The gnômadic experience is all about a combination of personal growth and community connection. We are always focused on curating a community of inspirational individuals accompanied by unique events to help them bond and grow together. With this in mind, we are thrilled to introduce you to our newest residents, Tay & Val.
Often known as Morpheus x Oracle; guides who help you cartograph your destiny and navigate the internal and external terrain of life—to get from where you are, to where you’re called to be. Get to know Tay & Val’s extraordinary journey around the world and how they’ve come full circle by returning to their home base here in Singapore. Here’s our tete-a-tete with the dynamic power duo, to spotlight their gnômadic experience and intentions for the new year.
Q. When did you move to Singapore? And how did you hear of gnômadic?
T&V: We arrived in Singapore on the 1st of November and during quarantine, we started virtual viewings of coliving spaces. The reason we chose a coliving residence as opposed to living with our families was because it’s a great way for us to meet like-minded and intended people. In addition, we also run our own businesses and wanted a conducive work environment to continue teaching classes and meeting clients both online and over the phone.
2 weeks of isolation had given us enough time to research the coliving spaces available here. Although we narrowed down to 3 properties, we decided to lock in on gnômadic because we share the same values of intention, inspiration, and living a life less ordinary. After our meeting with Jonathan, we felt like we were in good hands. Especially when you’re returning to the country after so long, you want to make sure the transition and the beginning of this new phase is as smooth as possible. The team at gnômadic definitely gave us that assurance.
Q. What drew you to gnômadic?
T&V: It’s really a home away from home. They’ve walked their talk every step of the way. Values and mission statements can sometimes become “nice things” that organizations put up on their website and social media. However, gnômadic walks their talk and lives their values every step of the way. For example, they made arrangements to help us move-in on a Sunday, a non-working day. This made us feel truly taken care of, as they’ve focused on finding out what we need and helping us with that. They’ve made our transition from Seattle to Singapore really easy for us.
Q. How has your stay at gnômadic been so far?
T&V: As you know this is the latest home from the gnômadic portfolio and we are its first residents. Whilst we’ve only lived here for 4 weeks, it definitely feels much longer! Even though there were kinks and teething issues, the gnômadic team has kept a keen eye on details and did everything they could to help us feel at home as Meadow’s first residents.
Whether it was the pump or the stairway lights — small things that impact the quality of life — the gnômadic team were prompt in getting any issue resolved. Because we work from home, we spend a lot more time in the space, their timeliness is especially appreciated. They even went the extra mile to get us an exceptionally long table given our unique situation of working together! This gesture made us feel right at home as part of the gnômadic community.
Q. Tell us about what made you decide to start ‘Tay & Val’? Take us through your journey.
T&V: 10 years ago, we owned a successful television production studio in Singapore. However, we reached a point in our career where we kept questioning our next move. With this, came an opportunity for us to explore the unknown and we decided to leave everything behind (our home, friends, family and job) and embark on a new journey around the world on two bicycles.
We were determined to make a documentary on this journey and meet as many people along the way and ask them just one question: What is your dream? This took us around the globe for 3 years with thousands of dreams collected. We started from Taiwan, then Japan, Hawaii, Mexico, South America and ended in L.A., North America. While we were in L.A., we received two invitations to give from TED Talks in Seattle. These talks changed our perspective completely and we opted to leave our two-wheelers behind to start a multi-media story telling tour in the United States to share all the dreams we had gathered. Most of these events left us humbled and speechless with everyone’s warm reactions — they were in awe of the fact that we had the courage to leave a comfortable job and step into the unknown every single day of our 3-year journey. More importantly, they wanted to know: How can they, too, lead a meaningful life?
Even though we travelled for over a thousand miles on our bicycles, it was the journey inwards that has been the longest for us; the self-discovery of who we are and what we’re here to create in this one precious life. We started helping individuals go on this same inner journey — without the round-the-world bicycle ride — to discover their own sense of purpose in life. This is how TΛY & VΛL was founded — with a simple idea to help individual leaders lead a purposeful life and a couple of years later, we expanded into M Meditation — a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence leadership training institute to help corporate leaders and their teams’ level up their leadership at work and in life.
Q. What made you decide to move back?
T&V: We won’t necessarily call it that because we might not be here forever — we’ll see where our journey takes us! Looking back on the last 10 years; learning the lessons that we did, collecting the dreams that we have and how they inspired us too, we’ve always wanted to share this unique experience and our work in Asia.
