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Code on the Road

Last summer, not content with only working from home, Adam turned the remote working dial up to eleven. He bought a camper van, a couple of EU SIM cards, and… hit a traffic jam near Basel. Seven months and seven countries later, he realised the ski season was starting. Back home to Switzerland it was, to reflect on his experience over a pot of hot cheese.

Join Adam as he shares the gory details of the challenges he faced on his journey. Discover the tips and tricks he learned to overcome them. And finally, get the answer to the big question: Would he do it again?

🔗Transcription

00:10 Adam Ralph
So yes, it's always great to be here. Thank you for coming to this keynote. I'm sorry I'm not Hadi, but I'll do my best to fit in. He definitely owes me a beer later for that, but it's nice to be able to talk to you twice in one day. So this is a very nice, kind of lighthearted talk. No kind of coding deep dives here, no kind of net next.net framework, or anything like that. This is a retrospective on something that I did a couple of years ago with my girlfriend. And it's just a nice, easy way to get you started for the day.
00:46 Adam Ralph
So I'm first going to talk about remote working. So who here remote works sometimes? Even if it's one day a week. That's probably almost all of you so that's very encouraging to see. Who here remote works all the time? So 100%, anyone? That's quite a few as well. So I think a couple of years ago if I'd have asked the same questions, I think less hands would have gone up. So it's definitely a trend in our industry. Who would like to remote work more? Anyone? Now that's quite a few of you as well. So what is it about remote working? What is this thing that attracts us to remote working? Why is it good for us and our companies?
01:25 Adam Ralph
Well, it is actually pretty productive. Right? Because there's a bit of a myth about, "You've got to be in the office. If we don't have people in the office, how do we know they're working?" If you're not going to work, you're not going to work if you're in the office or if you're at home. Right? There's no point just having bums on seats in the office. It a bit of a kind of a myth that that makes people productive. And ultimately people have less opportunity to tap you on the shoulder and interrupt you. And we don't like interruptions as software developers. Also, the work that we do is virtual. Right? We don't actually make machines with our hands or anything like that. The work we do is in a computer, that computer can be anywhere, the Internet is good enough now for that. So it's a natural thing that we can do with our jobs is take this, just put that computer somewhere else and decouple the work from our physical location. And ultimately it gives you a much better lifestyle. It gives you the opportunity to craft your own lifestyle.
02:23 Adam Ralph
So I spent most of my career working in offices and I've got to admit, I liked it sometimes. I like the social interaction, but it's the routine that really drove me nuts. It was having to get up at the same time every day, go to the office five days a week, every week of the year. It kind of drove me a bit mad and that's what I didn't like. But now with remote working, it gives us the opportunity to kind of craft our time table and allocation to something that we prefer.
02:53 Adam Ralph
Now I work for a company called Particular Software, we're the makers of a product called NServiceBus. We are a 100% remote working company so every single person in our company works at home. We don't have an office, that includes the CEO. I think our registered office is actually his house or something like that, but we are completely distributed all around the world. We're about 40 people. We have a free time off policy. You take off as much time as you want, you just decide how much you need and you just take it off. We don't have any management. Okay? So we have a CEO who can ultimately say, "Yes. We're going to hire someone or fire someone," and things like that. But we don't have any day-to-day management.
03:37 Adam Ralph
The way that works is that we've split our ... I think it's important to give you a bit of context here about how we work to show you why something like an extended remote working travel thing can work. So we split our company up into various strategies and projects. So a strategy might be something like platform development or developer education or customer success. And we have kind of semipermanent squads and their job really is to prioritize issues. So our whole company is on GitHub, and that includes all our policies and all our codes and everything. You can basically send a PR to change the company if you like.
04:22 Adam Ralph
So all our issues and all our work to do is in GitHub and the squads basically prioritize work within different strategies. Then to do some work we form a task force, and a task force is where three or four people get together, they work on a GitHub issue, they close it, and they disband and go and look for other work. So that in a nutshell is kind of how we self-organize. Now what that then allows is that you can work effectively when you want on what you want, and most importantly where you want.
