Welcome to our last part of the “digital nomads”- series! Again you will get some more insights of  a digital nomad´s life. Have a look at our final interviews and enjoy reading!

27. Selvaggia Santin

Selvaggia Santin

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

My husband was offered a new job in the south part of Italy and we decided to move with our family. I decided to leave my position and to start a new freelancer’s life. I’m now mum of two and for this reason we move in accordance to the scholastic calendar, more or less. We have three months free on summertime for a long trip (june-sept) and a month on wintertime (dec-jan). We add 3/4 weeks during the Easter holidays (march/apr).

How do you earn an income now?

I have a strong collaboration with a publisher in the North of Italy and a continuous collaboration with the Intergovernmental Commission in Paris, and with other small independent publishing industries in the South of Italy. I recently joined the Odesk group, trying to expand my collaborations with worldwide clients.

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

I travel for work once per month to the North of Italy and Europe, it costs me about 200 euros. To cut down the cost I organize my trips two months in advance. But It doesn’t work properly every time. We move three times per year (more or less) and the costs depend alot on a good organizing phase but on mean we spend (we are 4!) 4000 euros per year.

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

Flexibility and curiosity. Some jobs don’t fit perfectly at the beginning but by being curious and with a never-ending desire of knowledge, helped me break down my pre-concepts on what I can or I can’t do pushing me further in new directions with unexpected results and satisfactions!

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

Save money in advance for black periods. It happens: be strong and keep going.

28. Jenny Shen

Jenny Shen

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

Since I was young I’ve always dreamed of travelling and living in different countries. The wanderlust began with a two-month international internship in India in 2012. It was an eye-opening experience and I thought it would be great if I could add more places to my “travel resume”.

Being nomadic fits my entrepreneurial personality because it gives me a challenge every day and provides more flexibility and freedom than a conventional job.

To me being a nomad is not just about going to somewhere warm and taking advantage of lower cost of living, which is what a lot of the digital nomads do now. For me it’s about experiencing different ways of life and work the way I want to work. It’s also about making connections with local people, understanding their culture and trying different things. It’s about balancing life, travelling and work.

How do you earn an income now?

Mostly freelance UX/UI design work. I have clients from Singapore, Taiwan and Canada. I’ve also taken contract UX/UI roles from time to time.

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

Depends on where I go it’s between $150 to $2000 USD per month. I lower the costs by living or travelling to places with low cost of living, couchsurfing, cooking my own meals and spending less on transportation. I also don’t like to buy souvenirs or things in general because it adds to baggage weight, which costs extra to check-in.

In where the cost of living is higher, I stay with Couchsurfing hosts or in Airbnb rooms or hostels that have a kitchen where I can make my own meals.

For transportation, money-saving tips are country-specific, but in general I buy low-cost flights and early bird train or bus tickets. To keep the cost low, I plan ahead and sacrifice flexibility. Instead of taking taxis, I save money by using public transportation, ridesharing or UberX, on-demand taxis which are usually cheaper than local taxi rates.

Choosing less destinations and staying longer at each place also reduce the travelling time and tickets one has to buy.

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

Digital Nomads is a great, supportive community for digital nomads. One can use different channels in the Slack chat to ask questions about a city you’re intending to go to or meet up with the digital nomads there. There are also channels for specific topics, e.g. #cheap-flight-tips, #design, #legal, #freelancer and #nomad-beginner.

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

Make a list of places you want to go and life goals. Read travel books and stories to get inspiration. Talk to people that have been or are a digital nomad now. Understand what you want – have the freedom to work wherever you are, be a full-time freelancer, have the experience to work in multiple places, or something else?

After you have some clue, just book your ticket! Once that is done trust that you will figure out everything else. Of course, having a plan will help but taking the first step is always the most scary and often the hardest.

29. Melissa Schumacher

Melissa Schumacher Picutre

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

I’m probably still in the beginning of a nomadic lifestyle. Since 2010, I didn’t live longer than six month at one place. I was bored of one thing (place, work place, university etc.) quickly. When routine entered my life, I felt a need to change something. And mostly I did, because I could. I am still a student. I did four semesters and an internship abroad and used every holiday to travel and experience. This is easy, because I am a flexible and free student. But I know that there will be one day, when I need to find a job and settle. I met people who lived a digital nomad lifestyle. I was inspired. I started to attract more and more people who were location independent, freelancer, digital nomads. So I was infected. I created a niche blog about Indonesia and the plan of continuing a nomadic life after my university becomes more realistic every day.

How do you earn an income now?

I have a niche blog about Indonesia and I am freelancing for a big Yoga Blog in Germany. In my opinion, niche is king. You become an expert in one area. You can gather more knowledge about one specific place rather than providing basic knowledge about thousand random places.

You have a huge and specialized network around. You are a good platform for the advertising industry since you have a specific target group. You don’t need to compete with the broad mass within the travel blog industry. It’s a huge competition between travel bloggers in the German market. There are only a few good ones that can earn money with their blogs.

