have helpers and assistants and in some ways that may make product-based independent traveler super duper possible. 

I just kind of think it's all possible. In the exact way you want with no compromises? Ha, no. But in a fantastic way that fuels your ability and desire to work independently or with flexible companies that support employees developing as cooler humans? Sure, sure..

What About TOOLS & MONEY?

I feel ya. Next post, I'll be sharing the tools we use on the regular as well as some of the things we do financially to make it work. No smoke and mirrors, no trust funds. Just lots and lots and lots of planning and conversation.

Till then:
If you want to read more from our trips, head over to We Made This Ourselves, our blog.
If you want to see more from our trips, head over to Instagram.
We're in Prague this weekend so I'll be sharing some of the highlights on Stories and then recapping on the blog.

And, again, ask questions! I am a zealot about very few things. Figuring out how to travel on your own terms is one of them. I'm always happy to try to help folks figure their paths out.

At the Globe Museum planning future journeys.

At the Globe Museum planning future journeys.

Forth Approved: 7.3.17 by Amelia Hruby

Photo by Lisa Guillot.

Photo by Lisa Guillot.

GO, DO & SEE

This Week

July 3-4: Argaman & Defiance is hosting a summer crop top sale

July 6: Home Work Happy Hour is back again at Festive Collective.

July 9: Self-Care Sunday with Black Girl In Om returns to Reunion.

Upcoming

July 10: Early to Bed shows you how to "hit the hot spots".

July 11: Lauren Ash hosts a mindfulness workshop.

July 13: Alia Dalal teaches a "Very Vegetable" edition of her clean eating workshop.

July 16: Bon Vivant pops up at West Elm with Cone Cakes.

July 21: Healthy Happy Hour is back at The Chopping Block.
 

READ, WATCH & STREAM

Jessica Zweig schools us on what can happen when you stop selling.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken launches their summer Picnic Packs

Centered By Design shares her remodeled bathroom.

Amelia Hruby muses on self-discovery through travel on The Glossary.

Details on how to manage a working sabbatical from Julie Schumacher.

Forth Approved: 6.26.17 by Amanda Glandon

Photo: Vichcraft

Photo: Vichcraft

GO, DO & SEE

This Week

June 26: Early to Bed hosts Naughty Negotiation, a workshop on communication in the bedroom.

June 27: June Food Book Club discusses Hope Jahren's Lab Girl.

June 27: Reunion hosts a potluck preview of Two Queens in a Kitchen.

June 30: Take your little ones to A Little Photo Studio for Jam with Jamie.

July 1: Jenna Blazevich teams up with the Society for Typographic Arts for a radical calligraphy workshop.

Upcoming

July 6: Home Work Happy Hour is back again at Festive Collective.

July 10: Early to Bed shows you how to "hit the hot spots".

July 11: Lauren Ash hosts a mindfulness workshop.

July 13: Alia Dalal teaches a "Very Vegetable" edition of her clean eating workshop.

July 16: Bon Vivant pops up at West Elm with Cone Cakes.
 

READ, WATCH & STREAM

Forthers and Forther-led businesses Second Shift, Chirp Radio, Production Mode, Early to Bed, and Kristen Kaza were honored by Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago awards.

Julie Schumacher gathered writers together and led them through writing the cards for the brand new family edition of Utter Nonsense, a game that is now available at Target.

Strand Design has a new product on Kickstarter Gold, the Fourneau Bread Oven 2.0.

Lonny Mag featured Black Girl in Om in their list of wellness-focused Instagram accounts.