04:57 Adam Ralph
So my girlfriend was also a freelance remote worker, she did graphic design and that kind of thing so it didn't really matter where she was at either. So we thought we'd put this to the test and we made a plan. We said, "We're going to spend six months traveling through six countries." And really importantly it was going to have no impact on work, and this last point was really important for me. I didn't want anyone to be able to say, "Oh, Adam can't do that because he's on the road." I didn't want anyone to effectively even know that I was necessarily kind of traveling around and working, apart from when I was on the video call and kind of had a beach in the background or something like that. But I didn't want it to impact my work in any way, that was really important.
05:46 Adam Ralph
So we started to prep for this and the first thing we needed to do was to find somewhere to live, right? So when you start looking into this, there are all kinds of weird and wonderful vehicles. This is the original VW camper van, these things are absolutely fantastic. I love them. I was really tempted to actually kind of go down this route, but they're quite expensive these days, especially if they're in good condition. But when you look into this, you realize that there are all these kind of weird variants, and this is a stretch limo version of a VW camper van. Pretty special. This is a stretch limo, high top version. So really some amazing, weird, and wonderful vehicles around. This is a kind of cheaper version, which was a bit tempting as well. But I thought that that probably wouldn't really work. Or you can build your own.
06:32 Adam Ralph
Does anyone know Dominick Baier, Least Privilege IdentityServer guy? That's the thing that he built. So he actually built this himself. He's a very avid camper and he goes all around Europe with this thing. It's kind of a Land Rover that he's built a roof on and the rest of it. There are various varieties of this type of thing you can do. I think this is actually Matt McLauchlin's van that he's got. Is Matt here? No. Or you can actually go really expensive, this thing costs about half a million euros I think. This is the, what's it called? The Mercedes Zetros and this is effectively a five star hotel room on wheels. It's got a massive double bed and a big flat screen and meal-y kitchen appliances and all the rest of it. Or you can go the way of our American friends and you can just put your whole house on the road. I think this is Jimmy Bogard's, RV solution. Is Jimmy here? And these things are effectively houses on wheels. This thing is bigger than my flat in Switzerland. It's ridiculous.
07:33 Adam Ralph
But we thought we'd go for a kind of more conservative option. We, first of all, looked at the new VW camper. Actually, I think Matt McLauchlin has one of these to be fair to him. That's actually a really fantastic car. We ended up going from the Mercedes variant of that, it was just a little bit more shiny. I just liked it a bit more. So that was the thing that we selected to be our home for this trip. The concept is fairly similar to the VW, you've got a kind of fold down bed in the back where two people can sleep. You've got a bed in the roof where two people can sleep as well. There's a lot of space, so for two people it's really quite nice. There's things like a fridge and cooking facilities and that kind of stuff. So it's really quite nice. So that's us. We're sorted, we have somewhere to live.
08:18 Adam Ralph
And the next thing then was the equipment. So in preparing for this trip, I got really obsessed with battery life. I was really kind of paranoid about having enough battery life because I didn't know when we were going to have electricity and when we might be camping in the woods somewhere. So I got really obsessed with that and I ended up going for Lenovo T470. It's actually this laptop right here.
08:41 Adam Ralph
This thing has ridiculous battery life, it has a 24-hour built-in battery and a 72 Watt hour pluggable battery which gives you about 18, 19 hours of continuous use. It's really crazy. It has 32 gig of RAM, so pretty good. Terabyte SSD, it's dual core. Four threads, not the best, but it's not too bad. The screen is not 4k, that's really important. Pixels draw power. It's not touch either, right? Touch draws a lot of power as well. So it's a 1080p non-touch screen. That's deliberate. It is kind of what you classify as an ultra book with the exception of the battery. Okay? As those of you at the front can probably see it's kind of, or maybe you can't because of that, but it's kind of tilted up on this battery. That's the price you pay for that extended power.
