When Work Meets Vacations

27 mars 2010 9 commentaires

Some time ago, after reading Sarah Vilece’s blog Translating Berlin, I decided that I wanted to go on a working vacation (not to be mixed up with vacations spent working, says Sarah). The principle is simple: I leave my everyday life for a few weeks and I continue my regular work in a different place.

I chose to go to the United States, where part of my family has a large house: I don’t have to worry about lodging or Internet access, and the place is really nice (just think about The Ghost Writer) despite the changeable weather. Here are my motivations:

  1. My main objective is to keep on working. I’ve been here for nearly a week, and it’s already been my biggest work week of 2010.
  2. I wished for a change of scenery. I love my life in Paris, but fresh air and a dose of iodine is always pleasant.
  3. I intend to practice my English, which is my main working tool, after all. I thought it needed to be refreshed.
  4. It’s a good opportunity to extend my activity on a new market: meet prospects and colleagues, attend to ATA regional conferences, etc.
  5. And, of course, a working vacation is still a vacation. It would not make sense to stay at home since I can go out, visit the ea, get some exercise, learn more about the local culture…

If you want to read more about working vacations, Sarah Vilece wrote one, two, three and four blog posts about it. Also, I discovered the CITL association can accommodate literary translators from a week to 3 months (for €20/day).

What about you? Could you go on WV or would you fear to procrastinate too much?

9 réflexions au sujet de « When Work Meets Vacations »

  1. Millionnaire

    Profite bien de ces vacances de travail. C’est aussi un principe que j’aimerais mettre en place dans ma vie, afin de pouvoir voyager et continuer à travailler :)
    Tu nous raconteras si tu as réussi à t’y tenir et ce que tu en as pensé?

  2. Laura

    I did that last summer: three weeks in downtown Brussels (I live in Italy), homesitting and catsitting for a couple of friends, hence large apartment, wifi and the like. We had our laptops with us and worked no problem for the whole time.
    A great experience, but needs a bit of fine tuning as far as I’m concerned: the real problem was to UNfocus from work, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I’m going to Paris for almost three weeks, next month, and I’m planning to repeat the experience, possibly focusing a bit more on the holiday part. Anyway, being able of doing this kind of thing is one of the greatest perks of our profession.

  3. Valérie

    Quelle belle résolution que de prendre des vacances de travail! Personnellement, je n’ai jamais pris aussi long de vacances, mais quand le besoin s’en fait ressentir, je n’hésite pas à partir « ailleurs » avec mon ordinateur portable, le temps d’un week-end. Ça fait du bien à l’esprit de sortir du cadre normal de travail, de voir autre chose. Habituellement, je me le permets quand j’ai des projets à longue échéance, afin de pouvoir quand même profiter un peu des vacances et non pas être toujours à la course… Et je choisis toujours des endroits calmes, au bord de l’eau. Il n’y a rien de tel pour me ressourcer et faire le plein d’énergie, même si je dois travailler pendant que j’y suis. Mes endroits préférés sont la Gaspésie, au Québec, la côte acadienne, au Nouveau-Brunswick, et Bar Harbor, dans le Maine, parce que ce sont des petits paradis qui ne sont qu’à quelques heures de route de chez moi ;)

  4. Agnès

    Je travaille depuis trois mois en Martinique… si, si !
    J’ai fait installer l’ADSL dans un petit studio que nous avions acheté avec mon compagnon voici un an, dans l’idée d’aller plonger le plus souvent possible et d’avoir un pied dans ce petit coin de paradis dont nous sommes tombés amoureux. Le Nord caraïbe, son volcan et ses forêts pluviales… et ses fabuleux sites de plongée (tortues, barracudas, anges, etc.)
    Et j’ai même réussi à traduire (presque) au même rythme que d’habitude.
    Las, je dois rentrer dans une semaine, alors là vacances !
    Sympa le télétravail !!! Bon, pour la pratique de l’anglais, c’est loupé, mais je me suis mise au créole.
    Bon séjour aux States (j’adore l’Arizona et Flagstaff).

  5. Lia

    Hi Laurent,

    First of all, congratulations for your blog, which is one of my favorite and I read it almost everyday. :-)
    Secondly, I am leaving for Canada (I am from Italy) for six months and I would love to do what you’ve just done. A working vacation intended to expand you contacts, meet new clients and taking part in events for translators seems amazing! Do you have any particular websites to suggest, where I can eventually look for translation workshops, seminars or meetings in Canada? I’ve done some researches on the web but I couldn’t find anything particularly interesting.
    By the way, I will be in Canada from June to December 2010.
    All suggestions are welcome!


    1. Laurent Auteur de l’article

      Hi Aurelia,
      Grazie per il messagio! Mi spiace di non scrivere in italiano quanto vorrei, ma ci provo!
      Where will you be in Canada? The country is so vast that it all depends on where you’re based. If you’re on the East coast, you can visit the OTTIAQ website (for translator from Quebec). You can also check the ATAMESL (I wrote about it in my last post), ATIO in Ontario, ATINE in Nuova Scotia, and many other regional associations. I think the Canadian organization is named CTTIC.
      Also, the most useful advice I could give you is: buy a plane ticket for Denver and register for the ATA Annual Conference this year. It may be a bit expensive, but everybody I know who went there told me that it pays for itself in a few weeks only. And you’ll meet plenty of potential clients!
      I hope you’ll stay in touch to tell us about your new discoveries.

  6. Lia

    Ciao Laurent e grazie mille del tuo aiuto! :-)
    I will definitely check out all your links and I am sure I will find something interesting.
    I will be most in Ontario but I also plan to spend few weeks in Québec and British Columbia. You’re right, I think the ATA conference in Denver is something I really can’t miss.
    Sure – I will be glad to keep you posted on my future Canadian discoveries!
    Again, thanks so much for your helpful advises.
    A presto,

  7. Lia

    Hi Laurent,
    Hope your weekend is running smoothly.
    I came across an interesting Canadian website today.
    It’s for some volunteer work:
    I think it could be a nice way to approach other Canadian translators and help new students building the confidence and skills they need in this business.


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