Sophie Zebra originally from Poland a happy homeless since September 2015. She’s a digital artist/animator working on a fixed contract, 9-5, but remotely and getting into fun and awkward situations after hours.
What are you working on right now?
A mobile game and it’s all I can tell for now.
What is your current desktop wallpaper? and why?
It’s a picture of a lantern during a beautiful sunset on Koh Tao. I like the tones and it’s pretty clear on the edges so it doesn’t mess with my icons and desktop notes.
Which book has shaped your life or changed the way you think the most?
I don’t have any particular book I could say did that for me. I’m mostly into horror, thriller, ghosts and serial killers, so it’s even better, that those books don’t affect me 😉
What is one thing you do to get motivated?
I let myself get mesmerized by other people’s success: I scroll down Instagram, read articles about those young and successful entrepreneurs and then give myself a figurative slap in the face: “Wake up, it’s possible, now your turn!” and I get to work.
What made you smile today?
My masseuse! After walking all the way from China Town she gave me the best foot massage I’ve ever had. I love Thailand.
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?
READING MAPS! And organising your time. I had no idea how lost and unorganised some people are.
What is one skill or hobby you’ve been meaning to learn but haven’t had time for?
Playing the saxophone. I dreamed of taking it as my second instrument but unfortunately, according to my teachers, the piano I played then was time-consuming enough.
List 3 simple things in life that make you really happy:
2. likeminded people
3. being productive
What is the best thing that you have done, just because you were told you can’t?
I left 😀 After just a month of my remote work in my previous company I was craving for more. “I believe it’s not the very end, but the very beginning”, I said to myself leaving Bangkok for the first time. I asked my boss if he was happy with the way I worked from Asia. “Yes! Some of us didn’t even realise you weren’t sitting in the office.”- “Great! So can I go once again?”. The answer was no. I was told that from then on when I’m not in the office – I’m not paid. So I left for a 3-month “vacation” not knowing how will I cope with coming back to the office routine afterwards and hoping my small savings will be enough. When I was somewhere between Laos and Cambodia The Magic happened: “We’ve heard your story and we’d like you to work for us. And we don’t care where you’re going to be, for us you can work remotely” read the message on LinkedIn. And just like that my “very beginning” begun happening.
What is your favorite coworking space and why?
There are 3 coworking places I like (and also, I believe I still haven’t seen enough to be a fair judge in this case. Tao Hub for the lovely warm atmosphere guaranteed by Moe who runs the place. Beachub on Phangan, because I love Phangan and wonderful sunsets I can observe there not leaving my desk even for a second. KoHub on Lanta – because of the insane amount of curious, hard-working people who were making me social even if I was the grumpiest Sophie ever – asking about your work, sharing experiences and being very inspiring.
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 have this opportunity 24/7 so when I want to go somewhere I just go. But a dream I cannot accomplish just like that would be to move to an amazing office somewhere in downtown San Francisco or lower Manhattan. Shiny, modern, prestigious and expensive – but someone would have to pay for all this 😉 I sometimes miss working in a real office, having my desk, lunch breaks, casual Fridays and company meetings. But it’s been more than two years of working on the beach so I guess it’s just the “grass is always greener on the other side” case. But I’d definitely go for it – for a month.
Biggest item on your bucket list at the moment?
Most recent and super doable is the chicken shaped church in Indonesia. Besides the unusual church, I’d love to go somewhere “weird”. Half of the Instagram did Hawaii this year, the Bahamas – it’s all good, but too popular. I’m thinking about coconut islands. Sounds delicious, I love coconuts, cool name it’s enough of an excuse to go.
As a Digital Nomad/Entrepreneur. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you have and why?
A device magically connected to the Internet, mosquito repellent and infinite amounts of red wine.. With a computer and the internet you can do a lot: stay in touch with people, invest on a stock market, write a blog…or a book. I opened my UK company while being in Mexico – the Internet is an enormous power and I’m deeply in love with it. Mosquito repellent – they simply love me and if there was even a single mosquito on the island it would find and bite me. And a bottle a day keeps the doctor away 🙂
What was your first job? Has it shaped where you are today?
I’ve never worked in a bar or McDonalds. When I turned 11 I decided I’m gonna be a graphic designer and so it stayed – more or less. My first job ever was as a web designer. It helped me becoming agiler in Photoshop that’s my most important software till now and it’s been 10 years already- my longest relationship 🙂
Any advice for your previous boss?
Trust people and open your eyes for the future solutions: not sitting in the office doesn’t mean being less productive, but might mean something significantly opposite: no cigarette breaks, no small talk breaks, no company lunch breaks and other – but working 8 hours straight in a nicer environment that helps you staying creative.
What’s your favorite part about coworking?
The atmosphere of work and creativity. The possibility to gather like-minded and interesting people in one place People who broke the mould and left their comfort zones. The energy of such places is amazing. Plus, convenience. Office chairs, good Internet connection, sometimes the possibility to rent a screen, order food. All of these in beautiful surroundings.
Anything else you would like to add?
Happy New Year! Dream big, aim high, work hard. I secretly hope that people will finally notice the difference between office workers and digital nomads, the real difference. Digital nomading isn’t lying on the beach and procrastinating with a laptop on your lap. It’s working and travelling together – living two lives at once. Another thing: usually, in the office you face millions of distractions: coffee breaks, lunches, cigarette breaks, discussions with your coworkers that you’ve known for ages…When it comes to digital nomads, everyone is focused on their work. Everyone CARES. Also, when the hardware fails it’s ours, not someone else’s problem, no IT to report it to. Digital Nomads are those who dare to dream and work extremely hard to turn this dream into reality.