Working remotely for TrekkSoft on a nearly full-time basis has been both a blessing and a curse.
It’s been a blessing because I’ve got to use the rest of my time to travel and explore the world or work from home in my pyjamas without fighting through the morning traffic. It’s been a blessing because I get to structure my days according to what’s important to me, and that includes taking two-hour lunch breaks every Thursday to hang out with my Ahmah.
It’s also been a curse because I tend to feel disconnected from my team and the life they’re having in Interlaken (yes, the FOMO is hella real), the friendships they’re building, the cheese they’re having and the mountains they’re climbing. It especially sucks when I’m not around for birthday parties or Christmas parties or when a friend needs more support than a phone call.
This whole digital nomad thing requires a lot of energy. Like, a lot. I’m constantly juggling full-time work, navigating new destinations and figuring out new routines, planning my next trip and staying in touch with people I love… plus I write for Wait A Minute Now and really really really want to grow that. So, unfortunately, Next Train Out took a back seat.
Since I’m home and am on a TEN-DAY holiday, I thought I’d catch you up on what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been and all that.
I’ve been doing this whole work and travel thing for almost two years now and it wasn’t until April 2017 that I started doing it legally. The fact that I didn’t have the right paperwork didn’t even occur to me until a friend and I started talking about taxes and EPF and all sorts of adult things that I hadn’t thought about before.
I began where every millennial begins, by hitting up Google. I was surprised to find very very little information about digital nomading as a Malaysian. Apart from learning that I had to get a business license to operate legally, there really was nothing more. What about declaring my income for tax purposes? What sort of business license should I get? Do I also require a business bank account? How about investing my income? How do I do all this without breaking the law? What is the legal requirement pertaining such work arrangements? Bloody hell, where do I start?