The last 7-8 months have been all sorts of unpredictable. I rarely knew where I was going to be, what I was going to be working on, or whether clients were going to pay on time. This led to my inability to plan for anything. I was basically going day-to-day or week-to-week. It was kind of like that circus act with the spinning plates. As long as I kept all of the plates spinning, I was doing OK.

And don’t get me wrong, I loved almost every moment of it.

It did mean one thing though, which I mentioned yesterday: I was so busy in survival and execution mode that I couldn’t really put much thought or time into personal things. My social life decreased since my schedule was so erratic. I basically gave up on any sort of fitness and health. And if I’m being completely honest, my emotional well-being was taking a bit of a hit too.

Now that the next few months are coming into more focus and I can finally start to breathe a little, I’ve decided to put these next few weeks into getting back to normal on the personal front. Starting with my fitness and health. I joined a gym today. I know I’ll only be able to go for a few weeks before embarking on my travels, but it’s better than nothing and I know it’ll help me get my mental space back in order. I’m also working on the little things that really help when you work remotely - getting dressed every day. Leaving the house every day. Making sure I have a sense of accomplishment every single day, even if it’s a small thing.

Working at home, remotely, without a team to speak of, especially as an introvert, can really bring out your most hermit-like tendencies. On paper things are going well - I have clients, I have work, I have income, I’ve worked on some cool things with cool people. But below all of that is me, at home, in my PJs, forgetting about all the normal human things in favor of working.

One thing I’ve learned is that while I know I’m the type of person who needs “alone time” to recharge, I also need to be around people to help me balance my introversion. I enjoy talking to people. I enjoy the coffee catchup or the going out for drinks. I just need to remind myself that just because I’m home all day doesn’t mean I can’t go outside and do those things. It’s an inertia problem for me.

Going into Belated 2016, I know solving this challenge is going to be a huge part of thriving as a long term traveler and remote worker. I applied for Hacker Paradise today. I’m thinking I’ll join them in Porto in June or July. The idea of having a community who cares about and is doing the same thing as me is so appealing right now and although I’m sure I could probably travel solo and spend time in Porto more cheaply, at this point I really value the prospect of a community and I’m really hoping it works out so I can participate!