Travelling non-stop is overrated, with Chris

What makes us stay somewhere? It's often hard to pinpoint what gets a traveller to put down their luggage and decide to settle in a place with no end in sight. And then... What makes us leave again?

Chris is Irish. You’d have a hard time not to notice it, with his bright red hair, his accent and his uncanny ability to turn any encounter into a riveting tale.

But when he’s busy not being so Irish, Chris gladly embraces another cliche. He becomes the no-holidays entrepreneur, who works until 2AM, and eats at weird hours, random food bought at the corner 7/11.

With their similar addiction to caffeine, Seoul’s weird and kind, and charming people have seduced him. A week-long visit has turned into four months, and maybe will soon become a two-year Digital Nomad visa...

How long have you been traveling?

Four or five years? I’ve traveled all around non-stop since then. I stayed by myself sometimes, but I mostly lived in colivings and shared houses.

Is it the first time in your digital nomad life that you want to settle for a while?

It’s not the first time I’ve stayed somewhere. I never plan or book more than 30 days ahead. (laugh) Sometimes, I like the people and I just extend and extend and extend…

One of Chris's longest stay was in the Canaries, where he made himself at home in another coliving.

It’s the people who make you stay, never the place?

When you’ve traveled to many countries, you’ve seen a temple, a beach, a forest, after a while it’s all the same. So, a 100% of the time, when I stay, it’s been because of people. That said, it is the first time that I’ve been looking seriously at a two year visa. I don’t even go to big cities! I came to Seoul because I thought I would be here for a week and leave and… I can’t believe it’s been 4 months already.

What do you like so much about Korea?

Quite a lot. I don’t think it’s perfect, I don’t think anywhere is perfect. There’s easier, cheaper places in the world to be, with better weather and less pollution. People always talk about how ‘convenient’ Seoul is, but Bangkok, for example, has convenience. For me, why it's so special is the nomads that I’ve come across. And the Korean people. There’s been a bit of a cultural jump. (laugh) I’m very used to talking to strangers in the street for example, and I couldn’t really do that here. But Korea has a mixture of politeness and respect, and being down to earth that I like. It's also great that people can be rude to you. They don't fake politeness: if they don't like you, they'll show it. Which means that when they’re kind to you they seem to genuinely mean it. This is something I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the same way.

You didn’t start your trip in Korea from Seoul, actually, but Busan…

I stayed one month in Busan. I didn’t find much of a digital nomad culture there, so I mostly went to a Jujitsu club, where I met some foreigners and some locals. We’d try to strangle each other and then go together for lunch. (laugh) It was fun but I was quickly ready to move on. I went up to Seoul, met friends for a few days and then I think I had two or three days where I was alone. It’s funny because I’ve been traveling solo for years and I often get a place by myself and it never bothers me. But in Seoul, it was barely 48 hours of loneliness and I don’t know why, I just felt it more. It hit me hard, I didn’t like it.

Working-ish with Harry...

Why do you think you felt so alone?

I’ve been to many places like Korea where you can find and forge your own community. And I’ve had years of doing that. But in Korea it would be harder to build this solid ground. It just takes longer to get to know people here. And that’s why I would have left if not for Digital Nomads Korea. I would have felt too lonely.

What happened?

It was so random. A friend of mine told me about Digital Nomads Korea. I sent a DM on Instagram, to know if there was space in the Hoppin House coliving. I had the phone in one hand and the keyboard of my computer under the other. I was ready to book the next flight out of the country - to anywhere. Honestly, it was a matter of minutes. But then I just got the answer that there was a room available at Hoppin House coliving and the next day I moved in.

You’ve stayed in many Colivings in the world. Is Hoppin any different?

It’s great fun to live in Hoppin. It’s different from a lot of coliving I’ve stayed in before because it’s directly connected to the coworking office. It’s made me a lot more productive than in many other places. Also, I’ve noticed Korea attracts a good healthy mix of cool people, which is not always the case. Sometimes you go someplace and there’s only one type of people - crypto, AI, entrepreneurs. I like when there’s so much variety, it’s fun to get to know what people are working on. It’s equal part productive and social, it makes everything easier.

