Day In The Life of Living Abroad
I find that creating routine is one of the most difficult challenges I face while living abroad. Depending on the country, time zone, facilities available, and a number of other factors, a day in the life of living abroad can be constantly changing. While living in Ukraine I couldn’t find an English speaking yoga studio while it was something I was able to do regularly in Indonesia. So if things are always changing then what does a typical day in the life of living abroad look like? Well here’s my day and how I create consistency where ever I am.
I’m always waking up in different places; maybe a city or a jungle. One thing is for sure, I am up early between the hours of 6:00am - 8:00am to be able to slowly start my day. I am most productive in the mornings so an early rise allows me to meditate, have a cool shower, breakfast, and revisit my daily to-do list with no rush.
My work is 100% remote and flexible, meaning I can work from anywhere in the world, however my work is timezone based. I currently work on European time while based in Bali which is a +6 hour difference. In this case, I do not start work until 3pm in Bali. Most of my work is based on automation and check ins every 2 hours and projects for my blog, podcast, or, clients, which leaves me a lot of room throughout my day to explore, but we’ll talk more about that later. The timezone that I am in determines how my to-do list is. I have the option to get an early start on my work after my wake up routine before doing any activities so I don’t have a heavy workload in the afternoon or I can enjoy my entire morning without worrying about work and start at 3pm. Most days I go between the two depending on what activities I have planned for myself. After 4 years of cramming my life around work, I made a commitment to adjust work into my lifestyle.
The activities I do on a daily basis vary based on where I am but I always try to create routine with whatever it is I choose to do. In Indonesia I spent most of my mornings in yoga class or exploring the island. In Tanzania I spent most of my mornings walking along the beach. In Kenya and Turkey I spent my mornings exploring. In Ukraine and in the United States I spent my mornings working from cafes in the city in Kyiv and along the beach in Miami.
Meeting people is one of my favorite things to do while living abroad, whether it be locals or other travelers. I am always keen to a cup of coffee, a beach day, and occasionally night life. Most of the countries I visit are pretty relaxed so it’s normal to meet a friend at a cafe for breakfast or lunch or a beach day a few times a week.
Here’s how I am spending my days in Indonesia now:
7:30am - Rise and shine for meditation + journaling
8:30am - Breakfast
9:30am - 2:00pm - Free Time/Adventure time
2:00pm - 4:00pm - Work, work, work
5:00pm - 7:00pm - Free Time/Adventure time
7:00pm - 11:00pm - Work, work, work
On Wednesday's I do and plan absolutely nothing :)
*Please note because my work is European based I occasionally wake up throughout the night to check in on work but use the additional time in the morning to sleep in later than my usual 6:00am wake up time.
I use to work in a building from 8am - 6pm or 11am - 9pm with a one hour break to eat. There was no flexibility or opportunities to do anything else besides on my “off” days or during paid vacation time. Life abroad and a change in my work style have allowed me to make the most of my days despite a strict routine. While my days are often changing, my responsibilities don’t. I still have to make time for work, but now I have more opportunities to enjoy life too!