Close-Up: Working from the Road

Part One

As many of you may already know, when I'm not blogging I occasionally write for more traditional fare – magazines. In the April issue of Wired I wrote a guide of sorts on how to take your life (and job) on the road. I interviewed four couples who did just this, and because of the nature of magazines, we couldn't fit all the interesting bits on how they each managed to make a living while traveling our great lands.

Over the next few posts I'll introduce you to each of these great couples and explain in more detail just how they took their jobs and shoved 'em -- into a motor home.

Today, let me introduce you to Jacque Lucero and Josh Strike...In January 20008, Jacque, a freelance graphic artist, and Josh, a programmer, flew to Sydney, arranged a one-year visa, and bought an old camper from some Swiss kids on the Gold Coast for $4k. They grabbed a 6.5-foot solar panel intended for the roof of a house from a local hardware store – "It was so large we had to put it under the mattress, on the wooden platform in the back of the van, and sleep on top of it" – and wired it through a regulator into a split cigarette lighter socket. One side went into an inverter to charge their two Macbook Pros, the other to a big lead-acid battery that they monitored with a voltage meter.

After getting an Aussie bank account, Josh signed up for a local wireless plan that for the most part got them online in some rather remote areas of the bush. The two would work anywhere from three to 10 hours a day and depending on what kind of signal they needed they’d either find a town to pull in broadband, or drive through the hills, all while watching the signal strength on their laptops.

"For the next 4,000 miles or so (with a 2-month stopover in Adelaide, where we stayed in a spare bedroom at a yoga studio) we would alternate between motels and camping, sometimes at campsites, other times just out in the open, where we'd lug out the big solar panel and put it on top of the van, plug in all our gear, and start coding and designing," Josh explains.

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