Do you have a passion for technology? If you do, you may wonder where it can take you. John Raul Joven II, a digital nomad from Davao City in the Philippines, knows just where this passion can take you…all over the world! With a background in web development, John Raul is now living in Singapore and working as a digital performance manager at an agency there. In addition to his interest in technology, John Raul loves backpacking, blogging about his many trips and interviewing inspiring people. Read more about his story, here!
What are you working on right now?
My main personal projects right now are: John The Second (www.johnthesecond.com) and Bored Expat ( www.boredexpat.com ). John The Second is my vlog series which features my interviews with people who inspire me — those who have excelled at what they love to do. Bored Expat is my travel site where I blog about my solo backpacking trips with the purpose of giving tips and tricks on how one can maximise their travels while spending less.
Work-wise, I am currently involved in SEO/SEM marketing, content and community management. If you spot me in a coworking space, I’m likely analyzing commercial websites: looking into their structure, content, usability and accessibility, so they not only can improve their SEO, but so they are also engaging users. One of my clients, who is an insurance brand, utilizes me to improve the performance of SEM campaigns.
In terms of content and community management, I am also responsible for growing the online community of a major camera brand through content, contests and offline photography events.
What is your current desktop wallpaper and why?
The Alps. I love mountains and epic landscapes. They’re among the main reasons why I travel.
Which book has shaped your life and changed the way you think the most?
My boss gave me a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. The story reminds me that hard work and perseverance are really the key in increasing the odds of success, especially in the midst of adversity. Talent is great but it can’t take one as far as someone who earned his skill and devotes his time and effort working on certain goal.
How do you start off your day? What is your morning routine?
I consider myself a morning person. I usually get up at 4:30am, then pick up my running shoes for a quick 5 KM run by the beach to catch the sunrise. After my workout, I have a dose of good coffee and play my go-to songs, then I’ll be ready to conquer my day!
What is one thing you do to get motivated?
Planning for my next backpacking trip!
What made you smile today?
A beautiful sunrise at a beach and blue skies.
What is something you think everyone should try at least once in their life? Name one skill that everyone should have and learn?
Travelling alone to another country — I think everyone should experience this at least once in their lifetime. It’s a wonderful, enriching experience. Immersing into different cultures and environments, getting to know other ways of life teach a lot. And one gets to see beautiful places, as well as explore exciting coworking spaces!
What is one skill or hobby you’ve been meaning to learn but haven’t had time for?
To learn how to drive a motorcycle or a car. They’re very useful skills especially when backpacking in rural places.
List simple 3 things in life that makes you happy.
– Buying flight tickets
– Meeting new friends and beautiful, sexy people
– Good Internet connection
What is the best thing that you have done, just because you were told you can’t?
Weight loss. Some close friends used to constantly call me “fat” because I was, and that I couldn’t do sports. I got sick and tired of it, and decided on a major revamp. I somehow succeeded on that. Suddenly, I lost about 15 kgs and completed 9 road marathons and ultramarathon races.
What is your favorite coworking space and why?
I like to use coworking spaces whilst on a solo backpacking trip. My laptop always travels with me: this lets me do some work and blog about my trip at the same time. This keeps me feel productive and less guilty that I travel a lot (haha!).
By far, my favourite coworking space is Bangkok’s Launchpad. It’s huge, and I like that it offers plenty of natural light, a silent room, and access to good coffee and food. I’m thrilled to discover more coworking spaces in my next trips!
If you had the opportunity to spend a week or a month in another country to be your office in a week or month, where would you go?
It would be in Thailand or Laos. I like the idea of working in front of scenic karst mountains and white, sandy beaches in Krabi or Koh Lanta, or by the picturesque river in Vang Vieng, Laos.
Biggest item on your bucket list at the moment.
To complete my 10th full marathon in Berlin, Germany., and do a sub-four PR at the same time. Very ambitious.
As a digital nomad/entrepreneur. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
My work laptop, a good Internet connection and underwear. Anything else, I’ll just order online.
Tell me something you have never told anyone else.
How awesome it is to be able to travel and work anywhere and everywhere as a digital nomad. I think digital nomads are the new professionals!
What was your first job? Has it shaped where you are today?
My first job was being a remote web developer and technical support representative for a cloud hosting company based in Montreal, Canada. It buried my feet on the Web and shaped who I am and what I like to do today. I could have been a digital nomad, but I didn’t discover my interest in travelling then. That’s totally changed now.
Any advice for your previous boss?
Break the walls. Make the office great again.
What’s your favourite part about coworking?
Making new friends and collaborating with other digital nomads over a cup of good coffee!
What is your go-to pump up song?
The Killers’ “Human” and orchestral remakes of Chrono Cross soundtracks never fail to take my energy and motivation a notch higher every time I listen to them.