Learn how we spend our days… it’s not all lazing by the pool or having a beer by the beach…
We often get jokes about whether we actually work and comments like it must be nice to choose our own hours. The answer is yes we work… some days we work a lot! And the other answer is of course it is great to be able to choose our hours.
One of the benefits of working online is that if you are a night owl you can work late into the night but if you work better during the day you can do that too. Both of us are lucky that we have similar work rhythms so we can work together and can take breaks together to enjoy the local attractions.
But what does a typical day look like for us? Well it changes depending on where we are, what the weather is like and what work needs to be completed.
The main thing to consider is that our day for the most part is flexible. If it is a gorgeous day outside or there is a local event on, we go out and do something. Got an urge for meal out? Again we just head on out. Some days we get a lot of work done, others not so much. Remember we still have meal prep, washing, household chores and leisure time to consider. But being a digital nomad allows us the flexibility to do it when it suits us.
Before we started this lifestyle, before we quit our jobs, before we even met… Rach was a single parent and would often not see her children for more than 5 minutes in the morning and then only saw them for a couple of hours in the evening all the while trying to organise dinner, homework, cleaning the house, washing and everything else that comes with being a parent who works full time. No doubt you have experienced similar, even if you don’t have kids! It’s really tough. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ll break it up into the three main locations we have been since we left Australia.
Our rented apartment in Penang was incredible. We had access to a resort style pool, were 300 metres from the beach and a couple of kilometres from supermarkets, wet markets and delicious food options.
7:00 am – Wake up just as it is getting light, usually to blue skies.
7:15 am – Sit on the balcony overlooking the water in one direction, and the jungle in the other direction and have a cup of tea and a biscuit together. Often we would watch the monkeys frolicking or wonder where the fishing boats were heading off too.
8:00 am – Rach cooks eggs on toast for breakfast and again we would sit on the balcony and eat while reading about what was going on in the world.
9:00 am – Have a chat about what needs to get done during the day.
9:30 am – Get stuck into work for a few hours.
12:30 pm – Look over the veranda to see how busy the pool is and head on down for a swim and then a lay in the sun while drying off
2:00 pm – Head back to the apartment and have lunch of leftovers brought home from lunch at one of our favourite food stalls the day before.
2:30 pm – More work
5:30 pm – Head down to the Miami Cafe and have a few beers and dinner while watching the sun go down over the water. We would often play cards, chat with other travellers and brainstorm for business ideas.
9:30 pm – Head home. Maybe watch an episode or two of something on Netflix or if it was a really warm night, Chris would go down to the pool for another swim.
11:30 pm – Sleep time
Our time in Bangkok coincided with an unexpected heatwave and boy did we suffer on a few of the worst days, even coming from Penang which was hot and humid too. We were house sitting for 11 days so during this time had pets to care for as well as wanting to explore the local area.
6:30 am – Wake up. Open air conditioned bedroom door to wall of heat.
7:00 am – Have a cup of tea on the patio and have a chat about breakfast, talk to the pets and about our day
7:30 am – Chris rides the homeowners bicycle up to the main part of the village and gets us pad Thai for breakfast. Again we sit on the patio and enjoy the greenery and watch the cat eye off one of the squirrels that live in the yard.
9:30 am – Take the dog for a walk around the local streets and admire the gorgeous houses.
10:30 am – Take the pets into the air conditioned bedroom and get to work. The dog usually sat with me, while the cat was obsessed with Chris and would often lay over his keyboard while he was trying to work.
1:30 pm – Lunch break on the patio. Usually left overs. Then back to the air conditioning and work.
5:00 pm – Walk up into the main part of the village and go to one of the amazing (and so cheap!) restaurants for dinner and a few beers.
9:00 pm – Head back, feed the pets and go to bed.
Again we are taking advantage of our ability to get free accommodation and are house sitting for 12 weeks in Wales, looking after three dogs and a parrot. Everything about this place blows our mind, so some days it can be hard to not get distracted by the views or planning all the places to visit while we are here.
8:00 am – Wake up, get out of bed, let the dogs out of their crates and give them their morning tablets and meal. Put the tea pot on.
8:15 am – If the weather is good we go out to the patio and have our cup of tea overlooking one of the best views we’ve ever seen. The dogs come and keep us company and check for sheep or goats over the stone wall, while the parrot drinks his ‘cup’ of tea back in the kitchen on his perch.
9:00 am – Rach cooks eggs on toast on the amazing Aga. She has been dreaming of having one for years, and now that she has one for three months she is using it as much as possible.
10:00 am – Finally get started on work for the day.
10:30 am – Rach decides to cook scones for the next cup of tea. They are served with a blackberry and apple coulis with fruit from the garden.
11:30 am – Back into work.
1:30 pm – Lunch is usually left overs and is served at the table in front of the huge 3 metre long window that provides views over the town and to the hills and farmland in the distance.
2:00 pm – More work
4:00 pm – On sunny days we might take a glass of red wine, some brie and biscuits down on to the chair carved out of a log that overlooks the water and village. Or perhaps even take the dogs up to the top of The Orme for wine and cheese. Otherwise we might just hang out in the lounge room and have a cup of tea while we continue to work.
5:00 pm – Take the dogs for an hour or so walk around the cliffs and trails right out the back door. We often see sheep, goats and rabbits. And we’ve made friends with other walkers and their dogs. Rach has particularly fallen in love with a big black dog called Kilo who has bushy eyebrows like an old man.
6:00 pm – Do some more work. Start dinner prep. We are doing a lot of cooking here because the produce is so good and Rach loves cooking with the Aga.
7:30 pm – Feed the dogs and do more work
8:30 pm – Have dinner
9:30 pm – Watch TV or do more work
11:30 pm – Bedtime
The dogs and the parrot here are so laid back, and are allowed on the furniture where we have set up our office. We spend our days draped in dogs, which is great because they make fantastic little heaters on a chilly Welsh day. Even the parrot spends half the day sitting on Rachs shoulder while she works or cooks or cleans.
So there you have it, a typical day for us always starts with a cup of tea with each other and a great view, for which we are extremely grateful. But after that we have the flexibility to do what we want, when we want.
Do you think you could handle a work day like that? Remember being a digital nomad isn’t just for hipsters and IT gurus!