Even if it hadn’t been for this whole year of chaos and uncertainty — self-care, self-love, mindfulness, adaptive resilience are all characteristics that will help you thrive in this new decade and this is what we hope to bring to Singapore. Besides, our little red dot has always been a market leader in the APAC region — interestingly enough during the various lockdowns that we experienced; we came to realize that we grew up with the notion of psychological defense as one of the 5 initiatives that the Singapore government had instilled in us. We spoke about this at length in the West when helping our clients fortify their mental resilience and expand their emotional capacity, during the tough times this year. We kept drawing inspiration from our childhood, the values and concepts that we were brought up with and it felt right to be back in our birth country
Q. Do you have any special plans for Singapore?
T&V: Even though we have the added advantage of being born and raised in Singapore, we’re not going to take that for granted and pretend like we know the ins and outs of doing business here. We’re here to understand the market, its people and see things through a different set of lenses than the ones we grew up with. We’re here to build a community, first. Right down to the very choice of staying at gnômadic, we’re consciously wanting to connect with people and build a community.
We’re also in talks with a learning platform here that caters to small medium enterprises (SME) to host a series of workshops to help equip owners and their staff with the skills necessary to navigate through these times and beyond. Throughout unprecedented circumstances in 2020, we’ve all had to make it up as we go along. As we approach 2021, we still have no idea what the next phase — COVID19 or otherwise — looks like. But we do know that we have to be agile, equipped and resourced to navigate the challenges and opportunities that unfolds.
Q. Talking about 2021, have you set any new year resolutions?
T&V: It’s interesting you ask us that because we set intentions rather than resolutions. Whilst resolutions are like goals, things you tick off a checklist; to us, an intention is the energy with which you approach your goals with.
Our 2021 intentions are “build” and “impact”. For most of us, 2020 has been a year of constant changes, confusion, and uncertainty. We've had to rapidly react on-the-fly; review our routines, perspectives, and priorities; as well as revise our goals, measurements of success, and even our sense of purpose and fulfillment. It’s easy to want to write 2020 off, mentally photoshop it away, so we can start 2021 on a “clean slate”. What if we build 2021 upon 2020 instead? What if we take all the lessons we’ve learned — both as individuals and as a world — and put them into practice? What if we deepen the skills of meaningful connection despite physical distancing, collaborative engagement despite remote working, and even better standards of hygiene as a form of self-care etc. and level up our quality of life and our performance at work? How will that impact who we get to become in 2021? How can we bring the timely work of mental agility and emotional resilience to even more people and impact their work and lives? We can’t wait to find out.
Q. Please share a few tips that can help make a positive impact in our day-to-day lives?
T&V: The one tool we can share with you, that we share in all our workshops is to begin your day with an intention. It might sound “woo-woo”, but it’s a practice grounded in common sense and neuroscience. We’ve all had those days where we feel like we’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed and everything kind of goes funky. Well, the opposite is true and we can make use of the same brain science to make the day work for us when we set an intention. For example, when I set an intention to connect meaningfully, I am activating my reticular activating system (RAS) — essentially a fancy term in your brain that helps you filter out what’s important—and soon, I begin to notice situations, people, opportunities that facilitate meaningful connections. Anything that’s a distraction gets filtered out.
Q. Do you have any exciting plans / events pipeline for 2021?
T&V: Yes! In fact, we’ll be kicking off the new year with a global workshop where we gather like-minded leaders from all over the world to set some powerful intentions for a powerful 2021! It’s one of our most popular workshops in companies, and we’ve decided to open it up globally to the public so that participants can connect with, learn from, and exchange ideas with a truly diverse network at the workshop.
We’re also hoping to connect with our gnômadic family over Christmas and explore partnerships for the new year, potentially with holistic wellness platform The Soothe. In addition, we also have an exciting book in the works that we are looking forward to debuting soon – fingers crossed!
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We’re delighted to be featured in Season 1 of Stay the Night’s Hybrid Hospitality podcast. Check out Jonathan's interview as he talks about his predictions for the coliving industry and lots more including the impact of Covid-19, his connection with the gnômadic community and why he loves to give back to society.
Jonathan recently sat down with Chew Wui Lynn from CNA938 to discuss the business of coliving and potential areas of growth for the industry. Coliving for families, anyone? Click the link to hear the full interview.
Our Founder, Jonathan Schiff had the opportunity to interview with Natasha Shamash from Rebel and Soul. The digital socially distanced 5&5 series 2 discusses unforgettable memories. Watch the full interview as Jonathan shares some memorable advice he was given, a message he gives to his 20-year-old self and a memory he is looking forward to creating. Click the link to hear the full interview.