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It’s that time again…
Well, it WAS that time – a month ago! I plan to do these monthly round-ups, well, monthly (duhh) but this one is a little late. I may have to get month 3 out in the next few days to get back on track.
BTW – I started this series when I started travelling full-time in May 2018. Read my other monthly round-ups here.
In the meantime: month two! Last month’s guide was called ‘becoming a digital nomad‘ and this month was about maintaining it. Everything was still new and exciting and a little stressful at times. Honestly, I still can’t quite believe it’s on (cus it IS on!) and I feel like it could fail at any moment. Like someone could spot I’m clearly blagging this.
Anyway, here’s what I was doing, the ups, the downs and my next steps…
Where was I in month two, July ’18?
Hoi An, Vietnam, the same as last month. Ordinarily, staying in one place for so long would be unusual for me but now I’m doing the digital nomad thing it’s kind of necessary. I was house sitting two beautiful kitties while their owner was on holiday so not only was I not able to go anywhere else, I didn’t really want to!
I’m still not over Hoi An. For those who don’t know, it’s a small city which is UNESCO-protected due to its gorgeous buildings. Everything is crumbling, yellow and reminds me a bit of a French village, though one with a lot of hanging lanterns. The coffee culture is insanely good and even though it’s a bit of a tourist trap these days, it’s a beautiful place to live. The Ancient Town was a highlight for me but An Bang Beach is also lovely.
What work was I doing in month two?
- Tour ads – I work for a Southeast Asia tour company and write up their trips. It’s usually about places I’ve been myself.
- My regular work for a content agency in Singapore. I mainly write about beauty products for their clients (hilarious as I am the least glamorous person on earth and wouldn’t know a makeup brush if it hit me in the face!)
- Ad hoc travel writing – this month I worked on some articles about hidden attractions in London for a new startup and a piece about my Vietnam travels for World Nomads (read it here)
- My own blog – obvs! This work is never over. To bring every idea I have to life, I would need a small team doing it as full-time jobs. So basically there’s always more to do especially when social media is concerned. I try to limit the time I spend on my blog because I don’t get paid for it… But it’s my major passion so I still do it all the time (I’m meant to be doing paid work as I write this!)
Brand partnerships in month 2
First, let me say I did not set up my blog to get free stuff. I’ve now been doing it for years out of my love for it, producing hundreds of free guides and resources for my readers. I’ve just reached a point where brands want to work together occasionally which is a nice perk. Here’s what I did this month:
- A vegan food tour, a farmer experience/cooking course and a lantern-making workshop with Backstreet Academy
- A non-vegan foodie adventure and a trip to the Tam Thanh Mural Village with Hoi An Food Tour
- A Hai Van Pass day tour with Road Trippers Vietnam
- Snorkelling and sea trekking (basically walking underwater wearing a giant astronaut helmet) in the Cham Islands with Seatrek Vietnam and my friend Tara from Silly Little Kiwi.
These were all so much fun and helped me get to know Hoi An and the surrounding area better!
Want to work with brands?
Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to produce a guide on how to approach brands and set deliverables. It’s not as hard as it seems so if you’re keen to know, I’m keen to help!
What went wrong in month 2?
Hmm, let me see, I was robbed alone at night by two men on a scooter who stole my phone, purse, money, bank cards and keys. It took me 12 hours to get back in my house and cost a few hundred pounds to replace my possessions. The next day you could find me miserable and LOST in the rice fields with a flat tyre, no water and no suncream at 40 degrees looking for a woman with a spare key to my place – torture!
I had no way to take cash out until my new card arrived 6 weeks later so my friend Lola was my guardian angel and subbed me SO much money (including for a new iPhone)!
I should probably add that Hoi An is generally very safe but you need to watch your bag around the bars in the evenings. Overall, the whole thing has been a bit of an ordeal but at least I wasn’t hurt.
What went right in month 2?
Setting up a little life and making a supportive and amazing group of friends. I honestly didn’t expect that to happen so soon into my digital nomad life. From reggae festivals to road trips, we had a blast! Even though it wasn’t forever and many of us have now moved on to our next destinations, it inspired me with hope that this lifestyle is possible and enjoyable.
The hardest bit was leaving it all behind!
Hanoi for the next two weeks where I’ll see some friends and explore the city a little more.
(I’m publishing this late so I’ve just left Hanoi. I have so many blogs to come!)
Then… BALI! I plan to base myself there for the next two months until late October. If you’ll be there, let me know. If you want to experience it with me, keep checking my Insta stories!
Thanks for reading
Read my other monthly round-ups here.
See you next time for more adventures,