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.

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How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you're Really Busy)

How to Make More Time for Writing (Even if you’re Really Busy)

In a perfect world, you’d wake up in the early hours of the morning in your clean, well-lit apartment, a mild breeze blowing through the windows as your butler served up breakfast and read your notes from yesterday’s three-hour writing workshop.

You’d slide into your robe and sip Irish breakfast tea as you contemplated the completion of your third novel, sighing a happy sigh of relief.

Oh, sorry—that’s just my perfect world.

Back to real life: you’re busy. Really busy. You’ve got freelance gigs or a full-time job, bills to pay, a body to keep in shape, pets, needy friends, a messy kitchen counter, etc.

Writing isn’t easy, and it gets harder when your schedule fills up with the chaos of daily life. Sometimes it feels impossible to sit down and get some work done—but you know you have to. Today we’re going to demystify a few ways super busy people get a ton of writing done, even when it feels impossible to stretch the clock any further.

I promise: you can do this! It just takes a fresh reality check, some planning, and perhaps a few apps.

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Vietnam Has Everything - Digital Nomad Diary - 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Vietnam Has Everything

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.

Vietnam has everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I encountered it all on my month traversing the entire country by foot, bus, boat, train, and motorcycle.

As the epic journey fades in the rear view of my memory, however, I’m glazing over the trying parts of the trip and coming to savor the things that make this country so very unique, and why every curious traveler should put it on their bucket list.

So whether you’re a foodie, nature fanatic, culture buff, adrenaline junkie, or people lover, you’ll find these elements harmoniously abundant in Vietnam.

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Benefits of a Digital Detox 001

The Benefits of a Digital Detox (& What It’s Really Like)

It’s a hot topic right now: the benefits of a digital detox, and whether more of us should be taking one.

As a member of the grew-up-on-the-internet generation, I’ve wondered whether I might discover some new sense of peace from one.

Whether I might be a better person if I were to be prevented from scrolling absent-mindedly (and consciously—social media is part of my work, after all), through the unending onslaught of content for a few days.

I tried it—at least partially. I cheated a little. But the experience was still pretty profound for someone who considers the internet a central part of her existence.

Here’s how it went.

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Feeling It All In North Cambodia 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Feeling It All In North 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.

I had a transcendental moment somewhere in the dusty jungle of North Cambodia.

It was historical, spiritual, cultural, revelatory in its completeness.

At Angkor Wat, I found myself at the holiest site on earth, a twenty-minute tuk-tuk drive from Siem Reap, one of the liveliest, scrappiest, and fastest-growing young cities in SE Asia, still just miles from the most rural villages I’ve ever been to.

While the ruins are ancient and the hotels are brand new, time is fluid, and the people who built them have been here all along.

Cambodia’s people are hardworking and have worked hard for a long time; conditions in this country have been devastatingly difficult, and with the recent boost in worldwide attention, life is finally getting easier.

We came here to learn about ancient cultures.

We left learning about modern ones, too.

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Roads Less Traveled In Bangkok - Digital Nomad Diary 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Roads Less Traveled In Bangkok

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.

Everyone I’ve encountered has a slightly different take on Bangkok. Some love it, most hate it, everyone can agree: it’s a crazy place.

Thailand’s glittering LED heart is a massive city of millions and the undisputed capital of Southeast Asia.

A whirlwind three days later, I’ve had some unexpectedly enlightening experiences, and Bangkok has only begun to reveal its colorful cultural underbelly.

The crazy city with all the options requires some digging; while the major attractions are cool, the real BKK scoop ain’t in your Lonely Planet guidebook.

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Finding Authenticity In Thailand - Digital Nomad Diary 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Finding Authenticity In Thailand

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.

Thailand: tourist destination of 29 million per year.

Southern Thailand is the top spot for many of those tourists, home to some of the world’s most pristine beaches, well-traveled island chains, cheapest massages, and coconut-y curries.

It’s a dizzying melting pot of beautiful seascapes and westernized waterfronts, flocks of backpackers who don’t mind a stunningly touristic experience, and a community stamped on by foot traffic.

We fell in line with the ambitious travelers around us, hopping from land to sea and back again, journey powered by ferries and long-tailed boats, motorbike and tuck tuck.

Our mission: to soak in the rich ocean views everywhere we went.

Coinciding mission: do it in a respectful and authentic way, try not to let the sun-soaked spiral of the tourist tornado define our experience. And we succeeded—sort of.

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Hong Kong Dreams 001

Digital Nomad Diary: Hong Kong Dreams + Extremes

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.

My 4-month long backpacking trip began in one of the world’s most interesting places: Hong Kong.

An international business and cultural hub, it’s a small country of 7 million, with a head up in cloudy Buddhist mountains, a body of a Westernized urban oasis, and feet rooted into mainland China.

It’s an incredible blend of influences and contradictions that make for an inspiring place to discover, which we did in adventurous fashion, spending one night each in four different parts of town…

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