Travelling with a small laptop, I’m keen to find out if I can support myself as a Digital Nomad.
The term has been doing the rounds on social media lately. With remote working technology now portable and affordable, more and more people are questioning why they need to be tethered to an office to do computer-based work. And if not their office, then why their home town? And if not their home town, then why their home country? After all, for Western travellers foreign currency usually goes a lot further than the local wage.
So, when a web contract came up while I was cycling through Russia, I seized the opportunity.
Some research led me to the Nomad List, and I paid USD 50 to access the secret society of those trying to nurture a sustainable combination of work and travel.
Over the next few days, I hope to validate some of the suggested working locations around town. My goal is to get out of my comfort zone at the hostel and propel myself into ‘the scene’.
Top of my list is Café Camino. The recommendation for this place was !!!, which I take to be a complement.
The staff are polite but not as hip or happy as I’d hoped. There’s no sign of the garden area that I’d seen in photos, so I find a table inside, then head to the counter to buy something to justify my presence there.
I grab a coffee and several snacks. They’re expensive and don’t even seem to touch the sides. I’m playing it cool, but maybe it’s my nerves.
My seat is hard, too. Extended coding sessions here would come at a different price. But the Wi-Fi is reliable and the cafe quiet for this time of day. The only sounds come from the coffee machine and some nondescript electronic jazz, playing quietly in the background.
It’s doable, but I’d prefer somewhere with better value for money. After all, I’m here to earn money, not to spend it.
I pack up and head out. An exploration of the surrounding area reveals something of an expat enclave. I suppose I should be encouraged by the assurance of reliable infrastructure, but it just feels out of place.