Oh snap! we skipped a week… I guess we’ll get better at keeping up with the weekly updates eventually. Well, as promised in a previous blog post, I decided to share my interesting experiences as a digital nomad this last month. I decided to split it in 2 posts because I just had a lot in my mind and I think sharing it in smaller pieces might be better and easier to digest, so here is part 1.
There and back again… a beginner nomad’s tale by Richie Viteri. Part one.
Disclaimer from the beginning, I’m not a seasoned nomad worker, and I haven’t actually thought too much about doing it by now, but let’s say that this time around I became an accidental one for a little. Just a quick recap about myself, I’m from Ecuador and, at least to my knowledge, nomad working is not a “thing” around there, so it’s safe to say that I’ve always been used to office work (you know… like a minion… a happy minion). But now, since March 2018 I’ve been working from home (house minion) and my experience in that transition might be worth of a totally different post in the future. But the story now is about a completely new beast for me… nomad working D: , and not any nomad working experience, an accidental nomad working experience!
So how did I end up in this so unconventional story, well, it began with one plan, Sziget Festival in Budapest, that part of my trip was expected, you know, fly to Budapest, go to the festival and fly back home, maybe bring clothes for around just 4 or 5 days. Well, things not always go as expected. My week in Budapest was pretty normal, 100S has an office there and I was able to work comfortably along with Alex, Zoli and Lajos. Also, I really really like Budapest, so walking around the city is always such a great experience. That was definitely the easy week, cause I was able to work from the office itself. By around Wednesday, my initial plans started to change, now I needed to go to Berlin to help my wife with some things she needed to sort out. I immediately booked a flight to Berlin.
In Berlin is where my nomad worker experience started to get interesting. Since my wife is also sort of a nomad for now, during that week it was kind of difficult to find a good place to work, the accommodation was quite dark and internet sometimes failed working. Luckily I know Berlin good enough so it wasn’t that difficult to find places to work. This brings me to the first key thing I learned from this experience, adaptability.
When I think adaptability I usually think about settling somewhere and understanding the culture and traditions, or even adapt to how hot, cold, humid or dry a place is, but I never thought too much about it in terms of work, I mean, I usually have a good desk and chair at the office or at home, but now, I had to make due with whatever I had at my disposal: uncomfortable chairs at a coffee shop, really really small tables, coffee shops with no internet or energy outlets, rather noisy libraries, you name it. The key for me in order to cope with all this kind of scenarios was to try to create my own environment every time I settled somewhere. Finding that environment most of the time would involve the following:
Check if the place have internet and use it! (use a VPN if security is a concern of yours), if they don’t have, then you have one of two choices: leave the place or tether internet from your phone (I suggest having a good internet plan or to find one if you are going to be working while abroad)
Order a coffee (mainly to not get kicked out of the coffee shop for not buying anything… you are using their space, is the least you can do). Ask for a take away cup, this saves space in those usually tiny tables.
If there is any, find the table closest to the electric outlet (you will not always find them, so try to charge your computer whenever you can)
If the chair is uncomfortable, you can always use your jacket as a cushion (of course this depends on the weather and what you ate earlier…)
If possible, find a table that is visible from the outside, this way, if you get a call, you can answer it outside in case the place is too noisy, all while keeping an eye on your stuff (defend your seat next to the electric outlet at all cost!)
Put you headphones on with your music, podcast, white noise or whatever you are into and start working!
I’m sure people that know better than me will have their own better suggestions or tricks, but I can only recommend what has worked for me, and I hope it helps someone that for some reason finds themselves in an unexpected (or maybe expected but unprepared) situation like mine.
This is just part of the whole adventure I had over the last month, as well as part of the environments in which I’ve been working and tricks I’ve learned during that time. At this point in the story I’m still half way into my unexpected trip, but I will leave the rest for a later blog post.