How to work as a full-time software developer while travelling around Asia?

2019 08 08 · 1 min read

According to statistics, people who work remotely are 30-40% more productive, experience less stress and has better work-life balance. Although there a lot of perks being a remote worker, sometimes it is hard to make a decision. Karolis has been travelling in south east Asia for a year and at the same time he has been working as a full-time developer. Karolis is talking about his dilemmas, experiences and lessons learnt with our web&apps direction lead Aurimas.

First of all, how the idea of this long trip has come to your min?

Actually, originally this idea belongs to my fiancée, she has always dreamt about travelling around the world. In the beginning I wasn’t as enthusiastic as her, because I had a different plan – I wanted to build solid background for my future career so working abroad did not seem to be the best way to do it. However, after some time, I have changed my opinion, we started thinking about this adventure more seriously. The destinantion was a discusiion object – familiar Western world or more exotic East, after all we have chosen the latter one. We have chosen Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore. Next to exotic culture the majority of these countries has all the facilities for reasonable price.

How did you solve a dilemma what to do with your job at BA?

When we decided where to go, we started thinking how we will get money for our adventure. I thought that I would work as a freelance developer, but inside I had a hope that my current employer would like an idea of me working remotely. I was really glad that my wish did not surprise anyone at work, and I got a green light.

When you got a chance to work remotely, were there any fears or hesitations left?

The biggest fear was to be let down by online forums and stay at the city that do not have proper internet speed and quality. Of course, I was also thinking about different illnesses and weak health care systems in some countries.

Did any fears become something real?

Internet was quite good in every place we stayed, we also did not catch malaria, so we experienced the best-case scenario.

You traveled different in countries, from exotic Cambodia to modern Singapore, did you have the same good conditions to work everywhere?

Usually we worked from home. In Cambodia we had really bad internet, so we worked at coworking spaces as well as in Malaysia.

What were the greatest professional challenges you met?

Difference between time zones made communication between me and my team made working process a little bit harder, it is easier to solve problems while sitting in the same room. The biggest challenge was to explore as much we can having only free weekends.

Could you share the benefits of working while travelling?

There are a lot of benefits – I have seen a lot of different cultures, beautiful nature, I have tried interesting and delicious food. In the evenings, after work, we had plenty of time, so I have been spending it to grow professionally – I have been reading books, articles, watching conferences.

Why did you come back exactly now?

We had a list of countries we want to visit, and we lived there as long as visa let us do it. Trips to Cambodia and Singapore were spontaneous. By the way, we wanted to come back during summertime to continue our travels here, in Lithuania.

Now, after few months back in Lithuania, can you share the biggest lessons you have learnt?

I learnt how to manage my time more wisely and how to spend it meaningfully.

Would you repeat this adventure?

If I had a chance, I would definitely travel for one more year.

Karolis story inspires – it is possible to align everyday responsibilities and duties with travelling around the world. Of course, this kind of lifestyle is full of challenges, but this experience raises you. The same statistics say that the possibility to work remotely becomes the one of the key factors when choosing an employer. It shows that we are becoming more and more open to the world as well as organizations are more open to employees’ needs.