09:29 Adam Ralph
But I didn't stop there. I got really paranoid, I bought this a power bank as well. This is a 50,000 mAh power bank. I think it can charge the laptop three or four times over, something like that. It can charge a typical phone like 50 times. If you're going to fly, don't buy one of these. I found out two days before I got on a plane that you're not allowed to take these in hand luggage or luggage at all I think. I would've had it confiscated at customs security otherwise. I think the most you can take on a plane is about 20,000 mAh so you just got to watch out for that.
10:06 Adam Ralph
Then I looked at my screens and I thought ... this is actually my setup at home. So these are three 28" 4k monitors. That's a lot of pixels and I couldn't bear the thought of going away and working just on that screen alone. So I started to ... I thought, "Well, wouldn't it be great if I could take a portable monitor with me or something like that?" And I started to look into it and I discovered that these actually exist. This is a USB powered external monitor. Right? It's 1080p, nothing flashy, but it does not have any other power supply. All the power comes through the USB port. It's right here, I take this thing everywhere with me. I thoroughly recommend this if you do a lot of traveling. It's really, really good and it's really easy to set up. This is actually me working on a train going to a conference with this screen. It's really, really good. You can kind of set up anywhere and it's fantastic having that extra space, as you can imagine.
11:05 Adam Ralph
Then I needed ... I wasn't going to use a touch pad for six months either, that was going to be too much. So I bought myself a nice little mouse, nothing to say too much about that. Noise canceling headphones. Really, really important piece of kit. Campsites get noisy, especially on the summer holidays with kids around and things. So noise canceling headphones, really, really essential piece of kit.
11:28 Adam Ralph
And of course it wouldn't be much good if I didn't have any data. Right? So this was the next thing to solve. Now it turns out that although we've got this unlimited roaming thing in the EU with no charges, unlimited data doesn't actually translate to that. So there's no such thing really as an unlimited data, non-roaming in the EU still. Right? I thought there must be because I have unlimited data at home in Switzerland, but Switzerland is a bit special anyway because in Switzerland I can't actually go to the EU and non-roam. It's a bit better now, but as EU citizens you can come to Switzerland and non-roam. It's just Switzerland is always a bit special.
12:12 Adam Ralph
So because I still have a UK bank account, our first destination was the UK. I picked up a local SIM card in the UK so this was a 20 gig SIM card for 23 pounds a month, so quite a good price. Actually later on they just slashed it to 8 pounds a month when I threatened to cancel it so it's really quite a good deal. And I thought I'd see how it'd go with that. I bought myself a kind of basic wifi hotspot to share that.
12:42 Adam Ralph
I also got paranoid about my phone with battery there so I bought this thing, the Lenovo P2. This has a 5,200 mA battery, a mA hour battery. Typical phone has sort of 3,000, maybe 4,000. It would cost me about 300 Francs back in Switzerland so not too expensive and the battery life was so ridiculous that I had to tweet about it. Right? I promise you I did not make this up, I promise. Seven days left and I'd been using it for nine hours. So in nine hours I had used 4% battery. It's a ridiculous phone. Unfortunately you can't buy it anymore, they just don't sell it anymore. And I broke mine, I smashed the screen. But right on the last day of the trip so it was like really, really lucky. But it's an amazing thing.
13:32 Adam Ralph
So that's our house sorted for the trip, that's our equipment sorted. It's time to hit the road. So we made a plan first of all. We thought, "Well, we're going to go around to those six countries and we're basically going to hug the coast of Western Europe." That was the plan. So kind of dash up from Switzerland, up to the UK, hugging the coast of the UK, and then come down through France and Spain, all the way back across again, around Italy, and back home to Switzerland.
14:00 Adam Ralph
So on the 2nd of May, 2017, we packed our stuff into the van, put born to be wild on the stereo or something like that and hit the road. And we got as far as Basel and hit a massive traffic jam. But once we got past that, we managed to get into France and we stopped in Strasbourg for lunch. There happened to be a really good beer store just opposite the restaurant. If you ever go to Strasbourg I thoroughly recommend it, really, really good place. And then we went through the tunnel and over to my mum's place, just near London. I'm originally from the UK, even though I live in Switzerland now. And this is where we kind of unpacked the van and repacked the van and we got ourselves sorted for the rest of the trip.
