What is your job title/position. Share how you got into this lifestyle. Thanks!
I have just embarked on my first long term trip while working remotely. Went from Melbourne -> Hong Kong. Motivated to start travelling more and giving the digital nomad lifestyle a thorough go. I'm a UI/UX/buzzword-dujour designer. I primarily do work for my old employer (Melbourne based software co) and am in talks with an American software co to pick some freelance work as well. Plan to start looking in HK as well but am fairly new to the scene here. If there are any HK based DN'ers hit me up - coffee/beer is on me!
PS. Let me know if you have any questions about the lifestyle? I'll do my best to answer.
Hong Kong-based DN'er (although not strictly a designer, and not strictly a local) here. Hit me at @insraq / hi AT ruoyusun DOT com
I've also been considering this lately, would be really interested to see the answers.
I've done stints in the past where I was working remotely from Umeå, Sweden with HQ being in Cupertino, USA and colleagues located in Zurich, London and San Francisco. I had just moved to Sweden from Australia (originally from New Zealand).
I was working for a massive software/hardware company as a web & graphic designer/developer/community manager/jack of all trades role. I got to travel heaps and meet some really great people. I went to various conferences in the software space, mainly all in Las Vegas (boy do I hate Vegas).
What I found tedious and eventually drove me away from the lifestyle, were the endless conference calls in the evenings (Europe to USA west coast). I would work from 10am until 5pm, stop for dinner with my wife and then get on calls from 7pm until 12am. I did this for 4 years.
Sure this probably differs from company to company, but there is a certain emotion, tone or context lost through text/verbal based communication. Personally I've found being located with the people I'm working with much more beneficial.
I've also found working locally has helped me to understand the location I'm living in much better. To immerse myself in the surrounding environment and learn the intricacy of it's culture(s).
I now live and work in Tromsø, Norway. It's awesome. I'm the Creative Lead at a local Biotechnology firm, married (to a fellow Kiwi) and have two little kids. We plan to keep traveling, but not too sure where to next. We've been in Norway for 8 years now, maybe Canada next?
Does anyone do this with a family?
Yep, I do! Had two little while on the road, it's quite OK :)
What do you do for education?
For myself or my children?
Education for me is a mix of learning online—my work pays for a subscription to lynda.com—and I travel to workshops in Europe. I will admit though, I do miss learning with peers one on one. Learning online feels a bit limited, especially when it comes to print design as I have so many questions.
For my kids, they are both in barnehage (kindergarden/day care). The system in Norway is amazing and allows for both parents to return to work after one year.
He probably meant, travelling with kids means you don't keep them in school. Do you?
Ah right I see. Yeah our moving is a little slower, as in we tend to stay in a place for a few years, so the kids can settle into school. If we were on the road constantly then it would be a different story.
I'm an American based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
I've lived/ worked from - - Buenos Aires, Santiago, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, etc., etc.,
It's quite possible.
Lived and worked remotely from Mexico, Guatemala, and Chile for 5 years. Now mostly back and forth between Toronto and Montreal.
Before leaving Canada I was a communicator in the navy for 9 years. I met a girl and quit my career to follow her down to Mexico. I spent most of the first few months sitting in cafes, staring at my computer, and trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.
My first remote gig I got was with a travel startup. From there I started learning about design and took contract work, bouncing around from gig to gig until my own startup got funded by Startup Chile.
After a year in Chile I took 9 months from work and hitchhiked with some friends from Santiago back up to Guatemala.
I needed a change from Latin America, found my current job with Flixel, and I've been based out of Toronto and Montreal ever since.
I did it last month for a work-week on my trip to Netherlands and this month to Estonia. In Netherlands, I worked each day visiting another city (Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Haag).
It was really inspirational and I was more productive at the end of the day. Dedicated ~3hrs for sightseeing and ~4hrs working in 2-3 different coffeeshops.
In my case, I found it definitely more productive and planning to travel to Northern European countries every month for a work-week. However, I wouldn't do it for longer than a work-week since I don't want be away from family and weekly habits. This way it also feels like a reward.
Best part: When I was back it was weekend again, felt like it was a vacation.
I have a plan to do this next year! Sitting in the office 9-5 is not for me definitely... First stop probably Indonesia where would like to stay few months, still not sure about visas tho, any advice would help!
I always wanted to ask about the 9to5 stuff. Do you guys really work generally from 9 to 5? What about lunch time? How much time do you have for lunch? Here in germany we sit in the offices from 9 to 6, because lunch time is one hour and you should work 8 hours.
Yeah, its 9 - 5 with one hour lunch break. But I usually do 8.30 to 4.30. It is slightly flexible, but still not as flexible as I would like to. (Im in UK)
So you work 7 hours? Thats kinda nice. But of course its not super flexible... its way better to work remotely as a freelancer, without having guys watching on your screen and check if youre REALLY working.
Yeah 7 hours usually. Sometimes come in earlier, work during lunch or stay late. But to be honest, try not to do that anymore. After always coming in early and leaving late got told off that I am doing too much work unrelated stuff - ha. While it was just research for ideas... Often that extra mile is left unnoticed at the office, so leave on time spend time on my other projects.
