So what’s it really like living full time in an Airstream and working from the Airstream too? This article walks you through the activities of a typical day here at Living in Tin. We’re going to walk through the events of September 9th, 2015!
An early start
6:30 a.m. and the Airstream is still pretty dark. The sun has to rise high enough above the Granite Dells in order to start illuminating the Airstream. At 6:30 you can be sure Jodi is still asleep. It’s just me at this hour.
The Macintosh laptop gets reconnected to my second screen, and I turn the power on. While the computer is booting up I head outside to take a quick walk around the upper loop of Point of Rocks. The park is pretty quiet early in the morning, and normally you’ll run across a camper or two walking their dogs.
Starting a new project
On Tuesday the 8th I sat down with an artist who had been talking with me about improving his web presence. Russell Johnson, painter & photographer, had been thinking about improvements to his site for a few months, and finally made the decision to get going on the site. We reviewed options, and he decided to go with our basic build out. WordPress setup, security, the initial site structure, and training. He’ll be adding to the website on his own over time, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fun with it.
So at 7:00 a.m. I sat down at the Mac and started to work on his site. I also read through multiple e-mails while setting up. Russell provided me with a ton of images to get onto his site, so I spent about 30 minutes waiting on everything to download from DropBox.
While waiting on the downloads I took a quick look through all of my client sites online. It’s a daily thing….make sure everybody’s website is up and happily doing what a website should do.
By 8:00 a.m. I’ve got all the files I needed from Russell. The next two hours are spent working out front page design, loading images to the media library, and starting the structure for all of his galleries that he wants on the site. Time moves quickly when you’re plugging away!
Every hour or so I step out of the Airstream. Stretch your legs, see what’s happening outside. Staying glued to the screen isn’t always the best approach. You’ve got to poke your head outside and see what’s happening in the world.
The 10 a.m. Call
One of our current clients had gotten in touch on Tuesday. She wanted to review a few items from our training video series, as she was preparing to do a few updates to a sales page. So we’d scheduled the call for 10. As usual with me, I called at 9:55. I was early, so I didn’t mind that there was a ring, and no answer. A message was left to call when she could.
While multi-tasking comes easy to me, getting back into Russell’s project wasn’t an option. I like to be very focused on the task I’m doing sometimes, and getting ready to walk someone through doing updates was on my mind. I decided to go look at the website in question, saw the small errors made when updating the sales page, and fixed them. Once my client called back I’d be ready to walk her through the minor changes……
Unfortunately the call didn’t come in until 10:45. Often folks forget their appointments, which is difficult in a remote work situation. If you show up and work with a customer in person it’s harder for them to forget about you! 🙂
While waiting on the call back, Russell had given a ring. He had a few more items for me, and was at his workplace in town. When my appointment finally called she told me she didn’t have time, and was hoping to reschedule for the afternoon. Okay, 45 minutes of wait time out the window. Time to head into town and round up the last files Russell had for me.
Out of the Airstream for a Few
After rescheduling my conference call for 2 p.m. we hopped into the Titan and headed into Prescott. It’s a short ride to town, and it was nice to get out of and away from the Airstream for a bit. There are times when it feels spacious enough. And there are times when you just need a reason to head out for a few. Russell’s call was perfect, and gave us a great reason to step out for a bit.
Once everything was picked up at The Frame & I the Titan was pointed toward Best Buy. We’d been meaning to pick up a few more small office items, and since we were out and about it made sense. Plus it’s always fun to stop into Best Buy and look at the latest toys.
By the time our short trip was over and we were back at the Airstream it was already lunch time. 12:35 p.m. I went off the clock for an hour. Lavash Bread Pizza, a Sprite, and a quick cartoon playing in the background while I enjoyed lunch. Another few loops around the park were taken (you’ve got to get up and walk), and then I was ready to get back to work. By the time I was set, it was almost time for another attempt at the call from 10 a.m.
When things go sideways…
With the day slipping by quickly it was time to do a quick refresher on adding elements to pages with my other customer. I called her and got her right away this time. And the first thing she said?
I can’t get into the site at all!
I pulled up her home page and it looked fine. Then I tried to log in, and you know what? She was right. While I started trouble shooting I received a message from a sister park in her network. They couldn’t log in to their site either. Oh no!
Here at Living In Tin we design websites for many types of businesses. One of our most recent client jobs involved 6 RV Resorts in Arizona and Florida. We recently wrapped up with them, and their websites came out amazing. Once we’ve finished our design work we hand the sites over to our clients, and they actually oversee the day to day operation of their websites. While we do offer maintenance packages, many of our clients choose to administer their sites on their own. We design, they maintain.
However, when an issue like this pops up we’re always ready to lend a hand. In this case, there was actually an issue with the hosting company. And while I’m writing this article there is still an issue. The sites are back up, but we can’t access them to do any updates.
Hours were spent checking everything we could under the sun. The hosting company was contacted, and then the waiting began. With nothing to do but wait, I called it a day. 4:45 in the afternoon, and I was receiving texts about another matter all together……
Disc Golf to take your mind off of things
While I was working through all the possible problems with my customer’s server I received several text messages from a local friend. Recently he’d taken us out to Watson Lake Park to give Disc Golf a whirl. Who knew we’d like it so much? We had been planning an evening out, and I could do nothing else to speed up the response on my support request with Lunar Pages, so why not?
Watson Lake Park is a cool location. Amazing granite formations, a cute little lake, and plenty to do. Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Fishing, Rock Climbing, and now Disc Golf. Actually, the course has been there for a while, I just didn’t know about it.
Our time at the park was a lot of fun. In the back of my mind though I was still worrying over my client’s issues. Right before we wrapped up at 6:45 I received a response from the hosting company, and they thought they had the issue fixed. Awesome! A little time away walking through the park was the right choice.
A late dinner and more worries
Returning to the Airstream we were famished. Normally dinner happens here between 5 and 6. But playing disc golf for almost 2 hours we messed up the dinner schedule. Fortunately we had some chicken marinating in the fridge, so dinner was ready pretty fast. And while waiting for dinner? Yeah, I checked on the websites that had been in trouble.
Fortunately the sites were back up. Unfortunately, we could still not log into the. The issue was still ongoing…..it’s never easy, is it? So while dinner was cooking I followed up on the support ticket with Lunar Pages. By the time dinner was over and trouble reports were submitted it was already 8:00 p.m. Long day to be sure.
A typical day
This whole story is what we’d consider a typical day at the Airstream. New projects, new clients, current clients, conference calls, missed calls……it’s like any other work day at any other business. Things pop up, things get resolved, and you move on. The big difference?
We’re in an Airstream.
Full time RV’ing and working from your home aren’t very different than any other person who works remote. It’s up to you to manage your own schedule and keep yourself on task, but that’s no different from anyone else. One of the big pluses though is the simple fact that we can hook up and roll out to another location whenever we’d like. So the home and office stay the same, but the location can change on a dime!