14:41 Adam Ralph
Now, I speak at a lot of conferences. You may have seen me speak at DevConf before and that was part of not letting this trip get in the way of my job. It's kind of part of my job. So I was determined to keep speaking at conferences as I was traveling around. And we then went over to Bristol and I spoke at my first conference of the trip, which was DDD Southwest. And at this point we're still staying in hotels, we hadn't really kind of got into the ... we hadn't really felt like we got into the code on the road thing yet in the van. But when we got down to Cornwall and the Southwest of England, we stopped at a beautiful place called Perranporth in Cornwall and this is where we actually started to code on the road. So this is me in the first campsite we ever stayed in actually trying this out for real and seeing how it works. And you can see there I've got my cup of tea, as an Englishmen that's natural, that's part of it.
15:36 Adam Ralph
And one of the things that I started to discover was that I was kind of rediscovering my own country. Right? Because I'd never really traveled that much around the UK before, but going back there now I was kind of rediscovering things. And I discovered that you can actually go down to the beach in Cornwall, pick mussels off the beach. We just saw these things and we thought, "Well, they actually look fairly tasty. Why don't we fill up a bucket with these things?" And as you can see, kind of typical English weather on this day, but we filled up a bucket of these things and it was fun and we took them back, cooked them up in the van, and they were fantastic. So it was really kind of ... something I didn't expect, that I would actually go back and rediscover my own country and discover these things that I didn't think were kind of ... this seemed too exotic to be doing in England just down the road from where I grew up.
16:32 Adam Ralph
And at this point we were getting fully into our work. This is just kind of typical day at the office if you like. So there's my girlfriend working on her graphic design stuff, there's me doing my Particular Software stuff. It was working out pretty well, but we were starting to get a bit of data contention. So I was on a lot of video calls, Zoom calls. She was downloading, uploading huge graphics and things like that. And we decided that, well this one SIM card wasn't really enough.
17:01 Adam Ralph
Now I kept on having to tell her, "Don't do that stuff right now. I've got a call," and vice versa. And it was a little bit ... it wasn't that great. So I popped down to the local Vodafone shop and I managed to find an even better deal. This is a 50 gig for 27 pounds a month. Really, really good deal. And that kind of sorted that out. That sorted the data out, but that van is a bit small. Right? It's actually quite small for two people. And I've got to tell you in that first two or three weeks, there were some heated conversations, shall we say, around the logistics of just living in that little space with all our luggage and all our stuff and having to move stuff around and make space for each other. So I decided to invest in what I now refer to as the life saving tent.
17:53 Adam Ralph
So this little tent down here was a lifesaver. Whenever we stopped anywhere and we said, "We're going to stay here for a week or a few days," or something like that, we immediately put our luggage into this tent and that just kind of cleared the van for us and just gave us a load of space. This is basic camping stuff, we were real novices right at the beginning. We really had no idea, but we were forced to learn quickly. Another thing I soon realized is that it's not very nice to be coding in your van at an angle like this because a lot of campsites are ... they kind of vary in quality. Some of them are a bit on a slight hill and a little bit bumpy. So leveling ramps are really important. You want to have a nice horizontal working space, and to sleep in as well obviously. So we'd spent a bit of time in Cornwall and the Southwest, but we wanted to move on so we went a bit further up the coast.
18:47 Adam Ralph
We went up to Wales. I don't know if you know much about Wales, this kind of weird Western part of just West of England. But they have their own language, there is a Welsh language. I don't understand a word of it, but it's a weird language. They don't really like to use vowels, right? This is twyndllyngs, does not have any vowels in it. This means twins, apparently, in Welsh. They also like really long words. This is the name of a place in Wales, it's the longest place name in the UK. I'm not even going to try and say it because I can't. But when I was researching this I realized that being a weatherman in the UK or weatherwoman, weather-person in the UK is a really difficult job. Imagine if on that map behind you, someone decided to troll you and put this place name on the map to force you to say it. This actually happened. This happened to this guy, but he completely nailed it. See for yourself.
