Working abroad part 2: Internet Junkies

A 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 your work. It is vital that you don’t have to think about the location of the supermarket or where to get your next shot of caffein. It’s only then when the real work can be done.

However, your mind can be free and you can have all the coffee you want, without internet a digital nomad is going… nowhere. If you can’t read your email, upload pictures or have a Skype meeting, you can have all the plans you want, they are not going to happen. This means you can’t do the jobs your clients expect from you and in this way you will be back home soon. Fortunately there are two things you can do:

1. You can scout the city like a wifi junkie looking for an internet cafe while constantly checking your wifi scanner on your phone (or laptop) for free accesible wifi networks.
2. You can make sure that you are always carrying internet in the form of a smart phone or a dongel with preferably 3G internet

The past few weeks we have been needing both options. In our new office in Mexico City we have no internet (although when the wind is right, we can sneak on the freely accesible wifi from the neighbors). During our hunt for internet we have seen Starbucks, McDonalds, small barrs and beautiful mexican internet cafes. And every time this was just enough to talk to this client, call that friend or send these pictures. Like real junkies we would scout the city to get our ‘free wifi shots’. Fortunately we are doing enough cool stuff here that doesn’t require internet.

Besides that we have a silent sponsor from Holland who has given us two sim cards with 1 gigabyte of free internet per month. This way we can at least always access our email and social networks and we were even able to make phone calls via Skypy using 3G. For us being able to access the networks is of great importance because we generate a big part of leads online. Because of these sim cards we are able to maintain our online networks via e.d. LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter and our websites, perfect!

In the case that you might not be able to find a wifi hotspot or you are not as fortunate as us to have a free 3G connection there is one other way I did not mention before: KisMac. This is a simpel to use program for on your Mac (sorry Bill, thank you Steve) to hack network passwords. We managed to do this only once. It is not a preferred way but I if you need to talk to that one important client to handover your assignment, unconventional methods are sometimes necessary don’t you think?

Steven Zwerink
[email protected]
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