While I’m living here in the Eastern Hemisphere, one goal is to do some exploring. For two months this spring, I’ll be taking a break from expat life in Addis Ababa and doing the digital nomad thing in Southeast Asia.
What, exactly, is a digital nomad? It’s someone who has mobilized her income and chooses to work remotely from anywhere in the world (as long as there’s good Wi-Fi). You can recognize digital nomads by their rumpled clothing and umbilical attachment to their laptops.
Like traditional nomads, the neo variety tends to form tribes. They congregate in paradisiacal places where the cost of living is low. Southeast Asia is a particular magnet for this crowd. Seeking out a tribe, I found a group called Hacker Paradise. I’ll be with about 30 other nomad types for one month in Bali, Indonesia and one month in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here are the dates:
March 13 – April 9: Session 1 in Bali, Indonesia
April 10 – April 16: Spring break! Open water dive certification in Malaysia
April 17 – May 15: Session 2 in Chiang Mai, Thailand
In Bali and Chiang Mai, I’ll be putting in near full-time hours each week doing small business support for various clients, and teaching my online course on tourism development. I’d also like to pursue a few side projects in writing — if I’m not too busy trekking and snorkeling.
I’m looking forward to a change of scene from my current home base in a landlocked East African capital city. Also, the focus on reaching goals, community, and networking appeals to me. From the pre-arrival materials:
“Hacker Paradise has a number of optional events throughout each week that can provide some structure to your experience. We have a weekly group lunch on Monday at 12pm, where everyone shares what they’re working on and can ask for help / feedback on their projects from the group. We also organize mastermind groups around topics like #startups and #freelancing, and we have other regular meetups like writers’ workshops and group meditation.
On Tuesdays, we usually have someone from the group or an interesting outsider come in and give a talk. Past topics have included things like flag theory (tax minimization for nomads), lean UX, game design, and sleep science. Talks are an opportunity to share your knowledge and practice public speaking, and the rest of group gets to benefit from your experience. We highly encourage everyone to get involved with giving a talk, and are here to bounce ideas around for topics and give feedback if you like.”