Hello from the Philippines: Life of a Digital Nomad
Waking up to a team email titled "Hello from the Philippines" isn't unconventional at RebelMouse. That's because we're a fully-remote company where every employee has the opportunity to work anywhere — yes, even your bed if you please. Being a global, results-oriented startup is built into our culture, made possible by evolving technology and a new business mindset.
As self-titled "Digital Nomads" we're not only allowed, but encouraged, to take advantage of working around the globe.
So one of our Rebels, Kris, decided to start adventuring and documented his journey.
Kris has been working remote in the Philippines capital city, Manila.
Working remotely isn't a freelance phenomenon anymore.
Sixty-six percent of workers are expected to work remotely in the future and some big tech companies have caught on, too. The focus on employee health is also global — Sweden recently switched to a 6-hour work day in an effort to maintain work-life balance for its citizens.
Remote work allows for so many freedoms: from traffic, gas money, stiff offices, and toxic politics. The idea is that work isn't about how many hours you can endure planted in an office chair, but the quality of work you produce.
Kris is plenty productive as a developer at RebelMouse. He lives in Poland but works closely with other Rebels all over the globe, from Hungary to Texas. Kris left Poland this February and took his office to the capital of the Philippines, Manila.
"It's really awesome to be able to travel this way and try the 'digital nomad' style of living. For me so far, it's been a very good experience. Being open to new cultures is a truly amazing experience."
Kris explored some of the most beautiful destinations surrounding the Philippines.
"I'm mostly in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, but last week I had this amazing opportunity to travel to Boracay — 425km away from the capital."
The ability to travel constantly with a full-time job is one thing. But experiencing different parts of the world + learning about new cultures is an added benefit we can get behind.
"To make it more interesting, me and my friends from a co-working space took a car instead of an airplane. It was a really awesome experience. I was able to see how the people outside of big cities live and how fauna and flora looks like during this trip."
Beautiful beaches of Boracay.
With his flexible schedule, Kris was able to check out the second most active volcano in the Philippines — with 33 historical eruptions.
"I had the opportunity to see Taal volcano when we're going through Tagaytay."
His trip to Boracay took about 15 hours total. Kris traveled in ways he never expected: by ferry, by motorboat, and even on a tricycle.
"I also had an opportunity to try fresh seafood bought at a local market a few steps away from the restaurant. You buy fresh seafood, then bring it to a restaurant and tell them how they should prepare it — cool!"
And more firsts for Kris.
"It was also my first time trying scallops, clams, and kilawin — a local meal made from fresh, raw tuna. It was better than I expected."
When our fellow Rebels travel, we often get to learn things about other cultures as well. Kris let us in on some random facts about the Filipino lifestyle:
- They only eat meals with forks and spoons (no knives).
- Red Bull is sold in glass bottles.
- The most common type of public transport is a Jeepney or tricycle.
- The most common street food is Balut — duck embryo (a hard pass on this one).
"I was able to experience this only because we're not tied to office walls and we can basically work from anywhere. I highly encourage any adventurer to use this to their advantage, because it might be the opportunity of a lifetime to see new places and experience new cultures!"
We might be biased, but remote life is the good life. Free rein of travel is a ginormous perk that really drives much of the incentive each Rebel carries with them each day to produce quality work — whether working in sweatpants or from the beaches of Boracay.