Oh cool! Where do you want to stay in Indonesia? Bali or Jakarta? If you need info about visas you can check in here http://www.expat.or.id/info/docs.html#Business
Probably Bali first, been there for holiday couple times and absolutely loved it! Thanks for the link :) Been reading a lot about it, the only issue is that I won't be able to take clients from there with any sort of visa which is such a shame. When I was on holiday randomly managed to get two gigs while travelling, but it gets tricky if I would like to do more of it..
I travelled for a year and a half doing product design freelance while travelling around Europa, Asia, America. Spent about a month in each country. I initially wanted a full-time remote job but figured that it wouldn't leave me with enough time to actually experience the country I was visiting, so I went freelance.
Hello! I'm Product Designer at format.com, I'm now visiting the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with a friend that also works remotely.
Is definitely one of the best things you can do, travel, get to know new places while working on things that you love.
Im from Lithuania, hope you enjoying Baltic countries :)
I'm originally from Chicago and I just came back from doing this for 14 months! I visited Canada, Chile, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Ukraine, Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands, Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. It's all very possible :)
I am in Thailand now for about a month on a very short digital nomading experiment. One thing I've been impressed by is not only the prevalence of high-speed internet, but also of cellular data. $12 USD for unlimited 1Mbps LTE data that works great almost everywhere.
Curious as to how you guys found your current/looking for your next remote gig? I am currently full time but I am thinking about going remote and have no idea where to start.
I've been working and travelling for 3 years, now. So far I've visited more than 50 countries, most of them during this period. Doing some math you'll notice that I'm moving pretty quickly from one place to another : )
I am a freelance interface and interaction designer, and also doing UX of course. This last year I've been working for a company in Barcelona, just a few hours a day so the rest of the time is free to get to know the places that I visit, and work on some other personal projects.
So far it has been pretty challenging, specially because of me moving so fast. My team has been very patient and understanding, so I guess I'm very lucky in this sense.
If you need to know anything from my experience, just let me know. I'd be glad to help.
I'm currently a jack-of-all trades graphic designer, having the least experience in ui/ux design. Do you think knowing ui/ux design & front-end development are necessary to find remote work?
I can recommend this book, about the life of digital nomads. (I'm not involved in this book btw., so no spamming...)
I did it for a year and lived during this time in Paris, San Francisco, Bucharest, Berlin, Istanbul for a several month in each. I wrote a post about how it feels and why I did it: https://medium.com/digital-nomad-stories/how-it-feels-to-become-a-citizen-of-the-world-7a91989d2de0
Half of the time I worked on my own product with two co-founders that stayed in Tel Aviv (that's where I'm from). After our product failed I went back doing freelance in Product Design and working on several personal projects.
It was a great time and I learned a lot about work, myself and the world. If you can afford this kind of lifestyle, you should definitely do it for some time.
Let me know if you have any specific questions.
Hi, I'm an Aussie who's been living in Japan for 7 years. I work remotely, traveling back to Sydney once a year to catch up with family and buy a beer for the wonderful people who continue to send me work.
My wife is Japanese and I have a 5 year old son. I'd love to relocate again to another country, even if it was for a few months here and there. Maybe when the kid is older.
Hi Craig, hope you and the family are doing well :)
Hi, French UX designer here, I just started working from Laos last week, so far doing OK, even the lack of good internet connection was difficult at first. The time zone difference with my clients is easy for me to work with as I am more a night owl but it's not for everyone.
I did this for 3 years in Thailand and another 18 months in Cambodia (with plenty of travel around SEA during those times) with my partner.
I highly recommend it for getting a fresh perspective and realising that there's more to life than just work.
I'm a designer, I worked remotely with 2 coworkers in Geneva CH, and we travelled 3 times in Europe, with very cheap airlines tickets and Airbnb. My best job experience :)
I did so temporarily this year! See my recent blogpost on GitLab's blog https://about.gitlab.com/2017/06/30/there-and-back-again-in-one-release/ There are also tips in the handbook, see end of article.
Does it count for those that only work remotely and consider that to be part of the travel?
Yes, I'm interested in hearing all of the ways designers manage to travel while holding down a job!
There are employers out there who are open to remote working staff just waiting to be found!
I had a short stint working as a UX consultant with a big firm and travelled a lot. Before I started, travelling sounded cool - but that changed when I found out you travel directly to another office and work long hours. I'd rather travel for pleasure or for conferences instead.
I'm a Product Design working remotely in Toronto, Canada for and international product. It's really wonderful :) ...Since I primary work with folks in the states the timezone thing is rarely an issue. I will be headed to Japan to work for a month this September and will have to adjust my schedule to try and overlap with key meetings, but I don't suspect it will be too bad.
A small price to pay to get to travel!
I did for half a year. And loved it.
Don't recommend it at all. Travelling is already stressful enough without adding work to it. Then you have internet issues, time-zones etc. If you're work is really serious then I don't recommend it. Maybe, just maybe if you're thinking of moving somewhere overseas to live for a few months, then you might be able to make it work – and if you're on a similar time-zone.
Yep, I traveled 3 moths in Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, in Myanmar not so good internet, so I just traveled :) ) and worked remotely. Usually, I walked at morning and evening when not so hot outside. In hottest time I worked in my room or in lounge zone of hostels.