Did we survive the shock of moving from Asia back to London? Well yes, obviously, or you wouldn't be reading this.
April! Mathematics Awareness Month, the month in which the internet practically explodes with "hilarious" spoof announcements, and also the 233rd most popular name given to a baby girl in 2012 (just ahead of Josephine).
That's all well and good, but what did April mean for us?
In the second week of April we travelled from Bangkok back to London, which was…surprisingly not as much of a shock as we'd expected after three months away.
I kept up my track record of getting overly emotional on planes (hey, don't most people tear up towards the end of Undercover Boss USA?) and emotionally unstable at airports (sorry, Office for National Statistics lady). But other than that, readjusting has been pretty easy. Oh, other than nearly getting run over multiple times: in London, when you step out into moving traffic, drivers speed up rather than slow down…
Our only travel since then has been zipping around the UK. I spent a weekend in Liverpool for a Property Hub meetup, and also went to Nottingham for a couple of days.
The rhythm we'd got into in SE Asia quickly fell apart as soon as we hit London. As always when we're back in our home city, our calendars were suddenly filled with medical appointments, administrative tasks and overdue family catch-ups.
This time around we also had an apartment to renovate, as one of our investment properties had become empty and it was a good time to do some much-needed work to it. We obviously didn't do the work ourselves (my all-time DIY triumph is putting up a curtain rail, and once you've scaled those dizzy heights it's hard to stay motivated), but managing the process took up an annoying amount of time.
We kept pretty much on top of work but our reading, hobbies and general hanging-out time totally disappeared.
Making It Anywhere
Airbnb Pro came out in April, and we executed our traditional PR blitz of sort-of mentioning it on Facebook that one time. We know that promotion is a major weakness of ours, but as this is a slow-burn "portfolio" product rather than a "big hypey launch" product, we should be able to come back to it later – and do more of what we should have done in the first place.
On the blog itself, a photo of a bike caused a stir in the comments. (This is "a stir" in the British sense, meaning that a couple of people politely explained differing viewpoints to each other. If it had escalated, we would have had to upgrade our description to "rather a kerfuffle".)
We've continued to work on a couple of brilliant client projects. One is a branding job that has kept Mish busy booking photoshoots and planning wardrobes on top of her normal duties. Given that the client has seen the kind of photos we take and the clothes we wear, this must have taken something of a leap of faith to put us in charge of.
Our other project involves refining business systems: automating customer enquiries, streamlining the booking process, and using online tools like Zapier to glue it all together. This is something we love doing but had never done for a client before – and it's been a lot of fun.
Our community for UK property investors, The Property Hub, has continued to grow – we're aiming for 1,000 members by June, and we're pretty much on track.
We created three new courses for our paying members this month, and continued to refine our systems as we started working with our first permanent team members – who are in charge of our newsletters, social media and blog content.
We've also been interviewing for our first team member for Yellow Lettings – a project we've barely mentioned here, so will have to write about properly soon. The standard of applications has been phenomenally high, and when we make our hire we'll write about what we learnt from the interviewing process.
What we've learnt
Our lifestyle is nuts
One morning I was relaxing by the pool in a luxury apartment complex in Asia. The next, I was driving across London to do a site visit with some tradesmen.
Even by digital nomad standards we mix things up a lot – and we love it that way. Better still, thanks to technology and the team we're putting together, our businesses operate equally well whatever lifestyle we're enjoying (or not-so-much-enjoying) at the time.
Our routine won't work in London, and that's OK
When we're back home, there's just no chance of sticking to the same structured routine that works so well for us elsewhere. As we're never back for too long at a time, we should embrace the diversity rather than beating ourselves up for getting off the track.
Man we meet some interesting people
We were reflecting the other day on how in our "old lives", we pretty much only ever met people who were very similar to us in terms of jobs, background and lifestyle.
Now, in any given week we can meet (in person or online) multiple people who all live life in a totally different way from us – but who are all driven by the same urge to find the ideal lifestyle for them. It's a benefit of being a digital nomad that we hadn't fully considered before, and we're very grateful to be able to have our horizons broadened on a daily basis.
Coming up in May…
We're a bit late with this monthly report, so we're already most of the way through May!
At the start of the month we were up in Edinburgh for ten days, and we've spent the rest of our time in London.
Our aims for the rest of the month are to revisit our goals and set ourselves some targets for June and July. We've been working hard to get our projects to some interesting stages so far this year – so we want to make sure we don't lose focus now we've left Asia and have more distractions.
Anything you'd like to know?
What could we add to these reports to make them more interesting or useful for you?
Anything we've mentioned that you'd like more detail on?
Leave us a comment below so we know whether to shake up our reports' format or ditch them entirely!