It’s no secret that the pandemic has touched every area of our lives, most notably our professional ones. In the beginning of 2020, as offices closed and employees began working remotely, a whole new world of possibilities opened up. The rise of hybrid and fully remote positions gave people time back in their day. Less commuting and less traffic equaled a happier and more satisfied team.
While the perks of WFH were great, soon enough the monotony of working within the same four walls of our homes left many people feeling trapped. As a result of this, remote workers decided it was time for a change of scenery, which resulted in many taking up traveling. The real question is: how could you not get the travel bug when you see so many beautiful destinations on your TikTok “for you” page?
In short, workers started to become digital nomads of sorts. What’s a digital nomad, you ask? A digital nomad is a person who works remotely, either full-time or part-time, while traveling to new places. While the pandemic was (and still is) an awful occurrence, it brought new opportunities for both remote and hybrid office employees.
Including myself! In my current role at Birgo Realty, I am fortunate to have hybrid work as an option.
If you didn’t know, Birgo is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, aka the gloomiest city during winter. But let’s be honest, what Northeastern city isn’t gloomy during the winter?
It was on one winter night coming home from the gym that I had an epiphany: I spend hours scrolling through TikTok watching other people’s travel videos. Why can’t I do the same? I already work from home several days out of the week, so what’s a few more?
Here was my rationale: Instead of taking two weeks off of work, I’d rather experience working from a different city. This gives me something to do during the day. Traveling for longer than one week, especially as a solo-traveler on a budget, can get lonely at times so it’s important to stay occupied. With no one there to entertain but myself, I knew working was the best (and budget-friendly) way to stick to a structured schedule.
The same night I had my epiphany, I started looking at Google Flights for tickets to San Diego. While I had to clear everything with my manager first, I was still very excited at the prospect of being somewhere sunny and warm.
Upon approval of the trip, I immediately booked my plane tickets and reserved my AirBnb. All I had to do was wait a month and I’d be in sunny San Diego.
What It’s Like Working Virtually from San Diego
Since my coworkers live in Eastern Standard Time, I was able to work eastern time zone hours on the West Coast. That means I was working from 6:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. San Diego time!
Getting out of bed before the sun rose wasn’t as bad as I initially thought, although some days I’d have to take a quick shower to wake me up. My days working remotely in San Diego generally went like this:
5:30-5:45 a.m. wake up
6:00 a.m. log on to my laptop
6:00-9:00 a.m. work from my Airbnb
9:00-10:00 a.m. lunch break/walk to get coffee
11 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. complete the work day
This schedule worked out perfectly because I had the rest of the day to myself. Take a peek at a day in my life working remotely in San Diego below!
For the first few hours of my day, I would work from my Airbnb. When the sun rose around 7:00 a.m., I opened up the blinds and let the sunshine in. At 9:00 a.m. (which is noon on the East Coast), I would go for walks around the neighborhood and grab a coffee at the local coffee shop.
Some days I worked from coffee shops, although I preferred my AirBnb because it had a nice WFH setup and guaranteed WiFi. It’s always a toss up when you go to a new coffee shop because you won’t know if they offer free WiFi until you get there 🤷
My Airbnb even had a private backyard, which I definitely took advantage of. On those warm afternoons, you ‘d most likely catch me sitting outside and soaking up vitamin-D while working (P.S. Can one consider this multi-tasking? Asking for a friend). Sunshine just helps with the work day flow ☀️
After I concluded my work days, I’d go and explore San Diego. Some of the things I did after work include:
- Rented a Bird scooter and made my way to Sunset Cliffs, a beautiful hiking area that is perfect for watching the sunset
- Hit the beach and walked along the boardwalk
- Perused vendors at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market
- Went to Orangetheory, my favorite workout class!
- Walked to Liberty Public Market, a giant food hall
- Explored Balboa Park and Downtown San Diego (I got my steps in this day!)
- Watched the sunset
- Went for many walks along Shelter Island (it has the coolest views of Downtown SD)
- Rented a pedal boat and pedaled in the bay
- Hiked at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (highly recommend!)
- Consumed my fair share of shrimp tacos
- Kayaked in the Pacific Ocean
Birgo’s flexible working arrangements allowed me to explore sunny San Diego and get out of the winter rut that so many others experience in Pittsburgh. I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience working remotely in San Diego!
- Director of Accounting
- HR Generalist
- Director of Marketing
- + more!