Outdoor area of Jagalchi market, Busan.
I will intersperse thoughts that may not be related to the pictures throughout the article. This is partly because my vocabulary and fact bank is only so wide when it comes to describing the visual scenery of this day.
A Twosome Place in Nampo-dong is a cafe perfect for work and study
This day began with a practice I’ve been developing recently. It helps me to plan my time and narrow my focus on the tasks that matter. Minimising action or movement during the first 10 minutes of my awakeness, I mentally visualised the sequence of tasks I wanted done.
After arranging my energy around the clear objectives for the day, I took a moment to appreciate and think of what I’m grateful for. Standing in a high floor of an apartment block in Busan’s Nampo-dong area, I am fortunate to not just to have a view of the city, but also the freedom to determine the outlook of my future.
A quote has recently replayed itself in my head: “Hardwork beats talent when talent does not work hard”. Like a metronome ticking its regular beat, I believe that persistence and discipline breeds success.
Today I decided to switch-up my routine.
Whereas usually I would work for hours inside my Airbnb first, today I wasn’t fuelled by a lot of sleep and thought it best for a more stimulating surrounding to kick-start my workday. I walked through the streets of Gwangbok-ro fashion district (noticing that many Korean businesses are not early-risers) and arrived at my preferred cafe this week.
As part of the topic that discipline and hardwork breeds success, it’s equally important to choose the right environment to work in. To accomodate full utilisation of our mental resources, it’s helpful to have a coffee house like A Twosome Place.
There's a large outdoor section of Jagalchi Market, known for lively auctions and dried seafood
This gem of a cafe is spacious and designed for long seating times. There are seats made for romantic couples and dedicated tables made for those less-romantically coupling with their laptop. A Twosome Place on 40 Gudeok-ro in Nampo-dong has a polished menu of desserts (including tiramisu), teas, milkshakes, smoothies and coffees.
Part of being a digital nomad is being able to detach from your physical surroundings and immerse yourself completely into your work. This, as I’ve discovered, can be challenging and opposes the idealistic image that many people have: that digital nomads are living the best life.
The reality is that a sacrifice is constantly being made. I’ve found that time can only necessarily (not limitlessly) be spent on exploring the city, because in essence I am presiding over a digital shop. In the same way that a hairdresser cannot leave their salon for too long (in case a customer walks in), I cannot leave my digital shop for too long.
For reference, I run a digital consultancy. Day-to-day, I support the running of small businesses in Sydney, Australia. This entails that my messaging platforms are regularly buzzing with updates from clients and stakeholders. From the tasks I manage to clear off my plate, small gaps of time appear. Precious time which I can use to explore the city.
Bringing us back to the material world, I was glad to stroll around Nampo-dong this afternoon, namely in the areas of BIFF Square and Gwangbok-ro Fashion Street. The former is named after Busan International Film Festival, and is a famous area for local street food like tteokbokki, mandu, rice cakes in soup, and grilled meat skewers. It’s a lively part of Jung-gu where locals and tourists visit all year round. If you like shopping, Gwangbok-ro buzzes with commercial activity until late night. It’s comparable to Seoul’s Myeongdong.
Part of my gratitude in working from abroad stems from being able to close my laptop after a satisfying session, stepping out of the cafe, and immersing myself in the foreignness of a different city’s sights, sounds and smells. A Twosome Place is nestled in the busy backstreets of Nampo-dong, where karaoke bars, restaurants and a variety of independent businesses are liveliest at night.
I bought a simple dinner at the supermarket in Gwangbok Lotte Department store. A handy tip: you might as well purchase rubbish bags here and use them to carry your groceries home. Context is that in South Korea, each household must put their rubbish in specialised bags, which differ in price according to the volume they hold. From memory, a 20-litre bag costs around 0.9 AUD.