digital nomads

Digital Nomads in Thailand



coast approve on the ball
ironic motivate sense of community
run (2) explore productive
afford snorkel data-analysis
grunt oversee concentrate
access check (2) ubiquitous
nomad peak (2) peak season
stuff inspiring room and board
isolated overseas in the zone
goal (2) focus (2) go out of my way
escape clientele get to the point (2)
miss (3) cordoned atmosphere (2)
gap executive stay in touch
bridge combine comes at a price
cool off


Video: Digital Nomads in Thailand



Located off Thailand’s western coast, Ko Lanta is like paradise on Earth.

But many of the young professionals here don’t only come here to relax: believe it or not, they are here to work — at KoHub.

All they need is a laptop and access to the internet.

The main clientele is between the ages of 20 and 40.

Twenty-four year old American Nick Danforth has found a way of combining work and play.

Nick Danforth, Motivation, Holiday feeling after work: “I actually try to work Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, which I think is a little ironic, because people get this lifestyle because they want to escape working Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.

But I find that I am most productive that way. And then I’ll take the weekends off … I’ll take the evenings off … and I’ll go out and explore. Since we’re here on the island, I’ll go to the beach or I’ll go snorkeling.”

Nick and his wife Stef have been traveling the world for four years now. They can afford it because Nick runs his own data-analysis firm.

And he can do this from anyplace he likes.

Nick Danforth, Position, overseeing activities: “I’m doing a lot of management of my team, so they are several of us back in the US. Also I have a team in the Philippines that do research for us.

So a lot of what I’m doing is checking on other people’s work, managing systems, approving expenses, a lot more of the higher level executive stuff, and less of the day to day grunt work.”

Over fifty digital nomads work in this tropical atmosphere during peak season.

James Abbot from the UK opened the co-working space two years ago, putting in a fiber-optic cable to enable faster data transfer.

A desk space costs €140 a month. For €600 a month, room and board are included.

James Abbot, Connection, high-speed Internet in paradise: “The productivity is very high. They are also here on the deck in nighttime people are very in the zone, very productive.

A lot of people have gone out of their way to come up to me and tell me this is the most productive they have ever been on the road — and even back home.

So this has really surprised me.”

Most guests stay for about a month. They’re mainly from Europe, North America and Australia.

Web developer Christine Munch chose to come here from Berlin. She finds the environment inspiring.

Christine Munch, Concentration better in a group: “I started working from home, and got to a point where I felt really isolated.

When you have people working all around you and have a goal, and are working in a concentrated, focused way, it’s motivating. It helps you stay on the ball and not go on Facebook all the time.”

There are about fifty-thousand digital nomads in the world. Thailand and Spain are among their favorite destinations.

They can find out where to work from a website called, “nomad list”. And they can always stay in touch with clients through the internet.

Christine Munch: “I have almost always worked with my American clients. So I’m not near to them anyway.

And so that’s why I can choose where I work.”

But independence comes at a price: after a while many nomads miss their friends and the feeling of having colleagues.

Nick Danforth, Generation Wifi: “When I first started traveling, I did what a lot of people do, which is I would try to save money, and I wouldn’t work at cordoned spaces because I can just work from my hotel or I can go to a café and I can get wifi and electricity.

But the wifi is becoming ubiquitous.

But community…and a sense of belonging…and a sense of home is what you miss on the road as a digital nomad.

Co-working spaces are trying to bridge the gap and create a community.

And there’s plenty of time for the nomads to cool off.

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4:30 am. All foreigners in Ko Lanta, Thailand are strictly tourists. True or false?

6:00 am. Are the digital nomads of all ages? Do they need a lot of expensive infrastructure and facilities to work?

8:15 am. Describe Nick Danforth’s schedule. What kind of work does he do? What kind of business does he have?

9:45 am. The digital nomads on Ko Lanta work in a normal café own by a local Thai. Is the right or wrong?

10:24 am. Do they work better, worse or the same in the Ko-Hub area?

12 noon. Christine Munch came Thailand from Germany. Why did she come there?

1:36 pm, 13:36. The digital nomads come from all over the world. Yes or no? Are their favorite places Finland and South Korea?

3:17 pm, 15:17. Will they all continue living and working in Ko Lanta for the rest of their lives?
5:11 pm, 17:11. Are you a digital nomad or digital expat? Do you know anyone who is?

6:42 pm, 18:42. Are you or do you know anyone who works from home with their computer and internet? What are they doing?

7:59 pm, 19:59. My friends (and I) would like to be digital nomads or do online work from home. Yes or no?

10:03 pm, 22:03. What are the advantages and disadvantages (pros and cons, benefits and drawbacks) of doing online or computer work from home or while traveling?

12 midnight. Do you think digital nomadism is only for young people? Will they outgrow it?

2:19 am. What do you think will happen in the future?


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