Hello! An Update.

Been awhile since I’ve written anything here!

 

Figured I’d take the chance to say ‘hey’ again and update you on life 😃

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

Steph and I returned to the USA in December to spend a couple months visiting family and friends over the holiday season. We spent time in Chicago, Colorado, Portland, Seattle, and Austin. Being back ‘home’ was equal parts wonderful and difficult. On one hand, it was incredible to spend time with family and close friends after being away for a year or more. On the other, we found it even harder than usual to re-adjust to American culture and societal norms.

 

All-in-all, it was a good visit. We spent lots of time riding bikes with friends, drinking nice coffee, eating Chipotle (so. much. Chipotle.), taking advantage of amazing supermarkets, and having long overdue face-to-face conversations.

 

Now we’re back in Thailand for a bit! We just finished a 10 day visit in Chiang Mai and are currently on a plane en route to Koh Lanta. Our time in Chiang Mai was a bit too brief for our liking but we are excited to return to the island.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

We’ll be in Lanta for the next six weeks soaking up the sun and getting our work groove on at KoHub. For some reason, we’re always insanely productive on the island so it’ll be a good chance to move business forward and try to knock out some big projects.

 

After Lanta we’ll actually be returning to the USA for a couple weeks. I’m standing in a good friend’s wedding in Colorado and then we’ll try to spend a week in Austin as long as we’re so close.

 

For the month of May we’re coordinating with some friends and booking a big place in Marrakech, Morocco. This’ll be a new country for us and we’re especially excited to share the experience with friends. The rough plan is to find a sweet Airbnb, install good wifi, and have a month-long co-working & co-living retreat with a few other nomadic friends.

 

After the month of May, we have no plans! Hopefully we’ll be returning to Budapest for a bit during the summer, but we’re choosing to leave ourselves some flexibility in case we want to return to Asia or go somewhere else entirely!

 

Hope this update finds you all well! Happy 2017 to you, and I’ll try to be a bit better about publishing on the blog moving forward 🙂

Cheers to You, Chiang Mai!

I’m writing this from a tiny seat on AirAsia flight 855 from Chiang Mai to Kuala Lumpur.

We left Chiang Mai this morning and don’t know the next time we’ll be returning. It’s a bit of a strange feeling. Though we’ve traveled across both Asia and Europe for much of this year, Chiang Mai has become something of a home base for us.

We even signed a long-term lease in Chiang Mai earlier this year, before realizing that we still wanted complete flexibility to travel (whoops).

To be honest, Chiang Mai isn’t really the greatest city on paper. It’s a little difficult to get to by air, doesn’t have a great public transport system, isn’t the most beautiful city, doesn’t have great parks or other urban infrastructure, etc…

But a place is made by the people, and we’ve been so blessed to have amazing friends in Chiang Mai every time we’ve been since the beginning of this year. The relationships forged and memories made with these people have forever embedded the Chiang Mai as ‘home’ in my mind and my heart.

Last night we had dinner and drinks with several friends. I don’t know the next time I’m going to see any of those people. I don’t know what country we’ll be in when we reunite. Could be 4 months. Could be 4 years. That’s the reality of this nomadic lifestyle. Always saying hello, always saying goodbye.

I’m grateful for the friendships we have on the road. The people who we’ve lived life with over the last several years. I already miss our Chiang Mai family terribly, but I’m excited to see them again.

Here’s to Chiang Mai, and to the amazing people I’ve grown close with since we first landed in January. If any of you are reading this, I love you and am proud to know you. Keep kicking ass.

See you soon.

chiang mai sunset

Life Is What You Make It

A simple lesson that I’m continuing to learn.

What you put in is what you get out.

Half-assing anything in life = less contentment and satisfaction from that thing in the end.

I’m working more on going “all in”.

All in with people.

All in with work.

All in with positivity.

All in in the city that I’m staying in.

It’s a good feeling.

Chiang Mai – Office of the Day Series

I’ve teamed up with my buddy Chris this week to make a quick series of videos about places to work for digital nomads in Chiang Mai!

