Or why you’re more productive when you’re comfortable.
One of the worst trips I ever did was when I went to Bratislava, Vienna and Brno in early January. The temperature was hovering around the minus six degrees Celsius mark, and I was really not prepared for it.
I had a coat, but was lacking gloves and a hat. I only had thin socks as well.
Needless to say, I was freezing. And I didn’t do nearly as much as I hoped to do, purely because I was freezing and couldn’t wait to get inside to the relative warm. And what’s worse, when I was in that relative warm, I was so happy to be warm that I wasn’t in the mindset to take notes on bars, restaurants or hotels.
I didn’t sell many articles on the back of that trip (if I recall it was just one, plus a couple of snippets here and there in round-up articles). That’s not to say I won’t sell any more at some point down the line, but I did learn my lesson.
Suitable clothing for various conditions
I have since invested in suitable clothing for various conditions. I have an enormous coat, a hooded fleece jacket, hats, gloves and comically big socks for cold conditions. I also have zip-off trousers and light cotton clothing for warm conditions, including a lightweight, mosquito-proofed, long-sleeved shirt for jungle terrain.
Comfortable with surroundings
It sounds silly, but it really does help. If you’re feeling comfortable with your surroundings, you are likely to do far more and be in the right mindset for gathering stories.
All I need to do is compare and contrast this year’s early January trip. I spent four nights in Munich and Salzburg, and got plenty done during the day even though it got down to minus 14. So far it’s six stories sold, and I think there will be more to come. This can’t all be put down to a scarf, hat and gloves, but there’s certainly something in it.