Click here to read about the Bali Retreat.
Get to know - Relocateme.co Bali location manager Kristjan.
I’ve travelled the most in the past 2 years of my life having done work trips to the Mediterranean, Arabia and South-East Asia working from 6 countries. It’s always a little strange and exciting to arrive at a new environment, yet each new location is like a different teacher with their own lessons to give. Currently, I’ve settled in Bali because I found that special someone who to travel across the planet for and on top of that ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamt about experiencing a whole year without spring and fall.
I truly think every place has taught me lessons no school can teach and given me challenges I couldn’t engage with back at home. As experiences make life worthwhile then I think the point of this life is to experience as much possible in as many places as possible as only this will develop our mind to the fullest of its capabilities.
So this journey of living and working abroad started to shape my life in the year 2010 when I decided to make a trip that was planned for a week to last a year. The annual summer equinox celebration didn’t seem amusing to me so I hitch-hiked to Holland, and to make things more interesting I went through Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
It was challenging to say the least as the cultures of the chosen transit countries choose not to pick up hitchhikers. Through these challenges I still managed to make it in about 2.5 days. It did cost more than I was expecting, so when I finally arrived in Amsterdam I had just little money left and no real desire to turn back mostly because I loved the city. It seemed so radically different to what I was used to back home and it was nothing like I expected. Shortly after I arrived I sat down at a coffee shop and began to solve the situation.
With some help from friends and acquaintances I managed to find a place to stay temporarily, which gave me the possibility of finding a job. By pure chance, luck and coincidence I chose to visit one of the bigger print companies because that’s what I’d done in Estonia at the time. I took my stuff and walked to the main office and introduced myself as a print professional form Estonia curious about how things are done locally. The owner gave me a tour around their offices and at the end of it I just asked if they were aware of any available jobs in the field. They gave me a contact which hired me and so my extended stay in the Netherlands began.
Coincidentally it is during this trip Kaarel visited the Netherlands as well. This was one the first times we spent some more time hanging out and sharing the experiences of the potential of the world outside Estonia. Since I’d been there for a while already I acted as a local guide to make the travel a little easier.
Next up I discovered the world of cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin was on one of its first bigger boom cycles. Having learned what it was and how it worked I got the sense that I need to sell everything I have and get as many of them as possible, it seemed something truly amazing. Fortunately or unfortunately it is hard to tell now, I had friends who calmed me down and I only invested what I was willing to lose. Although I did invest way more time in it than I probably should have I was determined to figure out how the technology works and how will it progress. Trading currencies and performing any sort of analysis on currency and investment was a huge interest of mine and I had plenty of time to spend on it.
By now I was spending a lot of time in the computer which eventually led me to desire a life spent more outdoors. Getting monitor burned, day in and day out does not make one feel too good about their life choices. My fascination with technology combined with that wish lead to me the next big topic in my life, drones. I ordered a bunch of parts and spent hours watching videos and reading materials on how to build one as DIY. The focus were First Person View (FPV) drones or in other words racing drones.
These little machines took over my life for a whole year as day in and day out I kept building, crashing, repairing and flying them. This experience eventually took me to the company Threod Systems, which is the biggest drone manufacturing company in Estonia. The clientele of this company is largely foreign and as I was assigned the position of Instructor there were a lot of travels involved. Each of these travels required a certain degree of remote work combined with local work.
When working remotely keep in mind:
Time zone difference - Depending on the nature of the work it can be a positive or negative, good planning turns it usually into a positive and vice versa. When there are time critical situations it may be a very big negative.
Clear communication - It is much easier to communicate in person all the little details, yet when we need to write it all in the email or instant message, some info starts getting lost. When the remote work takes place over a long period these little lost pieces of communication can cause a lot of trouble.
Airports and transit - It is a good time to put in some work, yet it is recommended to invest into a ticket for a lounge with decent seating and internet, makes a world of difference.
Team and space - It is important to have some personal space from the team, on longer remote working situations, even the best team might start have internal conflicts when force to share all the time together.
Frequent flights - Get a frequent flyer card. The more airlines supported the better, the ticket might be bought by the company but frequent flyer points go to the person flying. In many cases you might get a boost to business class or other bonuses.
The latest chapter of my life started in the beginning of 2018 as I decided to make my own company providing drone services to the tourism sector. I built the first prototype of the service in Estonia with a small team and then travelled to Bali to start preparing the expansion. Now I work with people from Estonia and US to get this project going here in Bali.
The experience of working from Bali has been amazing as there’s always a vacation waiting for you, once you stop working, yet there are plenty of ways to work efficiently. Having seen this digital nomad culture I was excited to see Kaarel start the project RelocateMe. I reached out to him letting him know that I’d be happy to help. A few weeks later and I’m now in charge of organising the event in Bali. I’m eager to share my experiences of travelling and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, but also to hear your stories. Also looking forward to share the wonder and joy of working from Bali with others as with the right conditions it can be a truly life changing event.