When I travel to another country, I typically have a plan or at least the idea of a plan. This has been the case for at least the past few years of working and traveling around the world.
This changed when I had an opportunity to travel to Japan. From the moment I knew I was going, booked my flight, and found a place to stay, about 3 weeks had lapsed. I even wrote about my journey for traveling to Japan.
The only thing I knew was that life was about to change.
With my flights booked and housing arranged, it was time to start deciding on how I was going to get work done. My biggest hurdles and needs were going to be the timezone differences, good wifi, making calls back home, and finding a place to get work done.
Being on the other side of the world from most people that I talk and work with, I knew that timezones were going to be a challenge. Japan is 14 hours ahead of the East Coast in the US which meant I would need to be online from 11 PM at night to 7 AM in the morning plus or minus an hour. This was going to be fun!
It was important for me to have wifi that didn’t drop or slow down. The one good thing about the time difference is that at night there are less people using it which should mean that I won’t have any issues. I also assumed that Japan being a technologically advanced country would have wifi in most places as well if I needed it. I knew that my home had wifi that should work fine but I definitely needed to find a place to get work done outside of the house.
My solution for this problem is a VOIP line that connects to my cell phone. This gives me calls that route into the United States and effectively you are calling from the US to a US number which makes them free. You can do this in many countries this way especially if you only communicate within your home country.
With wifi and phone calling solved I needed to think about money and making sure I could access it without a problem. One great thing about Japan that I was about to learn and was told about on arrival is that you can do almost all life things at the convenience stores. 7 Eleven and the Family Marts are everywhere. You can get money out of the ATM, pay your rent, buy a change of tie or undershirt, get groceries, get your sugar fix with matcha ice cream, and much more in these stores.
Office? Coworking Space?
Outside of dealing with timezones, wifi, and phone calling, I didn’t know how I was going to find a coworking or shared workspace to get work done. I don’t speak Japanese and hadn’t met anyone that could help with breaking the language barriers for me. I also wasn’t quite sure yet how big the idea of share working was in Japan. Everything was new and I guess I was going to just figure it out when I got there.
With all of these problems essentially solved, I was ready to go!
I didn’t know what to expect exactly but I knew this was going to be an adventure.