Tales from the Road: A Designer’s Journey Across South-East Asia
Hey, design enthusiasts! Tara here, with my report from the chaotic yet incredibly inspiring world of a digital designer on the move. I’ve just returned from an epic adventure across Thailand, Singapore, and a few other stops that I’m bursting to share with you. So grab a coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the whirlwind that was TaraOnTour 2023.
Highlights: Thai Tastes and Singaporean Skylines
Thailand – A Culinary Oasis
Picture this: endless Hawker stalls, warm smiles, and food that dances on your taste buds. Thailand, you stole my heart! Green curry for less than a couple of quid? Sign me up. And don’t get me started on the beer. The Thai people are as laid back as their cuisine is flavourful. Note to self: attempt a green curry design back in the studio.
Singapore – The Safe Skyline
Now, let’s talk Singapore. If safety had a capital, this city-state would be it. Sure, it’s pricier than my Thai escapades, but the Mass Rapid Transport system is a design marvel. And speaking of design, Singapore’s skyline is like a digital artist’s dream – skyscrapers galore. Shoutout to Grab for being my trusty sidekick in navigating this concrete jungle.
Place I’m Most Likely to Return to: Koh Phi Phi
Ah, Koh Phi Phi, you gem of an island! Where some of the film The Beach was filmed. No cars, just water taxis and a view that’ll make your heart skip a beat. Diving in crystal-clear waters, encountering giant jellyfish, although sadly missing out on the local leopard sharks – the underwater world here is a designer’s palette of inspiration.
Connections: More Than Just Pixels
Moving beyond pixels and screens, meeting clients in person in Inmarsat’s Singapore office was incredibly rewarding. Emails and video calls can only do so much; there’s magic in real-life connections. Crafting relationships is as crucial as designing visuals. Here’s to fostering bonds into 2024 and beyond!
Expos: Where Design meets Maritime
Maritime expos in South-East Asia – a glimpse into a world that’s not quite as design-focused. Low-key stands of mostly white shell schemes with a few posters or pop-ups. Note to maritime pals: design your expo space like a cozy coffee shop, not a sterile office. Soft chairs, coffee machines, and a relaxed vibe – that’s how you draw people in. Remember, #GoodDesignSells.
Take-away: Luxury Isn’t Always Comfort
Lesson learned: Don’t book a five-star hotel just because its cheap, a five-star hotel doesn’t guarantee a five-star experience. Jakarta’s luxury didn’t quite match my style. Noise, pollution, and a lack of connection made me realize that sometimes, simplicity trumps opulence.
Digital Nomad Diaries:
Lockdown proved that remote working was achievable for me and this lead to the dream to work and travel. As a digital nomad, I embraced the freedom of working from anywhere, with the added bonus of our overseas clients enjoying the expanded studio hours, from the usual 10-6 GMT to almost 24-hour cover, with Alan remaining in the UK and me being 7-8 hours ahead.
An e-sim became my travel companion, ensuring I was always connected, even on the beach. Wi-Fi hiccups? No worries – 4G and 5G have got my back. And kudos to Airalo for being the unsung hero of connectivity.
More Tips: Navigating Nomadic Life
Travel insurance: Make sure you have a policy that covers a longer duration than your average holiday. Laptop cover: Check the detail – laptops are only covered if they are one year old or less. And if you’re rocking the Apple Watch Ultra, consider yourself one step ahead in the travel game. Safety, connectivity, and dive logs in one sleek gadget – talk about a designer’s dream!
What’s Next: TaraOnTour 2024
TaraOnTour 2023 was a blast, but the road never ends. 2024 might see me exploring the Caribbean, Cuba, and Mexico. Asia, fear not – Bali, Cambodia, and Vietnam are still on the bucket list. Plans for adventure continue, and, as with design, keep evolving.
For now, I am back in the Studio, reflecting on an amazing opportunity, and looking forward to discussing design requirements for our clients for 2024.
If you’d like to chat to us about your design needs for 2024, drop us a line at StoneDesign@saltwater-stone.com