Tag Archives: Travelling

Ask A Digital Nomad: How Does Your Life Actually Work?

The most common question people ask me is “how does it work being a Digital Nomad?” “Where do you do laundry?” and “Where do you live exactly?” are popular too.

On reason I haven’t fully answered this question so far in a post, is that I hadn’t answered it in my life! The way I live will continue to change and evolve, but up until recently there were still major problems I hadn’t solved. There was so much stuff in my van that I couldn’t use it as a room, I lacked places to record music, and the van bed wasn’t actually comfortable.

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Van – a bit too full for comfort.

That mostly sorted now, so this is a practical post for those of you who like to geek out on alternative lifestyles, possibly with a mind to try it yourself.

Method: Creating a plan A & B for everything

When I started this incarnation of houselessness, 3 months ago, I’d worry if I didn’t have either a solution that would all the time, or a million backup plans. For example, when it came to internet access (VITAL) I thought I wouldn’t be happy unless I could get it in my van. As it is, I’ve never needed to use the internet from my van – there have been plenty of other spaces I can use.

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It’s possible to get internet in the van, but it’s very slow.

So, nowadays I feel pretty secure with a simple plan A & B.

E.g., Laundry

Plan A: Stick my few clothes in with a friends’ washing, in exchange for something or other

Plan B: Hand-wash / launderette

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Spring brings new laundry drying methods.

Although I feel secure knowing plan B exists, in 3 months I’ve hardly had to hand-wash, and never laundrette.

Having a plan B frees me from worrying about my needs, so I can focus my attention on the people in my life and our relationships. I love the way in which this lifestyle brings me closer to my friends and wider community, through asking and exchange, but I prefer the vibe that comes from me asking out of choice/preference rather than need. That’s why Plan Bs are important.

Plan A usually involves a person, whilst plan B is usually an independent solution. As shown:

Workspace

Plan A: Use a friend’s house as an office.

Plan B: Wifi cafe / wifi in the van (v. slow)

Plan A is more favourable, fun and social, but plan B is also workable and fine.

So, here are my plan As and Bs for most aspects, which hopefully quells your curiosity.

Eating

A: Eat with whoever I’m docking with, and contribute in some way.

B: Eat out / supermarket picnic / in the van

I’m not in my van enough to justify stocking it with food, but I carry a food-bag containing non-perishables such as tins, cheese and hardy vegetables if I’m between van and “docking”. When travelling van-less I carry snacks in my Life-Bag, and my next meal. I’m willing to eat cold or raw food quite a lot, but cooking in the van is also possible.

Sleeping

A: Docking / Housesitting / Van

B: Van

My “Sleeping On The Floor” experiments have helped me to become much more flexible about where I sleep. In this case, I’ve put van under plan A and B, as sometimes it’s a pinch to sleep in it, and other times it really is my number 1 choice, especially now it’s spring. I’m very lucky because so many people have welcomed me that I’m regrettably even having to turn down house-sits sometimes.

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Learning to sleep on the floor has many advantages.

Washing Me

A: At someone’s house

B: At a service station / swimming pool / gym

Amazingly I haven’t had to use plan B yet, and the longest I’ve gone without a shower is 2 days. Prioritising staying clean is very, very important when you’re nomadic, trust me…

Exercise

I have a 10min routine I can do each morning no matter where I am, but beyond that I haven’t got a schedule together yet.

Music Practice

A: At someone’s house

B: Outdoors / In van.

Now it’s spring, outdoor spaces are a wonderful resource, however houses are still better. The van is a last resort: I hate playing sat down.

Recording Music

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In session with Mo and Greg, at Mo’s place.

A: At someone’s (quiet) house / studio

This is the only thing I don’t have a plan B for, and that bothers me to an extent. On the other hand, despite feeling insecure, I’ve actually been able to record enough. Guess we all need to feel vulnerable in some areas of life.

So there you have it. The only thing I’d like to improve on at the moment is finding more spaces to record. This happens so infrequently that when I do get to a space, I have to work very quickly, and this is hampering me a bit. But all in all I’ve been amazed by how welcoming my friends and community have been to me and my current way of moving through the world.

-Kimwei

Also check out the Symphony For Happines Vlog

… and connect with me @:

facebook.com/kimweidotcom

Music @:

kimwei.com

youtube.com/kimweidotcom

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Exercising Whilst Travelling But Avoiding Worms

Yoga public

Thanks Stephen for asking me to write about how I keep fit on the road. Obviously I cycle, but I haven’t had the circumstances to cycle regularly for a couple of years now.

When I first became so nomadic that I had to get rid of my free-weights I was pretty gutted. For years weightlifting had been my favourite way to work out. I felt at sea having neither a cycle routine, nor any other kind of exercise routine. I couldn’t believe how rubbish I felt travelling whilst being unfit. After just a few weeks, aches and pains appearing, shoulders so tight you can’t concentrate, period pains twice as bad. Yet I now manage to keep up a very good level of fitness and do strength training wherever I am, with no equipment and no gym.

How?

Using bodyweight exercises of course. However, I’m not expert enough to design myself a program, so I use exercise DVDs. Yes, that’s right – I take my laptop to the park, stick it on a bench and work out in front of it – I don’t care how mad I look. Other workout locations have included underground car parks (when it’s raining), living rooms, supermarket car parks and by the sea.

The best thing about it has been that when I’m travelling so much I’m sleeping in a different place every night and getting stiff on long train/van journeys, I can get myself back to feeling normal even by doing half of one of the videos. Even on my tightest schedule I’ve been able to fit this in at least every 2-3 days. When I do get to ride my bike, I’m still fit for cycling, in a way I wouldn’t be if I’d focused on running rather than full body calisthenics in the mean time.

The key to doing bodyweight exercises that simulate heavy lifting for muscle gain is to leave the ground. When you land, you seem heavier. As such, much of the exercises involve jumping or leaping from foot to foot. As a result, I’ve discovered that you can’t really do it upstairs, especially at a friend’s house. You also can’t do it on grass, since the worms feel the vibrations and come up from the ground in hoards, leaving you squashing a worm per minute with your feet – yuk!

So, that’s how to stay strong and fit on the road whilst still avoiding worms – stay on the road! Jump up and down by all means, but make sure you do it on concrete not grass!

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