My Life as a Digital Nomad (and Timezone Expert)Written by Hongfei Zhou on Aug 11, 2019, 2:29:00 PM
Guess where I wrote this blog post for Crisp? At a state park full of gorgeous waterfalls and bird song. That’s because I am officially a “digital nomad,” one of the many people around the globe fortunate enough to work remotely full-time while traveling and experiencing the world.
Here’s the story of my journey.
Remote but not alone
Crisp has made remote working comfortable for me from the very beginning. While tech giants are packed with people spending tedious nights on Leetcode, Crisp’s approach is different. Crisp’s mission is also something I feel comfortable about: to reduce food waste at the grocery level. It feels great to be a part of that, and the engineer in me wants to dive into the data analysis.
Although Crisp is built on the idea of remote working, and people don’t get to see one another other in person very often, I’ve never had the feeling of being left out.
People at Crisp are always quick in responding to my questions and helping me with issues. Everyone is knowledgeable, so that whenever we connect, we can always tackle things quickly. I also enjoy the virtual ‘donut chats’ we have here. They are just casual chats over video, coffee, and bring-your-own donuts where we talk about everything but work and get to know each other.
I also like the efficiency of a remote environment. If we can’t solve an issue within a few Slack messages, we will just start a video chat and get it resolved.
Life is a trip
Once I got settled into Crisp, I put into practice the plan I had to work and travel, moving locations approximately every two weeks. I packed up all my stuff, carried only what was necessary, and hit the road. I had been in San Francisco for years and had only a vague idea of where I wanted to go, but one of the benefits of the lifestyle is that you don’t have to have everything sorted out before you hit the road. You don’t need to know how many attractions you want to visit today. For example, when I was in San Diego, I decided that I wanted to visit the campus of UCSD, so I just found a nice coffee house nearby to work for the day. When my work was done, my tour began. What a day!
I’m also a big fan of national parks, perhaps the government’s greatest invention. I spent an entire month exploring the parks around the Colorado River—parks like Grand Canyon NP, Zion NP and Arches NP. Every weekend, I visited a different park and admired its magnificent views. Other weekends I would explore small towns with great coffee shops just to relax and slow my pace.
GMT and beyond
As a traveling worker, one thing I must pay careful attention to is timezones, because at Crisp we have people across the US and EU. I’m hoping that someday we’ll institute a global time zone at Crisp so I can explore the exotic attractions of Asia. But for now, I have plenty to see right here in North America—and plenty of meaningful work to do.
Want to explore opportunities for working remotely at Crisp? Check out our open positions now.