Digital Nomads
August 20, 2014 by Sondra & Jeremy Orozco

Jeremy Orozco left his job as a firefighter and Sondra Orozco is an Elance-oDesk product manager. Follow this newly married couple as they transition into life on the road as Digital Nomads and learn more via their blog, Nomad Life.

Our nomad journey continues! (Catch up with posts about our first week and employment considerations.)

We’ve been living in Ubud, Bali, for a month, and just extended our visas to stay here for another 30 days. We love Ubud’s laidback vibe, incredible food, the friendly Balinese culture, and one amazing co-working space called Hubud.

We’ve also found that our productivity is Bali high. Here’s what we’ve figured out.

We’re Working The Night Shift

Sondra: Bali is 15 hours ahead of California. To overlap with my team in Europe and headquarters in California, my work schedule here is 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Jeremy: I work the same schedule so that Sondra is not walking the streets of Bali alone at 4 a.m. I drive us home on a $5-per-day moped, which I refer to as my “Harley.”

How’s That Night Shift Working For Ya?

Sondra: The first week was hell, but a few adjustments to my routine have made me insanely more productive! For example, I use the meeting-free hours of my day (when my colleagues in California are still asleep) to focus on creative work – something I struggled to make time for before.

For the best productivity booster, check out our post: Living In Paradise, and We’re More Productive than Ever.

Jeremy: Writing a book requires a gigantic amount of time and self-motivation. I am moving faster than I ever have just by dedicating 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. to pure, uninterrupted work: no emails, no Facebook, no distractions. The bars aren’t even open.

Sondra: If we were working these hours from home (wherever that happens to be) we’d probably fall asleep, but there are just enough people working late at Hubud (the greatest co-working space ever) to maintain an inspiring atmosphere.

Working at Hubud Co-working Space

Why Co-Work?

Sondra: When we were in Hawaii for six weeks, we spent most of our time working from home because we had fast, reliable Internet. Here in Ubud, apartments don’t have Internet fast enough to keep up with us. Hubud has dedicated fiber optic lines for incredibly reliable Internet.

Jeremy: Baboons that aren’t social die young. Just ask Robert Sapolsky: he practically invented what modern day medicine knows as “stress.” He say’s that humans, like baboons, need good social interactions for everything from a strong immune system to mental clarity and stamina.

Sondra: And for us humans… being at a co-working space opens up opportunities to meet like-minded people — other Digital Nomads who don’t think we’re crazy for selling all of our stuff and moving to an island.

Jeremy: Meeting successful Digital Nomads is exhilarating. We’re sitting next to people who are living a dream and sustaining that dream as a lifestyle.

Sondra: Dan Andrews, co-founder of Tropical MBA, just happens to be working at Hubud this week, too. We were so pumped after listening to a talk he gave and meeting him in person.

Jeremy: You might not even know who he is, but to us this is like meeting Bill Gates. Tropical MBA is a leader in the Digital Nomad movement. I was listening to a podcast about Dan Andrews living the Digital Nomad dream and now he’s just working a couple of desks over.

Sondra: The people and the events at Hubud, and other great co-working spaces like it, keep us constantly inspired.

Do We Have Any Time For Fun?

Jeremy: Yes. Living on the US dollar in Bali means you can live a lifestyle that would cost more than $200K in a place like San Francisco. We live at a nice hotel (for $35 per night) with a pool and a view of the Ubud Monkey Forest. Massages are a bargain, our office at Hubud is made of bamboo, we eat three meals per day at organic restaurants, and we take exotic day trips to beaches, rice fields and volcanoes.

Sondra: We’ve eliminated traffic, cooking, cleaning, and laundry from our daily schedules, leaving tons of free time to relax and explore Bali. My favorite thing to do here is spend hours reading a book at a hip, open-air cafe overlooking rice paddies. Pinch me!

Wondering how to start your own Digital Nomad journey? Leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to answer them in future posts!

Sondra & Jeremy Orozco

Digital Nomads

Newlyweds Sondra and Jeremy are traveling the world as Digital Nomads. Sondra is a product manager at Upwork, where she focuses on onboarding new clients. Jeremy was a firefighter in California for 10 years and just quit to become a writer and entrepreneur. They’re documenting their adventures and tips for other aspiring Digital Nomad on their blog, Nomad Life, and here on the Upwork blog!