Welcome to part 4 of our “digital nomads”-series!

digital nomad interviews part 4

You can´t get enough of that? We neither! We will go on right away with the next interview:

18. Marcus Meurer (DNXglobal.com)

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

The Digital Nomad lifestyle gives me the ultimate freedom. I am free in choosing which businesses to start, where to live and how to create the most value possible for other people.

How do you earn an income now?

I started working for clients in Online Marketing and worked on the side on own products. Now I do not work for clients any more and am totally focused on the first conference for Digital Nomads DNX > www.dnxglobal.com. Beside the conference I am involved in different Startups as shareholder.

Digital nomad at DNX

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

It depends in which regions I am traveling. I just came back to Berlin after being in Brazil, Colombia and Curacao over the winter.

Curacao was a bit more expensive than the other 2 countries or Southeast Asia for example. When I am on the road I always look for mid-term rents in apartments with own kitchen and travel slow.

That lowers your cost for food, transport and accommodations.

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

I am using several tools on a daily basis to stay productive and work with my location independent team.

Skype and Slack for communication, Dropbox and Google Drive for collaborative working, Coach.me to monitor my routines, Seven Minute App to start in the day with sports, Wunderlist and Trello to work on my tasks, Pocket to save interesting entrepreneurial stuff to read.

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

Listen and read as much as you can from other nomads who are already living that lifestyle.

Follow me on Medium: https://medium.com/@marcusmeurer.

Ask questions, connect and step out of your comfort zone.

Come to DNX GLOBAL in Berlin and learn in workshops, get hands-on tipps in the expert talks and connect with fellow digital nomads.
Search for a goal buddy on the DNX GLOBAL conference, save money for half a year, go on the road and start before you feel ready!

19. Danielle Greason – Greason Media and VA Lifestyle Design

danielle-greason

Working in our hotel ‘office’ for the day near Dominical in Costa Rica

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

We decided to pack up our city life and venture to the tropics predominantly because we wanted a slower pace of life, and we wanted to spend more time together as a family. As young parents with a 2 year old and a 1 year old, both Daniel and I working and all that comes with normal family life, things were pretty hectic. It was go go go from early in the morning until last thing at night, 6 days a week. On Sunday, we’d ‘recover’ by doing the weekly shopping, cleaning, ironing and cooking. That basically was our limited time to spend together as a family. It was nothing out of the ordinary, really, but we just knew there had to be a better way than enduring this crazy routine for the foreseeable future.

Now we’re able to spend each and every day together as a family, we go to the beach, river or waterfall several times a week, and our kids are always nearby, even when we’re working. We have help with that of course! Wow, it makes such a difference to our quality of life compared to what we would be doing back in our home country, which is dropping the kids off at daycare each day at 7am, commuting to the city for work, then picking them up at 6 in the evening, just to get ready to do it all over again the next day.

danielle-greason-3

Training them young on the cafe culture

Family time, time in nature, having the time and resources to be healthy and fit, and living life on our own terms – that’s what this lifestyle really means to us.

How do you earn an income now?

We earn an income providing online marketing implementation and consulting services at Greason Media. I manage a small team of virtual assistants, writers, a web developer and a designer who collaborate on projects and ongoing tasks for clients in all different industries, all over the world.

I started out working as a solo virtual assistant in early 2011, four weeks after we hopped on a plane to start our new life, and it grew from there as my experience and skills developed, and new clients were referred.

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

We’re a family of 5 now so our annual budget currently sits around $36,000. Factored into that is a big proportion of the budget invested into childcare (our nanny and her family are amazing!), cleaning and help food prep or cooking. We also eat out once or twice per week as a family, and throw in a few coffees and snacks here and there when we’re out and about or working in a local hotel or cafe for the day.

There are plenty of digital nomad friends that we meet who get by on a whole lot less than that, because they don’t spend the same amount we do on the childcare and household support side of things. You can definitely lower your budget as a digital nomad family if just one of you is working (so that you’re not spending any money on childcare), if you do all your food prep at home, or if you choose local style rental accommodation which tends to be cheaper than ‘expat style’ housing or temporary tourist accommodation.

