abhisawa /Foter

There are a lot of reasons for working for yourself. We all have our list of things that have made it worth it to us to put up with working long hours, and having our work bleed into our personal lives until it’s hard to tell the difference between the two, and dealing with the lack of health insurance and other perks of more mainstream employment.

For me, one of the reasons that working for myself is important to me is the ability to take a couple days off to head out on a spontaneous road trip with my sister and her boyfriend to see my mom. It’s a 12 hour drive, one way. We’ve got four days. What the heck! Today is our fourth day, and we’re on the road for our 12 hours back home.

Yes, that’s right. Actually on the road right now as I type this. I believe we’re hurtling past the tiny town of DeBorgia right now, up in the mountains an hour outside of Couer d’Alene. And that’s what I’m loving most about my job right now. With the help of a little technological bling, I’m connected to the internet as I travel across the country. I know that many of you are into traveling, and also into making money while you travel, so I thought I’d share what’s making it possible for me to do this. I’m going to assume you have the basic equipment for your job—a laptop, camera, etc. Whatever you need to do your job whether you’re on the road or not. There are just two pieces of equipment that make it possible for me to connect all of that .

1) A 12V converter. I love this thing. Here’s the one I have.
I can charge anything that charges from a regular 110V outlet (like in your house) or from a USB port. It plugs in to the cigarette lighter in the car and my laptop plugs right into that, making it possible for me to work a lot longer than the hour or two that my battery lasts these days. I can also charge my phone through it, if I don’t need to use the laptop. If I am using the laptop, then my phone is charging through it, which takes me to the next item.
2) A 3g phone—in my case a Motorola Droid. With this phone and the free app PDANet, I’m able to tether my phone to my laptop and enjoy an internet connection wherever I have a 3G connection. It’s true that there are a lot of spots up in the mountains where I don’t have a connection, and that’s when I’m writing this in a Word document. Whenever it picks up a connection, I’m uploading the pictures that I’ve been editing. When I’m done typing this, I’ll just wait for the next connection and upload it.

Obviously, you need to check and be sure that your wireless provider allows tethering (I’ve got Verizon…there are many things they don’t do right, but I’ve never had a problem with tethering and the unlimited data plan).

Particularly for those of you that are producing content, this should open up your ability to shoot content in plenty of new places. These two items, some basic camping gear, and a sense of adventure should increase your content-producing capabilities significantly. And if you set up the timing right, just set the computer to do all the rendering on your way home, upload video as the last step before you get home, and enjoy a bath and a refreshing beverage when you get home. Enjoy!