So here I am, sat on the plane en-route from London to Moscow, embarking upon the first step of a very exciting personal journey. One where I see if I can make my life work as a ‘CX Nomad’. I am taking myself off on a life adventure, backpacking solo through Asia, (with the intention of working remotely). I may sound like quite the intrepid traveller, but my travel experiences so far haven’t been of the backpacking variety. I have always taken the easy options, staying in all the nicest places and having someone else make the arrangements for me.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve been getting more adventurous… and took some life changing trips when my fledgling career as a keynote speaker began to take off and whilst still employed in the corporate wold began getting gigs in amazing places like Australia and New Zealand. The NZ trip was the one in particular that changed my life, as I for the first time ever I took 6 weeks off and either side of a weeks work of speaking gigs, travelled to Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as a tour of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island. Right at the end of my trip, visited the Gilli Islands, and one hot August evening, watching the sun go down over Bali, with salty hair, bare feet and a sense of peace I’d never imagined possible, I knew I couldn’t go back to my old life in the rat race, and that something had to change. Fast forward 3 months, I’d made the biggest decision of my life. Quit what was on the surface a successful career, and started CMX.
In 2018 I was lucky enough to get a couple of gigs in South Africa and this year spent 12 weeks adventuring in SA, Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania. But bar the speaking gigs, only flirted with digital ‘nomadding’ by keeping up to date on emails and having a few remote Sypke meetings. This time I wanted to try something different. I wanted to travel in a more challenging way, keep working whilst simultaneously tick off my bucket list. So now it’s just me, my rather overfilled backpack and my MacBook and a sense of real trepidation.
When I told my friends what I was planning, they all laughed and said things like ‘I can’t imagine you staying in a hostel’ ‘You won’t like it’ and ‘The thought of you lugging a rucksack around on public transport’ and ‘LOL’ But I didn’t let that put me off.
But what’s a CX Nomad I hear you ask? For clarification CX is an abbreviation if Customer Experience, and thats what I consult on for work. And you’ve probably all heard the term digital nomad, a phrase coined to define millennial web developers and copy writers who make their way around the world, working wherever they find themselves? Well I’m seeing if slightly older CX consultants can have a slice of the pie too.
I’m guess I’m not your typical millennial. For starters, I’m 37 years old…But despite the age gap, I like to think I share enough characteristics with my young travelling compatriots of Gen Z to not make this a completely ridiculous exercise. (Stops to think about that for a second… I am single, travelling solo, with a backpack. I use more emojis than words, Instagram all the best bits of my life, use insta stories and GIF’s) but that’s probably where the comparisons stop. I’m also technically a grown up. I have mortgages, bills to pay, a cat. and all of the trappings of a successful career back home, including my year old start-up to look after.
OMG I Literally just had a mini melt down as I typed that, thinking as many people have told me… Clare, you must be mad doing this right now.
But here I am, jetting off on a low-cost airline, with less luggage than I’ve ever had, feeling remarkably free.
Did I mention I haven’t actually booked anything bar flights after the Moscow stop? It’s all part of the adventure!