19:50 Speaker 3
Now today we had a big contrast in temperature across the UK, just 12 degrees in the coastal parts of Eastern England with cloudy skies. But in the sunshine in Northwest Wales, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the temperature got to 21 Celsius. That's 70 in Fahrenheit.
20:09 Adam Ralph
So kudos, kudos to Liam Dutton. He absolutely nailed it. It's definitely not a job that I could do. So then we moved on in Wales and we ended up in a place called ... this is a place name as well, it's called, you pronounce it Mwnt. Right? That's an actual place in Wales. We pulled up in this place in Wales and we pulled up on our campsite and I suddenly realized that there is no cellular reception at all, just no coverage at all. So I thought, "Well, this isn't really going to work." I kind of wandered around the campsite for a while with my laptop and my wifi hotspot looking for a signal and I found a little bit of signal just outside the toilets. So I sat on the wall outside the toilets for a couple of hours, did a bit of work, got some funny looks as well.
21:01 Adam Ralph
But then I knew that I had a meeting the next morning and I thought, "Well the only way I can make this work is if I get up in the morning, jump in the van, drive until I find the signal, have the meeting, and then drive back." So that's what I did. Luckily I didn't have to drive too far, it was about 10 minutes away. But when I got back to the campsite I thought, "Well, this isn't really going to work. We want to stay here for a few days or maybe a week, I can't keep driving to every meeting that I have." So I did a bit of research and I found this website by Ofcom.
21:34 Adam Ralph
Ofcom is a kind of independent telecoms watchdog in the UK. They have this fantastic website, each of these squares is 100 meters to a side, so it's very detailed. And white means no coverage, light green means kind of 2G, Edge, GPS are quite useless. And then the dark green is kind of good coverage, at least 3G, H+, or 4G. And turns out that our campsite was right there, right in the middle of the white spot, so that's why we had no reception. And then I traced the route that I drove that morning and it turns out that I drove down this road here through the light area, and I found a 3G connection just about there and that's where I stopped having my meeting. So that kind of proved that this map was actually saying the right thing, it was actually quite accurate.
22:27 Adam Ralph
And I also realized that I was using the Vodafone SIM card, of the two SIM cards I used, and there is actually a dropdown here to choose which provider. So I changed that to Three, which was the other SIM card that I had, and it turns out that that was the coverage. So sure enough I changed to the Three card and it was fine for that campsite. So this is a really, really good resource. It's really good then to have two cards from two different providers, when you're not in the country where the card comes from it doesn't matter so much because you can kind of choose carrier. But if you're in the country where your card comes from, you can't choose carrier so it was really good to have the Vodafone and the Three card. Because sometimes Vodafone was better and sometimes Three was better so that came in really handy.
23:13 Adam Ralph
Before long we found ourselves ... we'd gone through Wales, we'd gone over to Western Ireland, and we were getting quite confident by this stage. We thought, "Well, we've got this worked out now. We know how to kind of work on the road. We know how to handle the connections and all the rest of it." And so far the whole thing about not interfering with work had actually worked out quite well.
23:36 Adam Ralph
There was one time, I think it was when we were somewhere in Devon, somewhere in the Southwest of England, where we were driving through a national park and I had a meeting coming up and I think it was half an hour to go to the meeting and there was no coverage whatsoever. So I gave my phone to my girlfriend and I said, "As soon as you get a 3G connection, tell me." So we drove for about another 20 minutes, nothing. And I was getting quite worried at this stage, the meeting was 10 minutes away. We drove for about another 5, 10 minutes and I think it was two minutes before the meeting and she just shouted, "Stop. 3G connection." I pulled over to the side of the road, had the meeting. And then carried on driving. So that was the closest point in the whole trip to being on the road interfering with work. It was a close shave, but I got away with it.
