When your connections don't matter.
This week, I returned to Germany from the ASEAN Digital Economy Summit in Bangkok. And I caught a fever literally the moment I touched down in Frankfurt, quickly followed by my inner voice of paranoia, “it’s Cholera, bye bye beautiful world” – and I already envisioned my family going, “we told you so! But you had to travel to the jungle anyway.”
(We are from the countryside. When I first left Germany for Southeast Asia, one person asked me if Malaysia is the capital of Singapore)
I survived and am spending a few days away from the city in my hometown, where bread is abundant and cheese is cheap. Travelling a lot teaches you to appreciate your roots. It’s a logical thought process, but realisation doesn’t come until you actually experience it yourself. Personally, it also made me learn that keeping a balance is extremely important especially when you spend your life on the road.
I don’t have a home, and it’s not even considered “cool”. There probably is a large group of people within the blockchain space that does not have a base and practically lives in hotels. Times are changing fast, and being a digital nomad is not as extra anymore as one might think.
As for myself, I kind of slid into this form of existence after joining SPINDLE and shifting my entire focus on Blockchain and Fintech. As a blockchain evangelist, I attend conferences and events and speak on stage and online. By now, I have a favourite airport, a favourite airline, a favourite hotel in each city, and I have reduced my belongings to a single suitcase because otherwise this lifestyle would not be liveable.
If you ask me, the good and the bad sides to this kind of lifestyle normally maintain a healthy balance, and just like any other way of living, you need to be up for it if you want to go for it, because it’s not the kind of life you can go about half-heartedly.
One thing about being a long-term traveller, however, I am especially grateful for: it is the chance to get to know different communities all over the world. No matter what industry you work in, each country has its own distinct ways and traits, and you never run out of discoveries. Culture clashes don’t have to be a bad thing. At all.
BlockChats was born in Kuala Lumpur where I was located when the idea came to me, but Blockchain is borderless. So as our team grows and we meet enthusiastic, like-minded people, we are able to set foot in other countries and meet the communities there. This is what we like to do, and it is what we set our eyes on.
It is exciting to see how different people in different countries react to the same question, the same topic, or the same talk. And it teaches us a lot about ourselves within the global community – which I believe to be a very important value. Every day, our planet grows more connected, and the future is bright for those that employ a globalised, open view.
At times, I get cynical comments.
“So you are German… and you want to start a community in Manila… and you don’t live in Manila… So how?”
Obviously, I disagree with the viewpoint, but people that judge you this way will normally not depart from that point of view.
We connect people with a mutual interest, a common passion – that has nothing to do with nationality. So one of our biggest goals is to reach people, everywhere. If the BlockChats community can deliver a valuable connection between a member in Manila and a member in Milan, we have achieved more than we could ask for. If we can give back to tour community in the least as much as our community gives to us, we can count ourselves incredibly lucky.
Community is valued highly among blockchain and cryptocurrency supporters, because our community is small if you put it on the global stage. We know we need to work together, and that great things can come out of such collaboration. But it doesn’t have to be only big companies, only successful entrepreneurs that find their place in an influential global network and accomplish the greatest of ventures. If every individual, no matter how many “right” people they know, can use the power and dynamics of a warm, open community that is spread around all different corners of the globe, to me, that’s next level community.
And tell you what, I wrote this up for a reason. We are looking for community leaders. BlockChats Bali. BlockChats Reykjavik. BlockChats that-town-where-you-once-stopped-on-your-way-to-Warsaw-and-had-amazing-Pierogi.
Supporting the connection of fellow enthusiasts within a community is one of the most rewarding things I have been doing to date. You learn as you go along, about others, about yourself, and it never gets boring. Our community hosts support each other, we help realise each other’s ideas and concepts, we build things, we fail at times, but we wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.
We are looking to grow our team and, step by step, make our next big goals a reality – together with you?
I hope. I’m off to the bakery. Because being away from Germany made me appreciate German bread so. Much. More.
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