When you hear somebody talking about Koh Lanta and Thailand, the picture, that you may have, may be the total opposite of the reality of most digital nomads who spend some time on this gorgeous island. You may be thinking of a nice vacation on the beach including swimming in the ocean, cocktails with those little umbrellas decorated with a piece of pineapple and relaxing at the pool with a good book while losing yourself in the fantasy world of shadow hunters or vampires. And yes, that literally summarizes my favorite book genre, aka “young adult”. But when it comes to digital nomads and their typical day on a tropical island, it most likely would be the total opposite. It may include long skype calls with collaborators, checking out a good space to work from where the air-con is not too heavily blowing but you still have a power source close by, ordering food and enjoying it at your desk, while getting the last tasks of your project done, which by the way was due yesterday. Comparing those two slightly different visions of how you can spend your time on Koh Lanta in Thailand, would be like comparing apples and peas or maybe even like comparing bananas and cucumbers 😉 I can’t tell you what it is like to spend your vacation on Koh Lanta. BUT what I can tell you about is how we combined our working life with a beautiful view and a couple of great adventures, while staying on Koh Lanta for two months. So let’s talk about a typical day at KoHub, the co-working space on Koh Lanta, Thailand.
A typical day at KoHub, Koh Lanta
… or why we switched Piña Coladas for an aircon room with wifi.
First of all, I have to say that it was very difficult to pick THE ONE typical day to write about. Although a lot of days have been kind of similar, there are still a variety of different typical Koh Lanta days, I would love to share with you.
But in this story, you will read about a typical day at the wonderful co-working space KoHub. Which btw. was the place we spent at least 50 h a week.
Don’t you like Piña Coladas?
The answer is pretty simple: I love Piña Coladas! But our main reason for going for 2 months to Koh Lanta was to combine our working life with a tropical lifestyle including the beach, the ocean, and a ton of great, inspiring people. Without any further explanation, I want to show you my typical schedule of a day at KoHub.
Before we even arrive at KoHub
Before the day at KoHub even starts I try to do a couple of things: exercising, reading, journaling, … so let’s take a look at the pre-KoHub schedule first things first.
|wake up to the sounds of a tropical island and welcome the new Gekko in our bathroom with a teeny tiny squeak to not wake Gerwin
|start the day off with hydration by drinking 0.5l of bottled water
|journaling and reading a self-development book, while again trying not to wake my sleeping beauty, because we have a 1-room-apartment
|putting on my running clothes
|covering my body with a good amount of bug repellent
|starting my Runtastic app for tracking and trying not to trip over my own feet while running to the beach with my flip flops on
|hiding my flip flops beneath another “Get the best Thai food on Koh Lanta” sign as quickly as possible to not screw up my Runtastic statistics too badly
|finally being able to concentrate on running for the next ~45 min or on trying not to step on a part of a beer bottle while running barefoot on the beach
|meeting other KoHubbers for our “7-min-workout” session
|hauling myself back home, but at the same time being proud that I survived another workout
|waking up my significant other, because he overslept once again 😉 and jumping under the shower while washing my running clothes
|eating breakfast: MyMuesli with soy/almond/rice milk
|packing our backpacks: [MacBook, power, Roost, keyboard, trackpad, Coffee in Sigg bottle, snack, Bullet Journal, pen, headphones, battery pack] x 2
|putting on another layer of bug repellent — those beasts love my blood
|walking on the beach to KoHub, which btw. is one of the best ways to get to your office
|arriving at KoHub: leaving our flip flops outside, entering the Gallery room — one of the three aircon rooms, turning on the ACs, finding our spot and setting up our working space for the day
|starting to get some work done ==> Pre-Lunch Time at KoHub
Pre-Lunch Time at KoHub
Walking to KoHub on the beach is a really great way to start your working day. It gives us the opportunity to talk about the things we want to accomplish during the day while having a nice and calming walk on the beach. It also gives me the opportunity to give Gerwin a small recap of everything that is planned for the week, because apparently I took over the job of planning our free time activities 😉 At the end of Phra Ae Beach, where we have to turn left to take the road down to KoHub we can always tell by the number of tourist boats how late we are running. A lot of tourists waiting in line to board a boat means we are quite on time. No boats means we are either super early (which btw never happened) or late because one of us overslept 😉
9 a.m. at KoHub
Arriving at KoHub at around 9 a.m. the chances are pretty high that we are one of the first KoHubbers starting our day by turning on the AC in the Gallery, greeting one of the KoHub cats – don’t judge me for still not knowing their names, I’m definitely more of a dog person 😉 — and preparing our working desk. The chances are also really high that I will be able to grab one of the rare office chairs, without having to fight over it. Let’s hope that at KoHub 2.0 there will be more of those comfy chairs around 🙂
If you tend to be more an outdoor “I am on an island, therefore, I will work outdoors even though I will be sweating the whole time” type of person, you will also be one of the first people on the so-called Deck and have the agony of choosing your seat for the day.
