What Was So Amazing in 2017 for us as Digital Nomads
Countries and Cities (Islands) We've Visited in 2017
We decided to start from Thailand. It was easy to us since we've been there already several years ago and know the culture, food, etc.
It's the second time we visited this island, and it felt like a home for us. Lots of places and how everything works are familiar to us. And it was good to come back to this island and start exploring Asia from there.
We went to Ko Phangan right after a couple of weeks on Samui and we spent about 2 weeks there before heading to Chiang Mai.
That's where we've had a spike in our productivity. Also, we've changed our mindset and started work on our products after meeting digital nomads out there. Which is quite easy to do, since people with laptops are everywhere.
We always wanted to go to Bali and it was a dream destination for us, but since we've been located in Chiang Mai we decided to go there through Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
We flew over to KL just for one night. So for this one just a picture from the sky. Next morning we went to Penang by train.
There's not much to do in Penang. We've tried to apply for a long-term visa to Bali, but this didn't work out for us. They stopped issuing visas a month before we came there. But we had a week before our next flight to Bali and that was an interesting experience to live and explore this place the whole week.
After a week in Penang, we were happy to go to our dream island. But it crashed our high expectations, to say the truth, we didn't like it. By this we learned so much about ourselves that we would never think about. However, there is warm memories about Bali. We found a friend there and still chatting on occasion. It's good to know that kind and positive people like her exist in the world.
Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
Since we've been to Bali, we visited nearby islands as well. It was adventurous, and we'll always remember our funny story with a motorbike.
Nusa Cenningan, Indonesia
Despise its size this second Nusa island impressed us with its variety of nature, beaches, roads and cozy open cafes on the beach.
It was great to make a pause in our island life and go to explore this city of the future. An inspiring city with innovations, beautiful and natural architecture at the each corner, and with fast-growing economy.
Siem Reap & Angkor Wat, Cambodia
After Bali and Singapore, we went to explore Cambodia. So we booked a flight to Siem Reap, because we wanted to see Angkor Wat – ancient city. We are so glad that we did it, since nobody knows how much more time it will be there. Some of the spots were closed already, some recovered, so it's not the same thing as it was built initially.
Right after exploring Angkor Wat and Siem Reap we went to the coastal area of Cambodia to see untouched beaches, white sand, and wild nature. It's not about Sihanoukville, but we found something like this on the island nearby.
Koh Rong, Cambodia
What's interesting about this island is that it started developing just several years ago and have no roads yet. We're glad we could visit it like this. So we have an understanding how wild island with crusty white sand on the beach can look like.
Winter in Thailand
We've heard that this island is different from others and that it's hard to reach it. Also, that it has a great co-working and that digital nomads are going there during burning season in Chiang Mai. So we decided to try it out and experience the vibe.
What to do on weekends when you are on the island? Right! Go exploring other islands. So we explored 4 of them in one day. These are the islands we saw that day: Ko Ngai, Ko Muk, Ko Chuek and Ko Kradan.
After several weeks on Koh Lanta, we went to Ao Nang beach in Krabi. We spent nice time there. Everything is well organized in this beach area on the mainland of Thailand.
This was a trip to several islands, and we had a great time exploring this amazing nature of western coast of Thailand. It's different from the nature in the Gulf of Thailand.
After islands, we went to Bangkok to spend some time and New Year's holidays in a big city. We found a lot of places to go, and I'd even say it's hard to do it at one time visit. And it's good to be in the city after some time spending in places near the beach which are usually not so developed and too relaxing.
Those couple of weeks in Bangkok were crazy for us. We were hustling and bustling around the city center, looking for quiet coffee shops, healthy food options and how to relax in high pace city like this.
Products We've Created and Launched
We do travel a lot, and it's harder to track how much do I spend on flights, hotels, food, commuting, compared with the income I have. It's harder when I deal with different currencies but used to one currency that I get my income in.
So I made this app from scratch. Basically, from pain points and ideas to design and working cross-platform software.
This app helps to track earnings and expenses, add new expense/earnings in a couple of clicks, see detailed visual insights and do all this with multiple currencies around the world.
Advertising visual in Photoshop and Cinema 4D (online video course)
Kate created online video course where people can learn how to create 3d typography in Cinema 4D and do creative retouching and compositing in Photoshop.
This course is for creative designers and retouchers who want to bring their skills to the next level. As well as for those, who are thinking to change the focus of their career and became commercial retoucher.
Travel Journals and Stickers
Kate created digital travel journal and planner that can be used with GoodNotes or any app which allows PDF annotation. It is interactive, which means that you can easily navigate between pages by clicking on the needed tab.
Also, she created hand-drawn a huge set of travel stickers for travel journals, planners or bullet journals. People can use them for iPad journaling or print on them transparent sticker paper for physical journals.
More on this in the Etsy shop by the link below:
Optimization of UI Design Workflow in Sketch
I created an online video course that teaches designers how to speed up their UI design process in 2-3 times by organizing and optimizing their workflow.
We're creating an iPhone X messenger app during the course, and I'm sharing my experience and design system that simplifies everything in the design process and interaction with clients.
The Remote Book: A Handbook for Location Independent Creators
I wrote a book about my experience of working remotely with clients, selling services, personal finances, mindset, lifestyle and many areas that impacts on our lives on a daily basis.
It consists of best tips and life hacks that I applied in my life while I was working with clients remotely for years. Some of them I invented myself and some of them refined for creative people like we are.
We're so grateful for 2017. A lot of things changed during this year. It started with us living settled life and 9-5 jobs in Estonia. But we've made decision of becoming independent location creators ahead of time and this year was about quitting our settled life, new experiences, new places, different cultures, falls and launches.
What We Gonna Do in 2018
We're going to shape our 2018 even greater regarding products we're making, places we want to visit and share more about this.