Working on the Road (or Learning How to Nurse a Scone for Two Hours)

 | March 24, 2011 2:54 pm

Unlike most of my roadtrips in the past during this one, I’m working.  During my next three months of travel I’ll also be doing a bit of work for KJazz, (my regular job) and in the first week of April classes for my masters degree will be starting up again.  My next three months of classes need to be done online so I’m able to continue even while on the road.

As it turns out, working on the road is tricky. I didn’t have internet access the first couple days and was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by all that I had to do. Thanks to iHop, Denny’s, Starbucks, Peet’s, and their wireless internet I’ve been able sort of get caught up now.  It will take some getting used to but I think I’m finding the flow of working on the road.  Once class starts up again in April it might be another situation, but hopefully by then I’ll have things sorted out for the classes I’ll be teaching at the Shuttlebirds tatting conference.

Looks like during the next couple months I’ll be nursing lots of tea and pancakes just for the chance to use the internet for a couple hours at a time.

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7 Responses to “Working on the Road (or Learning How to Nurse a Scone for Two Hours)”

Karen in OR wrote a comment on March 24, 2011

Hi Jessica, Finding internet on the road can be a challenge. Libraries are a great place and only once did they have a charge – something like $5.00 for 30 minutes! I look forward to read of your experiences and especially to see you in Spokane. Karen

Jessica wrote a comment on March 28, 2011

Hi Karen,

I like libraries too, but lately have been striking out. I don’t know if this is a new thing or if it’s just a coincidence, but the last couple libraries I’ve been to have required that you have a library card with them to use their wifi. So far, Starbucks has been the only sure thing I’ve found. Too bad I don’t like coffee and they don’t sell better food. :(

~Jessica

Nathan wrote a comment on May 11, 2011

Hi Jessica,

What a great blog! I wish I would’ve discovered this sooner. I spend long stretches of my year traveling out of my van. Internet is always a problem. For me, McDonald’s is a life saver. One is never far away, they have free internet, cheap and decent coffee and I’ve never been pestered to leave. The seats are also uncomfortable enough that they help you stay focused.

The major drawback is that many McD’s don’t have electrical outlets readily available, so you have to work fast. Sometimes the outlets are on the ceiling. My power cord reaches and I’ve never been told to not use these outlets. Along the Interstates, more and more McD’s have special internet cafe type sections with outlets.

Avoiding the dollar menu can also be problematic, so I usually sneak a snack in with me.

Jessica wrote a comment on May 11, 2011

Glad you’re enjoying the blog! I’m really not much of a fast food person so I have a tendency to forget McDonalds exists. Maybe when it starts getting warmer I’ll add it to my list and go there for milkshakes.

The comfy chains at Starbucks are pretty appealing, though.

Roman wrote a comment on June 25, 2011

Jess, have you considered an aircard? It’s a phone connection that you plug into your computer–phone signal = internet. So, like a cell phone bill, you’d pay monthly and get internet all over. My folks have one on a laptop and it works great for travel in the US.

Are you faring the AZ fires well?

Theresa wrote a comment on August 19, 2012

I use libraries. There is no need to have to purchase anything and no one snooping over my shoulder since they provide desks with a bit of privacy. They also have outlets to charge my cell phone, camera, ipod, and laptop which is nice.

With my ipod I go into walmart and get on the mcdonalds wifi. I don’t buy since I can use it while shopping in walmart. I put ear plugs in and call my parents through skype and to everyone else looking around it looks like I am talking on the phone. It’s a good stealth way to use wifi. This wouldn’t work with a laptop though.

Colleges also offer free wifi.

Also sometimes you can park near the place with free wifi and do your work in your car. I have been able to pick up wifi single when overnight parking in a 24 hour parking lot.

wade wrote a comment on November 25, 2012

Great site. Just love reading about this stuff because I can so relate. I live in North Dakota and spend a lot of time in my 2009 Town and Country. I am a 57 year old male that loves to mountain bike and hike so find myself on many road trips to nowhere. The van is great for this. Many nights sleeping in the back on the comfortable twin mattress that I bought for it. Not uncommon for me to just bag the house and out in the van while parked in the driveway. Again, love the site.

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