5 Questions to Vedran Zgela

There are no just-one-job persons here at “30 Digital Nomad Stories: How to Work Remotely and Travel the World”: Vedran Zgela worked for four years at a web agency, before he decided to start his freelance career as a web developer. He also runs two online stores with some friends. For him as a digital nomad, having a large network is the most important factor for being successful in his job.

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

I’ve been thinking of starting a freelance career for a while. I used to work for a web agency for around 4 years. 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 and 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 and have some savings if possible.