Travel while working remotely in Europe? That’s everyday life for Melania and Stefano! They have been travelling Europe for several years now, sharing their working adventures via social media. If you need tips and tricks on how to work remotely abroad, you’ve come to the right place!
I met the two Italian web developers Melania and Stefano, known as Worldapalooza on social media, while I was temporarily working in Italy. In today’s interview, they share their definition of workation and how they prepare their remote work periods abroad.
Ciao, Melania and Stefano! You two call yourselves workationers. How did you two become workationers and how do you define the term workation?
Melania: Hi, thanks for having us! Initially, we were always working a bit in office, a bit at home. We started to work fully remote since COVID and actually liked it a lot. Once we moved completely remote and were always at home, we realized that we could just travel in Europe while working. That is actually what workation means: work plus vacation. You go somewhere, to a different place, that can be just another city in your own country. But you can be on vacation on weekends and after work, and do the touristic stuff.
That’s exactly how I also experienced my workation in Rome. I worked normally during the week and explored the region during the weekend. There’s a popular term flying around social media, which made me think of you two: digital nomads. Would you call yourselves digital nomads?
Melania: I wouldn’t, not at the moment.
Stefano: No, we are workationers. Digital nomads don’t have a base, they go from one city or one state to another. We have a base in Rome.
Melania: Yeah, every time we travel, we go back in Rome. Whereas digital nomads basically just continue moving around. We would actually like to do that, but it’s not that time yet. At the moment, we are employees with a strict schedule and strict work timings. Of course, if you travel to the other side of the world where you have a very different time zone, it can be quite challenging. You might need to work at night. It’s a bit complicated, even though it’s not impossible.
When you go abroad, do you usually work from hotels?
Melania: Usually, we don’t go to hotels. We prefer a little apartment where we have our kitchen because if you stay for longer, you will need your own space.
Do you have any tips for other new workationers?
Stefano: It’s very important to have a good connection.
Melania: Yeah, at least you don’t have to worry about going on and off.
Stefano: We use co-working.
Melania: Yeah, or cafés that are digital-nomad-friendly where we can stay. We pick up places where we know at least the connection is good or we’re close to places where they have a good connection.
Stefano: And it’s important to have a routine, eat good food and work out.
Melania: Oh yes, to stay physically and mentally active. And we separate work and vacation completely. Otherwise, you never stop working. We try to really divide the two things.
These are indeed important tips, even for remotely working at home. We all need to make sure to keep a healthy work-life-balance. What’s the plan for your next workation?
Stefano: We booked our first, very short vacation for 2024. We’re going to Albania for 10 days.
Melania: There is a small digital community also over there. We would like to check that out. We really like to meet other people, so it will be interesting. There are actually quite a few communities around the world and around Europe.
I also read about a very active workation community in Lebanon under my last post (read my personal Tips for a successful workation abroad). Enjoy travelling Albania! I cannot wait to follow your adventures and wish you all the best for your future workations and other endeavors. Thanks for sharing your experience here!
If you’re interested to explore what Melania and Stefano are up to, you may follow them on Instagram via https://www.instagram.com/worldapalooza/ or check out their Italian blog https://www.worldapalooza.net/.
Our full interview is available on YouTube.