A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A LOCATION INDEPENDENT NOMAD IN THAILAND
Thailand has risen and risen in recent years to become one of the favourite destinations for digital nomads. Many go to the north and settle to work in the cool vegan cafes of places like Pai and Chiang Mai. Others will embrace the seething energy of Bangkok, indulging themselves on the weekend with rooftop cocktail parties and wild blowouts down Khaosan Road (hey, who wouldn’t?).
However, perhaps the largest group of location independent workers with Thailand on the mind will head to the sunny isles of the south. They will spread out between the palm-fringed destinations on the Thai Gulf and the rugged karsts of the Andaman coast, mingling and mixing with holidaymakers and backpackers as they forge a life of working and travelling on the road.
That sounds pretty darn good, right? Seriously, you have no idea. Just check out this rundown of a typical day in the life of a digital nomad living in the sun-kissed, salt-washed southern reaches of Thailand. You're sure to finish even more tempted than ever before to pack up the nine-to-five and hit the Land of Smiles with that laptop/office in tow…
8am – Wake up
Forget the alarm clock. You're working on your own time now, and the extra freedoms of the nomad lifestyle have given you plenty of time to balance that body clock. You've started waking up on the dot at 8am (so long as you weren't guzzling Chang beers the night before, of course). There's no morning grogginess thanks to the fresh salty airs of the Thai Gulf that have been drifting through the mozzie nets on your beach cabana all night. You feel fresh; raring to go.
8:20am – Yoga to start the day
You fling open the rickety timber door to your beach cabana and settle down on your own little deck space for some yoga stretches. Nothing too hard: a couple of downward dogs and a Buddha pose or two. You know, just enough to get the blood flowing and the muscles primed for the day ahead.
8:40am – Swim
When the lapping shoreline of the Gulf of Thailand is just a couple of meters away from your front door, it would be rude not to, right? You whack on the salty swimwear that's been drying in the sun overnight, and cross the powdery beach. A quick headfirst dive into the warm waters and you're suddenly swimming with little clusters of multi-coloured fish. Some corals glisten in the corner of your eye as you swim a length or two along the sand. Then, you emerge from the water feeling fresher than ever. You're ready for your….
9am – Breakfast
…Breakfast. It's a classic: Banana pancake and herbal tea; a duo that reminds you of the time you were a backpacker in these parts. Then you remember you're not, and you don't have to worry about catching any return flights home or booking extra days in the hostel. Woohoo!
10am – 12pm – Work begins
You settle down on the al fresco deck area of a nearby Rasta café. Bob Marley and Job2Do echo on the changer in the background, and the chatter of the occasional group of backpackers issues out from the tables close by. You've got a front-row seat over the sparkling waters of the Thai Gulf. Now and then you look up from the laptop to wonder and the sunlight dancing over the waves. The rhythm of a volleyball being hit back and forth only helps you concentrate. Fresh fruit juices continue to come from the barman (and they cost you next to nothing – it's Thailand, remember!). You're nailing that project.
12:30pm – 1:30pm – Lunch
It's a long lunch, but then it's always a long lunch. You pack up the laptop and head down the beach to a local street stall you know so well. Your favourite local babushka is chopping up fresh bunches of spring onions and mashing pad Thai paste. You ask for your usual and hand over the meagre pile of baht (a little extra so she makes it how you like it). Then it's back to the sands, to devour that peanut-packed, chili-infused medley of fresh tastes; pure Thailand.
2pm – 5pm – Working P.2
Working in the afternoon is always a tad slower and more relaxed than the morning. Because you've nailed all those urgent deadlines, you've left yourself plenty of time to get creative with the projects later on. You're enjoying tapping away at the keyboard as the cool sea breezes continue to rise and drift over the deck of your beach shack. You've got a small coffee right next to you and life is good.
5.30 – Swim P.2
The day's work is over and it's time to hit the sea again. You pack up the laptop and lock up your shack. You head a little further down the beach this time, to where you know there's a shimmering underwater coral reef. Before you can think twice, you're swimming with parrotfish and pretty sea sponges. Everything's colourful and bright, and the sea water is even warmer than before because it's been scorched by the Asian sun all day.
6pm – Pre-dinner drinks
Okay, so it's Friday. The clutch of little Rasta bars close to your digs is a-calling. You stroll in and order a chilled Chang beer. Soon, you're chatting away to one of the backpackers you met earlier on. Turns out, they're on an awesome LBW tour (what else?), hopping between the shimmering islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Needless to say, a couple of more Changs later and you're showing your new buddies to your favourite street stalls in the nearby night market, just in time for…
7.30pm – Dinner
…Dinner. This time it's a medley of coconut-packed masaman curry and crispy spring rolls you're munching on. It might not be the healthiest of meals, but hey, it's Friday! Your new mates are chuffed with the quality of the food you've revealed with your local tips. They want to know if you want to join them for some cocktails and karaoke. You check. Yep: It's still Friday. You're in.
8.30pm – Late – Partay
You hit some of the local traveler bars and guzzle Chang beer and bucket cocktails just like you used to when you were traveling. You sing your karaoke staples (Elvis with a dash of Enrique Iglesias, if you must know). You have a rollicking night and retire to your bed whenever you want, ready for another bout of swimming and sunbathing on a Saturday, starting as soon as the sun comes up.
Are you a digital nomad? We know our day's a dreamy one, but we'd love to hear all about your favourite ever times spent working on the road. Just add them in the comments below…