How did you go from casual stay to wanting to settle here though?

It was maybe the next morning after I turned up at Hoppin? It was February. I had met two other colivers, and we were sitting outside in the snow, wearing t-shirts under the big puffy jackets. I watch these two kids in a snowball fight. One of them is six, maybe, and the other four. They’re obviously brothers, their mother is filming them, and the older kid is standing over the younger one. He’s got his arms raised, ready to drop a snowball bigger than his head… It was so wholesome, but what made it better was that he didn’t drop it. He was waiting for his brother to make a snowball to fight back. I thought - if that were me, that kid would be wearing that snowball, hell, I’d already be halfway through the next one! I’d not be giving him a second to arm himself. (laugh) But I watched this kid give his brother a chance, and I thought, that kind of scene is Korea to me. People are just kind here.

Hanging out with Gaymer and Megan at Gokseong Hoppin workation.

You don’t mind the idea of staying somewhere, of not traveling as much anymore?

No. I love traveling but I understand why people quit traveling. The number one reason is relationships. There’s this song, right? ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’. It’s true: you can’t make old friends. With family, they’re the hardest thing to leave behind. And love! It’s hard to have a stable relationship with someone who is going to move with you all around the world. It’s not fair that someone has to uproot their life or the other one has to give up travel. These choices are big. They’re hard - and they always bring me back to that quote I like “what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” In the end, it’s all about that.

Do you consider yourself a Digital Nomad?

(laugh) Actually, a few days after I arrived at Hoppin, I met this guy who asked me: ‘how long are you here for? Don’t get stuck’. It was funny how intense he was about it. I met a lot of nomads over the years who gatekeep the world ‘nomad’. They’ll say you’re not a nomad if you’ve stayed a certain amount of time in a country or else. But I don’t feel bound anywhere. I don’t even like the term. I stay somewhere, a week, a month, more, until I get the jiffy and I feel like I’m ready to move on. I’ll keep traveling until I have a reason not to. To me getting stuck is not a bad thing. I’m happy to get stuck. It just means I like the people I found there.

. . . . .

Chris’s recommendations

🎋 A cafe to chill

Cheonsudang Bakery looks like you're steping in a Ghibli movie. It’s magical, it's closeby Hoppin House and the coffee there is very good.

🍙 A place to eat

Kimbap Cheonguk is a cheap kimbap franchise open 24/7 so of course it’s one of my favorite place in Seoul!

☕️ A cafe to work at

Protokoll is perfect to work at. The layout of the cafe is intended for you to go and study so it’s very calm and meant for you to sit alone or next to each other. Their coffee is to die for.

Travelling non-stop is overrated, with Chris

What makes us stay somewhere? It's often hard to pinpoint what gets a traveller to put down their luggage and decide to settle in a place with no end in sight. And then... What makes us leave again?

Chris is Irish. You’d have a hard time not to notice it, with his bright red hair, his accent and his uncanny ability to turn any encounter into a riveting tale.

But when he’s busy not being so Irish, Chris gladly embraces another cliche. He becomes the no-holidays entrepreneur, who works until 2AM, and eats at weird hours, random food bought at the corner 7/11.

With their similar addiction to caffeine, Seoul’s weird and kind, and charming people have seduced him. A week-long visit has turned into four months, and maybe will soon become a two-year Digital Nomad visa...

How long have you been traveling?

Four or five years? I’ve traveled all around non-stop since then. I stayed by myself sometimes, but I mostly lived in colivings and shared houses.

Is it the first time in your digital nomad life that you want to settle for a while?

It’s not the first time I’ve stayed somewhere. I never plan or book more than 30 days ahead. (laugh) Sometimes, I like the people and I just extend and extend and extend…

One of Chris's longest stay was in the Canaries, where he made himself at home in another coliving.

It’s the people who make you stay, never the place?

