all my heroes are weirdos

We're All Mad Here


The term Digital Nomad was apparently coined in 1997 by Tsugio Makimoto and David Manners,  authors of a book with the same name.

The term CoffeeShopTosser was invented just now, by me.

I didn’t choose the Mug Life, the Mug Life chose me

Over the past century we’ve added coffee to our never-ending list of borderline serious addictions.

In this brown cup of magic there is a deep-rooted history dating back to 9th century Ethiopia, where legend has it a goat herder named Kaldi noticed the effect that eating cherries from the Coffea plant was having on his goats. Word of this energy boosting concoction flowed out across the lands and Coffee Culture began.

The first Coffee House bubbled up in Damascus, Syria, then eventually spilled out across the borders and into Europe during the mid 17th century. Coffee houses became melting pots for artists, writers, philosophers and poets, for intellectual debates, business meetings and political gossip.

These caffeinated creative hubs are something we’re all more than familiar with today and by default, the number of CoffeeShopTossers is on the rise. But what is a CoffeeShopTosser ? Well I guess they’re the people sat in a coffee shop, usually with a laptop in front of them, drinking coffee.


The extrovert ones exhibit themselves as close to the window as possible, hoping passers-by will give them the ocular attention they live for. The introverts, as you would expect, tend to hide away in corners like human fly-on-the-walls, enjoying the atmosphere vicariously through the laughs and nattering of others.

Aesthetics change depending on location, but a true CoffeeShopTosser has what the masses might refer to as a “quirky” look and maybe five to ten years ago would have been the proud owner of a pair of dark-rimmed glasses, regardless of whether or not they had 20/20 vision. You know what I’m talking about…

The female of the species might don a lop-sided haircut or a unicorn-coloured top knot and a blunt fringe. They’re pulling off that effortlessly chic “I just got out of bed” look that took them thirty-seven selfies and two hours to perfect. The men are usually bearded and most have a penchant for beanie hats, they’re rocking cropped twill chinos and some sort of vegan leather brogues – without socks.

One in five CoffeeShopTossers own a Kanken backpack.

If they’re not tapping out some sort of mind-bending anthology, researching our quantum reality or fiddling about with Adobe they look deeply engrossed in their book on Kundalini yoga,  Hygge or some other form of literary lifehacker. But no matter what their prop, secretly at least part of their attention is focused on the number of glances they’re getting from the hot looking creature on table 7.

Génération Artiste

CoffeeShopTossers are classic representations of what I like to call Génération Artiste and I guess what I’m referring to here is Millienials, of which at thirty-three years old, I’m at the top end of the age bracket.

It just felt like all of a sudden being a geek was something you’d be socially praised for rather than societally punished. Everybody became an artist, a creative, an illustrator or a web designer,  we delved into our souls and realised we were born to write, to coach, to video ourselves telling others how to live. Poor boyfriends were coerced into polishing up their photography skills and investing in a decent DSLR while hundreds of thousands of girls turned themselves into models, stylists, beauty specialists and fashion icons overnight.

And I get it; the internet has opened up our minds and turned aspirational into attainable.

Now, more than ever, we’re striving to be the best version of ourselves, to constantly learn more, to do more and to be more. We’re swimming in a sea of information and insight to help us form more rounded opinions on the world around us and slowly but surely, we’re waking up. We’re questioning how the world works and as more and more eyes open, the wave of people pushing forward the anti-corporate movement gains momentum.

This is where Digital Nomads come in. 

Digital Nomad Coffee Club

Digital Nomads use the internet to financially sustain a nomadic life, working from public spaces anywhere in the world.

Some may be very much involved with the corporate world, but more often than not, they sit there sipping their nitro brew or mushroom latte playing their part in fragmenting the system. Whether they’re scribbling up a blog on herbal beauty, scripting a book on financial independence or running their own global dropship operation from the table next to you, they’re shaking up how things are done.

It’s odd how Thailand was never on my list of places to live and I hadn’t even heard of the term Digital Nomad until I got here, yet it’s exactly the lifestyle I was in the process of creating.

I was magnetised purely by the volunteering opportunity I’d stumbled upon, but Chiang Mai happens to be one of, if not the most popular Digital Nomad destination in the world. The honey that attracts technology-loving bees here is a sweet blend of extremely low living costs, high-speed internet and an abundance of coffee shops and co-working spaces.

I love it, it’s buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit and like-minded souls. And although my laptop may be old and clunky with a button missing, I may never nail the effortlessly chic look and I don’t own a Kanken, I do enjoy a good rose-coloured top knot and tapping out my blog.

So I’m right where I’m meant to be – in the CoffeeShopTosser capital of the world, loving the coffee and as always, being a tosser.

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