I stayed at The Surf Office Santa Cruz (California) for a few weeks which is a great place for digital nomads like me.
They interviewed me about the digital nomad life I am living.
You've been traveling around the world and working remotely for a year. What kind of dream job do you have?
I have the chance to be a digital entrepreneur.
I co-founded 2 years ago a startup company called Speecheo, a web-app to help speakers make their speeches matter while helping attendees have a better learning.
This allows me to do my job while being location-independent.
I decided to seize this chance to travel and to discover some of the amazing gifts the world has to offer to us.
Tell us more about your "journey"
It all started 2 years ago at a hackathon in Paris where I met my actual partners at Speecheo. After a few months, we were selected to join Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Paris.
Once the acceleration program was completed, my first trip began.
I decided to go to San Francisco to find opportunities for Speecheo and meet the Silicon Valley ecosystem. I stayed there one month, met startups, partners, investors and participated in several startup contests.
We were then selected to join the Lisbon Challenge Accelerator for 3 months. Apart from the business side which was essential, I fell deeper into the traveler mindset. I loved the lifestyle I was discovering in Lisbon: a beautiful city, excellent weather, extremely friendly people, and great surfing conditions. I really enjoyed all of these and connected even more to the local culture, starting to learn Portuguese and also Forró, a Brazilian dance popular there.
I just loved this unique experience as it made me grow a lot as a human being. It also gave me the taste for more adventures.
After a quick "London roadshow" trip organized by the Lisbon Challenge, I went back to France to see my friends and family.
My previous travel experiences validated the fact that I could to work with my partners remotely. And I felt I had to seize this opportunity to continue to discover more amazing cultures and countries.
So after one month back in France, I decided to start my current round the world trip. This was 2 months ago.
It all started with the "US Roadshow" organized by the Lisbon Challenge to meet investors, accelerators and gigantic internet companies. We started by San Francisco and ended up in Boston. Everybody went back to Europe except 2 persons: a friend of mine who was living there and me. I stayed there a few weeks. Then went to New Orleans, an amazing city with all its music and good vibes.
Then I went to Las Vegas as Speecheo had been selected at a startup competition at IMEX, the biggest conference in the world for event planners. There we won the first price which gave us a really good media exposure without paying a cent.
Then I decided to go to Santa Cruz, as I wanted to discover a new concept called "The Surf Office"...
My next destinations are going to be Central & Latin America
You're a big fan of coworking concept. Which are your 3 favorite coworking spaces you've visited so far?
NUMA - Paris (France)
This is a good example of a co-working space initiated by a non-profit association (Silicon Sentier) and financed by a public institution (the French Government) and other patners.
Whenever I was in Paris, this was my home base.
It is a place gathering a free and a paying co-working space, the most know French accelerator: Le Camping and a floor experimenting on innovative concepts like big data, 3D printing and so on.
It is the best spot to meet people in the Parisian startup ecosystem.
This is a good example of a co-working space created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.
The initiators of this Lisbon Innovation Kluster are Joana Rafael & Vasco Portugal.
They were studying in Boston and saw several coworking places which inspired them to do the same thing in Lisbon.
They provide several resources for entrepreneurs:
a cool and design coworking place
a community of professionals (dev, designers...)
with possibilities to share & exchange competencies
Capital One 360 Café
This is a good example of a co-working space created by a private company.
This place, owned the Capital One bank, is my favorite coworking place in San Francisco for its wood and industrial design. It is also quite huge too, as there are 3 levels. Furthermore, it is totally free! You don’t even have to order anything from the bar.
And I have a fourth one:
The Surf Office Santa Cruz
but you already know it :)
How do you keep your body and mind in shape during your traveling?
yoga, surf, meditation, running...
I think it is extremely important to have a good balance in life.
If you don't take care enough of your body, mind, and soul, it can be really hard to release your full potential and to put all of your energy in realizing your dreams.
Whenever I travel, I try to find places which allows me to practice my favorite sports: surf and kitesurf. As a backup plan, I also run, as it is the simplest sport ever: you just need a short and a pair of shoes.
I am also a big fan of Yoga, which I discovered earlier this year. It is an excellent activity to improve on your flexibility and work on your breath. It is really powerful to release your stress.
Thanks to Yoga, I also discovered meditation.
Even if I started practicing recently, It is a real revelation for me.
I see it as a practice to calm the mind by focusing on your breath but also to work on your spirituality.
We have so many things going on on our minds all the time, and it's good to have a tool to relax our brain.
"Mindfulness" is one of the root pillars of meditation. It is the idea of being fully "in the moment" and as a consequence trying to avoid the interruptions. This is extremely important in both my personal and professional life.
Another side-effect is starting to listen to your intuition more by lowering the weight of your mind in your decisions.
You can also work on trying to be a better person which is not that bad either.
What software do you use to communicate with others?
gmail, rapportive, slack, basecamp, todo apps...
At Speecheo, we use extensively Google tools: gmail (just switched to Google Inbox and I'm loving it), hangouts, google drive.
We use rapportive, a gmail plugin, which is an extremely powerful tool to know the company and job position of people based on their email addresses.
For project management we use Slack, a group chat with categories.
To communicate with friends and family I also use Facetime a lot, which is super easy to use. The cool thing with it is that you don't really need to plan anything, you just call!
The article is available here:
Bunch Of Positive Energy And One Backpack: Raphael