The Field Study Handbook by Jan Chipchase is for anyone who has traveled and felt missed opportunities. Conversations that fell short of their potential. Questions left unanswered. Experiences that didn’t feel quite right. This handbook was designed to help you connect to the world out there in new ways.
People are looking for meaning in what they do. There is a more equitable, inclusive and empathic way of engaging the world out there. This is a call for remembering what makes us human. I wanted to create an artifact, a beautiful thing that takes up space in your life and nudges you with its presence.
I wanted to create an artifact. A beautiful thing. That takes up space in your life. And nudges you with its presence. To travel, and experience the world with an open mind, and fresh eyes. So that when you return you are ready to shape the world. There’s a bigger mission here than simply how to conduct research. That reframes the relationship between those who make things and those who consume them.
You end up with a lot of people who want to travel and learn and be empathic, but they’re not really being truthful about their intent. Basically ask yourself, why am I doing this? And be honest about the answer.
When I first started out, I felt like I always had to be “go, go, go.” One month here, a week or two there, and although I enjoyed the adventurous aspect, that sort of pace is not sustainable, at least not for me. The more I traveled and the more nomads I met in co-working and co-living spaces, I found a lot of them traveled at a slower pace.
The most successful nomads — either financially or those who have been maintaining a nomadic life for years — all have a home base (or two) somewhere where they spend 3 to 6 months on average. The rest of the time, they travel and work from other locations. So, I think that there’s this sort of misconception that to be nomadic you have to constantly be on the move and that is just not the case.
Does that phrase startle you? It floored me the first time I heard it from Mara Zepeda, a thriving Portland, OR entrepreneur. From my big company days, I’d regarded networking as a pretty relentless, sterile exercise. Go to a conference, collect business cards. Call 20 “contacts” and be satisfied if anyone engages at all.
The comforts of a big company logo and a shared contact management system could keep me going forever. Flying solo, however, that hard-nosed old system falls apart.
I found myself swapping favors with other strivers, hoping that time and trust would take us to a good place. We started with trifles like restaurant recommendations or a few minutes of editing advice on a blog post; eventually, we teamed up on everything from high-profile speaking engagements to a hike across the Grand Canyon. We owned up to our vulnerabilities and created opportunities for each other.
The result: friendships across America (and England!) that straddled work and our off-duty identities in ways I hadn’t expected.
To manage our cities, we need a work culture that encourages mobility, balances profits with purpose, and values autonomy. Cities need a workforce that can meet challenges where they are. My latest for HuffPost looks at how a distributed workforce can provide the fuel urban initiatives need to take off running.
The platform economy has the potential to be wildly democratizing, because more transparent networks for finding work should mean larger numbers of people getting new opportunities. But many of these platforms don’t let workers have any control over their reputations.
Those of us striving to organize workers in the online economy have to build a theory for reputation portability and protection into our other work. We can’t let reputation management become disaggregated from the platforms on which workers get work. We should build organizations that can evolve as the tech work evolves.
Our selection is based on criteria like affordability, coolness/quirkiness, food scene & nightlife, proximity to adventure & nature and its cultural landscape. A typical Travelettes city has a cool vibe with loads to do and plenty of close-by weekend getaways. Not all are dirt-cheap, but they are certainly vibrant, rich in culture and perfect for young people who want to live la dolce vita!
I wanted to provide a resource page for those who want to know what’s out there. Not just for travel bloggers or food writers, but for anyone seeking to build a flexible life in their own way. This includes not just digital nomads, but also work and travel visas, volunteer work and much more.
I failed as a digital nomad. I’m packing it up and heading home. Before I continue, let’s set some things straight: 1. I am NOT blaming my failure on the digital nomad lifestyle; 2. I am still 100% committed to both travel and creating a life I love, on my terms. I am heading home to re-strategize, learn from my mistakes, and get back out there. So, what happened? What were the mistakes I made as a digital nomad, and how can you learn from them?
Access to 100+ million free wifi hotspots, connect with other nomads to get advice or organize meetups, browse the world’s largest transit app supporting more than 1,200 cities in 70+ countries, find or organize co-living arrangements and more.