Category Archives: Life

Thailand and Digital Nomad-ism

Simone Working Koh SamuiI am constantly blown away how rewarding, challenging, fun and generally a “good thing” being location independent is.

If you are stuck in a rut or miserable with your job then you need to start looking at the joys and benefits of simplifying life.  You don’t necessarily need to go so far as to be travelling the world, setting up office where ever your laptop happens to be, but the principles are invaluable. Down sizing, focusing on what is important and prioritising the level of freedom and control  that you want from life can really be world changing.

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Women are better than men?

Recently I’m being followed around by this message: Women are much better at business than men.

Nonsense!  “Glass ceiling, sexism, men have all the high paying jobs, etc, etc”
Yeah, but that’s not the fact that keeps rearing up where ever I look.  So don’t confuse me.

Yeah, but it is a generalisation. And all generalisations are bad!
That’s true (wait… what?), but this is really about me articulating an important point I am attempting to learn in a slightly disingenuous way.

OK, so what do you mean “followed around”?
Glad you asked.  Here is a completely un-random sample:

  •  An off hand statement over coffee from Eoghan MacKie, who is the force behind Challenges Worldwide (they do amazing work matching talent to businesses in low income countries). I’ll paraphrase: “One of the major indicators of a successful and sustainable business is a high percentage of women involved“.
  • I have spent years watching (with a little envy it must be admitted) the successful growth of SKChase into an amazing culture and an inspirational company. SKChase was founded by Kaye Clarke and Steph Wilson and is almost entirely female.   They accidently employed a bloke a few years back, but that doesn’t seem to have held them back too much (sorry Ben).  I did a lot of web dev for them over the years and wish I could learn more about non-techie things from them!
  • I just finished listening to the episode of Tim Conley’s Foolish Adventure show where he interviews Mark Manson of  In the interview Mark throws out some data about how (I assume in the US) women under 30 are successfully turning the old gender assumptions on their heads.
  • We don’t have any women working for us AND the company hasn’t made me millions yet!
See? I’m haunted.  It adds up to incontrovertible proof.

Something Amazing?

So I came to a conclusion the other day while sitting in my “office” in Sa Pa (northern Vietnam) looking out at the cloud shrouded mountains.

I am doing something amazing.

Not just a thing, or a good thing or even a great thing; but something that is truly outstanding.

There are two significant parts to this for me.  The first is that doing something so cool is obviously significant, but the second is a subtler and probably even more personally significant. I am actually aware that it is amazing and am confident enough to talk about it.  The latter is such a big deal because it represents a huge break from my usual Northern Irish (and Scottish for that matter) self-effacing, “I’m sorry you stood on my foot” lack of self confidence.

That is a big step.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing is perfect and this thing I am doing is not unique (oops, slipping back into devaluing it, maybe I’ve only taken a little step after all).

So what am I talking about?  Well I am glad you asked:  I can work from pretty much anywhere on the planet; and I am actually doing it!

I can have a location independent lifestyle, be a digital nomad or whatever the coolest term is now. My skills, business and life have reached the point that I have been talking about for an extremely long time.  That I find amazing!

Earlier this year I was going to my “office” in Uganda in the living area of my new friend Harry’s house in Kampala (check out – its truly inspiring). And I’ve just spent 2 months in Vietnam moving “office” every week or so as I slowly made my way from Saigon (HCMC) to these beautiful (if a bit damp) mountains in the north.

I’m properly working as well, putting in longer hours in Vietnam than I have recently in Scotland, plus I have become rejuvenated about both my current business and future opportunities.  All while having a great time exploring this gorgeous, fascinating, challenging, fun country with food to die for!

Not bad, even if I do (finally) say so myself.