Prepping Up For A Digital Nomadic Lifestyle And Back In Manila


Just arrived in Manila a day ago from Phnom Penh.  I admit my visit for 4 days and 4 nights to Cambodia is never complete without seeing Siem Reap where the famous Angkor wats are. Also I regretted having two nights layover in Malaysia that I could have used to go to Siem Reap. Anyway I can always book a separate flight for that next time.  Out of the  USD 200 I brought, what is left is USD 68+, Malaysian Ringgit 50+ and Cambodian Riel 100.  I also brought Philippine Peso worth 5, 000+ cash with me and intentionally not changed it to American dollars because I know I would not be spending much since my trip covered my accommodation and food.  I will only use this for circumstances that I don’t want to happen.

There’s so much that I learned about selling foreign denomination in Manila when I get home. I went to a reputable bank to exchange my US dollars, they only accepted those paper bills that look new, not crimpled and no visible stains. They only convert Philippine peso to US dollars so I have to go to a money changer for my remaining Ringgits but they only chose the paper bills and not the coins I have. Actually my target is to save $100 but I was short for $32. I think these amount was spent most of eating at airports which I find quite expensive compared to food outside. Well I don’t have a choice since I never get out of Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the hours I need to wait for my connecting flight before and after going to Phnom Penh.  

Actually the reason why I brought my laptop is to be able to do my online stuff while in transit. In Cambodia we have the same power outlet so I was able to charge my laptop and mobile phone but in Malaysia it is not. So I ended up using my laptop once only up to its last battery life but was never able to recharge it there. Good thing I got a powerbank which is pretty heavy for my smartphone so I was able to use it all throughout.    

There are pros and cons in using laptop and mobile phone in blogging. Of course I prefer the laptop to post my blog articles and type my rough draft because it has MS Word. I also use Notepad a lot whenever I need to copy-paste articles that I research. My smartphone I use it  for quick checking of my email,  Facebook, reading online sites and using apps like Instagram and Skype.

I have already submitted my resignation letter to my immediate boss.  This is one of the most liberating feelings that happened this year because I feel like a bird that was just freed out of the cage. But she wouldn’t accept it unless I accomplish a few things before she let go of me. She is pressuring me to produce some good numbers when it comes to performance as a legacy before I leave. I somehow hate her for that but I know  she is just doing her job. I have to abide her rules because if she does not sign my resignation letter I might have a hard time getting my back pay, allocation of the 13th month pay and tax refund if any after 30 days.  So I am thinking I will be continuing to work here until 3rd week of October.  

I also just logged in to check the available local travel assignments for my mystery traveller part time job. I am so tempted because one of the destinations is in Legazpi city. This is the nearest airport going home and this is where I spent my college years. I haven’t went home for almost a year though I see my mom from time to time when she comes here in Manila and my siblings. I just miss going home especially now that I have a new-born niece and two nephews from my two brothers whom I have not seen yet. They look so cute in the photos and I can’t wait to hug and kiss them. I can spend  a few weeks  there at the same time undergoing my travel assignment so it meant a free roundtrip flight. But in times like this that I am about to leave my work and that means I should have enough money while I start the online one is quite hard.

One more thing I have realized that given that my time is limited, since I am aiming to travel abroad especially in Southeast Asia,  I should be devoting my attention to international endeavors rather than this local travel assignment.

What is a digital nomadic lifestyle?

For the recent years that I was running this travel blog, I met two different kinds of travellers: first those who are literally passionate to go to different places and they do it on vacation; second those who live their life on the road and make money out of it.  The last one mentioned is the one I admire the most. Whenever I meet one of them, I get curious why they can afford to travel long term like months or years, sure they have saved a lot or sold their belongings but one thing that blew me away is that most of them have online jobs.  Since they only need a laptop and internet to work and get paid, they are able to work anywhere and anytime I want to.

This idea of location independence is the path that I want for my life to take soon .I know it is going to be hard since I tried it once as a freelancer a year ago, it did not work but it gave me so much lessons and now I got more connections plus means to keep floating. I am not dreaming to be a full – fledged digital nomad as soon as possible that hops from country to country but what I am about to take is a baby step for a location independent work. 

Freelancing is not for a weaker heart. This life is speaks of uncertainty – of projects that end  every six months or business that fail here and there. But this life gives you an immense control of yourself from  managing your time to doing what you love the most. For pursuing your passion and not being imprisoned in only one location.  This is like living a life that is not considered as the normal way of our society.        

Now since my work is dependent entirely to fast Internet connection, I have to find a coworking space for me to able to work properly. I don’t like to spend my online stuff at home because my mindset for this place is that this is where I sleep, eat and rest only. 
An entrance pass to a coworking space is expensive for a newbie freelancer like me. It costs around $10 – 20 per day because you are not only paying for the rent here but the immense opportunity to meet like-minded people whom you can collaborate or be a good connection to another opportunity are endless.

I am thinking of sending a pitch email to a list of coworking spaces here in Manila for an exchange deal.  They let me stay for free or discounted and in turn I will promote them online and in any way my blogging skills are needed. I only sent an email to a coworking space, the cofounder already responded positively though I have not replied back to the email of how is this going to happen. 

Since I am about to work location-independent, I will be adding posts here related to digital nomadic lifestyle to inspire others as well.  Moving forward you will not only see posts about travel but also insights that talks about a digital nomad life.   

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