24:24 Adam Ralph
We also realized that three months had gone past already because time flies. We were halfway through our trip and we'd only made it from Switzerland to the West of Ireland. So we thought, "Well, we're not quite going to stick to the original plan. What should we do?" One thing that made it easy for us was that the weather in the UK and Ireland was patchy at best. We had a bit of nice weather, but we had a lot of rain as well. So we thought, "We want some nice hot weather." So we thought, "Alright. Let's just go down South." We packed our stuff up and we managed to get all the way down to the middle of France in one day. We stayed somewhere overnight and then we ended up going down to the Basque country area, around Southwest France and Northern Spain, spent about a month there chilling out on the beach. Beautiful place to stay for awhile. Then we just headed down over to Portugal, spent about a month just somewhere near North of Lisbon. Went down to the South, spent about a month there.
25:23 Adam Ralph
And then we suddenly realized that seven months has gone by. We had actually overrun the original plan by one month, we were seven months into the trip. And we thought, "Well, it's probably time to start heading in the direction of home." Not least because the ski season was starting and I'm quite a keen snowboarder. So we made a mad dash all the way back across Europe, stopped in a couple of places on the way, and then we stopped in Geneva for one night and stayed near the Lake, and then headed home back to Switzerland and back to the mountains. And that was the trip done.
25:59 Adam Ralph
So we didn't quite stick to the original plan. Unfortunately we missed out Italy altogether, but that's something for another time. That's a nice country to visit all in its own right. Now as I said I did not want this to really interfere with my speaking schedule. I do like to go and speak at conferences. And in fact the one in Bristol, at the beginning of the trip, was the only one where it was actually on the way around. The others I had to fly out to especially. So just after that I actually flew to St. Petersburg for a conference called .NEXT and then I flew actually back to Switzerland for a conference called .NET Day in Zurich. And then I flew back to London, picked up my girlfriend, and we carried on. And I did that a few times during the trip so the actual route kind of looked more like this, there was a fair bit of flying around.
26:53 Adam Ralph
I don't know if any of you remember a talk that I did it DevConf two years ago in 2017, I did a talk about .NET standard and this is actually me flying back for DevConf that year. So I flew from Bordeaux in France and flew via Amsterdam and came across for DevConf. So I kind of messed up the whole route a little bit, but it was still good. It was good to carry on speaking. And I don't know if you've heard this phrase, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." If you ever do this kind of thing, don't worry about tearing up the plans. Just go with the flow. It didn't really bother us at all. It's good to have the plan to think about where you want to go, but just make it up as you go along. It's fine.
27:37 Adam Ralph
Final stats. Well we spent not six, but we spent seven months on the road in the end. We drove for 13,500 kilometers. We visited not six, but five countries. Italy is going to have to wait for another time. And we used over half a terabyte of data between us. So in terms of data I think that the minimum you need probably is about 20 gig a month, and this is for a kind of typical software development job with a few video calls here and there. But with 20 gig you've really got to be very frugal indeed. You've got to make sure all of your automatic updates are switched off, I even switched off telemetry, sending back stats, and things like that from apps. You've got to switch off HD for video calls, that kind of thing. You've got to be really, really careful.
28:29 Adam Ralph
If you've got 30 gig, you can kind of relax. 30 gig is kind of stress free. You don't have to worry about that too much. 50 gig is more than enough where even streaming some things and things like that every now and then. This is per person, by the way, this is per person. We ended up getting a second 50 gig card. So we ended up with two 50 gig cards and one 20 gig card. The 20 gig one was kind of surplus to requirements really, the two 50 gig ones were enough. And it wasn't expensive either so 50 gig is a good solution.
29:05 Adam Ralph
Forget about campsite wifi, right? Campsites do advertise free wifi and things like that. It's absolutely useless, it's a joke. Just forget about it. You can't rely on it, make sure you've got your own data sorted out. Unlimited roaming, as I said, forget about it. There's always something which stops you from doing it, like it detects tethering and then blocks the connection if you're tethering. Or you can forget about pay as you go, you've got to have a contract. There's always something in there which stops you from actually doing unlimited roaming, but as I said 50 gigs is more than so it's not really a problem. Multiple SIMs, really, really useful. I thoroughly recommend having two different SIMs, especially two different carriers if you're in the country where you bought the SIMs.
