Since we moved onto our boat full-time last spring there are two topics that receive the overwhelming majority of questions: bathroom everything and being remote. I’ve already covered all things bathroom (here) so now I’ll move on to a much more comfortable topic, doing life remote.
First, let me start by clarifying what I mean by “remote.”
We are not floating in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Nor are we in the depths of a rainforest in Africa. So by our definition, remote means that we’re not in a traditional setting like an office or school. More often than not we are in a marina on the outskirts of a town.
Traveling around America’s Great Loop gives us the freedom to explore new places, while always being relatively close to land. Occasionally we’re anchoring out or crossing a pretty big body of water, but for the most part we’re on the grid (so to speak!)
So how do we stay connected and swing the whole work-from-home, school-from-home while traveling on a boat?
The first key to the answer is our schedule.
We try to be docked in a marina for a traditional work week. This allows Brent to maintain focus, not feel like he’s missing out on anything, and also gives the kids and I plenty of time to do school and explore. Occasionally due to weather or other variables we might travel during the week; however it’s not the norm for us.
In a typical week we travel between 150-200 nautical miles, on average. A lot really depends on the locations where we want to spend our work week. We try to pick fun places that will be easy for us to explore. Of course, Brent uses his allotted days-off strategically on weeks where we want to travel further or if we have reason to travel at a different pace.
The next key to working remotely is our equipment.
Here are the 4 products we set up to ensure we’d never have an issue:
- weBoost Drive Reach (cell phone boosting antenna)
- Wilson Electronics Wide Band Omni-Directional Marine Antenna (external antenna on the roof of our boat.)
- weBoost Indoor Wall Mount Panel Antenna
- Modem Extender Unlocked
(Each of these items were purchased through Amazon. You can click on the product above and see a price and picture for exactly what we bought.)
All of these things are used to run and boost a 4G Sim Card.
We opted to go with AT&T network and purchased a truly unlimited plan from Mobile Must Have. We pay a little more ($140 per month) but don’t have to worry about throttling. Our plan also allows us to be international.
Additionally, our cell phones use the Verizon network. In a pinch we can use them as hot spots if our AT&T service is ever disrupted.
The final key to our family’s remoteness is our ability to prioritize.
Brent makes us very aware of his big zoom meetings where he will need a top notch connection. The rest of us avoid streaming shows or downloading big files during that time frame.
Could we do it all? Probably. We have no issues streaming shows on multiple tv’s and having plenty of wifi on our computers. But, when it comes to Brent’s job we never want to risk him dropping the connection during something important.
If nothing else, 2020 proved that many jobs can be done effectively and efficiently from places other than a corporate office.
Likewise, most children can absolutely thrive in an environment other than a classroom.
We are so thankful our family jumped at the opportunity to live remote! Yes, there have been challenges. And yes, there have been days when I’ve thought to myself “this would be so much easier if we were still living a more traditional lifestyle.”
But, in my opinion, the “good” of being remote outweighs the “bad” every single time!
If this is something you’re even halfway considering (whether it be on a boat or RV or another form of remote lifestyle), my advice is DO IT. Figure it out, make your plans and jump in head first!
Hopefully this answered a lot of your questions about a remote lifestyle, but if you have more specific ones- please leave a comment and we’ll try to answer it as best we can!
As always, thanks for following along on our crazy adventure! You may also enjoy reading:
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