A Month as a Digital Nomad
If you’ve been following my blog series you’ll know I spent a month tasting the life of a digital nomad. My trip saw me stopover in Dubai followed by a stint in Sydney, then onto Byron Bay and Gold Coast before my final stop in Brisbane. Working remotely whilst travelling has been a goal of mine for a long time, so to have the chance to fulfil this dream has been an amazing experience, and is something I am planning to do more of.
This initial month away was intended as a bit of a test to see if working this flexibly really was feasible – and in my view it certainly is. There were a few things I’d do differently if I were to go again however. When travelling this way I feel it’s better to spend longer in each place, at least a month, probably two, in the bigger cities. As I was only away for one month I wanted to get in as many places as I could, however the issue with moving around a lot whilst also working is you are limiting the time you have to really explore each destination. Whilst you can be flexible with your hours during the weekdays, it’s still good to have two full days at the weekend to head out and take in your new location – having to travel to a new place takes away from this valuable time.
Working in Brisbane
Luckily Brisbane is just a short trip on the train from Gold Coast, so the travel time to my next destination wasn’t much of an issue. My first impressions of the city were that it was hot! Rising to 37 celsius on my first day there, it’s at least 10 degrees warmer than the more comfortable climate of Sydney.
Upon checking into my apartment the first port of call, as always when your livelihood depends on it, was to check the WiFi speed – thankfully it was good. However there are also plenty of other places you can set up base if you’re planning on working remotely from Brisbane. In the city centre’s South Bank there is an abundance of fast & free WiFi. The most notable place being The State Library of Queensland which offers fantastic facilities. There’s fast WiFi freely available throughout the river-side location which includes a cafe and children’s play area. The icing on the cake for a digital nomad though, has to be the Business Studio which acts essentially as a free co-working space designed for startups and freelancers. A quick chat with the friendly library staff and you’re free to get set up in the perfect working space.
Life in Brisbane
One of the things that can be a struggle when working from the other side of the world is spending time away from your friends & family, and any hobbies you may enjoy. A big part of my life has always been football, and spending a month away mid-season meant I missed a number of games. This led me to take the trip to the Suncorp Stadium to get my football fix by watching Brisbane Roar take on Melbourne City. It wasn’t quite the same as watching my beloved Brentford, but was nice to enjoy a game nonetheless.
Brisbane is a lovely city with a lot to do. My favourite part had to be the South Bank with it’s array of bars and restaurants, and outdoor pool with a man made beach which people were still enjoying long into the night. A trip to Australia Zoo, founded by Steve Irwin’s family, is a must do, particularly if you’re a fan of crocodiles. Then there’s the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary which is one of the few places in the world where you can hold a Koala – which are heavier than you might think! Making a trip there by riverboat was a nice way to spend a day, and it’s great fun trying to capture the perfect selfie with a kangaroo. I’d also be neglecting my digital nomad duties if I didn’t give it a shout out for having the fastest WiFi I found on my trip – clocking over 100 megabits per second!
Brisbane Digital Nomad Rating 8/10
I have to say Brisbane surprised me. For some reason I wasn’t expecting too much and didn’t think it would come anywhere close to Sydney, but I loved it. In terms of working remotely it has the perfect facility in the State Library, and if I had to list the top 10 places I most enjoyed on my trip then Brisbane’s South Bank would probably be the number one. However seven or eight of the 10 would be in Sydney which is what gives it the edge. I would highly recommend a visit to Brisbane though.