30 Digital Nomad Stories: How to work remotely and travel the world [Part 6]

Part 6 of digital nomad interviews

 

24. Vedran Zgela
Vedran Zgela is a digital nomadWhy did you decide to begin a nomadic life and what it means to you?

I used to work for a web agency for around 4 years.
I’ve been thinking of starting a freelance career for a while.
After like 3 years at that agency I decided that I want to take my future into my own hands.
It’s definitely a risky step but I was sure the flexibility and freedom as a freelancer will make me more happy and therefore more productive as well.
So, main reason is definitely freedom, independence and flexibility.

How do you earn an income now?

I’m a web developer.
My clients are mostly based in Switzerland, sometimes France and Germany.
I mostly work with WordPress.
Lately I’ve realised a lot of Online Stores.
Next to that I run two different online stores with friends of mine.
That’s another little bit of extra money.

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

I don’t have a budget since I don’t like to plan at all.
Once you decide to travel + you do it for a while, you automatically lower your expectations.
I travel mostly where I know people and try to find a couch or a cheap place, but I still look for, places I can work without distractions.
For me personally it always depends on the projects I’m working on.
If I don’t have a lot of work, I like to stay at people’s or friends places.
If there’s a lot of work, I normally take an airbnb for myself where I can be sure that I can focus 100% on my work without any distractions.

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

Be communicative and open.
The most important skill for myself is that I have a big network and that’s where my work is coming from.
I’ve been freelancing for almost 3 years. Doing the digital nomad thing for 1 year. All without a personal portfolio or anything business related. Only mouth to mouth.

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

It looks like a big risk at the beginning.
But once you take the step, you realise how much it is worth.
Don’t get blinded by all the ‘shiny’ facts like chilling at a beach with your computer.
It’s not that easy. It includes a lot of self discipline.
Be openminded. Lower your standards.
Have some savings if possible.

BIO

: Vedran travels the world while he earns his money as a freelance web developer.
Say hi under @vdrnn on Instagram + Twitter.

For more info: https://instagram.com/vdrnn

 

25. Karen Banes

Karen is a remote worker

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

I’ve always loved to travel and have lived, worked and studied in several different countries. When my husband and I had children we decided to settle down for a while as a family, albeit in a foreign country (my children were born in Spain and spent their early years there). I kept thinking about how great it would be to travel with the children, home-school them and raise them as global citizens. When they were eight and ten we took them out of school to go traveling for a year or so. That was about five years ago and we are still living the digital nomad lifestyle now.

Our lifestyle has given us tremendous freedom as a family, and allowed our children to have experiences they just couldn’t have through short-term travel. I wrote about the advantages of being a digital nomad family, in this article The Educational Value of Long Term Travel With Kids.

How do you earn an income now?

I’m a freelance writer, editor and author. It’s relatively easy to earn a living online now, but income isn’t necessarily the most important aspect of your finances if you want to be a digital nomad. It’s important to be as debt-free as possible before you start. And if you own a property that you can rent for a profit while you travel, you’re in a much stronger position.

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

It’s impossible to say because it depends on where you’re traveling. A year in Western Europe will require a very different budget from a year in South East Asia.

My best tip for stretching your budget is to try and live like the locals. It’s tempting to go traveling and do all the touristy things but you’ll spend as though you’re on vacation. When I used to visit Spain as a tourist, I spent a fortune on going out in the evenings. When I moved there I realized the Spanish eat out at lunch time, and get a fantastic three-course ‘Menu del dia” for a few euros. If they go out in the evening it’s often just for a drink (at a local bar, not a tourist bar) then home for a late supper. You can’t be a digital nomad and live like a tourist. That would be an expensive and unsatisfying lifestyle.

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

A skill set that can earn you money consistently, working primarily online, that involves you doing something you enjoy. Digital nomads might be writers, photographers, web designers, or online marketers. I always say I can run my office out of my laptop bag, and the only major piece of equipment in there is my laptop.

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

Do your research. Stay flexible. Get (or stay) debt-free if you can. Build a skill set that can earn you money online. Try it out and refine it before you go traveling. Building an online or freelance business as part of your day-to-day life is a great way to test your income generating ability and save money for your travels. Design a lifestyle that works for you and refine it as you go along. It might be constant traveling. It might be finding three places you love and using each as a base for a few months of the year. Everyone is different.

Bio

Karen Banes is a freelance writer and indie author. Find out more at her site www.KarenBanes.com.

26. Richard Van Den Vieren

Digital nomad Vedran Zgela

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

I didn’t really decide on it, it just happened, i kinda rolled in to it. It means everything to me… wouldn’t wanna live life any other way. I get bored pretty easily and living like this keeps things interesting. I don’t like to be a tourist either though, I need more time to soak up a city or a place, find locals that know where the magic happens (or that know where the best coffee / pizza / … in town is).

How do you earn an income now?

I’m a filmmaker, and thanks to the digital revolution it’s pretty manageable to work from anywhere really. I have a pretty compact travelkit, with cameras, lenses, laptop etc… Once you start exploring a new place, I usually just bump into interesting people who can help you on your way.

What is your approximate travel budget for a year? Any tip to lower it down?
Depends from year to year and what kind of jobs I get (sometimes the clients pays for travel too). Tip to lower it down: Find clients that pay for travel haha 🙂

What would you consider to be one of the best tools for becoming a Digital Nomad?
A laptop I guess.

Do you have any advice for those starting a DN life?
Just do it… it’s never too late for a 9 to 5.

BIO: Over the past decade, AOOATV has become a leading producer of promotional movies for events, brands, artists and athletes worldwide. Due to founder Richard Van der Vieren’s idiosyncratic and dynamic filming style, AOOA.TV has attracted major names in the industries of music, extreme sports, apparel, energy drinks and so on.

For more info: https://aooa.tv/

About the Author:

I'm still not a digital nomad but I absolutely love the spirit of the movement. Until I'll become a nomad by myself I write about the topic and welcome nomads and wannabes to our Coworking Space in Tenerife, the island I'm calling home since 1998.