Nomadic News: December 29, 2013

Greetings from Saigon. I’ve just returned to Vietnam after a few weeks back “home” in Melbourne. It was great to go back after an absence of a year and a half. I like noticing what has changed after being away for a while, and it was weird to hear the Australian accent everywhere. Wow, do I really sound like that?!

I also noticed that Australia is still terrible when it comes to public wifi. Melbourne has one of the coolest cafe scenes in the world (and I think I say that without any home-town bias), yet none of the dozen cafes I went to offered wifi. If you want to do some work you will need to buy portable wifi from one of the mobile phone companies, which will set you back about $30 a month. I didn’t publish a Nomadic News while I was in Australia as I went on a road trip without such a device, and I’m only now getting back on top of my inbox. So, my office of the week award doesn’t go to any place in Melbourne.

Here is the last Nomadic News for 2013!

Location Independence

Why your friends shape your happiness, creativity, and career – It’s not what you know, it’s where you are.

The Realities of a Location Independent Life

7 ‘digital nomads’ explain how they live, work and travel anywhere in the world – by The Next Web.

Dream lifestyle — workdays of a traveling UX designer

Cost Of Living

What it costs to live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – An interview I did with Cheapest Destinations Blog.

What living on $20 a day looks like

Air Travel

What international air travel was like in the 1930s

Inside Led Zeppelin’s private jet, 1973

Office Of The Week

Kita Cafe - Ho Chi Minh City

Kita Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


  1. I don’t suppose you’ll still be there in mid-January? Would be great to see you again!

  2. john obrien says:

    hi james,
    yes i can believe your lack of wifi in melbourne comments,fremantle is the same! full of good cafes but only a few with wifi.very slow to change.whereas my home now is manila,supposedly a country,but almost all cafes with free wifi.starbucks of course is an exception ,they charge extra.i’m not a starbucks person anyway.
    best to you for 2014.

  3. I was hoping to catch up with you late Jan early Feb, when will you be back in Vietnam? I will be in Ho Chi Minh around the 1st of Feb for a few days then Ha Noi for a few days around the 7th

  4. Hi James –

    I definitely agree about Melbourne’s lack of wifi (and price of dongles) leaving much to be desired. But happily I also agree that it has a fantastic cafe scene! I lived there for a year as a student, and I think one of my favourite cafes was the State Library cafe – they do fantastic chai lattes.

    Do you have a favourite Melbourne cafe? I loved all of the cake shops in St Kilda, too, but they’re a little on the pricey side for me!

  5. Hi James,

    I just arrived in HCM as well – first time! Thanks for all the cafe recommendations. Right now I’m really on the fence about staying or heading back to Chiang Mai. I’d love to grab a coffee while you’re in town, talk about what you love here and of course make a new friend.

    Wishing you a happy New Year and looking forward to more Nomadic Notes in 2014.


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