Digital Nomad Life: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Last summer, my apartment lease in Kansas City was due to expire and I had to make a decision:

• Renew my lease
• Find a new place around town
...or store all my belongings in my brother's basement and move to Thailand. 

I chose the latter.

I've been living in Chiang Mai, Thailand since January and life is good. I'm part of a group of people called digital nomads. DMs are individuals who are location independent and use technology to perform our jobs. In my case, that translates to supporting myself through freelance design and licensing out my artwork.

If you're interested how I make a living as an artist/designer, check out my blog post about earning passive income. 

I can do my job from basically anywhere– as long as I have an internet connection and enough intrigue around me to keep my creative juices flowing. Chiang Mai has been a dream: high-speed WiFi, great coffee shops, big city amenities, and mountains a bike ride away.

Home Sweet Home:

My "office" changes on a daily basis, but usually involves a latte.

Nature meets culture. An evening bike ride towards the mountains, VS gallery-hopping around Nimman on a Saturday night:

My favorite aspect of Chiang Mai is the community. Chiang Mai is known as the digital nomad capital of the world; this place cultivates a hugely diverse community of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and start-ups. You have the opportunity to join meet-ups, skillshares, and networking/social events on a daily basis.

Back home, I felt a bit like the odd one out. I wasn't interested in any aspect of settling down, like getting married, buying a house, and having kids. Even the idea of committing to a one-year lease made me queasy. I wasn't aimless– far from it. I was just itching to get out of my comfort zone and explore the globe and all the new experiences that come with travel. 

Since moving to Chiang Mai, I've met a flourishing community of self-motivated individuals that share my same views: thriving in this nomadic lifestyle with uncertain futures ahead. We've all found success in different industries– design, e-commerce, marketing, coaching, publishing, blogging, and more. Some of us stick around in one place for a few months before trying out a new scene; others, a week or less.

I've been inspired on a daily basis by my surroundings and my flood of new paintings have been a direct result.

Fan Palms in Sapa, Vietnam:

Bonsai trees at Temple of the Jade Mountain on Hoàn Kiếm Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam:

Palm leaf centerpiece during dinner in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Vintage rotary phone at an art gallery in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Orchid farm outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Fern from Cat Cat Village, Sapa, Vietnam:

I even painted my house in Thailand:

Cicada found at a street market in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Looking forward to my next destination: Bali, Indonesia!