As I was watching HUBUD-founder Steve Munroe talking about this wonderful coworking space he created in Bali, where all digital nomads would meet up to work, network and build a community in which everyone would be helping each other, I thought he was stealing me the show…
See, I had invented the digital nomad lifestyle, coworking spaces and even Uber long time before they were born. Unfortunately, I only created them on my mind – and on my friends’ minds ‘cause I won’t stop talking when I come up with new inventions.
I dreamt of becoming a freelancer and getting an office big enough for other freelancers to come in and out as they pleased for a very low fee, in exchange of which they could all use the desks, chairs, printer, Internet connection, a Nespresso coffee maker – #1 on my imaginary shopping list – and everything you would expect from an office.
I even planned on having big bowls full of Haribo gummy bears and sweet treats! People would be chatting about their projects and feeding each other with know-how and motivation. In this coworking invention of mine, we would be collaborating on a project basis, with no strings attached outside that project.
I also dreamt of working up to 1 year on a different destination. Every year. I only needed my laptop. And I had to take visa conditions into account. That was all. There were some countries where I would only be allowed to be 3 months, but that was okay. I could always come back to the same place if I had really liked it. I’d learn the language of every country I was visiting, and I’d never get bored of places again. I would be traveling and working at the same time.
Sure that doesn’t count officially as holidays, as I had to work to cover all expenses, but I would have a new city or country to discover after work. Every single day of my life.
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As you’ll probably have figured out, I did not open any coworking space, I did not found Uber, and I am not what you understand nowadays as a digital nomad. Does it make me a loser?
The thing is when you have so many ideas, but so little time, money and resources, you can’t do much, right? Or that was my excuse. I chose an easier way for me, like spending a month – and not a year – in places like London or Berlin trying to earn at least what I needed to cover my expenses there.
Create the life which suits YOU, not anyone else
OK, so I didn’t exactly bring to light what I had dreamt of, but I did create the work lifestyle which suited my family and me at a time when going digital wasn’t so easy as it is nowadays. I may not be in Thailand or Indonesia right now, but I work from every place I need or want to be.
You don’t have to do it exactly as others do. I wanted to be free. Earn my money. Not my boss’s. My own money. But you may have other reasons. Just spend some time with yourself and think about how you would like to work. How you would like to live.
One thing has always been for sure: Freelancing is non-negotiable for me.
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