Digital Nomad In Hoi An, Vietnam: A Day In The Life

Being a digital nomad is not all beaches and bars, we also do some work. Let me talk you through a typical work day for me in Hoi An, Vietnam. 

9.00 am. Wake Up

This might seem late to wake up, but if you knew me a few years ago then you would say it was early for me. 

9.05 am - 9.15 am. Meditate

This is probably the most important 10 minutes of each day. 

9.15 am - 9.30 am. Shower and dressed

Rapid shower, get dressed and out the door.

9.30 am - 10.15 am. Breakfast

My accommodation comes with a free bicycle, which is great for getting around Hoi An. So I jump on and take the 2 minute ride to Dingo Deli, an air conditioned café with good wifi. I usually get a fruit salad with yoghurt and muesli for breakfast, and a coffee. That comes to about $4. About half the time I will bump into a friend at Dingo Deli and have breakfast with them, or if not I'll get my laptop out and catch up on news and generally get internet browsing out of my system for the day. 

10.15 am - 10.30 am. Commute To My Co-working Space

My co-working space is The Hub Hoi An, and it's about a 5 minute bike ride through rice fields. It's a nice way to get to work. once I get to the Hub I say hello to everyone and get myself set up. 

10.30am - 11.30am. Writing

I write for 1 hour each working day. Usually I will be working on a blog post. This is good for search engine optimisation for my site, and it's also a good way to practice writing and hopefully get better at it. Whatever I end up doing in the future, writing will be a good skill to have, so it's good to make time for it every day. 

11.30am - 1pm. Start Proper Work

I'm a freelance web developer, so I will usually have a specific project to work on each day, either a client project or one of my own projects. I work a lot for people in the UK, which is 6 hours behind Vietnam, so they are in bed at this time. So I always make sure that I have a task list ready to work on. 

This block of time is pretty good to get a few small tasks out of the way, and lay the groundwork for any big tasks I need to do later on.

1pm - 2pm. Lunch

The Hub co-working space is great for lunch. You can get lunch here for about $3 and it's some of the best food I've had in Vietnam. We usually have lunch together on a table in the garden, and it's a great part of the day. The conversation is wide ranging and there are often new people to meet. 

2pm - 6.30pm. Work Block

This is my most productive period of the day. I get a coffee, go into one of the air conditioned rooms at the Hub, put my headphones on and get stuck into some serious work.

I'm usually deep in the guts of some web development project, integrating new features or fixing bugs. 

If I'm working for a UK client, they will be awake by now and so I can chat to the UK team members on slack and get feedback on any tasks that I am doing. 

6.30pm - 7.30pm. Dinner 

I'll take an hour for dinner about this time. I'll either go somewhere with a friend or just grab something quick and easy. I treat this like a work break, so if on my own I will bring my Kindle along and not do any work at all for this hour.

7.30pm - 10 pm. Work block 2

The Hub closes at 7pm, so after dinner I usually go back to my flat and work there. This is a good block of time to get some more serious work done. I'll either continue working on any big tasks I have been working on earlier, or tackle something new. 

10pm - Midnight. Work or Chill

I usually end up working past 10pm. If I get in the flow with something, or want to finish something off, then it is easy for the time to get away from me and I'll end up working later than I'm supposed to. I charge for freelance jobs by the day rate, and I want to give good value for money. But this is probably something I should have more discipline with, and stop at 10pm. 

Midnight - 1am

My bedtime in the week is midnight. I usually read for an hour in bed before going to sleep. This helps me to unwind from work and relax a bit.

That's it. A day in the life of a digital nomad. This is my weekday schedule at the moment.

My schedule changes quite a lot depending on where I am, what facilities I have around me and what I am working on. I might do a bit of work on Saturdays and I always take Sunday off completely. 

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