Personal / Travel

Around the World in Your PJs.

June 30, 20206 min read
AI generated image on me on my travel

Around the World in Your PJs: The Art of Remote Work with a Twist of Irony.

Ladies and gentlemen, and all the beings in between, let's get serious (but not too serious) about the modern state of work. By now, we've all gotten a taste of that sweet, sweet remote working lifestyle. Ah, the pandemic - a black swan event that brought so much despair and yet turned out to be the harbinger of opportunities and a catalyst for change. Big plans don't wait around for us to finish binge-watching Netflix series or perfecting the art of sourdough bread making. They jump on us like a starved cat on a laser pointer dot, forcing us to think on our feet.

The pandemic brought a significant revelation: We, the digital workforce, don't necessarily need an office to work efficiently. A concept that probably caused a few corporate executives to choke on their triple-shot lattes. Yes, we CAN be as productive (if not more) remotely, and guess what, the only reason they want us back in those cubicles is the fear that we might enjoy working in our pajamas a bit too much. The horror!

Indeed, here lies the crux of the matter - we possess the unique opportunity to inhabit ANY corner of this vast globe while still earning our steady flow of Euros or Dollars. The phrase "digital nomad" isn't just a stylish caption adorning our social media posts; it can be the genuine essence of our existence. However, as I temper my enthusiasm, I must caution you - the remote lifestyle is not devoid of its pitfalls. These challenges often remain concealed until we inadvertently stumble into them.

In this digital nomad lifestyle, it's easy to overlook our privileged standing, especially when surrounded by local populations whose daily earnings may be but a fraction of ours. The dollars or euros that flow into our bank accounts put us in a distinctive position compared to the local folks around us, and it's crucial to navigate this disparity with sensitivity and respect.

Moreover, while it's tempting to insulate ourselves in a bubble of chic cafes, upscale restaurants, and luxury accommodations, we mustn't lose sight of the broader reality of our chosen location. These stylish enclaves can often paint an incomplete, even distorted, image of a place and its people. The authentic rhythm of life, the nuanced dynamics of the society, often exist beyond the confines of these spaces.

So, venture outside your comfort zone. Engage with the local community, explore the less-traveled paths, sample the regional cuisine, partake in local customs, and most importantly, bear in mind that you are but a guest in this country. Maintain a sense of humility and curiosity. After all, the essence of being a global citizen lies in understanding and appreciating the world in its myriad hues, not just in the curated corners of upscale comfort.

Preparation is everything: Essential Tools and Tips for Remote Work Abroad

Working in another country without a tax agreement with your homeland can get you into a knotty tax situation faster than you can say "wait, what?" But no, you keep telling yourself and anyone who will listen that you're "just traveling on your savings," while secretly working your digital tail off. Because, let's face it, that's just a way cooler story to tell.

Now, let's get practical here. Being well-equipped is key to this lifestyle. It's amazing what an 80% keyboard, a mobile Sim-Wifi-Router, a mouse, and a mousepad can do for your productivity. And if you're staying somewhere longer than a month, treat yourself to a second-hand monitor and an office chair. Your body will thank you and probably throw a small party in your honor.

My personal setup currently in taiwan Take a look at my personal setup currently in Taiwan. It might not be as impressive as yours at home but its getting the job done.

Drop any thought you had about world-wide data and phone plans, no need. Most countries offer SIM cards with rapid data plans that make a global connection look like a turtle in a hare race. Save your money and enjoy the faster local connections.

And when it comes to accommodation, forget about hotels. Choose hostels and homestays instead. They come with the luxury of having a proper table and chairs, a far cry from the neck-breaker equipment in your hotel room.

And always keep your precious 2mg of Melatonin close to you. They help you survive most of the otherwise sleepless nights from a jetlag.

Embracing the Remote Work Adventure: Language Learning, Self-Care, and Slow Travel

Now, let's tackle the language issue. Yes, I know, learning a new language can be as much fun as stepping on Lego barefooted, but with modern language apps and spaced repetition systems, you can easily pick up 30-50 phrases in a week or two. Even if you butcher the pronunciation, the locals will appreciate your effort, and you'll separate yourself from the "lazy tourist" crowd.

Speaking of lazy, here's the gem of my advice - take more time off. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Shifting environments, unknown languages, and solitude can all take a toll on your mental health. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither should your remote work schedule. Ease into it, and make sure you take the weekends off.

Lastly, travel slowly. You won't get to know a place or form lasting friendships if you change locations faster than you change your socks. Also, the constant jetting around isn't doing our planet any favors. Climate change is about to show its ugly face now, and we all need to make choices that minimize our impact. We might fancy ourself as a jetsetter, but let's face it, its not the most sustainable lifestyle in the slightest and we have to try to our best here.

So there you have it, my friends. A semi-serious personal take on the joys and pitfalls of remote work. Remember, it's an adventure, not a sprint. Take your time, breathe in the new experiences, and remember to laugh while taking the potholes along the way.

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