Most people have heard about the amazing cafe/coworking scene in Chiang Mai, but very few people know about specific locations unless they’ve been to Chiang Mai in person. Even then, new cafes pop up every couple months, so it can be difficult to keep up with the scene.

We’re checking out 5 different cafes over 5 days here in Chiang Mai and are making short videos talking about each space.

Chris is releasing these review videos on his YouTube channel.

I’m simultaneously releasing vlogs on my channel if you’re interested in a more “casual” behind the scenes look at our days.

Hope you enjoy the mini-series. Let me know if you have any questions or are interested to learn more about working in Chiang Mai!

 

Back In Southeast Asia

In case you missed it, Steph and I are back in Southeast Asia!

After an amazing summer in Europe, it’s nice to be back. We are feeling very appreciative and grateful to be spending more time here.

We’ll be in Chiang Mai all of August and then heading down to Koh Lanta for the month of September. After that, we have no plans, but there’s a good chance we’ll stay in Asia for the rest of the year.

Looking forward to lots of smoothies, coffee shop work sessions, fresh vegan food, and beautiful warm weather during our time here.

If you’re around, say hey on Twitter. Would love to meet up!

Hotel Review: Mariya Boutique Residence BKK Airport

Last week Steph and I traveled from Budapest to Chiang Mai with an overnight stop in Bangkok. If you’ve ever had an overnight stop at either Bangkok airport, you’ll know that there are literally hundreds of airport hotels/guesthouses to choose from.

This time, I booked at the Mariya Boutique Residence and we had a great experience.

I wanted to share in case anyone is looking to simplify the selection process for a BKK airport hotel.


Mariya Boutique Residence is a simple hotel located 5 minutes from Suvarnabhumi Airport. They offer a 24-hour airport shuttle in both directions. We used this service both arriving and departing. They were on-time and professional in both cases.

The hotel has 4 floors and no elevator. Staff will carry your luggage up to the room for you, so it’s no hassle at all.

We booked a Superior Queen Room through Agoda (my favorite booking platform for Asia) for $36.46 USD after all fees.

The rooms are simple, but comfortable. Our room had a new A/C unit, good mattress, small kitchenette with coffee & tea, and a decent size bathroom with a separated shower and plenty of hot water.

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The reception area downstairs is spacious and comfortable for getting some work done. There is also a small restaurant with a breakfast option for 200 THB. We opted not to have breakfast, but they do offer free coffee, tea, juice, and water throughout the day which is a nice touch.

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There is a 7/11 directly next door to the hotel (as well as two more across the street). The hotel is also flanked by multiple restaurants serving Thai, Japanese, and Western food at good prices. It was so nice to be able to have immediate food & grocery options, even for a quick overnight stay.

After our brief experience at the Mariya Boutique Residence, I can safely say that we’ll be booking again next time we need a hotel near BKK. The location is great (especially with the airport shuttle) and the amenities of the hotel are perfect for a quick stop.

If you’d like to know anything more about our stay, feel free to hit me up on Twitter!

Airbnb Review: 2 Bedrooms in Budapest

We’ve just finished an amazing month in Budapest. Over the last month we’ve fallen in love with the city and we are already looking forward to returning sometime over the next year!

You can see videos of our time in Budapest on my YouTube channel!

One of the things that made our stay in Budapest so incredible was our amazing Airbnb. We shared a 2-bed unit with a couple of friends and the situation couldn’t have been better!

I wanted to write a quick review of our Airbnb in case anyone is looking for a 2-bed unit in Budapest.

This is the apartment listing on Airbnb. Click through for more details & photos.

The apartment is in a perfect location. It is only 2 minutes walk to the metro stop Astoria. Just across the road is the Jewish Quarter and most of the popular ruin pubs/bars. There are 3 grocery stores within a 5 minute walk as well as access to numerous bus lines and bike routes.

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The apartment is in a traditional courtyard apartment building and is on the top floor (there is a lift) overlooking the rooftops.

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The apartment has two bedrooms, both with ensuite bath.

