Life as a Digital Nomad & Minimalist
What do you want in life?
I prioritize freedom over all else. The ability to go anywhere, to take just a backpack, and work from anywhere in the world is the ultimate reason I am studying computer science. Actualization and monetization of creativity, to make money from doing what you love, requires a hard skill. That is called coding.
I have been in bad job situations in regard to the restaurant industry. Easy to get jobs, but brutal in terms of physical stress and low compensation. I almost became antisocial after having to deal with so many people and all the scent of grease that soaks deep into your all-black closet. I decided that I wanted more for myself than being trapped in a twelve-hour lockdown of all-you-can-eat barbeque prison.
The happiest part of my day during those times was the morning workouts I did. I really made it a habit, going to the gym every morning. However, I was almost spending too much time at the gym, constantly thinking about my weight and appearance. I felt an emptiness in the repetition and routine that I had. I was also destressing by spending the hard-earned money on useless things and meaningless travels that left me to hate going to work even more. There was no purpose in my job.
Freshman year of college was when I first encountered a programming class, intro to programming. I actually did not take it too seriously because I didn’t know the power of programming languages and thought the byte, bit, and nibble pun was just too much to handle. I remember going to class to just talk to my friends and not paying attention, suffering through assignments, and having to go to office hours to get debugging assistance. I thought I grew out of the nerd phase and wanted to be the “it girl.”
I had trouble deciding the “right major” and tried to avoid academically challenging sectors in STEM because I thought it was ironic to see all the engineering and preMed students suffering. It reminded me of high school when I could not sleep and just thought I should take easier paths.
I learned later that the 20s is the best time to suffer and challenge the yet absorbent and flexible brain, and that nothing worth having comes easy. It’s about validation of the time and effort that goes into studying any STEM field, and the salary is just a reflection of its usefulness in impacting society. STEM solves problems.
Coding is the art of determination and self-discipline. There are so many paths one could take, but I fell in love with the culture of thinking of ways to solve a problem besides textbook solutions. In many ways, it’s a creative field that leads to so many opportunities, and when you look at all the companies that want to actualize an idea, they need the technology to show and present it to the world. Especially in the digital age, the world runs on the backbone of sleepless debugging nights of coders.
It’s a useful skill that is in demand, that is transportable anywhere in the world. There’s no right way to code, such as there is no right way to paint, but it’s something that anyone can fall in love with. It’s about managing discomfort and constantly learning, adapting, understanding. I love wearing a black t-shirt, jeans, sneakers, walking into a coffee shop for a cup of Joe, and sitting down to write code. It’s an empowering moment, a moment to feel complete on your own. Just your mind, the keyboard, and Joe. Don’t forget to stretch and drink water.
Eat, sleep, gym, code, repeat.