5 Questions to Bryony Holland

Continuing with our series “30 Digital Nomad Stories: How to Work Remotely and Travel the World”, we interviewed Bryony Holland. Bryony begun her nomadic life in 2013, after realizing that her current job at that time no longer allowed her to be as creative as she wanted to be. She bought a laptop and started her life as digital nomad, copywriting for travel companies in the UK and Australia.

Why did you decide to begin a nomadic life and what does it mean to you?

Before I became fully nomadic, I was running an adventure travel company in Brighton, UK and managing the digital marketing department. It was a brilliant job with a brilliant bunch of people, but after six years I was running out of steam. As a manager, all of the creative tasks needed to be delegated further along the line, so I was engaged far more with finance, forecasting and people management than ever before. My spirits were flagging. Over time, I had shifted away from doing the things that I love – writing, social media, thinking creatively and engaging with people. Suddenly, I realised that all my skills could travel. All I needed was a laptop. So that was it. I left in September 2013 and I’ve never looked back.

How do you earn an income now?

Nowadays, I earn my living copywriting for a handful of travel companies in the UK and Australia. I write blog posts, entire websites, promotional material and manage Adwords accounts. I also put together infographics and, on occasion, I’ll build a full website. I’m certainly not a high-roller and it’s certainly not a stable income, but I earn enough to keep me on the road and that’s good enough for me right now. At the moment, I don’t earn anything from my own website – Find A Happy Place – which is my own honest account of travelling full-time with a full-blown panic disorder. It’s my passion project.

What is your approximate travel budget for a year? Any tip to lower it down?

Hmm. Tricky question. Well, I was in a string position when I left my job because I had been saving for a good few years. This gave me a nice plump buffer…although it’s all gone now. These days. I look at what is in the bank and I look at the confirmed work ahead before I make my plans. I stick to cheap destinations at the moment, such as South East Asia, Eastern Europe. I’ll do this until I’ve got some savings behind me again. This year, I’ll be spending three months in Costa Rica, working in exchange for accommodation and living costs on the Pacific coast. Perfect for keeping the budget low and giving me some breathing space.

Bryony traveling as a digital nomad

What would you consider to be one of the best tools for becoming a Digital Nomad?

Ooh. There are so many. The main tool is the ability to make an income. I know a few people that have poured their hearts into blogging without a Plan B, but nowadays the travel blogging world is so saturated that it’s far harder to make a buck. Having said that, if you are blogging, a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Buffer is a must. Otherwise it’s just too overwhelming to keep up with every social media channel. I use the Nomad List to look at living costs, internet speed, travel expenses in various places. I find it really handy. Co-working spaces are also brilliant for feeling like you’re part of something bigger – and for meeting people. Being a digital nomad can be a lonely old game, so coworking is a wonderful way of connecting with like-minded wandering souls.

Do you have any advice for those starting a DN life?

I would say that it’s best to get some money behind you first, or be sure that you’ve got plenty of gigs in the pipeline. This will just give you the means to make it through the first few months to a year. By then, you’ll get a taste for the nomadic life – which, in practice, isn’t for everyone. I think you have to be brave about contacting potential clients and get over any fear of people saying ‘no’. Knock-backs will happen, but they won’t kill you. Most importantly, don’t forget to look up from the laptop! The reason we all quit our jobs and leave the country is to explore the world and feel the freedom. Never forget that!

Bio

I’m a digital nomad, creating content for travel companies from the road. Along with my backpack, I carry about an anxiety disorder that I am fated to do battle with on a daily basis. I’m fighting my demons and following my dreams at the very same time. My site is about long term travel, mental health and living a life of no fixed abode. It’s my search to find a happy place… in more ways than one.