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The living area is spacious, including a large entry way and a compact, but useable kitchen. The kitchen is well stocked with oil and spices and there are plenty of dishes and utensils. We cooked at home almost every night and had no trouble.

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The owner of the apartment is extremely friendly and a great communicator. He went out of his way to make sure that the apartment was comfortably stocked for our stay and was easy to reach throughout the month, even though he was in Spain.

All-in-all, staying in this apartment was a world class Airbnb experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a 2-bedroom apartment in Budapest.

If you have never used Airbnb before, sign up using this link. We’ll both get free credit!

Mindset Is Not In The Mind

One of the most important lessons I’ve been learning this year is that having a certain ‘mindset’ does not happen by changing the mind, but by acting on conviction.

Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to become a more positive person. I didn’t know exactly what that should look like (I still don’t). I tried many things to “change my mindset” and my outlook on the world.

Some things helped, some things didn’t. Overall, I felt like I wasn’t changing much.

Then I decided to simply start ‘being’ positive in my external actions. I start making obnoxious statements out loud.

“What a beautiful day this is!”

“I’m so grateful to be alive!”

“My friends are incredible!”

“I love my work and my business!”

I didn’t necessarily feel all of these things when I chose to say them, but the more I acted externally on my conviction to be a positive person, the more I noticed my mindset changing.

I can now safely say that I’m exponentially more positive than I’ve ever been. My outlook on the world is insanely optimistic, and I feel more content than I ever thought possible.

I’m not necessarily 100% happy all the time, but I’ve realized the power of external action in shaping my mindset. Therefore, I feel completely comfortable taking external action, even if my mind is a bit slow to catch up.

My mindset has completely changed because I forced it to change with my external actions.

Give it a try! If you want to chat about this idea (or anything else!), hit me up on Twitter!

 

Financial Info For Digital Nomads

Money is a hot topic for digital nomads. Cost of living, business profitability, passive income streams… these are all regularly discussed among remote workers.

To help shed some light, I recorded a video earlier this year talking about how much Steph and I spend and how we budget for life on the road.

If you have any questions or want to chat about finances, please hit me up on Twitter!

My Biggest Advice for Digital Nomads

nomad friends

I’ve been on the road as a “full-time digital nomad” for about 4 years now. Before that, I spent 3 years traveling and experimenting with remote work part-time.

I’ve grown my businesses, seen dozens of countries, become incredibly self-aware, and met hundreds of amazing people.

Over the last 2 years, the digital nomad movement has exploded, largely due to the creation of NomadList. Most of the people I’ve been meeting on the road are just starting their remote work journeys. Many people now view me as an “old-timer” in the nomad scene.

I don’t feel like an expert in any way. To be honest, I feel like I’ve just found my perfect rhythm over the last year. That said, I’d like to offer my biggest piece of advice for digital nomads, both current and prospective.

Prioritize relationships.

In the nomad world, it’s so easy to become fixated on building/growing a business (not inherently bad)… or seeing new places (also not inherently bad). These are usually the most appealing factors of remote work, and they absolutely can add incredible value to your life.

But…

Pursuing these things at the expense of building relationships and community is an almost certain recipe for burnout…something I’ve encountered many times.

Entrepreneurship ≠ happiness
Money ≠ happiness
Travel ≠ happiness

These things are simply value-adds in the incredible lives we are privileged to live. A life prioritized around PEOPLE is what I’ve found to bring the most contentment, deep joy, and sustainability to my nomad journey.

Share meals with people. Have them over to your 6,000 THB apartment for a round of cheap beers from 7/11. Instead of going somewhere new or somewhere cheap, go where your friends are going. Make time in your life to invest in knowing others and being known by them.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve tried to refocus my life around spending more time with people that I’ve connected with on the road. I’m still figuring it out, and I’m still learning balance, but I encourage you to audit your life and priorities to make sure that relationships are paramount.

If this strikes a chord with you, or if you want to ask me more, you can reach out to me on Twitter. I’d love to chat.