Ever wanted to publish a book? How about several books? Well, Peter knows all about publishing books. As an author, Peter is focused now on growing his book portfolio. Originally from the Netherlands, Peter Kok has been living abroad and traveling for nearly five years. In addition to being passionate about book publishing and location independence, Peter loves playing guitar and dogs. Want to find out more about his story? Read on!

What are you working on right now?

I publish books, mostly on Amazon. Right now, I’m focusing on writing and growing my book portfolio.

What is your current desktop wallpaper? and why?

“Stay Focused – Get It Done,” against a background of beautiful snowy mountain tops illuminated by countless stars. I make it a habit of keeping my desktop as clean as possible, so I can always see this message clearly.

Which book has shaped your life or changed the way you think the most?

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckart Tolle. First time I read it, I thought it was BS. Years later, I picked it up, and thought it was amazing. I was like, how did I not understand this the first time? When I read it for the third time, I highlighted almost every sentence. In the book, Tolle shows how our ego works, and how we falsely identify ourselves with our ego. By learning to understand how the ego functions, we can detach from it and experience who we truly are.

How do you start off your day — aka what’s your morning routine?

After moving to and getting set up in Bansko (Bulgaria), a few months ago, I had getting back into a productive work routine. I was able to turn this around by following a daily morning routine, which I’ve now been doing for about 6 weeks. It takes about 45 mins, and includes drinking water, sun salutations, meditation (10 mins), sitting in front of a mirror smiling (5 mins), visualization (5 mins), writing in my gratitude journal, and 30 seconds of ice-cold shower.

What is one thing you do to get motivated?

I’m a strong believer in the power of habits. If you have to rely on motivation / willpower each time you want to get something done, it’s easy to get sidetracked. By creating habits / routines, doing the work becomes almost automatic. I noticed it with my morning routine, for example. I gave myself a pass on Sundays, because that’s my day off. But when I woke up on my third Sunday, I noticed that I still wanted to do my morning routine. That’s the power of habit!

What made you smile today?

A small dog came up to me, super excited, wagging its tail frantically. Dogs are hilarious!

What is something you think everyone should try at least once in their life? Or Name one skill you think everyone should have or learn?

Start over. It’s very liberating and humbling to start from scratch. Yes, it can be scary. We often try to cling to our certainties. However, there is no such thing as certainty: life IS change. Starting over and and realizing that the world doesn’t end is very empowering. It allows you to embrace uncertainty. Next time you are faced with a decision, it will be easier to choose opportunity over fear.

What is one skill or hobby you’ve been meaning to learn but haven’t had time for?

Graphic design

List 3 simple things in life that make you really happy:

  1. Minimalism
  2. Dogs
  3. Long black at Burkta (coffee shop in Punspace, Chiang Mai). I miss it a lot!

What is the best thing that you have done, just because you were told you can’t?

Leaving a successful corporate career to travel through SE Asia, and later settling there and starting to working online. It was difficult at first, but I’m so much happier now!

What is your favourite coworking space and why?

Coworking Bansko! I’ve worked in quite a few coworking spaces, but where Coworking Bansko stands out is the community. Matthias and Uwe (the founders) are excellent hosts, and a driving force behind all the community activities. There’s an event almost every night. Moreover, Bansko and the coworking community are pretty small. This makes it easy to get to know everyone. Also, the facilities are really great.

If you had the opportunity to spend a week or month in another country to be your office of the week/month, where would you go?

I’m really happy where I am. I’ve traveled quite a lot in the past, but I don’t identify with the ‘nomad’ in digital nomad: I like to have a base. I like to explore Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean from here, but it will be a holiday. Won’t be looking for an office there!

Biggest item on your bucket list at the moment?

I don’t have a bucket list, I’m really happy with my life already. One thing I care about is seeing my family more often. It’s one of the reasons why I left Thailand and moved to Bulgaria. One thing I want to do this year is attend my mom’s retirement party.

As a Digital Nomad/Entrepreneur. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?

A speedboat with enough gas, so I could leave asap. Life is too short to be stuck on a deserted island…

What was your first job? Has it shaped where you are today?

Paperboy. From the age of 15, I’ve always had jobs (delivering pizzas, construction, call center agent). In these jobs, I worked with people from all layers of society. Later, when I worked my way up the corporate ladder, these work experiences helped me to stay humble and be respectful to everyone.

What’s your favorite part about coworking?

Meeting like-minded people! Coworking spaces attract a lot of creative people with a positive mindset.

What is your go to pump up song?

Love this remix! 

Anything else you would like to add?

In my first week of travel – now almost 5 years ago – I saw Nick Vujicic live. He’s born without limbs, was able to overcome his feelings of depression and now travels the world inspiring others to embrace life. Afterwards, I wrote in my journal that life is like climbing steep stairs. You can only see the next step, you don’t know where the stairs will take you. But if you keep climbing, and then look back from step 10, you’ll see that every step made sense given where you are now. Years later, I can say that this is exactly what happened in my life. I’ve climbed those steps. Each step looked different. Sometimes it was difficult to leave the step I was on and go to the next. On one step, I had a dropshipping store. On another, I made video courses. On yet another step, I lived on Koh Phangan and practiced a lot of yoga. But looking back, I see how the steps were all connected. Often, the step I was on opened the door to the next one. And I still benefit from everything I’ve learned on every single step.

So, keep climbing the stairs! You never know where you’ll end up…