Digital Nomad

When starting to be a so-called  ‘Digital Nomad’ , working remote, living the laptoplifestyle or whatever you want to name it, I also started the platform of Club Mondain.

Club Mondain supports like-minded people that work and travel the world at the same time. The focus on this platform is to help these travellers find and enjoy their easiest way to stay fit – mind and body wise.
As I love to discover and explore the world myself and I am passionate about all kind of sports and remote teams, I decided that I wanted to fulfill a long time wish while working – to discover and work in Asia and to study Kung Fu !

I choose the Maling Shaolin Kung fu Academy after I had read a post of a friend that appeared on my Facebook. For me it was very important that I would stay in a place where it was possible to be connected to my colleagues and to the members of Club Mondain back home.
So after some e-mails with this school about this and looking for other schools as well, I decided by the tone of my e-mail conversations (which was friendly, clear and to the point) that this would be my first stop.  So with my planning in mind I went off !

In this school I was determined to learn more about the Chi and fighting methods (Read here about my experience in the area of the fitness) and simultaneously work on my business as I now was location independent and thus a Digital Nomad.

First thing people have asked me if it is possible to do sports for about 6 hours a day and then sit behind a computer and make it work.
Well, Yes, it is possible to make it work and I actually learnt a lot about myself and working remotely during this time. But it required some investments in terms of preparation and achieving the right mind set.

Speaking for myself, I learnt a lot about preparation, structure and communication with colleagues and about how much energy it actually generates to do what I love most. At the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu school people will either stay from 1 week up to 5 years. And every single person has their own purpose for being there.So if you have chosen to work location independent and to practice Shaolin Kung Fu and to become fit in the meanwhile, it is awesome and legit.

How I did it 

On one side I prepared myself well and on the other side I was prepared to expect the unexpected. At Club Mondain we provide tips and give support to digital nomads through coaching and our platform. But to get you started, let me elaborate on the obvious and the maybe not so obvious things before going to China and in specific to the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu School.

Before going

  • VPN, VPN, VPN – Make sure you set up a VPN on your phone and laptop. There are severals that are good and are free of charge (I used Turbo VPN for my phone), but for my laptop I used a paid one; VyprVPN.
  • Install WeChat, it is the main form of communication. You can also pay through WeChat with Alipay.
  • A plug for your chargers that WORKS in Asia too.
  • Find a good laptop with a hard cover to protect it from dirt or bumping it.
  • Earphones !! Take good ones with you.
  • Thoughts; Take a notebook with you for your experience but also to make listsssss
  • Food; If you are worried whether the food is good because you are a vegan or vegetarian; you can easily manage. Make a list of what you can and cannot eat. The place is flexible and the neighbouring towns are awesome to get some extra supplies. I made another blog about being a vegetarian in China, you can read it here.
  • Get yourself an insurance, just in case.

Colleagues – If you are working with colleagues overseas allow them to read into your (daily) schedule. Also be transparant to them that it might be so that you are not able to answer calls/ mail and that your schedule might change because of business or personal issues and well…. because .. you are in China 😉

Forgot something
When you are at the School and you realise that there are things you forgot (Like me)… Do not worry !

The people at the school are amazing. They will help you out. The spirit in the school is like no other and in my experience everyone is so helpful. And I am talking about the staff and about the students! For example; I did forget the VPN on my phone (yes I did) so the students got me a bluetooth connection and fixed it for me (they have the details :). I might or might not also forgot my wallet somewhere in China. What happened was that my former co-students were looking into their schedule if they could help me out since I was already at Beijing airport, heading to Japan and Bangkok. Guess what.. Happy re-owner of my wallet again !

So how about my/your schedule ?

I got the tip to do all classes the first two weeks. I got this from a former student and it was really a good one. If you are staying for one month or longer, I would definitely recommend you.
Then decide if you want to proceed following all classes and which hours you want to work.
For example; I decided not to attend the classes in the evening due to my meetings with my colleagues. I also decide to do some work in the morning, lunch break and then in the evening.
Whatever you decide; just stick to it for a set period of time. This way you can easily see what works for you, what you can do about it or if you really need to change it soon.

About your planning and possible hazards 

1. When your planning does not work, don’t be afraid to experiment and to communicate with your clients or colleagues.
2. Really really make sure you communicate your schedule with your clients and or colleagues, also when it changes.
3. Most of all enjoy your ride, also when unexpected things happen that makes you need to change your schedule.
4. The tip I really like to share is to listen to the teachings of the masters when you practice your Kung Fu. It definitely positively affected me while examining where I was holding myself back in in my work or private life.

One of the sentences that really helped me was ‘Trust your body, don’t follow your mind’. I remembered I was standing on a pole 1,5 meter above the ground with one foot and I was supposed to hop to the next one. I just could not move, I was frozen. My mind constantly floated to a possible situation me dropping down between these poles, hurting my face.
Although my work is mainly brainwork, this sentence really helped me to not float in my work.
Not float in a sense to not picturing what others might do at the same time I was working in the office. I am really not going to lie, I had feelings of missing out when people would see movies together or playing games. But the sentence trust your body, don’t follow your mind really helped me to stay in my body, complete my work and even enjoy it.

When you are at the school there are some tips and tricks too. I posted a blog about this too, here.