Jason Langstorf Continuous Travel Experiments

Original author: Marina Janeiko
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Some time ago, Jason Langstorf presented his article “A Cult of Work You Weren't Going to Join, ” which expanded the Medium collection and became one of the most read on the site. I really liked his syllable and the arguments that he brought about his work. Jason is now sharing the experience he gained from his experiment with continuous travel.

“Hi Jason, what are you doing now?”

- Now I have a lot of work with video calls. I work with one client on the basis of a long-term contract, and our goal is to create new tools to ensure that people communicate with each other, regardless of where they are. Let me explain for geeks: this is a video call system created on the basis of the WebRTC project. This works on the MEAN + Socket.IO stack to implement interesting pieces.

- Tell us about your travel experiences. Where would you like to stay the longest?

- I have not been attached to any particular place for the past eight years, but I have been traveling for five years now. I got my first big experience of combining work and travel in 2010 (3 weeks in the UK / Holland / Belgium), and since then I have significantly pumped this skill. I became a real digital nomad since 2014, from the moment I stopped renting housing and, together with my girlfriend, Marisha, ordered one-way tickets to Milan.

Before that, I stayed for a long time in Barcelona, ​​Madrid, London and the large city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. In other places I spent less than a week, which cannot be called enough time to learn and feel them.

Most of all I liked Barcelona and Chiang Mai.

London turned out to be very expensive, and for me, as a US citizen, he was too much like the States. We stayed in Dalston - this can be said to be a hipster district located north of Shoreditch. And it really was like returning to Portland, but we paid twice as much for this privilege.

Madrid is a wonderful city, but we were there in February and went to the bone. I would like to return there in a warmer period and try again, because I feel that I could love this city if it were not covered with hoarfrost.

Barcelona was a terrific experience. The mild climate in winter (the temperature never drops below zero) and the fantastic pace of life. Great food, reasonable prices (we spent less than the average monthly we spent in Portland, which we consider an achievement), and very friendly people. In fairness, I must say that I have warm feelings for this city also because they adore “Vermouth time” (a light meal at noon while waiting for dinner) during the day and frequent snacks.

Chiang Mai is all that you heard about him: cheap, beautiful, friendly and surprisingly well equipped to lead a lifestyle not tied to a place. The only thing I could complain about was too far from the beach. When it's so hot outside, I prefer to spend a lot of time in the ocean. However, the lack of reservoirs is more than covered by high quality and low cost of food. #protip : Make friends with the owners of small restaurants.)

My work style is slightly different from generally accepted standards: I do not like to sit in offices. Most of my work I do from a cafe, and I can do a lot of my projects with a slow Internet connection or even without it. So my requirements for the workplace are minimal. I tend to choose more carefully what I can do in my free time - both Barcelona and Chiang Mai represent a sea of ​​opportunities.

- Can you tell us more about how you build your work schedule while traveling? What helps you, and do you have any tricks that increase productivity that you could recommend to others?

- Every time I read about people who combine work and travel, they complain about the difficulties with being in exotic places and having to sit and work looking at it all from the window.

You may call me strange, but I do not have a similar problem.

My working philosophy, in simple terms, consists of three elements:

  1. Spend 40 hours a week or less at the computer . (This also includes social networks, watching videos online (for example, I use Netfix), and everything that I do while my laptop is open).
  2. I group tasks by type of work, so that I can maintain concentration , not be distracted and work at the same pace by switching between tasks. (I wrote a separate article on how to improve your schedule to increase productivity if you are interested in reading more information on this topic).
  3. I spend time thinking and carefully planning what I am doing . Without a plan, I lose a lot of time.

In the weeks when I follow these three rules, I manage to do everything that is on my list, and I have a lot of time left to explore the places that I visit.

Yes, if you have the opportunity, spend at least a month in every place that you visit. Staying a week is much less productive: if you have to “pack” and go on every week or two, it’s very easy to wake up in a panic, getting stuck in a routine of total lack of time. If you give yourself time to really settle down (which in addition will help you save money and get to know the city by looking at it with the eyes of a local resident), this creates a sufficient period of time in which you can work productively without undue stress.

If you do not want to stay somewhere for a whole month, then regard it as a vacation and do not plan to work at this time.

- How do the people you work with (clients, teams) currently relate to your lifestyle and work? How do your friends, family and just acquaintances at home generally react to this?

- For most of them, nothing has changed. I always worked at home, so my clients do not know where I am, or they do not care, given that I am always in touch and do everything on time. I have always remotely hired my employees and contacted partners. In fact, I “see” my team after leaving even more than before.

Once upon a time, I realized that remote work is very beneficial for the business, perhaps even more profitable than for the workers themselves. The very fact that you hire people without seeing them live may look intimidating, but in reality it is not much different from the situation when they are sitting in the office (unless, of course, you’re used to controlling every step that will turn out to be you failure).

My family supports me very much, although all this is quite difficult for my mother. She is worried, and I am powerless to convince her that in many places that I visit, I am probably safer than in New York. But it seems to me that, if we discard the anxiety, she finds it very exciting. We communicate using Skype and Google Hangouts, so I'm always there.

All my friends travel a lot, so I can meet them in different places. After a couple of weeks, I meet with friends at a conference in London where I am speaking. In June, a large group gathered in Las Vegas, and shortly afterwards there was a meeting in Toronto.

In addition, it was surprisingly easy to meet new friends during my travels. With the help of various online communities (for example, #nomads ), as well as using traditional personal acquaintances at events, you can meet other travelers, not to mention the local people with whom I have become friends. I'm not as lonely as you might think.

- What are your biggest difficulties in the nomadic way of life, and how do you deal with them?

- Sometimes you want to plunge into a routine and do the same thing every day. This goes against all that I wanted, starting to travel. So I have to take note of my tendency to establish comfortable rhythms for life. A certain mode is important, but only when you use it in moderation.

I also have some difficulty keeping in touch with friends and family. I stayed on a project or became interested in a book, and by the time I remember that I wanted to call my brother, he had already had three in the morning. I need to put in touch with loved ones above on my priority list.

- What, in your opinion, is the future of digital nomadism?

- It seems to me that now is the Golden Age for remote work. Lawmakers were not able to decide what exactly to do with regular travelers, so we were able to leak through many “cracks” and various nuances unnoticed.

I worry that in the relatively near future these loopholes will be closed - especially those associated with the uncertainty of exactly where the workflow occurs when we are sitting at our computers. Then we will look for other ways.

Nevertheless, I hope that my opinion is erroneous. Maybe our quantity is still too small to attract the attention of the government.

Beyond this, I also see that a lifestyle like this can be made even more accessible through websites such as Airbnb, which make it easy to find places to stay; Recently, the popularity and reliability of Wi-Fi has grown, and more and more companies are beginning to realize that they will not keep high-class specialists confined to offices.

- What, in your opinion, is the best way for beginning nomads to prepare for a long journey and start a nomadic life?

- The main thing is to remove anchors from your life and think that most of the expenses that make us make ends meet in the states simply disappear when you live solely on tourist visas (for example, utilities and contracts with mobile operators).

This life is much more accessible than it may seem to anyone who has not tried it. And, if you belong to those who love trials, this life is more justified than I could have imagined.

This post first appeared on the Nomadlist Stories as part of an interview series with interesting travelers. If you liked him, you can follow Nomadlist on Twitter for information about upcoming interviews. If you are already a digital nomad, we invite you to join the #nomads community . If we have inspired you, support our independent digital nomad documentary called One Way Ticket .

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