Wading With Ghosts in Cambodia - Digital Nomad Diary - 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Wading With Ghosts in Cambodia

The following is a guest post from writer & graphic designer Maria Gotay. Maria quit her job and is backpacking across Southeast Asia, documenting the journey for DJO.

There’s a feeling that pervades the arid, uncluttered landscape of Cambodia.

It’s the same feeling that you see in the faces of young fruit vendors, broken-back farmers, English speaking tour guides, eager school children and nearly-blind beggars.

It’s a country slowly recovering from a devastatingly brutal history, nursing and re-attaching its warn-torn pieces.

It’s a people that are regretful but resilient, fears and hopes tied nowhere but to the future: the dreams of their children and the progression of their nation.

The seas of change are slowly rolling in—tourists and expats recognizing the spirit of this place, the next generation’s intentions gently floating to the surface.

(more…)

Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer's Guide

Write Better Business Emails: A Freelance Writer’s Guide

Fact: You need to write better business emails.

An engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first-ever email in 1971. He opened the floodgates for limitless communication in the modern era.

No doubt, email is intended to make our lives easier. Over time, however, it’s transformed into a tool with boundless potential for annoyance and sloppy correspondence.

Bad emails are rampant, my friends.

What is a “bad email”, you ask? Apart from chain emails and blatant spam, the worst kind of email is one that fails to achieve its goal.

Usually, that means they’re simply indirect and lacking pertinent information. Occasionally, this also includes abysmal fonts and massive attachments. (Please don’t.)

Corporate emails come to mind, actually. Perhaps you’ve worked in an office where team members are trying to organize some kind of meeting or outing, but leaving the plans completely open-ended, inspiring endless back-and-forth?

Or maybe you received a crappy PR email that’s missing contact info or a website address?

I can’t count how many times I sat in my swivel chair, clutching my hair in both fists, willing myself not to pull a panda.

Bad emails happen to good people all the time, but you don’t want to be the one writing them. You’re a writer, after all, and you make a living on the internet! If anyone is writing excellent emails, it should be you.

I’d go as far as to say that writing effective emails is the first step to being taken seriously as an online professional.

A good email can increase your odds of growing your network, initiating great business relationships, and so much more.

Whether you’re cold-emailing a potential client, pitching a story to a news site, or tapping out everyday communication, these tips will help you write better business emails.

(more…)

Make Your Work Space More Inspiring 1

6 Ways to Make Your Workspace More Inspiring

One thing is true when you kiss the 9-5 goodbye and set out on your own as a freelancer: You find ways to work anywhere. 

Screaming kids? Noisy traffic? Crowded kitchen table? No problem.

That’s the beauty of mastering digital nomad life, and those who are dedicated enough to commit to it. If you have WiFi and a cup of coffee, you can set up shop and bust out a project on deadline.

Still, there’s something about a well-designed workspace that practically beckons you to sit down and make major progress on your next assignment.

Smooth surfaces, good lighting, and other things elements can make subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences in the way you work. Conversely, a workspace that isn’t aligned with your needs can have a negative impact!

Wouldn’t it be nice to make your workspace more inspiring? Today we’ll show you how to design a workspace that really cheers you on.

(more…)

What It’s Really Like to Travel Alone in Nepal - 001

Digital Nomad Diary: What It’s Really Like to Travel Alone in Nepal

The following is a guest post from writer & graphic designer Maria Gotay. Maria quit her job and is backpacking across Southeast Asia, documenting the journey for DJO.

I was sitting upright, half asleep in a Xanax-induced slumber, when I felt the bus lurch.

I shook the sleep away and came to.

It was sometime between night and morning, darkness surrounding our vehicle on all sides, the only light pouring into my squinting eyes the flashing Bollywood music videos on the LED screen ahead.

Although the space beyond the bus was pure black, the bus rocked unevenly and I could feel our proximity to the edge of something.

The Darjeeling Express tumbled violently forward, tossing me into my seat neighbor, a wide-eyed boy who looked equally frightened.

The horn blared five times in a row as we swerved around a very steep corner and the terrifying reality that I might die on this bus hit me hard.

(more…)