Working abroad (part 1)

Today it has been exactly eight weeks since we exchanged our life in Holland for a life like digital nomads and it seemed about time to share some of our experiences about ‘working abroad’ with you. In the coming period we will anser questions like: How do you make money in Latin America and how do you stay in touch with your customers, friends and family at home? And also, how do you ensure that you keep having fun with each other?

For starters, I (Steven) am writing this message at 3 am in Mexico City. This means in Holland the time is around 10 am and I have find it difficult to stop facebooking and tweeting with all my friends and family that are awake. I just read some messages about the first frost and snow in Holland and while we are using sunblock to go running, I have to admit, I miss Holland! Fortunately this is only just a little because we are having an awesome time. We are slowly starting to get used to working on our projects in Holland while creating new opportunities here in Mexico.

Your mind has to be free
One of the essentials to be able to work freely and creatively while undergoing a small culture shock is that your mind has to be free. You have to be able to think and certainly not be worrying about things like: where and what shall we eat today, do we have wifi and where can we wash our clothes? The ladies of had already shared these lessons with us and now we learned that they were right (thank you so much for your lessons Catherine and Ine!). During our first month of travel we ensured to free our minds by crashing at a Starbucks with our macbooks and headphones and get to work. This worked for a while bur fortunately we have now found a great place to work and sleep in Mexico City. This immediately results in new ideas, cool blogs and other stuff. during our first month of travel I created this movie while working from a hammock on Caye Caulker, a small island in Belize, the digital nomad way of working!

Don’t spend money vs. Earning money
During our first weeks in Puebla we did two workshops for a local friend who let us stay at her place. Mexico is very hospitable country and there was now way she would let us pay for our stay of almost three weeks in her house. Fortunately it fits with our mission to go out and ways how we can help her and pay her back. This resulted in two workshops. During the first workshop we taught her and colleagues how to work smarter using the internet (using LinkedIn, RSS, DropBox, etc). During the second workshop we have co-created with her and her colleagues the new brand namen for her company and structured the design for her new website. To be able to use our skills and knowledge in order to ‘pay’ for our stay is truly the way we love to travel the world.

Working smart with funds available
In Mexico City I am currently working together with Oscar on a workshop Sustainable Entrepreneurship. While preparing this workshop, a lot of pieces fell into place. All the books, blogs and movies that I have seen and read over the last years turn out to be a seamless storyline for this course where participants learn how to start a sustainable startup. This workshop will be funded by either local governments or participants will pay a small fee in exchange for sustainable boost for their (local) economy. Of course I will share the slides with you once they are ready.

Ok, time to go to bed (after some short calls with holland of course;)). If you have questions or you want to know more, just leave us a message!

Steven Zwerink
[email protected]
  • Jan
    Posted at 21:22h, 30 January

    Ziet er goed uit hoe jullie bezig zijn !!
    Leuk te horen dat het lukt
    Go on! Groetjes vanuit een koud enschede.

  • Lars
    Posted at 23:13h, 30 January

    Hey broer,

    Mooi stuk om te lezen en wederom blijkt dat jullie het naar jullie zin hebben!! Voelt het al als ‘beyond awesome’ ??? 😉

    • Steven
      Posted at 00:14h, 31 January

      Haha het voelt zeker als ‘beyond awesome’ al is het wel hard werken met klanten in twee tijdzones.. Maar tot nu toe is het het allemaal waard… We missen jullie wel hoor!!

  • Joke
    Posted at 13:14h, 03 February

    Hoi Steven,
    Leuk stukje om te lezen en te voelen hoe jullie genieten. Deze website is mooi maar ik vond de vorige ook mooi. Het filmpje over de fysio is zeer verhelderend. De link in de Engelse tekst doet het wel maar in de Nederlandse tekst niet. Het is maar dat je het weet.
    Live rich zoals op staat. Een waardevolle spreuk voor iedereen.

  • Working abroad part 2: Internet Junkies | Digital NomadzDigital Nomadz
    Posted at 04:43h, 06 January

    […] couple of weeks ago I wrote about how important it is for digital nomads to free your mind from daily hassles so you can do […]