Digital Nomads Update 2020

It's been a while since I didn't post on my blog. The time has come.

Started In South

2020 is crazy in many aspects. Luckily it wasn't that bad for me so far. The beginning of the year was great. We've started this year in Thailand, our favorite country in Southeast Asia.

Koh Samui 2020

Soon after that, we planned to move to Slovenia long term by business visa. However, we've changed our minds due to several reasons, mostly because of the bureaucracy and back and forth travels to set things up properly. I mean, we could do that and go over it after some time, but we decided it doesn't worth it.

Ended Up In The Nordic Country

Our decision was just in time, because of the corona situation starting emerging in Europe and other parts of the world. So if we followed our initial plan, then it will be a disaster. Slovenia wouldn't work for us in these circumstances. Anyway, we've managed to move on and find another solution. Long story short, we ended up in Tallinn, Estonia, and I believe it was the best decision we could make. Also, we've managed to buy tickets and arrive before March when things started closing down. Obviously, it wasn't the fun part, but things were not that bad for us. Since essential services were still operating and it was comfy enough to stay in our apartment for a while. Yes, we've managed to rent a place long term during the first week in Tallinn. Just before the lockdown.

Tallinn 2020

Mostly, it was hard mentally than physically to stay in the apartment without much of the movement after crazy 3 years of non-stop travels. Even tho the past year was calmer, and we stayed in one location as much as visas allowed us. So after two months, it started to be unusual for us to stay in one place, not buying any tickets, not packing our stuff and move out for the next location. Instead, we decided to build our home base and workstation, or how I call it "The Startup Corner". So we've managed to order a couple of tables from IKEA and get them delivered before the lockdown.

New work desks

Work, work, work

We focused a lot on our businesses and simply worked through all this time. Even now, we don't go out much. Just because the lockdown eased doesn't mean that it's all ended. Better be safe than sorry. We've managed to order some skateboards to go out and have a little fun time out when it's not a lot of people outside, and the weather is good. It helped a lot in stressful moments and to get back in the work mode faster and recharged.

I was fully immersed in one and only product, my startup SPRY blogging system, and 50% of the time focused on client work. The most stressful part was postponing the beta launch several times. First, I wanted to launch it at the beginning of March, then April, and in real life, it happened just a couple of days ago in the second part of May. So, yeah, I'm writing this article using the stable version of [SPRY] (http://spry.blog), and so far, it works amazing.

SPRY blogging system

The reason I was postponing it several times is that it was simply broken almost every time before the deadline I set, and as a result, I re-wrote some of the core functionality. I believe, mostly, this is because I'm not a coder, but this product requires me to know a lot about the back end and front end. So I had a million obstacles on my way of building it. I think the only thing that made me stick to it is the passion and a desire to solve this problem of independent blogging and creating your own platform.

It's started to look like a finish as soon as I coded the installer that allows you to set up SPRY on hosting, but right after that, I had a couple more obstacles that forced me to change one of the core things.

Now, SPRY is ready and in public beta state. Feel free to check it out if you're interested.

So that was my main focus this year. I still have a lot of work on this project, but it less intense as of now.

I've managed to work on one mini-project in between all the things I had this spring. Basically, this corona crisis came to Europe and the West, and I decided to make my contribution as a designer and maker. So I've built a simple website that gets corona stats data using an API and draws the pins with numbers on the interactive map. Also, I've added some useful tips on how to stay safe.

CVD mini-project with visual corona stats

Despite the fact that it took me just 3 days to build it from scratch, I've learned new technologies and that I think is priceless. Also, one unique thing (I hope no one hasn't copied yet) is that I have a slider on top that helps to see visually how the stats changed depending on the date. I believe it helps to understand the dynamics of the spread. Not sure yet how it might help the situation, but that's something I wanted to experiment with. I didn't buy a new domain for this project and just published it under a subdomain on my website. Of course, I might change my mind if I see more potential in it in the future.

You can check the CVD stats website on http://cvd.maxsnitser.com if you're interested.

Future Plans

It's hard to plan for the future these days, but I have some plans for this summer mostly related to upcoming products I will be working on. This is something I can control on my side. So I think it's wise to focus on this area. All travel plans are canceled at the moment. Things are in a weird stage now. I have some plans for local travels, but I'm still waiting for one thing to start doing the first steps in that direction. This should be interesting, adventurous, and worth sharing, and I'm very looking forward to it.

Anyway, I'm going to write in my blog more often as of now. In fact, I have some cool drafts in notes that I can easily transform into blog posts.

I hope you're doing well on the other side of the screen.

Stay healthy and inspired no matter what, and have a great week!

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Author

Max Snitser

Max is a digital product designer and indie maker. He helps some of the best companies in the world to build products used by Millions. He is a creator of the SPRY Blogging Platform, Nightfall Design System, and the Design Patterns Library. Besides his technical background, he is a writer of the book about Independent design business. Also, created this blog as a domain for the most thorough and data-driven content on topics: Design, Remote Work, Blogging, and Technologies.