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

A solid, reliable laptop computer. Hands down. You can always hunt down a good Wi-Fi connection wherever you go (or keep moving ‘til you find one!) but if you don’t have a sturdy computer to go with it your progress is going to be hindered.

You need to be able to find work efficiently, or deliver a client project efficiently, or set up your own business website smoothly without wrestling with an out-of-date operating system, software or a computer full of viruses or cyber junk. That way you can get your work done, make money for the day, and then go out and enjoy yourself. That’s probably the whole reason you hit the road in the first place, right?

You can budget and save on a lot of things when you’re getting ready for location independent life, but don’t skimp on a good computer, even if it’s just a matter of refurbing and upgrading your current one. And generally speaking, you’ll have an easier time getting that sorted out before you leave.

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

If you’re getting ready now to embark on a digital nomad lifestyle, my two key pieces of advice would be:

1. Do whatever it takes to build the absolute conviction that it’s doable for the long term. That is: watch videos on YouTube, read blog posts, chat with people in social media who are already doing it successfully. It’s likely you’re already doing this anyway, so my advice is really just realizing that this is in fact a BIG part of the equation to making it work for you too. It’s the way you program your mind to recognize the endless possibilities and opportunities, and what step to take next.

2. Start building your online business skills now (even if you haven’t left to travel yet). Work on that early in the morning before work, or late at night after the kids go to bed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to use these skills to build your own business online, or to be paid an hourly rate to provide services to other business owners. Either way, it’s the same skill set. So start wherever you can now, and if you have a small savings fund put together to live on when you first hit the road, then you’ll be that much closer to having a stable income to replenish it when the time comes.

danielle-greason-2

After office hours beach time

For more info: https://www.valifestyledesign.com/ (VA Lifestyle Design) and https://www.greasonmedia.com/ (Greason Media)

20. Lorna Li

Remote worker picture

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

I am involved in Amazon shamanism as a spiritual path. In 2004 I spent 4 life-changing months in the Brazilian Amazon. I asked myself, how could I continue visiting the Amazon and the tribes without getting caught in a cycle of get a job, quit my job…and then being limited to low-end jobs service jobs that can accommodate time off like this.
Your average corporate job requires 1 year of commitment before being considered for a raise and promotion. Large career gaps are looked down upon.
It became evident to me that I had to figure out how to make money online.

How do you earn an income now?

Business coaching & done for you / done with you services for sustainable brands and social enterprises. We build websites and drive traffic.

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

I like to keep my budget at around $1500 a month. That’s because I don’t like to limit myself to crowded backpacker hostels where it’s impossible to conduct a business call over their cheap, crappy Internet. I see being nomadic as a once in a lifetime opportunity. So I like to enjoy scuba diving excursions, scooter journeys, detox yoga retreats & fly out to conferences, which pretty much involves staying at a high end hotel, if you want to maximize networking.

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

Get everything that you can online.
– Dropbox.
– Google Drive.
– ScheduleOnce or another online calendar booking system that automatically converts for time zones.
– Witopia or another personal VPN service for accessing the Internet over insecure public hotspots.
– PW protected external hard drive with hidden folder structure.
– A surge protector power strip – it’s amazing how few power outlets are actually available in hotel / bed & breakfast  rooms. That’s because most people staying there are on vacation!
– A multi-prong adapter.

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

Build an online platform that attracts targeted traffic & leads. Be able to convert those leads to sales. This will allow you to have a steady source of global income without being dependent on poorly paid local business, or be caught in feast or famine client cycles.

EXAMPLE: I created a direct response website for a sustainable landscaping client that is optimized for local SEO keywords. He has gotten tens of thousands of dollars in business just through the website – and it hasn’t been updated since 2011!

For more info: https://www.entrepreneursforachange.com/,

For a FREE Business Changemaker’s Toolkit: www.entrepreneursforachange.com/tenerife