Traveling Productively: My Mobile Headquarters

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Traveling by bus has major advantages that give you an office with the most incredible view. Unlike an airplane, you are low enough to the ground that you get phone signal and most buses have outlets now. This means that you can enjoy watching the most scenic country rolling by, all the while being productive!

Just one bit of warning before you get too excited; not everything works all the time. Now, while most bus companies advertise Wi-Fi and outlets, it’s a system that is still going through growing pains.

  1. Believe it or not, some of the buses are almost 20 years old and their wiring is just faulty from age.
  2. The bus drivers are even older and not all of them know how to reset a router or just plain tell you “electric is not working.”
  3. If you’re crossing the entire continent, you’re going to hid dead zones a lot and that puts stress on your battery when it’s searching for signal and tends to be frustrating.
  4. A bus full of people on one mobile router? You’re going to experience slow internet.

Fortunately, there’s a couple solutions that I abide by for a stress free, productive ride. First, I invested in a data plan that allows for tethering so that I can be on my own Wi-Fi. When my Wi-Fi cuts out, the bus internet is still working, and when the bus has no internet – well, I’ve learned to keep this information to myself before so many people jump on my spot that it grinds to a halt. Second, I carry portable power with my thanks to Goal Zero. There is a whole number of ways I can charge including plugging into an outlet, a USB, cranking the handle and making power on my own, or sticking a solar panel in the window.



No joke, in the past three years I have never run out of juice thanks to Goal Zero. Even when our bus broke down in “in the middle of nowhere,” as so eloquently put by Eric Larsen on my Polar Expedition Training with him, I had enough juice with my power pack to help several people stay sane while we waited 8 hours for the bus to arrive. And I was using a laptop in addition to charging my phone.

All in all, I love road trips whether I’m driving or whether I’m just along for the ride. If you ever just zone out at your desk while being productive, imagine watching waterfalls and canyons roll by as you round the Great Lakes on your way traversing the greatest distance possible on land in this hemisphere. It feels good.

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