For me, the pre-lunch time at KoHub is probably the most productive time of the whole day. After setting up our working space for the day, the morning is a great time to fully concentrate on our work. The people at KoHub, especially the once I had the pleasure to be working with during our stay, have always been really respectful concerning the silence topic in the room. Well at least almost always 😉
Maybe there will be a random “Hi”, “Good Morning” or “How are you?” when another KoHubber enters the Gallery and you make eye contact while looking up from work for a couple of seconds. But there have also been days where I have been so into work, that after looking up after a couple of hours I noticed that from being alone in the Gallery at 9 a.m. it got pretty packed only 2 hours later.
KoHubbers Facebook Group
Before getting into the real stuff and all the bullet points on my todo list, I’ll quickly check — we are talking here about 5-30 min depending on how much is going on — the Facebook KoHubbers group. I know, I know … Facebook is not a good place to start your working day. And back in Austria, I was working really hard on not starting the day off by checking Facebook. BUT if you want to know what activities are planned for the day, what’s on the menu for communal lunch, or what’s on the agenda for the evening, this is the place all the information is being gathered. If you are lucky, you may find an event for a workshop one of your Co-KoHubbers is willing to give on a topic you are interested in.
And another more business related use case for the KoHubbers Facebook group is that it works like the collective consciousness of the Borg. If you need any kind of information, if you have any technical questions or are in need of advice for choosing the next framework, chances are pretty high that you will get your answer within a couple of minutes. So because on today’s list one of the to-dos is to decide on the software I will be using for my online course, I write a quick shout out into the Facebook group if someone has experience with Final Cut. And as a matter of fact a couple of minutes later I already have an answer and a date later that day with Laura, a Final Cut Pro.
Get some work done
So after setting up my work space, checking the KoHubbers Facebook group, I finally can concentrate on my work. I have to admit that although there may be a couple of disruptions during the day, I have never been in such an energetic and great working environment before. I am not sure if it because the people who are there, are there on their own will. Maybe. Still, this can’t be the only reason because then this should apply to all co-working spaces around the globe.
Maybe it’s also the great combination of co-working and beach life. I really don’t know what the magic recipe is, and honestly, I probably don’t really wanna know. Maybe after revealing the special ingredients, the place would lose some of its magic. The only thing that I know for sure is that there are this great atmosphere and this amazing vibe, that can only exist and survive by being nourished by all those ingenious people, who have chosen this space to be their inspirational working environment for a couple of days, weeks or even months.
“Is it lunch time yet?”
When you are totally in the zone it can happen that time flies by and you forget everything around you. But no worries, thanks to Gerwin’s internal clock, we would never be able to miss lunch time.
|hearing my stomach rumble … checking the clock … still 1 hour til communal lunch
|trying to get a couple more things done before it’s time for a delicious KoHub lunch
|going through the new online menu for KoHub’s kitchen, checking all the delicious food, especially the daily communal lunch … thinking of ordering something I haven’t had yet … after considering all the different options, still deciding on ordering Pad Thai 😉
Communal Lunch Time
The communal lunch is one of my favorite parts of the day. Not only for the absolutely obvious reason — I get delicious food without having to cook — but more so because of all the new people, I have the chance to get to know.
Although I have to admit that I didn’t sign up very often for the communal lunch (it almost always has been curry), it was always a pleasure to eat with a bunch of other KoHubbers and of course, meet new KoHubbers aka fresh meat. Because believe me when I say, each and every day there are new people joining the KoHub community. Of course this, unfortunately, also means that KoHubbers you have gotten used to seeing around will at some point leave this beautiful island. Although honestly there really is no good reason to do this 🙂
I always try to make some time for the daily communal lunch, because meeting new spirits at lunch is super exciting. To listen to all those stories and motivations, how others ended up being on Koh Lanta and decided on working from KoHub is interesting and inspiring. There always seems to be a great story behind every new arrival.
