Travelling and working at the same time
May 23, 2016Working while travelling, Nomad life

Coding and Hiking in Nepal

Nepal

It has been a year since I sold my stuff back home and jumped in a plane heading towards Europe. Looking back, choosing this lifestyle was like taking a leap of faith. I really had vertigo before making the jump. However, I now believe in a decade I will look at it as one of the best decisions in my life: a decision that truly changed me for the better.

So far, I spent most of my time in Eastern Europe and South-East Asia. For the last month and a half, I have been travelling around Nepal. I always wanted to visit Nepal, there is something so mysterious, special and unique about this country. And of course, the huge mountains.

I’m currently in Pokhara, the second biggest city in the country. It’s much nicer and cleaner than the capital. The pollution in Katmandu was really heavy. My asthma did not like it at all.

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An outdoor market in Katmandu

Slow-travel

Living as a Digital Nomad requires to embrace a slow-travel mentality. I need to spend a significant amount of time in the same place otherwise I get nothing done. I tend to adjust my daily routine every new place I go to.

I’m not so much of a morning person. Let’s say it’s still a work in progress ! I wake up at around 9AM, snooze for 30 minutes and then slowly wake up. I like to read the news from my phone in the morning, mostly stories about politics. I’m currently hooked on the USA primary melodrama.

I do stretching almost every morning for half an hour, eat breakfast and pack my bag to go to work. I rarely work from home as it makes me go nuts. I need to mark a difference between the place where I live and the one where I work.

Work from anywhere

There is something surreal about walking through the streets of Nepal to go to your “office”. I definitely feel a disconnect with my surroundings.

I work from either co-working spaces or coffee shops. I like to go back to the same place every day, exactly as if it was my office. Returning to a same location over and over is also a good strategy to meet people and make friends.

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My view from Himalayan Java Coffee in Pokhara

In Pokhara, I work from Himalayan Java Coffee which has a very nice view on the Phewa Lake, when it’s not foggy. Wi-Fi is bad pretty much everywhere in Nepal. However, the 3G cellular network is fast enough for my needs and is pretty reliable.

Most of my work involves developing and updating e-commerce websites. I actually won a couple of new corporate clients while travelling. It is tricky business, but definitely possible.

I close my computer at around 6 PM, stop to eat and go back to my temporary home. In some cities I subscribe to a gym, yoga or climbing centre. But I don’t do it everywhere. If I have friends in the city, I go out. Otherwise, I just stay put, relax and plan my tourist activities for the weekend. The nomadic lifestyle does feel lonely sometimes. You have to prepare for it before embarking on the journey.

I sometimes have phone calls with clients during the night as it is morning for them. Many clients have no idea of my whereabouts for the last year. When we talk on the phone, they still think I’m in Montréal. This makes me smile every time. I rarely talk about my trips to clients; I think it’s a bad idea. It’s better to keep it business as usual.

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Chisapani, a village in Nepal affected by the earthquake

Adventures

Every now and then, I like to plan an adventure somewhere for a week or two. During this period, I do as little work as possible. Back In Romania, I did a week-long road trip across Transylvania. It was very cool, I like driving and I really loved Romania.

In Nepal, I trekked the Annapurna Circuit for two weeks. It was truly a unique experience. So beautiful and the landscape changes every day. I had to bring the computer with me in case I needed to respond to an urgency. As I got higher, the temperature started to freeze in the night. I had to put the computer in my sleeping bag and sleep with it! I know that’s pretty geek. But I did fix an urgency, so I guess it was worth it.

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Annapurna circuit trek

We are the first generation to which this lifestyle is easily possible. The amount of freedom given to somebody working remotely from a computer is really gigantic. Frankly, it takes a while to get used to it. And all the travelling, adventures and new encounters will push you way out of your comfort zone. Choosing this lifestyle is not a decision to take lightly, but it’s not a decision you can regret.

By Pierre-Philippe Emond
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GlobeCodeur

Travelling and working at the same time ... an attractive and modern idea. My name is Pierre-Philippe Emond, I am a web developer, owner of Studio OL and a Digital Nomad. I left the comfort of Montréal in Québec and I work as I travel around the world. This blog reflects my discoveries, changes, successes and difficulties during this journey without a fixed date of return.

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