Over the past few years, I’ve become very aware of my computer and phone habits. I’ve tried to decrease my unproductive time as much as possible and it has brought a lot of value to my life. My goal is to add a level of mindfulness to my tech usage and spend more time with friends, offline making art, exercising, or playing. I’m a bit of a Chrome extension nerd so I wanted to share a few extensions and tips that have made this transition easier!

  1. Breathe chrome extension: This is a new favorite. When you open a new tab…

I was raped 3 years ago in San Francisco. It had nothing to do with Dave McClure, but it did have to do with a 20 something startup bro. When reading about Cheryl Yeoh and Sara Kunst’s stories, I resonated with them and wanted to speak up. I wanted to share actionable steps men and women can take as allies and bystanders to make a change in the tech culture.

1. Become a Watchdog

It is important to become aware and alert of warning signs for assault or harassment. If you are a bystander to any of these behaviors, please take action.

  • Pushing drinks…

Last month, I decided to cut out Twitter and Instagram. I was struggling with depression and wanted to experiment to see if removing social media from my life could have a positive impact on my mental health. I’m not a social media addict by any means, but I found myself spending a lot of time comparing my life to others on the interwebs.

The new experiment is making me more conscious of my internet consumption, and I’ve found a few ways to keep myself more happy and sane against the social media circus. Here’s what I found most helpful:

1. Install a News Feed blocker


I was standing in front of a group of 13-year-old girls in a Sex Ed class, trying to find the words to answer Samantha’s question about how she could avoid rape.

I thought of being in that position, one year ago. I paused, “You may not be physically stronger, but you can show strength with your words.”

I acknowledge this response and scenario does not apply to all rapes, but it applies to mine. I am sharing it now after a year of silence, during which I was terrified to speak up.

I was silenced by the shame I was…

Practice self-love and compassion

When was the last time you gave someone a hug? Let me guess, within the past 24–48 hours. Okay, when was the last time you gave yourself a hug? I imagine you can’t say the same. Why don’t we treat ourselves with the same care that we do our best friend or our parents. Self-love is the act of treating your mind and body with love & kindness. This could simply mean giving yourself a hug or it could manifest in tons of other ways.

One technique I find effective is to write down a list of things and places…

The first time I saw you I fell in love

Your simple charm enchanted me and made me want to see you

Over and over

I came to you when I was happy

I came to you when I was sad

You always knew how to make me laugh

Your simple pranks made me forget everything around me

And smile

You taught me that the best people may very well sit 5 feet away from you

And that even enemies can become your bestest mensch

You showed me how to be brave

And how to run across burning coals


In the past 2.5 years I have been to 47 cities across 3 continents. Some of these tricks apply specifically to women, but a lot are just helpful for anyone who likes to travel. Here’s a massive brain-dump, so let’s do this!


Problem: I was scared to travel alone as a lady, especially late at night. I heard horror stories of women getting abducted or assaulted while traveling.

Solution: Join communities online and in person and use the buddy system. Cough up the extra bucks to take taxis home late at night. I always do research right before I land…

The Best Things About Traveling Alone

1. It’s always a judge-free zone.

Gelato before dinner, yes please.

2. Traveling is my new form of meditation.

When I am walking alone, I focus on my breath and try to let go of all the other thoughts.

3. I feel stronger.

I feel extremely independent and proud that I can navigate around cities that I didn’t even know how to pronounce until I stepped foot in them.

A terrifying foot bridge in Cuenca (pronounced Kwuen-ka, which I did not know until I arrived)

4. I’m hyper-aware.

I’m on guard when I walk alone, which means I notice every flower, advertisement, and person I pass.

5. I can spend as much or as little money as I want.

It’s my budget, so I don’t need to conform to the restraints of anyone else's wallet…

I didn’t drop out of college. 2 years ago, I almost did. I attended a school of 40,000 students and I felt I was sinking in the sea of 500 person lectures. My startup was growing quickly and I thought it could provide more value than my theoretical classes.

However, before making this huge change I wanted to see if I could personalize college to fit my learning style. My goal: craft my own learning environment so I could be immersed in small, passionate communities with the freedom to travel.

First, I found a strong community. I moved into an…

There are tons of resources for the most effective “productivity hacks” or “life hacks” designed for nomads. These are great, but I wanted more. So I decided to do some experiments of my own during my travels in the past few months, in search of creating a sustainable and healthy nomadic lifestyle.

I studied the techniques detailed in The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. His research explains 3 main components of habit loops:

Queue: a trigger for the habit. This could be a craving, event, or action.

Habit- the action that is performed.

Reward- an intrinsic or extrinsic benefit.

Nicole Kelner

Currently COO @TheCodingSpace & Founder of Lemonaid.io Previously, Founder of SmartPurse and Program Manager @HackerParadise.

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