Before embarking on the 400 days of a digital nomad, I questioned: “Why do I do this to myself, leaving the comfy Bangkok again?” After disembarkment, the list of exotic places would be an obvious outcome. Worth it, indeed. However, the underlying answer was the challenges of getting on with everyday life in foreign cultures while working remotely. Like a captain of a ship, I logged them daily. Here it is, each of those 400 days in a data-driven video. A day equalled a second in the video.
I have been collecting personal data to keep track of and maintain physical health for years, including steps, sleep, diet, exercises, intoxicants, finances, productivity, and so on. And journalling has been the condition I made to myself while travelling so that I can recall and write about it. So, they became crucial disciplines to navigate my way through the digital nomad time. I am the captain of this vessel after all.
Since these huge personal data sets were available, why not visualise them to wrap up the journey and see what came out of it? It evoked the memories of those 400 days. There were busy and productive days, days of expedition, sick days, and ones I just wanted to rest and binge on streaming services.
It always got intense when shifting cities. That’s why upon arrival at the base residences in Istanbul, Barcelona, and Tbilisi; the priority was to settle into routines and explore neighbourhoods to find working spaces, gyms, and pubs. Unlike typical leisure travellers, I visited tourist attractions after routines were set and work was done.
The journey expanded my worldview and showed how little I know about those parts of the world, especially, Anatolia and the Caucasus. I learned a lot, not just about those countries but also about myself. Logging and journalling played a big part in it. They helped me sail through the challenges of digital nomad life with some data-driven decisions.
The making of the video itself was a gigantic sea monster to conquer while other things going on in life and work. It came along with setbacks and frustrations. This video production deserves another post to articulate the process. That’s coming up.