Same, Same but Different
But there are days when it can still be a bit exhausting to have to tell your personal story for the 20th time in a row. Don’t get me wrong. Meeting new people each day is the best part of living this lifestyle. Nevertheless answering the typical questions “Where are you from?”, “What are you doing for living?”, “Is it your first time on Koh Lanta?” and similar questions can, on some days, become very quickly pretty monotonous. At some point, it probably had been a very bad day, I had the idea of handing out short summaries with all the information and questions already answered:
“Austria; born in Poland; yes; software engineer; 2 months; end of April; maybe; 2nd time; Hong Kong; Shopify app; Bali; no way! Ubud”.
But this idea lasted only for a day or two because carrying out this idea would have meant that I would miss all those inspirational conversations with all the great people. And even worse, I would probably also have missed the opportunity to become friends with the most amazing people ever. And that would have been a huge loss for me — I really wouldn’t want to miss out on knowing any of you guys and being part of this amazing KoHub community.
Laura, Keji, Mark, Lyudmyla, Malachi, Thorben, …
The other thing with meeting new people every single day is to remember ALL THOSE NAMES — sooooo many names. Thankfully there are a couple of ways to get this situation under control:
- In the kitchen, there is the KoHubbers “online” tree, where all the people who are currently at KoHub are placed on the tree with a picture and their name beneath. I am not sure, how up-to-date the tree is because over the two months I’ve been at KoHub I couldn’t find myself on the tree. Thankfully my name is one I have been carrying with me for the last couple of years, so one nameless to remember 😉 But if you are lucky you can find all other KoHubbers and check their names.
- There is the new online system with the tab “KoHubbers” — similar to the tree in the kitchen, here you can find all KoHubbers with picture and name, and it has a better search algorithm than the tree in the kitchen — try to press Cmd+F or Strg+F on the tree in the kitchen, and you will know what I am talking about.
- Since you are definitely not the first and only person who has this problem, everybody will be willing to help you solve a mysterium concerning the name of a new arrival.
- I also always try to keep all the names and a short description or characteristic in a note file on my iPhone.
- The last but not least option and honestly my favorite one — just ask “John Doe” once again, what’s his/her name is. They most likely will be thankful and totally understanding and appreciate the possibility to ask for your name in return.
Post Lunch Time at KoHub
After being able to spend another great lunch with KoHubbers, listening to the inspirational stories of new arrivals, I’m on my way back to my working desk to make all the Skype calls with Europe. Because although I’ve been up for several hours now, the sun has yet to rise in Europe. Therefore post-lunch time is “checking on Europe” time. In order to respect others, who are working in the Gallery, I’ll grab my MacBook and go to find a place where I can make my calls without disturbing anyone else. At KoHub there are several options you can choose from:
- Right outside the Gallery is a bamboo couch you can use for calls, but be aware that especially in the late afternoon the “Eau de Toilette” can be sometimes a little bit too intense.
- Next to the Gallery is the Games Room — if you want to stay there for more than 10 min, either turn on the AC or bring some water or a towel because the temperature can reach a scale that easily exceeds one that is typical for a Finnish sauna.
- Go out on the Deck and take one of the free spots — the Deck and its occupants are more forgiving when it comes to talking and making some noise, than the AC rooms 😉
- Use the Skype booth in the room next to the reception; is it also called Boardroom?
- Find your spot in the Courtyard near the kitchen.
- Go into the garden and find a nice spot surrounded by nature and maybe a couple of ants or even a huge lizard 🙂 (still not a dog, still don’t know the name).
After I’m done with my web-meetings today is the day for one more Skype call. I call my parents, to let them know that I am still alive and Gerwin is still healthy — oh yes, there is a whole story for at least 3 further blog posts ;-).
Workshops at KoHub
Last weeks afternoons have been pretty busy with a couple of workshops held by other KoHubbers. Topics like AdWords (Pascal Costa), SEO (Mike Taveirne), Instagram (Laura Wozniak), Information Security (Alex Kazan), and Shopify (Gerwin Brunner) have been only a few which have been offered by co-workers. All the workshops I have attended have been absolutely worth the time and really useful.
Today though I have a date on the Deck with Laura, the Final Cut Pro, who is willing to share her knowledge with me. Although it’s a busy day at KoHub I have no troubles finding her. After a short chat and getting to know each other a little bit, she gives me a short overview of Final Cut and answers all my questions. I immediately know that I have not only found a Final Cut Pro but I have found something much more valuable: a new friend. Lauras willingness to share her knowledge with me and her amazing personality resulted in a wonderful friendship that was even continued in Ubud on Bali and will hopefully continue further on.
