I’ve never been a devoutly religious person, but I do believe that when you’re on the right path, the right opportunities present themselves for the taking. I wasn’t at all sure how March was going to pan out in terms of freelance work–all I knew was that I had a roundtrip ticket to Thailand to occupy the first half of March. I had a handful of online clients that I knew I would be dedicating part of my vacation to, but other than that, I left the rest up to chance. That ended up being the right thing to do.
5 years ago, I made it my goal to become a digital nomad. I’ve been slowly inching toward achieving that status, and my recent trip to Thailand proved that many of my efforts are beginning to pay off. While the reasons for my adventuring to Thailand were largely inspired by leisure (in contrast to the previous month’s adventure to Central America), I actually ended up doing more work on the road in Thailand than I did in Mexico and Belize. The reasons were twofold: 1) I actually brought my laptop to Thailand with me after realizing in Belize that a tablet is not a perfect work computer, and 2) I had secured enough remote clients that I was pretty much expecting to be working on the road in Thailand.
In general, I spent my days outside soaking up the sun and exploring a foreign land, but when the sun set, I was more often than not holed up in my hostel or bungalow working. There were also several not so ideal nights when I’d be up at 4am to be on calls with clients (curse you, time zones!) while my newfound hostel friends were still out partying the night away. Despite dedicating most of my nights to working, I really enjoyed my two and half weeks in Thailand. I finally enjoyed myself scuba diving, went through a stolen passport fiasco, had my up close encounter with a tiger, got another tattoo, had a much needed reunion with a good friend, and was reminded why solo travel in a foreign country is ideal for sparking creativity and renewing your purpose and sense of self. The results played out in my recent mass of travel blogs I’ve published here, with many more queued up for posting soon.
Temptation from the Dark Side
Recall my previous paragraph about wanting to be a digital nomad. One of the biggest challenges of being a digital nomad is resisting the temptation to return to the dark side of a 9-5 full time job with benefits. I was in the same predicament this time last year when what would have been my dream job 2 years ago came sniffing around in attempt to lure me away from digital nomadism. That same temptation came around in March of this year, this time in a more potent form. Resisting the overwhelming desire to take the job of my dreams was incredibly difficult. Part of what made it easier was making the decision while in the heavenly paradise of Ko Lanta, Thailand, but it took me the better half of the month to stick to my guns and keep on keeping on in my quest to be a self employed digital nomad.
When I returned stateside from Belize and Mexico in February, I spent my first full day in Seattle on the computer to do a complete overhaul of my portfolio website, Suzi-Pratt.com. My portfolio site has long served as a powerful lead generator for acquiring new clients, and it turns out my web redesign has resulted in an even bigger spike of new business. The biggest citation is the fact that all of my recent new client inquiries have started off with a positive comment about my website, sometimes even with a serious request about my own web design services when they find out I did the site on my own. Anyhow, despite my lack of presence in Seattle for 2014, I’ve had a pretty steady stream of photography jobs that I’ve fulfilled through my own company, and sometimes through Gemini Connect when I haven’t been able to attend in person.
Some of my favorite corporate photo clients I had the pleasure of working with in March include Southern California Institute of Architecture, Bellevue Rare Coins, Mesh International, Shed Built, Northwest Polite Society, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, and Graham Baba Architects.
The music photography front was rather quiet in March, which isn’t unusual post-SXSW. Concert-wise, Lorde and London Grammar were the only musicians my lens captured in March. Oh, and Flo Rida at We Day 2014 too, which was a fun midday concert surprise that I was assigned to out of the blue the day after I returned home from Thailand. That day was an incredible haze that I had only received a one sentence description about, so imagine my surprise when my jet lagged self ended up spending all day at an event with the likes of the Seahawks, Cody Simpson, Flo Rida, and…EDWARD NORTON. I still can hardly believe that day even happened.
Restaurant-wise, March ended up being a fantastic month for Mexican restaurants in Seattle, much to my delight. Mezcaleria Oaxaca opened its huge, heavy door in Capitol Hill, and Hecho did the same in Phinney Ridge. The much anticipated reopening of The Comet Tavern also went down in late March, receiving a mix of praise and disappointment. Personally, I love the new look of The Comet, as well as the fact that they’ll now be serving food for the first time in a while. I still can’t imagine attending a concert in there though.
April Look Ahead
My recent travels overseas left me with lots of time to self reflect, which in turn has resulted in a refocusing of my business plan, goals, and overall intent. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out next month, especially with my first round of business taxes due soon, but stay tuned for more!