working as a digital nomad – semi-random thoughts


Internet is of course essential. “I need a good connection” is a simple phrase, but there are a few things that comprise this thought. It needs to be either free or amazing. With so many free options out there, paying an unknown company in an unknown place for Maybe Decent wifi is not really an option; too risky, as there is too much free all around. This means hunting. And hunting before that meeting or essential contact you have, because you have to know the wifi is good and stable before meeting time, right? Further, your free decent internet is often located in a loud-ass environment. So…  the hunt for free decent, quiet internet that won’t bounce you off after 20 minutes is kind of a thing. A hobby you get better at. There are apps to help with this.

VPN software is also essential. If you haven’t used it, it might not seem like it. But using free wifi is a little like putting your mouth on a public water fountain – eeeeeeew. I know that’s an ugh analogy, and the danger really is in the other direction with free public wifi: nefarious peeps on laptops, phones, or whatnot peeking into the network and watching traffic, leaping from machine to machine. Don’t be a lillypad for these guys – get a VPN. It’s an app you download ( onto the laptop or phone or whatever ) and turn “On.” Then you forget about it, and you’re an order of magnitude more secure. I use “Private Internet Access” ( no affiliation ) for about $35 a year and really like their service.

A schedule of continual movement makes working hard. If you take short hops, and here I mean if you stay in a place for just a few days before moving on to the next place, this really isn’t a schedule that’s conducive to getting work done. It seems like you spend those first twelve hours winding down and vegging, getting acclimated and having a pint. The last twelve hours before you leave you’re spinning up by packing, checking everything, traveling to the airport/train station/caravansary and going through that process. Another chunk of your time will go to finding the next place you’re going to stay, and making all those arrangements. All of this gobbles up more time than you’d think, even when you get good at it with practice. So vagabonding and staying put in laces for longer makes much more sense; this time to settle in is gold.

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