I stumbled upon Draper Startup House accidentally.
In 2020, I had found myself in Singapore on a tourist visa, and then suddenly on a mad scramble to find a job in tech. I landed one in media at a small startup backed by Chinese investors and a Singaporean local entity. We featured tech news within the venture capital and startup space.
Through this role, I met the friendly folks at Draper Startup House in Singapore. They were a fun, eccentric bunch of people who had pivoted the space from a hostel/co-working space to a community center and co-working space for entrepreneurs coming through the city state. Everyone was building something cool; the space was relaxed and cozy, with no pretenses and everyone came to learn and share what they were building. Lunch was served daily for free and I loved the cozy atmosphere we all hung out in. Calls were being taken out in the open, and discussions happening across the space. You could feel the buzz and the energy in the space; venture capitalists and entrepreneurs milling in and out at random times throughout the day.
I ended up growing a great partnership with them for Asian Wander Women, my online community of 1900+ venturing Asian women. We had our own meetup events there, hosting a panel and workshop of speakers.
You get to meet people from all backgrounds and culture at Draper Startup House, many of which are digital nomads and traveling while building their own thing or working remotely for a company. I love that travel is a common theme that threads all of us together; there’s a certain type of openness and energy you get from people who love to travel and see the world.
Important questions I commonly got asked were:
1. How do I make money while traveling?
I generally advise thinking of a few points, which include: 1) what do people come for me that they need help with? 2) What are some interests I could try and experiment with to make money? I realized that if you’re able to have a deeper knowledge of something, you can monetize off your knowledge and help others who want to learn something from you.
2. What insurance or safety precautions should I be taking when traveling and working at the same time?
I suggest trying SafetyWing Insurance, which was what I used last year after leaving the fintech company I was at. Health really dictates the course of your life, so I paid for health insurance in case anything happened. You can subscribe to continuous coverage and travel to multiple countries with one policy. You get medical coverage for if you are in an accident or fall sick and need medical assistance while outside your home country.
3. How do I combat loneliness?
This is such an interesting topic. As someone who has learned how to be alone during the pandemic in a new country, I realize how important it is to learn how to be alone so you can be whole first. There’s no one who can complete you, nor should the expectations of other people bog you down. Loneliness is an epidemic in some ways, and the best way to combat it is to learn how to be alone first and be okay with yourself first. Your mind is your home, and there’s no escaping that. If you don’t like yourself, how do you expect others to? It was a lot of journaling, reading, thinking, and doing internal reflection about myself, as well as taking myself on outings, dates, and being kind to myself.
I also became very intentional with the kind of people I wanted to seek out and surround myself with. I was open to meeting all kinds of people, but eventually narrowed it down to people whose traits I wanted to exhibit myself, which included kindness, genuinity, and knowledgeable about something I didn’t know.
To save money on remote work spaces while traveling, check out SafetyWing’s coworking collection. They also have certain discounts for SafetyWing members!