As we count down the days to our next residency in Thailand, we took a minute to get the low-down directly from the host, Nurall’s very own Navneet Prakash. An independent filmmaker since 2011 and the founder of one of Goa’s first coworking spaces, Cafe Rasa, Navneet has over a decade of experience working remotely and understands how important it is to perfect the balance between work and travel.
Today as Head of Content & Partnerships at Nurall, Navneet’s passion for Muay Thai Boxing has led us to Khao Lak, where he has crafted the ultimate itinerary for digital nomads looking for a physical and mental transformation in Thailand. Whether you’ve already got a trusty pair of boxing gloves or consider yourself Muay Thai-curious, we’ll let Navneet tell you what to expect on this unique boxing retreat for remote workers.
How long have you been a digital nomad?
I started doing video content as a video blogger and in 2010 and produced content for MTV India as an independent consultant. As early as 2011, I started working remotely because I wasn’t really working out of an office and I started going to coffee shops and other spaces where I could just sit, write my scripts, and edit everything on my laptop. We didn’t really have terms like digital nomad then. I just called myself a freelancer and I didn’t see a lot of people like me. Most of my friends and family, they didn’t really understand what I was doing. It was an alien concept.
Did you travel around at that time?
I pretty much traveled everywhere in India back in the day. I would choose based on the time of year like going to the south during the monsoon season and I really like the cold weather so in the winter I would go up to the mountains. Six years ago I moved to Goa and I was very lucky because I live in the capital city of Panjim but I couldn’t find any spaces that were designed for coworking, so I said you know why don’t I just make one? And I started Cafe Rasa.
What has been your favorite place to travel as a digital nomad?
My favorite place in India is a place called Spiti. I used to love going there before they had access to Internet, just to sit and write because it’s just in the middle of nowhere. It’s a place that has a culture and a community that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else in India because people are so disconnected from the world. It takes five days to reach by road and it’s one of the most treacherous roads you can drive on the planet.
Now it’s more remote work-friendly as well because they do have enough basic broadband in certain areas in the main town, but when I used to go there, it had nothing. It was a great place to disconnect and introspect.
When did you become interested in Thai Boxing?
I’ve been following Thai boxing for many years, so when I got a chance to go to Thailand, I thought I’d love to see what their lifestyle is. They have these camps where you can live like a Thai boxer. A month in the Thai camp really changed everything for me—more than getting in shape physically. That month of structure and living with the fighters, living with their lifestyle, eating with them, and waking up with them, made a big difference. I think emotionally it changed a lot of things for me and I took it to heart and realized this is something that makes a difference.
I like the idea of structure, but it’s not structure that’s boring. Essentially, you’re surrendering to a process that goes back a few hundred, if not thousands, of years of following this higher lifestyle of a fighter which is about waking up with purpose.
Were you able to work while training in the camp?
You train twice a day, morning and evening, but you still get seven hours to yourself. The month that I was there, I was able to do work remotely. I was able to keep writing my scripts, but I was exercising three, four hours a day. I mean, I went to the extreme camp, the residency I’m planning is not that extreme.
What will the Muay Thai residency be like?
The residency is designed around my past experiences, but I would say this is more beginner-level. So instead of training four hours a day, we’ll train about two hours a day, and I planned the rest of the day in a way that you could still do some work and get time for mindfulness, and the only thing I added was the life coaching element and daily journaling.
So every day, people train together, wake up in the morning, go for long runs, and do yoga; it is something that really touches a chord somewhere and if you can journal that every day, you will see a change in two weeks. Your body will feel better, but mentally and emotionally, journaling will also show you an arc: this is where I started and this is where I am now.
And what are some of the things guests can look forward to seeing in Khao Lak?
It’s not a sleepy tourist town or even a party town. It’s a place where every other person you meet is either a surfer, diver, or boxer. It’s a very happy and productive vibe. You can go out in the evening to a local bar, meet your friends, play some pool, and have a relaxed time, but every morning you’ll see people either going for a run, going surfing, doing yoga, or going to boxing and it kind of rubs off on you. That’s why I like Khao Lak. It also has great infrastructure, WiFi, cafes, and affordable stays. It’s a soft landing in Thailand.
Interested in joining Navneet on this transformational experience in Khao Lak? Spots are limited, but you can find all the details and sign up here.