Tue. Oct 19th, 2021

I thought the “new normal”, commonly known as work from home (HFH), is curiously a partial simulation of the nomadic digital lifestyle.

According to the Wikipedia article, digital nomads are people who use telecommunications technologies to make a living and lead their lives in a nomadic way.

These workers often work remotely from foreign countries, cafes, public libraries, collaboration spaces or recreational vehicles.

In Southeast Asia, digital nomads are found and commonly concentrated in some hot spots such as Bali (Indonesia), Bangkok and Chiang Mai (Thailand), Penang (Malaysia) and Da Nang (Vietnam).

These hotspots usually have a good mix of certain features that are appealing to digital nomads, such as the cost of living, internet speed, security, and the fun factor.

If the concept of digital nomads is new to you, Nomad List is a good place to start.

Remote work

Leaving aside the nomadic aspect of digital Internet users, the telecommunications technologies that were already the bread and butter of digital nomads were exactly the kind of resources that the citizens of the world were forced to adopt.

The good news is that my wife and I are still not down our throats, even though we work in the same study room. Having the luxury of space is ideal, but it doesn’t always work in our HDB sized apartment.

A villa with pool would be very nice.

Villa in Ubud, Bali where we were (2019)

We plug in headphones when we work, as we have our own favorite music to listen to on Spotify or Youtube. Also, two “click” mechanical keyboards can be very, very strong for people who don’t like them. It may drive you crazy, but luckily we’re pretty used to it.

Doing the work we do, does it matter if we are in Singapore or Chiang Mai right now?

Food and meals

We may not be great cooks though We I know enough to prepare easy and quick meals that are relatively healthy.

Most days, I’m in charge of making sure we have something to eat when meal times arrive.

Food delivery, Bali style (GoJek)

On days when we don’t cook, we would order food deliveries; for two people, it’s not that hard to stay within the $ 18 range to deliver for free to Grab Food. If I feel like walking, I would do the automatic pickup option for a 20-25% discount.

All in all, I think we are skilled enough to stay well fed no matter where we are.

Maybe I should post a few quick and easy food hacks from WFH next time?

Health and fitness

My wife has a training room equipped with her favorite equipment. It used to be our free room to store, so I don’t care what you do to it.

It survives largely by doing static workouts on body weight and also very late night runs (no fixed routes) when there are few people on top.

Right now, running with a mask isn’t that hard for me; the most important thing is to choose the right type of fabric. That said, I don’t recommend doing it if you haven’t devoted as much time to exercising. I’ve been running around with a mask on since Covid appeared last year, so I’m pretty used to it.

A pool would also be very nice

We both don’t particularly like going to the gym, so our current setup worked pretty well for us.

Oh yeah, I would love to have a pool like this villa where we stay, if we are in Bali instead of Singapore.

Leisure and entertainment

Although we find ourselves going out from time to time, mostly for food cravings, most of the time we feel good at home.

We are both computer science graduates and feel very comfortable with our IT devices (configuration and troubleshooting, etc.). YouTube, Spotify, Netflix and Disney Plus meet a large part of our entertainment needs, in addition to playing MMORPGs together.

Just a little otaku-ish, but that’s fine with us. We just need high speed internet.

Social and Family

Probably the aspect most affected by Covid and WFH, as we are not able to enjoy the freedom we once enjoyed.

Again, the inevitable trend is that many of our friends and acquaintances are gradually gravitating toward fatherhood and are increasingly trapped by their children and their lives. When I meet my ex-mates to eat, sometimes, anyway, they have to leave early.

It’s weird to say, but I guess one day it should happen … I’m moving away from a lot of people I knew, because right now we’re practically in different worlds.

Most of our current social commitments are in the virtual world with endless chats on WhatsApp, Line and Telegram, Twitter and Discord, and more.

I think the most significant impact would come from the family front, and that’s something that really has no solution.

Taking the positive aspects

Like it or not, a significant percentage of the world’s population is now well equipped for the nomadic digital lifestyle.

The pandemic almost forced us to adopt remote work. It may not be as efficient or productive as before, but it CAN work.

One day, the world may return to what we are used to. Or maybe he won’t.

Either way, the situation has given us a taste of the kind of lifestyle we can have, and I appreciate the opportunity.

On a related note, take a look at mine Freedom is really expensive Financial Independence Test, Early Retirement (FIRE) and check if I can survive on alternative income for 6 months.

  • Remote work: check
  • Surviving with alternative income: ongoing

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