29:51 Adam Ralph
And 4G, H+, we usually had at least 3G. We, probably most of the time, had H+ and we sometimes had 4G. 3G is enough. Okay? So 3G is enough for video calls, it's absolutely fine. If you're doing something like a visual studio update, it's not so great. But they can be about a gig or two as well so you've got to watch out for the actual usage there as well. In terms of our kind of rent, so the money we had to pay. This is in Swiss Francs because I live in Switzerland, but camping we were spending about 900 Francs a month. Data was about 100 Francs a month, which is about 1,000 Francs in total. So it was like about 4,000 [inaudible 00:30:39]. Actually our flat in Switzerland was a lot more expensive than this and we subleted it for the entire time. So we actually saved money by being on this trip in a kind of weird way.
30:49 Adam Ralph
What did we learn? Well, in terms of setting yourselves up. Right? Your utilities. There are really two things you need to worry about, it's data and electricity. So data, get yourself good SIM cards. Electricity didn't turn out to be that much of a problem actually. So the power bank I had came in handy a couple of times, but we spent most of the time in campsites and in campsites you can just plug the van in and we've got sockets inside the van for laptops so it works out quite well.
31:22 Adam Ralph
But it kind of did mean we didn't do so much kind of wild camping and didn't just go off into the forest and find somewhere to camp so much. We did it a couple of times, but because we had this need for power and we needed it to work, we kind of tended to sit the campsites. And once you've got that sorted, those are the two pillars you need and kind of everything else just kind of falls into place. If you can work, you can get money, and then you can buy stuff and you can buy your food, and kind of everything thing works out.
31:46 Adam Ralph
That was the easy part, the hard part was more the social aspects. It was more the living together in that little space, which was hard to work out. So as I said, at the beginning we had problems because of just the logistics of having all that stuff in that little van. The tent kind of saved us from that, but no matter how much you like each other if you're going to spend months and months together in a little space like that, there are things that you have to work out.
32:12 Adam Ralph
So for instance, especially when we were in the warmer parts of Europe, one of us would kind of work inside the van and one of us would work outside the van on the table, which was quite nice when it was sunny and warm. Or we'd make a plan at the beginning of the week and we'd say, "Well. Okay, this day I'll work in the van. This day you go to an Internet cafe or go somewhere else." And it's good to just give each other that space. You just need a bit of your own personal space every now and then, and that was harder part to work out. But in the end we got it right and it kind of worked fairly well for us.
32:46 Adam Ralph
So until next time, this is the question. Would we do it again? We had some fantastic experiences here traveling all around Europe. It was a great thing to do and we have done it again. So in 2018 we did a few shorter trips. I've just got back from 10 weeks going around Scandinavia so Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and even up to Svalbard which is halfway to the North pole. That was a really amazing experience. And if this is something that you are interested in doing, and if you are in a position to do it, I do recommend it. It's not for everyone, it has its challenges. But if you're in a position to do this and you think it's something you might want to do, then I would unreservedly recommend it. It was a fantastic experience and I'm looking forward to see what next year brings because I'm going to try and do the same thing again somewhere. So looking forward to doing this many times again.
33:46 Adam Ralph
So that kind of brings me towards the end. I've raced through this so we're going to have a much longer break than expected, but I'm sure you won't complain too much about that. I'm sure there's great coffee out there and I think ... I'm not sure that everyone is here who bought a ticket so I'm sure the party was very good last night. So for those who aren't here, well I guess they can come and enjoy the rest of the day. But I hope you've enjoyed listening to this, I hope it's been interesting for you. I'm going to be around for the rest of the conference. I've got a talk later on today as well. So if you want to ask me more stuff about this that I haven't already covered in the talk, then do by all means grab me and ask me. So I hope you enjoy day two of DevConf and I will see you around in the conference. Thank you very much.
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