Life of a Location Independent Travel Blogger in Laos

Tropical Fruits in Laos and Graphic Guide to How to Eat Them
February 24, 2012
Scotland: High Spirits in the Highlands
February 27, 2012

Life of a Location Independent Travel Blogger in Laos

 

 

Yes, Laos, it wasn’t on my original plan. But, I had to reset my Chinese visa after 30 days, and Laos was the easiest and the best choice from Xishuangbanna, China. We crossed the border by a bus to Luang Namtha and settled in Luang Prabang for 12 days.

 

People asked me ‘So how do you like Laos?’ ‘Isn’t Luang Prabang amazing? I loved this town!’ But frankly, I couldn’t answer that question. Because I spent most of my time at the balcony of my guesthouse or at a café.

Doing what?

The cliché answer to everything, work.

 

 

What work?

For 12 days we stayed in Luang Prabang, we worked the most of the time. What work? You might ask and I need some explanation to answer the question.

From some time ago, I felt like I needed a bigger project. See the bigger picture, and have a bigger goal. Although Runaway Juno was a big part of my life ever since I started even when I was working full time, but now it’s my main work and my window to the world. For the last two years, travel and blogging have been a great joy but that’s not it. I’m enjoying this work more than anything I’ve done, but I want more. I want to be success with my work, not surviving.

 

So, we’ve decided to have intensive work period in Luang Prabang; a laid back town. One afternoon in Luang Prabang, we had an idea meeting, Stephen and I. And it lasted about three hours. We both have been thinking about goals and plans for a long time, and didn’t have a chance to write everything down and actually plan things. So now, everything’s in the notebook and it’s getting longer everyday.

 

 

Why stay so long at one place?

Working location independently is good. I’m enjoying it. I travel much slower than I used to. And I like it too. Not that I hopped places after places before, but now I really need to double the time because I need to work in between. But for this term, I decided to stay three weeks in Laos because I wanted to give myself a momentum. First, clear things off from ‘urgent to do list’. Then I’d have a week or two to focus on the things on my ‘big goal to do list’.

So I’ve been working for 12~16 hours a day, 10 days straight. Responding emails, updating, scheduling… and it was successful, I would say.

 

A big block of a time was good for pushing myself because then I have the ‘routine’. Wake up, have a cup of tea on the balcony, and work in between the meals. Nothing special, and no surprises. I know having the ‘routine’ is one boring thing about living one place for a long time and the least thing I want during my travels, but it’s a good change for a location independent travel writers. For this momentum, I want to start my bigger projects that only have been living in my imagination. Now I want to give them a breath, bring them into a life.

 

 

How was Luang Prabang for working?

Frankly, it’s not my favourite place in Laos. But it’s a good place for location independent workers.

Living expenses are cheap: guesthouse, food, beer, fruit… It’s easy to manage your budget under 10US$ a day including accommodation. And I was there in high season. Once you have a routine, it will be much easier.

On the other hand, it doesn’t feel like ‘real Laos’. Of course, it’s really atmospheric town; that’s the biggest attraction. But there’s no easy access to Laos food and culture except the temples. It felt like Luang Prabang is really well managed and preserved tourist town. But that worked well for me – as no distraction.

We had one serious photography day, went to all the temples in town during the sunrise and sunset. Had one chill out day; reading books while having cold drink with a river view.

 

Relaxing at Utopia with a river view

 

 

The fact

Travel writer isn’t a glorious job. Well, it is and isn’t at the same time. This ‘what people think I do’ series about travel writer says very well about this occupation. I’ve been thinking about a lot of goals for a long time but I don’t think there’s any proper chance or time to actually start the project. I was working full time, the transition time to become travel blogger was an agony, and now I finally feel like I have some space to think about my bigger goals. Runaway Juno was a big goal but I want to do something beyond that.

 

I had some progress during the time, but still it’s just a starting stage. Now, I’m proud to say I have a big announcement to make this week – one of my project.

Please tune in for the exciting news!

 

 

So if you ask how was Luang Prabang as a traveler, I’m not the best person to answer that. But if you ask me about a life of a location independent travel writer in Luang Prabang? I think I have a pretty good answer.

 

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

14 Comments

  1. Carolyn says:

    I’m a big fan of your blog, so I’m excited to see what your next big project is! Also, $10 a day is so cheap!!

  2. Pete says:

    “Reset Chinese visa”… so you were coming back to China from Laos, I assume. Were you able to get a Chinese visa in Luang Prabang or you had to go to Vientiane? I’m in the similar situation. I’m a foreigner stay in China and my Chinese visa is expiring. I’m Planning to travel to Laos, get a Chinese entry visa, and come back to China. Any information is much appreciated.

    • Juno says:

      No I have multi entry visa, and only allow me to stay 30days in a row. So I had to leave the country and now I’m back again. But will apply for extension soon.
      There was no problem going to Laos and coming back to China with my visa.

  3. Oh wow you spent most of your time working but you have to let us know what did you enjoy eating over Luang Prabang 🙂 – Very happy you got to visit Laos! We will keep reading about your traveling spots 🙂

  4. We spent about 2 weeks in Rio de Janeiro during our RTW. It’s great to have a break in constant traveling and to establish a routine 🙂

    • Juno says:

      True. Actually I prefer to travel slower than faster. It gives me more change to absorbe the atmosphere and clear my mind for the new things in life!

  5. Amyee says:

    You are doing what I have always wanted to do but don’t have the real guts to do yet. I wish you all the best with this new project, and I can’t wait to find out what it is!

  6. […] Working as location independently is not easy. It sounds glamorous, but actually there are so many things to control to have one successful work day. If I couldn’t cross off things on my list today, I have to extend the work hour till tomorrow. If tomorrow won’t work, add to the next day, and to the next day, until I can finally move on. The failure is due to my own laziness, but sometimes the major factors are out of my control. I can’t control the electricity of the town or malfunctioning Wi-Fi router. Be on the schedule can be the hardest thing. […]

  7. Ruthi says:

    We were going to travel down from Yunnan to Laos too (in June this year) but as our Chinese visa probably runs out June 4 (depending on how long we get an extension) we decided to enter via Northern Thailand via Chiang Rai.Hope we enjoy Luang Prabang but not intending to make it a working holiday ha ha.THanks for the post and great photos

    • Juno Kim says:

      Luang Prabang was a great place to stay for a while. It was more touristy than I hoped, but I had a great time! Temples were stunning for sure.

  8. Joost says:

    Great blog! New plans to go to Laos on short term? Its a great country to travel in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Shares
+11
Tweet
Share
Pin
Share