When you’ve traveled to many countries, you’ve seen a temple, a beach, a forest, after a while it’s all the same. So, a 100% of the time, when I stay, it’s been because of people. That said, it is the first time that I’ve been looking seriously at a two year visa. I don’t even go to big cities! I came to Seoul because I thought I would be here for a week and leave and… I can’t believe it’s been 4 months already.

What do you like so much about Korea?

Quite a lot. I don’t think it’s perfect, I don’t think anywhere is perfect. There’s easier, cheaper places in the world to be, with better weather and less pollution. People always talk about how ‘convenient’ Seoul is, but Bangkok, for example, has convenience. For me, why it's so special is the nomads that I’ve come across. And the Korean people. There’s been a bit of a cultural jump. (laugh) I’m very used to talking to strangers in the street for example, and I couldn’t really do that here. But Korea has a mixture of politeness and respect, and being down to earth that I like. It's also great that people can be rude to you. They don't fake politeness: if they don't like you, they'll show it. Which means that when they’re kind to you they seem to genuinely mean it. This is something I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the same way.

You didn’t start your trip in Korea from Seoul, actually, but Busan…

I stayed one month in Busan. I didn’t find much of a digital nomad culture there, so I mostly went to a Jujitsu club, where I met some foreigners and some locals. We’d try to strangle each other and then go together for lunch. (laugh) It was fun but I was quickly ready to move on. I went up to Seoul, met friends for a few days and then I think I had two or three days where I was alone. It’s funny because I’ve been traveling solo for years and I often get a place by myself and it never bothers me. But in Seoul, it was barely 48 hours of loneliness and I don’t know why, I just felt it more. It hit me hard, I didn’t like it.

Working-ish with Harry...

Why do you think you felt so alone?

I’ve been to many places like Korea where you can find and forge your own community. And I’ve had years of doing that. But in Korea it would be harder to build this solid ground. It just takes longer to get to know people here. And that’s why I would have left if not for Digital Nomads Korea. I would have felt too lonely.

What happened?

It was so random. A friend of mine told me about Digital Nomads Korea. I sent a DM on Instagram, to know if there was space in the Hoppin House coliving. I had the phone in one hand and the keyboard of my computer under the other. I was ready to book the next flight out of the country - to anywhere. Honestly, it was a matter of minutes. But then I just got the answer that there was a room available at Hoppin House coliving and the next day I moved in.

You’ve stayed in many Colivings in the world. Is Hoppin any different?

It’s great fun to live in Hoppin. It’s different from a lot of coliving I’ve stayed in before because it’s directly connected to the coworking office. It’s made me a lot more productive than in many other places. Also, I’ve noticed Korea attracts a good healthy mix of cool people, which is not always the case. Sometimes you go someplace and there’s only one type of people - crypto, AI, entrepreneurs. I like when there’s so much variety, it’s fun to get to know what people are working on. It’s equal part productive and social, it makes everything easier.

How did you go from casual stay to wanting to settle here though?

It was maybe the next morning after I turned up at Hoppin? It was February. I had met two other colivers, and we were sitting outside in the snow, wearing t-shirts under the big puffy jackets. I watch these two kids in a snowball fight. One of them is six, maybe, and the other four. They’re obviously brothers, their mother is filming them, and the older kid is standing over the younger one. He’s got his arms raised, ready to drop a snowball bigger than his head… It was so wholesome, but what made it better was that he didn’t drop it. He was waiting for his brother to make a snowball to fight back. I thought - if that were me, that kid would be wearing that snowball, hell, I’d already be halfway through the next one! I’d not be giving him a second to arm himself. (laugh) But I watched this kid give his brother a chance, and I thought, that kind of scene is Korea to me. People are just kind here.

Hanging out with Gaymer and Megan at Gokseong Hoppin workation.

You don’t mind the idea of staying somewhere, of not traveling as much anymore?

No. I love traveling but I understand why people quit traveling. The number one reason is relationships. There’s this song, right? ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’. It’s true: you can’t make old friends. With family, they’re the hardest thing to leave behind. And love! It’s hard to have a stable relationship with someone who is going to move with you all around the world. It’s not fair that someone has to uproot their life or the other one has to give up travel. These choices are big. They’re hard - and they always bring me back to that quote I like “what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” In the end, it’s all about that.

