Ask Me Anything: How Do You Find Alone Time When You & Your Partner Both Work From Home?

Mar 29, 2018    /    travel how-tos

Welcome to Ask Me Anything—a new series here on the blog where I invite you to send me your questions (anything from dog travel to freelancing to “where should I go on my trip?”) and I do my best to answer based on six years of full-time travel experience, 15 years as a writer, and seven years as a freelancer.

Have a pressing question? Send it over.

Today’s question:

How do you find enough “alone time” when you and your partner are both freelancers? – Renee

I love this question so much.

Because not only are Chad and I both freelancers who travel full-time, but we’re also both introverts.

Which means we need our fair share of alone time in order to re-charge and face the world.

Now, before I get into it, I should say that we’re still figuring this stuff out. Still honing and optimizing our schedules and locations and daily routines.

But I can tell you what’s worked for us so far:

One thing is simply having enough space in an apartment. Having a door to close when you need to be solo and focus. Even just this morning, while Chad was working in the living room, I tucked myself away in the bedroom for an hour or so. We only had a single closed door between us, but it was enough to make me feel like I was on my own (I mean, other than the snuggly Luna who had joined me on the bed).

coffee and a bun

Here in New York, the other big thing is this: we don’t both work from home. Or, at least, not all the time.

Yes, we’re freelance. Yes, we both set our locations and schedules. But while I prefer to tuck myself away in our living room (or on a balcony when we have one and it’s nice outside), Chad would rather have somewhere to go for work. Be it a co-working space, a hotel lobby, or a library.

There’s something about physically leaving the house that helps Chad get started on things, so when we’re in a place where he has access to co-working spaces and libraries, he tends to spend his workdays outside the house. Which leaves me with my own undisturbed workspace for much of the day.

Sometimes we reverse roles on this, especially on days when I’m working on my second novel or if I have a particularly demanding and creative project to tackle. When I need a change of scenery or a bit more focus, I tend to find a coffee shop and hole up for a few hours of uninterrupted work time with some sort of sweet morning beverage in hand.

OCD book and tea

Currently, we both also have lots of events and things we’re doing separately. Chad’s going to tech networking events and meeting with entrepreneurs. I’m attending fiction panels and going to weekly creative writing groups. So despite being freelance, at least the moment, we are often ships passing in the night.

In other places, we’ve definitely had more together time than not. But since I work part-time and Chad works pretty full-time, there are still always breaks in there. Times when I’m taking Luna for a hike on my own and he’s got the whole apartment to himself while he works. Times when I’m in bed reading and he’s out in the living room doing his nightly stretches. Times when I go to meet up with a friend or reader and Chad chooses to have some solo time at the house.

And at the end of the day, we haven’t had to do this, but if he ever said he needed some solo time at the apartment, I’d be more than happy to take myself on a solo lunch date or hole up in a coffee shop and read for a few hours. All he’d need to do is ask.

Now, anyone else out there freelance and have a freelancing partner? How do you handle getting solo time?

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  • Kristen
    March 29, 2018

    I love hearing all this. It’s so easy to support/accommodate one another. And how wonderful, hotels optimizing their space, for all to do what we all love to do! I didn’t think so many would already be opening their spaces to the public, yet it makes perfect sense to create a welcoming lobby to entice all. Guest or not, they are creating customers and referrals. Thanks so much for sharing! XO

  • lee
    March 29, 2018

    as i continue to spend too much time searching for the perfect apt/hotel i wanted to ask if you have ever used a site hotelbnb .com?


    • gigigriffis
      March 29, 2018

      No, I’ve never heard of it.

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