I live and work around the world and have found myself in the 'Digital Nomad' community - people that like me, do a lot of work on computers/online and can work remotely. Many are freelancers, programmers, online entrepreneurs, consultants, writers... I've even met music producers, online personal coaches, yacht charter hustler, and innovator of a spray on water repellant !
As part of my desire to find lovely places to work from between face-to-face client demands, I decided that I would go ahead and actually make the perfect space in the perfect place. I chose Koh Lanta, an island off the South West coast of Thailand. It's not too touristy but big enough to have comforts, fairly stable electricity, transport infrastructure, bars and restaurants, great beaches, forests, and a massive amount of diving sites. The big one is that it has a fibre optic lightening fast internet connection on the seabed to the mainland. I mean lighting-fast - up to 100 mbps!
But it didn't have a co-working space, something friends had told me when they had visited there, and tried to work. I was working at Hubud in Ubud, Bali, waiting out the rainy season in Koh Lanta, when I met James who was from Koh Lanta and had also dreamed of setting up a co-working/digital nomad space. He was an online worker too. Things transpired for us to be able to find the PERFECT SPACE, and in November 2014 after two months of exciting renovation and set up, we launched KoHub.
Since then hundreds of digital nomads have flocked to the island and it is now the second biggest hub for remote and location independent workers in Thailand after Chiang Mai.
I am a birther of projects and a nomad at heart, so after the initial excitement of creating this dream space, my feet got itchy and I went on the road again, handing the reins to James who's a long-term Koh Lanta resident. I circle back to Koh Lanta from time to time as it has all the perfect attributes as a place to settle for a month or two.
As my travels and adventures continue I am in constant source of places that are right for me. Here's my must-have list:
- warm weather
- safe and enjoyable cycling routes
- somewhere to swim (river, ocean, lake)
- good internet connection
- access to healthy food with lots of vegetarian options
- an existing or potential digital nomad vibe
- AC spaces to work from if it's ridiculously hot
- some sense of sustainable development and programmes that support it
- reasonable priced accommodation that I can nest in (quiet, close to nature, clean, green and beautiful, with a GOOD MATTRESS for my weary back).
I have decided to catalogue the places I go to work, live, drink tea and cycle. I'll add in some logistical info that might help you if you find yourself heading that way.
Digital Nomad, Location Independent, Freelancer, Remote Worker, Workation, Remote Year, or just backpacking and checking emails - whatever you're doing, whatever you identify as, I hope the info I collect up and write about will help you out!
You will be happy to know that I bring sustainability into any projects. I forced extreme separation, and we had a compost pile. Massive lizards (I mean like 1.5m long) kept getting into it, terrorising the staff!