Do you consider yourself a Digital Nomad?

(laugh) Actually, a few days after I arrived at Hoppin, I met this guy who asked me: ‘how long are you here for? Don’t get stuck’. It was funny how intense he was about it. I met a lot of nomads over the years who gatekeep the world ‘nomad’. They’ll say you’re not a nomad if you’ve stayed a certain amount of time in a country or else. But I don’t feel bound anywhere. I don’t even like the term. I stay somewhere, a week, a month, more, until I get the jiffy and I feel like I’m ready to move on. I’ll keep traveling until I have a reason not to. To me getting stuck is not a bad thing. I’m happy to get stuck. It just means I like the people I found there.

. . . . .

Chris’s recommendations

🎋 A cafe to chill

Cheonsudang Bakery looks like you're steping in a Ghibli movie. It’s magical, it's closeby Hoppin House and the coffee there is very good.

🍙 A place to eat

Kimbap Cheonguk is a cheap kimbap franchise open 24/7 so of course it’s one of my favorite place in Seoul!

☕️ A cafe to work at

Protokoll is perfect to work at. The layout of the cafe is intended for you to go and study so it’s very calm and meant for you to sit alone or next to each other. Their coffee is to die for.

Travelling non-stop is overrated, with Chris

What makes us stay somewhere? It's often hard to pinpoint what gets a traveller to put down their luggage and decide to settle in a place with no end in sight. And then... What makes us leave again?

Chris is Irish. You’d have a hard time not to notice it, with his bright red hair, his accent and his uncanny ability to turn any encounter into a riveting tale.

But when he’s busy not being so Irish, Chris gladly embraces another cliche. He becomes the no-holidays entrepreneur, who works until 2AM, and eats at weird hours, random food bought at the corner 7/11.

With their similar addiction to caffeine, Seoul’s weird and kind, and charming people have seduced him. A week-long visit has turned into four months, and maybe will soon become a two-year Digital Nomad visa...

How long have you been traveling?

Four or five years? I’ve traveled all around non-stop since then. I stayed by myself sometimes, but I mostly lived in colivings and shared houses.

Is it the first time in your digital nomad life that you want to settle for a while?

It’s not the first time I’ve stayed somewhere. I never plan or book more than 30 days ahead. (laugh) Sometimes, I like the people and I just extend and extend and extend…

One of Chris's longest stay was in the Canaries, where he made himself at home in another coliving.

It’s the people who make you stay, never the place?

When you’ve traveled to many countries, you’ve seen a temple, a beach, a forest, after a while it’s all the same. So, a 100% of the time, when I stay, it’s been because of people. That said, it is the first time that I’ve been looking seriously at a two year visa. I don’t even go to big cities! I came to Seoul because I thought I would be here for a week and leave and… I can’t believe it’s been 4 months already.

What do you like so much about Korea?

Quite a lot. I don’t think it’s perfect, I don’t think anywhere is perfect. There’s easier, cheaper places in the world to be, with better weather and less pollution. People always talk about how ‘convenient’ Seoul is, but Bangkok, for example, has convenience. For me, why it's so special is the nomads that I’ve come across. And the Korean people. There’s been a bit of a cultural jump. (laugh) I’m very used to talking to strangers in the street for example, and I couldn’t really do that here. But Korea has a mixture of politeness and respect, and being down to earth that I like. It's also great that people can be rude to you. They don't fake politeness: if they don't like you, they'll show it. Which means that when they’re kind to you they seem to genuinely mean it. This is something I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the same way.

You didn’t start your trip in Korea from Seoul, actually, but Busan…

I stayed one month in Busan. I didn’t find much of a digital nomad culture there, so I mostly went to a Jujitsu club, where I met some foreigners and some locals. We’d try to strangle each other and then go together for lunch. (laugh) It was fun but I was quickly ready to move on. I went up to Seoul, met friends for a few days and then I think I had two or three days where I was alone. It’s funny because I’ve been traveling solo for years and I often get a place by myself and it never bothers me. But in Seoul, it was barely 48 hours of loneliness and I don’t know why, I just felt it more. It hit me hard, I didn’t like it.

