I’ve always thought there’s something magical that happens at weddings… and conferences.
I think it must be something to do with all that careful thought and pre-planning that’s gone into creating just the perfect environment for that uplifting feeling of connection to arise spontaneously.
Before I started working online, the very last conference that I’d attended was on the Gold Coast of Australia, on the day our second daughter was due to be born. Thankfully, baby had obliged with my sincere request that she delay her arrival until after this important training. I went into labor on the 2-hour drive home with a head swimming full of thoughts about internet marketing strategy. I like to blend things up.
Since that last conference 7 years ago, there’s been a lot going on. We sold up and moved abroad. We immersed ourselves in learning new skills to work online. We’ve continued refining how we blend family, schooling, business and travel in a way that’s fulfilling for each of us. And for me personally, part of my vision along the way was to return to that familiar excitement and inspiration of on-the-ground networking at conferences.
I can tell you, I could not have asked for a better environment to kick that off than at the inaugural 7in7 Digital Nomad Conference in Bangkok, 2 weeks ago. What an incredible community of people doing their thing… living life on their own terms… in so many varied ways.
I came away from the event with so many new friendships and new ideas about what’s possible, and the definite sense that we are most certainly ‘normal’ now. This movement is gathering momentum. And it’s not just about earning a location independent income (although that part sure helps!) but making the choice to live a fulfilling life, guided by our own unique values.
If you’re a digital nomad, or working towards it for this brand new year ahead, I highly recommend marking the 7in7 Year Two conference on your calendar of possibilities/ goals/ intentions. It’ll be happening in the first two weeks of October, in Barcelona.
What a gorgeous city for it!
Intriguingly, a couple of days before next year’s 7in7 location was announced, our good friend from Costa Rica had sent me a random message out of the blue, declaring… “I have found the perfect place for you guys to go next. It’s Barcelona.”
Hmm… what do you think?
Only time will tell.
But what I can tell you is, with the little sneak peek I’ve had into a couple of the speaker possibilities for next year (shh… secret squirrel!), it’s going to be awesome!
So, this is the amazing crew of action-takers that brought this conference to life – Kyrie, Berrak, Kit and Nick – following the birth of their vision at last year’s World Domination Summit.
Oh my goodness… seeing how these guys squeeze the juice out of life was incredible. And hearing them share their vision and their commitment for the next 7 years, across 7 continents, was an absolute highlight for me. Smart, smart people doing impactful work, both as a team for this conference, and independently in their own client work.
Below is a shot of me sharing my all-time fave quote about lifestyle design, a snippet pulled from Robert Granholm’s fun post, The Matrix Explains Lifestyle Design.
(It looks like some of the original YouTube clips embedded in Robert’s post may have become unavailable, so for context, this is The Matrix scene to reference, from around the 2:40 min mark.)
You think that’s air you’re breathing?
Oooh… spine tingles. 🙂
If that particular analogy resonates for you, there’s more where that came from over on the Greason Media blog:
Below, the photographer captured Amy Scott and I in the midst of a good ol’ brainstorm outside of the main sessions.
I was stoked to meet Amy in person, along with her husband Roberto (take a look at his awesome VA website CloudVA.net!) after having been connected virtually for the last couple of years. If you haven’t yet heard about Amy’s podcast, Nomadtopia Radio, read this post to find out more about it.
And finally, here is a copy of my presentation slides on Raising a Family from Anywhere. If you’d like to check them out, click through on the image below.
There’s minimal text on these slides so stand-alone, they won’t necessarily paint a full picture. But… if this topic is of interest to you, I’ll let you know when the video recording of the presentation becomes available.
Click here to sign up with your email and I’ll send along the video, along with VA Lifestyle Design blog updates and an announcement when the 7in7 Digital Nomad Conference dates are officially set for 2017.
Before the digital nomad conference…
Before the conference, the anticipation had been building among attendees. Here’s a copy of an email I’d sent out to explain the significance of this particular conference, at this point in time.
One hundred years from now some random historian – a cultural anthropologist perhaps – is sitting at his laptop (or holographic floating 3D screen thingy?) combing through reams of blog posts, Instagram feeds and YouTube videos, trying to piece together what exactly went down in those early years of the new millennium.
He’s got these questions on his mind…
Hmm, why were they so obsessed with photographing their laptops in sunny outdoor locations?
Why was this quest to work ‘remotely’ so all encompassing at this point in history?
Why did singles, couples and families, from all different countries, set off on pilgrimages away from their home country to congregate in various hubs around the world… carting MacBooks and smoothie bowls with them as they went?
Can you imagine it? 😉
We know the answers to those questions ’cause we’re living through the transition right now, but one day… well, one day this living life on your own terms thing is just going to be old news. There likely (hopefully!) won’t be so much to contrast it against.
I remember the moment I first stumbled onto the term location independent (you can read about that here) and I can tell you, 6 years on my passion for the meaning behind that phrase has yet to subside.
It’s still early days when you consider location independent living from that long-game view, but it sure feels like the momentum is building, right now.
That’s why when Kit Whelan (legend she is!) reached out to ask if I’d be interested in sharing my experiences at the upcoming 7in7 Digital Nomad Conference in Bangkok, I gave her a big virtual thumbs up!
But before I knew I’d be speaking at 7in7, I’d already been sold on the event by Cassie Torrecillas from The Bucketlist Bombshells (my coworking buddy here in Bali). She painted the picture for me that 7in7 wouldn’t just be focused on the online-business-building side of things, but on all aspects of location independent lifestyle as a whole. Oh yeah!
So, all that is to say…
… although I’m a conference-goer from way back and would probably accept any old excuse to show up at this happening venue with a group of likeminded peeps…
…in this particular instance, it is so much more to me than a networking event.
It’s history in the making.
A key event that some future historian might point to in years to come and say look… that’s when this future of work (and play!) thing really started picking up steam, right there.
And that’s something I wanna be a part of!