Sick of hauling yourself to the office every day? Bored with being in the one spot? Dreaming up your life’s calling?
What is a Digital nomad?
A Digital nomad is someone who creates and works in the online space; utilising wifi, smartphones, laptops and apps to be able to work remotely from anywhere in the world. You can find these passionate entrepreneurs scattered around the globe; working from home, cafes, beaches, airports, co working spaces and anywhere you can find a reliable internet connection.
How I began my Digital nomad story?
I worked in a travel agency for seven years and while I loved it, I burnt myself out by working 12 hour plus days and going in on my days off to stay on top of my work load and be what I told myself successful was. Underneath this broken, shell of a woman, I was aching for freedom and the opportunity to be location independent. So, I asked myself, How do I change my situation?
One of the perks in my industry is to be taken on industry sponsored familiarisation (famils) to experience a destination. These famils include reporting on the airline, transfers, hotels, day trips, food and culture so you are able to come home and give your colleagues and clients first hand advice on where to go, places to stay and what to see, do and eat when you get there. On these famils you are thrown into a mixed group of travel industry experts to enjoy this journey together. You meet some incredible people, some who become friends for life and the odd few who you can’t wait to wave au revoir to at the baggage carousel on your return… There is always ONE of these latter in a group and if you don’t know who it is, It’s probably you. Luckily for me I have been blessed with more of the former and a handful of these incredible gems helped spark my interest in making this leap to becoming a Digital nomad.
A little over two years ago I started coming across some of these inspiring peers in my industry (on famils) who worked for themselves. All of them (Bar one young & successful game changer, GG) are amazing mothers who wanted flexibility to work around their families but I could see the whole world open up for currently single, childless, passionate and adventurous me. I pressed them for information over cocktails in Bora Bora, dumplings in Shanghai and sitting in a jeep on safari in South Africa. How can I do this full time and avoid going back to my brick and mortar shop front in Bondi? How does it work? How much money do you make? How did your clients handle you changing how you operate?
From getting curious and asking those questions, I discovered there are quite a few companies in my industry that allow you to work from home and be your own boss. I was sold, Now it was a choice of which company I wanted to go with. It took me a couple of months of battling my own ego over which one was the best option for me but I did it… I paid my joining fee, handed in my resignation and set off on my new adventure of becoming a location independent entrepreneur, travel stylist, super boss & all round inspiring babe.
The last 13 months have been a crazy fun roller coaster of launching my business and hoping my clients would find me while I wait out an expiring clause in my old contract. FYI – I haven’t actually had to chase down any past clients because when you trust yourself, genuinely care for your people and are fabulous at what you do, People find you and want to support you by doing whatever they can to help you, Especially by referring you to their networks.
What are the benefits of being a Digital nomad?
In the past year, I have let go of my apartment in Bondi, sold and donated the majority of my things and moved the bare minimum back to my parents near Coffs Harbour. I have travelled and worked from all over Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, London, Madrid, Ibiza, Barcelona, Sardinia, Corsica, Rome and Bangkok with many more new countries on the horizon for the upcoming year.
By letting go of the apartment and bills that come along with it I was able to minimise my expenses and redirect that money to my travel funds and personal development courses that have allowed me to expand, grow and discover the infinite possibilities that are already within.
I have taken back control of my life and am constantly looking at areas I can hack and change to become the best version of myself. It has opened up time to dive into my vision and birth my passion project, Wild Hearted World, My creative platform to inspire others to travel.
What are the challenges?
There are so many things that are going to come up for you BUT the biggest challenge you are going to need to face off with is YOURSELF and the limiting stories you feed your ego on the daily.
Things that have come up for me have been around lack of money because I took a huge pay cut to begin with and am still working my way back up to where I was BUT I can also see that I will be easily making a lot more than what I was on and working a quarter of the time for it.
Meeting a man I love and want to create a future with is another huge one for me. I realised I had given up being open and was not allowing that in because I had told myself that I couldn’t find someone because I am never in the one spot long enough and I specifically looked for people and ways to confirm that as truth when in actual fact there are amazing couples travelling and working together all over the world… Some within the same industry and others in completely different lines of work but both location independent and able to travel with each other.
The above goes for friendships too! I cut myself off from a lot of friends because I was working and travelling so much as well as being incredibly focused on my vision that I had told myself these people aren’t going to wait around for me, they have forgotten or don’t care about me. I am working on changing that and reaching out to those friends that inspire, support and uplift me. You know those magical souls that you can not speak to for months when both of your lives are ‘lifing’ but as soon as you reconnect its like a spark is set off. Remember this too, Not all friendships are supposed to stay forever but each and every person has been a part of your story so they can come in teach you what you need to learn in that moment.
How can you become a Digital nomad?
Get curious… There are so many questions you can ask yourself and research you can do to uncover your vision if you’re not yet sure what that is.
Can you work remotely in your current role? OR is there another company in your industry that will allow you to do this?
If that is not possible why not ask yourself where your passions lay and how you can use these to be of service to other people. An example of this is online coaching… What is your story and how can you help others overcome what you did?
Also, be realistic… Being a Digital nomad is not for everyone. You need to be driven, passionate and open to everything changing, all of the time. If stability and security are your core values you may want to think long and hard about whether this type of lifestyle suits you.
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What tips do you have for a Digital nomad lifestyle?
Love, Dana x