A Bird's Eye View from A Laptop Warrior - Meet Sam Billingham

in freedom •  2 months ago



The more you travel and the more people you meet you find yourself with a spiel tucked on your utility belt ready to wield at any introduction. “So what do you do?” the familiar question rings once again. 3…2…1… Are you ready to answer? How much do you believe in the answer? Is it the answer you really want to give?

Often I find myself playing with that answer these days.

“I’ve been really enjoying climbing recently”
“I Run, I’m working on increasing my running stamina”
“Fly my drone, yeah mostly looking for cool places to fly the drone”

To which you almost always get a confused look or if its a British person perhaps a sarcastic come-back. Don’t worry it’s followed up with another “oh I mean what do you do? you know for work… to earn money?”



But Really? Who is Sam Billingham and what does he do?

If our actions define us I’m a half laptop warrior - half runner, hiker, climber, cyclist, drone pilot, video enthusiast.

Three years ago it was easy to answer the question. I lived and worked in London. I taught short programming courses in web development to people looking to up-skill, change career or broaden their knowledge. I worked for a cool company with fun people but had this nagging feel there was a world of opportunities drifting by. I saved some money, packed my bags and said screw it i’m sure I can make it work out there. Since then the question has been harder to answer.

For the last two years and 9 months I’ve bounced from travel trips to living in my parents basement. I split my work remotely as a freelance web developer and hoping from city to city in the UK teaching web development to young people.

With some minimal money in the bank I’m free to spend time figuring out what it’s all about. My shining star is freedom. Freedom of opportunity, freedom of location, freedom of association. Owning more of my time I am able to work towards projects and ideas I believe in it’s not perfect but its a work-in-progress.

This year I dug pretty deep into the Steem Blockchain working on a number of different projects, most prominent is @finallycomments - a blockchain based comments system similar to Disqus check it out at finallycomments.com.


finally comments.png


I’m fascinated with blockchain tech and it’s ability to allow trust in groups of people outside of centrally structured organisations. The Steem blockchain and it’s unique ability to provide rewards for content lead me to dig deeper into what possibilities might exist alongside creating my own content to share.




I’ve got a youtube channel which I like to tell myself is a big part of what I do but in reality it’s been a struggle to hit upload. I’m constantly trying to decide which direction to take my video and in doing so have ended up stalling out. I’ll be working on how to best use platforms like d.tube alongside the mainstream alternatives moving forward.

SB on Youtube

Capturing unique perspectives with a drone has been something i’ve been working on and enjoying. I mostly post to Instagram but will be reworking/adding to the photo side of my website at sambillingham.com.

SB on Instagram



Working to find those angles with the drone


Running! I often find myself asking “how can people not love this”. Running to me is one of the best parts of life and to hear someone say they hate it or haven’t done it it years almost makes me feel physical pain. I can’t even explain it but there is an overwhelming freedom in being able to walk out the door and run. A hit of life in a pure form, it re-fills me like a wave of energy. I post runs and cycles on Strava (if anyone is into that, follow me there 🚀)



Final day through Denmark on my bike


On Sunday August 26th I finished the second of two cycle trips. First from my home near Birmingham, Uk to Copenhagen Denmark covering over a 1000miles on my bike and second from Tromsø to Lofoten another 260miles both of which I’ll share more on in future. I used to watch hours and hours of sci-fi and always longed to be an adventurer discovering far off places. It took me 26 years but I realised you don’t need a spaceship, that our planet is pretty magnificent and you can go on adventures right now.

As you can see I’ve been using the mainstream content platforms Youtube, Instagram, Strava and my personal website sambillingham.com. My aim with the Steem Blockchain is to work on how to integrate the blockchain into these uses and find viable alternatives using the tech available. As a developer I feel empowered to work on some of these ideas personally. If you’re interested in the link between blockchain/personal-websites or blockchain/fitness then lets chat.


This post was authored by @sambillingham , a member of the sndbox incubator. Learn more, follow @sambillingham or begin a conversation in the comment section below.


Empower artists, writers, musicians, non-profits and community initiatives - delegate Steem Power to @sndbox (using the links below) or follow our curation trail. Learn more about Sndbox - watch our introduction, here.

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Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://sndbox.blog/a-birds-eye-view-from-a-laptop-warrior-meet-sam-billingham/

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Your talk about having a spiel ready brought back a fun memory of mine.

Many years ago, I went to meet my wife's sister for the first time. I'd been told she seemed to be very opinionated about what kinds of jobs were "valuable" in her eyes and to expect her to ask what I did for a living.

Hearing that, I couldn't help but give her some answers she wouldn't expect. "So what do you do?" she asked within the first 5 minutes of meeting me, I replied "I work as a rodeo clown", she had a shocked look on her face when I followed up with "my previous career as a professional break-dancer had to end, I couldn't hold a good head spin anymore".

By that time she was started to catch on, but my point was made. I don't appreciate people who judge others based on some arbitrary ideas on which professions are valuable and which aren't. She didn't quite know how to react to me, but the look on her face was priceless.

I still keep that story handy to tell people who are obviously just wanting to validate their lofty job by comparing it to mine.


@dnic I love your story! 😂
In fact, people who quickly judge others feel undervalued. That's why I think they need our compassion the most.


There may be some truth to what you say. She sacrificed a lot of her family time (which she valued) for years and years to get her doctorate to be sure she met her own standards, maybe some of that was because of feeling undervalued. We moved past the initial first meeting and she was able to laugh about it so I think it worked out well.


haha that's a brilliant story. It's pretty fun to mess with people when you know they arrive with too many preconceived notions of how it should be. That look must have been great! Glad you're not pinned down by other peoples perceptions, I feel some people never get past that.


I do not believe that a person's value comes from what they do for a living or their level of education. I guess it's a pet peeve of mine when I meet people who do.

Jobs and education are great, but it doesn't make someone "better" than someone else.

I think it's fine to talk about what you do, but typically you can tell when someone is judging you.

Interesting presentation, @sambillingham! You are really an adventurer, not only in real life but also on different platforms. The fact that you've decided to leave your old job to start looking for and doing what you really wanted, already speaks of your risky personality. I think people like you are missing in the world: bold, competent and active. Surely @sndbox will serve as a springboard to make your projects known and you can go further! You will be a drone in the air of steemit! Greetings


It was not the easiest decision to quick the city job that everyone understand to make things work on your own. It's worth it though and you're right, I guess I do have a risky personality and although it's cliché I do think it's riskier to not make the most out of life. Thanks for your support. :)

My boy @sambillingham! You're an inspiration, living the dream.


Thanks for the support mate! Good to see @critday is now bringing the 🔥to STEEM 💪

I never knew you were a climber as well ! That's awesome, Do you really do all your work on one 14-15" laptop ? I find it hard to work without at least a dual monitor setup.

Every lifestyle has its challenges but even so, what you do sounds more than awesome even as I scroll through the intrinsec hardships of this kind of lifestyle in my head.