After returning to my workspace in the Gallery I focus on some work, that doesn’t need 100% of my brain power. A Cold Comfort — the best coconut smoothie on this planet — gives me another energy boost for 2-3 hours until my brain power is down to 30-40%. Which means that if Gerwin is still not done with his work and it is still before 7 p.m. I switch from working laptop to cinematic laptop by searching for new stuff on Netflix and killing some time, until even Gerwin gives finally up or my nagging convinces him to be done for today.
“Is it time for the evening event?”
Because we both know that if we go home before the evening event, we probably won’t make it back, we stay at KoHub until we can go directly to the after-work event.
Evening Events at/by KoHub
If you think that coming to Koh Lanta and working from KoHub ends your day at around 6 p.m. / 7 p.m. you couldn’t be more wrong. After a productive day, there is almost always an opportunity to meet each other for an after-work drink at one of the several bars near KoHub. Either organized by the KoHub staff or KoHubbers themselves, there is always something to do.
Monday is Pub Quiz Day
Today is Monday so after a typical day at KoHub it is time to learn something about music, Hollywood, nature, politics, and sports combined in one Pub Quiz at the Irish Embassy. We pack our stuff, turn off the lights and the aircon if we are the last men standing, get out of KoHub, and walk the 140 m south to the Pub, grab a table and warm up with a drink.
We are already conspiring on how to not be the worst team, but then Sara appears and joins our team. It is fascinating how quickly the overall mood can change from “Let’s try not to be the losing team” to “Let’s win today!” just by the presence of one person 😉 Nevertheless today was not our lucky day and we didn’t win. But at least we had to break ties for 2nd place by letting Kevin take shots. How did that work out? Well, let’s just say we made it to the honorable 3rd place 😉
If you want to know what happens on Koh Lanta between 10 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. you have to get this information from somebody else. That’s the time when I’m having my beauty sleep.
If you are curious what happens the rest of the week, there seems to be a recurring weekly scheme:
- On Monday you have to join at least once the KoHubbers team for the Pub Quiz at the Irish Pub. If you have the opportunity to be on a team with Sara, go for it. OMG, she knows almost everything!
- Tuesday is Taco Tuesday at Mojo’s.
- On either Wednesday or Thursday, the Communal Dinner will be happening in one of the great restaurants like Patty’s Secret Garden, The Greek Taverna, Red Snapper. It’s a great possibility to continue where you left off during lunch and meet new KoHubbers and listen to their inspiring stories. Once in a while, there will also be a Goodbye Dinner for one of the KoHubbers that is silly enough to leave this paradise behind to move on.
- On Friday — and this one is NOT optional — is Karaoke Night at Funky Monkey with Kevin. Please don’t ask me what happens when Kevin is not on Koh Lanta. Is that the time when hell freezes?! But if you are on Koh Lanta and Kevin is as well, just get it over with and go at least once during your stay on stage. And you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Kevin is always (and I mean really always) eager to accompany every single willing person. No one needs to go alone on stage. And you can’t even scare him off with ridiculous songs. Believe me, we tried 😉 I think that encourages him even more. So be careful what songs you pick, because Kevin is all in!
- Saturday and Sunday are normally days off, but these are typically the days where we go for day trips like snorkeling, kayaking or diving. I love to plan and organize stuff. But sometimes it’s just super nice when the only thing you have to do is to say “YES”.
Finally, after a typical day at KoHub and an educational Pub Quiz at the Irish Embassy, we walk back home, trying to avoid as many crayfish as possible to get our beauty sleep.
Why should you put working from KoHub on your Bucket List?
If you want to do your work and be next to the beach, KoHub is the place to be. A typical day at KoHub is a day where you get your work done. Where you can get to know new people and their inspiring stories. It is a day where you learn something new from Co-KoHubbers who are more than eager to share their knowledge as you may be used to and have some fun at the after work events.
Tap into the collective consciousness of KoHubbers to either learn some new skills or share your own specific knowledge with others. Eat some healthy food and pump your brain with delicious and healthy juices and shakes. Go for a swim to switch your perspective if you get stuck at work or just to cool down from the tropical heat. No matter what your area of expertise is or what you are currently working on — at KoHub you will definitely find like-minded guys and girls who you will have a great time with.
Believe me, you will dread the day when your Goodbye dinner will be on the schedule for the days evening!