Working-ish with Harry...

Why do you think you felt so alone?

I’ve been to many places like Korea where you can find and forge your own community. And I’ve had years of doing that. But in Korea it would be harder to build this solid ground. It just takes longer to get to know people here. And that’s why I would have left if not for Digital Nomads Korea. I would have felt too lonely.

What happened?

It was so random. A friend of mine told me about Digital Nomads Korea. I sent a DM on Instagram, to know if there was space in the Hoppin House coliving. I had the phone in one hand and the keyboard of my computer under the other. I was ready to book the next flight out of the country - to anywhere. Honestly, it was a matter of minutes. But then I just got the answer that there was a room available at Hoppin House coliving and the next day I moved in.

You’ve stayed in many Colivings in the world. Is Hoppin any different?

It’s great fun to live in Hoppin. It’s different from a lot of coliving I’ve stayed in before because it’s directly connected to the coworking office. It’s made me a lot more productive than in many other places. Also, I’ve noticed Korea attracts a good healthy mix of cool people, which is not always the case. Sometimes you go someplace and there’s only one type of people - crypto, AI, entrepreneurs. I like when there’s so much variety, it’s fun to get to know what people are working on. It’s equal part productive and social, it makes everything easier.

How did you go from casual stay to wanting to settle here though?

It was maybe the next morning after I turned up at Hoppin? It was February. I had met two other colivers, and we were sitting outside in the snow, wearing t-shirts under the big puffy jackets. I watch these two kids in a snowball fight. One of them is six, maybe, and the other four. They’re obviously brothers, their mother is filming them, and the older kid is standing over the younger one. He’s got his arms raised, ready to drop a snowball bigger than his head… It was so wholesome, but what made it better was that he didn’t drop it. He was waiting for his brother to make a snowball to fight back. I thought - if that were me, that kid would be wearing that snowball, hell, I’d already be halfway through the next one! I’d not be giving him a second to arm himself. (laugh) But I watched this kid give his brother a chance, and I thought, that kind of scene is Korea to me. People are just kind here.

Hanging out with Gaymer and Megan at Gokseong Hoppin workation.

You don’t mind the idea of staying somewhere, of not traveling as much anymore?

No. I love traveling but I understand why people quit traveling. The number one reason is relationships. There’s this song, right? ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends’. It’s true: you can’t make old friends. With family, they’re the hardest thing to leave behind. And love! It’s hard to have a stable relationship with someone who is going to move with you all around the world. It’s not fair that someone has to uproot their life or the other one has to give up travel. These choices are big. They’re hard - and they always bring me back to that quote I like “what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” In the end, it’s all about that.

Do you consider yourself a Digital Nomad?

(laugh) Actually, a few days after I arrived at Hoppin, I met this guy who asked me: ‘how long are you here for? Don’t get stuck’. It was funny how intense he was about it. I met a lot of nomads over the years who gatekeep the world ‘nomad’. They’ll say you’re not a nomad if you’ve stayed a certain amount of time in a country or else. But I don’t feel bound anywhere. I don’t even like the term. I stay somewhere, a week, a month, more, until I get the jiffy and I feel like I’m ready to move on. I’ll keep traveling until I have a reason not to. To me getting stuck is not a bad thing. I’m happy to get stuck. It just means I like the people I found there.

. . . . .

Chris’s recommendations

🎋 A cafe to chill

Cheonsudang Bakery looks like you're steping in a Ghibli movie. It’s magical, it's closeby Hoppin House and the coffee there is very good.

🍙 A place to eat

Kimbap Cheonguk is a cheap kimbap franchise open 24/7 so of course it’s one of my favorite place in Seoul!

☕️ A cafe to work at

Protokoll is perfect to work at. The layout of the cafe is intended for you to go and study so it’s very calm and meant for you to sit alone or next to each other. Their coffee is to die for.