So I felt not to compete with the established ones. Indonesia is a country with a big potential in tourism. And it’s a never ending travel. I lived around 1.5 years on the islands of Indonesia, learned the language and a lot about people and culture. I gathered enough knowledge to create a blog about it. Now I have more than 16.000 readers each month. I wrote one E-Book, and currently I am writing my first real book with my business partner Petra. Soon there are more books and E-Books planned (surf-guide, yoga-guide etc.).

In addition, I earn money with partner programs (amazon, DKB, babble etc.). And I am working as a freelancer for a Yoga Blog and Yoga Shop. All these works I can do online and location independent. Since I am still a student, I am not forced to earn lots of money, so I can concentrate on the quality of what I’m doing. Until summer 2016, I will finish university and I am definitely planning to live with my earnings of my blog, books and other projects.

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

Usually, I travel with 600 Euros a month. I stay longer in one place rather than moving every week. So I save transport costs and I can make better deals with flats or motorbikes. You pay less if you pay on a monthly basis instead of daily or weekly basis. Usually you always get discounts. I travel in countries, where I can afford a good lifestyle with small money (Southeast Asia). I try to avoid tourist places and tourist prices. This is possible if you are interested in a country, if you are open to observe, understand and adapt. If I live in Indonesia I know where to eat cheap, where to stay free and I have a good network of people, so it’s easy to live very well with little money.

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

  • Canva for Design works
  • Pixaby for free pictures
  • Maps.Me for Offline Maps

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

Be an expert in one field. Create a network around this topic. Check the potential of the niche: Are there enough possibilities to gain money easily in the future (e-Books / books / Video-Tutorials etc.)? Is there a low competition within this field or can you do it better than the competitors? Do you think your passion for the topic will last for a longer time? Is the target group big enough to pay your salary at a certain time? Always consider a healthy Input-Output relation. Be patient! And most important: Do it – it’s better done, than perfect!

BIO Melissa is a blogger, Yogi, social media geek, rescue diver, bachelorette, backpacking enthusiast, Indonesia specialist and digital nomad wannabe.

30. 2xBarrelledTravel

Double Barrelled Travel

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

This lifestyle came to us by surprise. First we just planned to travel for a year and then we got the bug and decided not to stop. It’s been nearly two years now and we haven’t looked back. The freedom that comes with being able to choose where you go and what you see on a daily basis is indescribable. And the diversity in your life is like nothing else.

How do you earn an income now?

We run a business called Red Platypus (https://double-barrelledtravel.com/hire-us-for-copywriting/) which does everything from copywriting to branding and social media. We have great clients who really understand our way of life and are supportive. We love what we do and being our own bosses certainly has its advantages! We also make a little bit of money from our travel blog (around one fifth of our income).

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

We spend about $3,000 a month. We manage to save a lot too, which is great. Our biggest tip is to track all you spend. This has helped us no end, because as soon as we realise we’re going over budget we rein in our spending. Trail Wallet is a great app to use for this.

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

I think what’s more important than having the right tools is having the right attitudes. You need to be adaptable to change and have an eagerness to embrace the new. You can’t be a homebody type. Digital Nomadism certainly isn’t for everyone.

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

Save as much money as possible! You want to give yourself the best head start that you can. Also make sure you are qualified or trained in a job that you can do on the road. If you have contacts in the field before you go, that is even better. You can never be too prepared. But at the same time, don’t let anything put you off from setting off. You’ll never have ‘enough money’ or be ‘qualified enough’ if you think about it too deeply.

Bio: Carmen is one half of the couple behind Double-Barrelled Travel (double-barrelledtravel.com) a travel blog focused on vlogging. Carmen married Dave three years ago and they quit their journalism careers in mid-2013 for a life on the road.

Let’s spread the word!

“Let’s spread the word” – was what I asked in my first contact with the possible collaborators and those who were able to answer inside the deadline, I must admit, they have, haven’t they?

Before you answer, let me thank all of the ones that had the time to present to us their priceless knowledge and experience. If it wasn’t for them none of this would have been possible…and that’s the blunt truth!

It’s been a real pleasure to collaborate with such open-minded  beings from all around the earth and I hope I’ve accomplished the goal…

Which was none other than to supply your restless minds with an ample array of real instances, thoughts, ideas, guides, advice, tools, careers…from professional DNs. For you to scan, read, reread, follow, absorb and hopefully come back to in aid of info, contacts, dreams…who knows.

I also hope you’ve had as great a time, reading this article, as I have creating it, it’s been a great ride. Good luck!

The Sun shines and it keeps us warm,

Gold shines and it fills us with loath.

What is your heart warmed with?

Article credits:

Salvador Ramón Ramírez. LinkedIn
Christian Morales Röhss. Linkedin