10 Questions to Yolanda Afonso and Marcos Barrera

This time, we want to present you with an interview of two digital nomads from our beautiful island Tenerife!! Yolanda Afonso and Marcos Barrera, both ambitious travellers and bloggers on “La Gaveta Voladora”, took their time to answer our famous 10 questions.

In the following paragraphs you can read about their travel habits, monthly expenses, how they earn money and which countries they have already visited.

But I don’t want to anticipate too much. So, you better read about it for yourself and get to know two interesting people with a lot of travel experiences and a great spirit!

Yolanda Afonso and Marcos Barrera

  • Age: 32 and 37
  • Years as a DN: 7

  • Profession: Tourist guide and unemployed
  • Nationality: Spanish

  • Stay in touch:

Digital nomads Yolanda Afonso and Marcos Barrera

Why did you decide to lead a nomadic lifestyle and what does it mean to you?

In fact (and always from our point of view), the nomadic life isn’t the ideal state. When you spend too much time “on the road”, everything becomes meaningless and the initial excitement ceases because nothing surprises you anymore and turns into daily routine. That’s why our lifestyle is to travel for a certain time and then go back home to digest what we’ve experienced and to see our family and friends. We capture our experiences in our blog and leave home to travel again and again, always according to our financial possibilities.

How do you earn an income now?

Currently, Yolanda works as a tourist guide for various agencies as well as independently.

How many hours do you work on average on a usual day?

Depending on the services, Yolanda can do half day or full day tours – Teide being her main destination. We dedicate much more time to the blog (and social networks). Every day, there is something to fix or to complete. New content has to be produced and published. That’s what Marcos is responsible for.

Also digital nomads wanna have fun.

What is your approximate travel budget for a year? Any tips on how to lower it?

Our budget was and is 30€ per day which gives each of us about 900€ per month to spend. It might seem a lot or too little, always depending on the destination you visit. In Japan or Oceania you don’t get far with that kind of money, while it is enough for Southeast Asia. This way, some countries compensate others in terms of expenses.

There are some interesting options to adjust your budget. The main way is to live, eat and travel like a local. You might waste time because transfers are usually very slow and in some places accommodation can be uncomfortable, but it can be done. Couchsurfing is another option we’ve used to save money and to meet local people. With this system, you not only have the possibility to sleep for free in a local person’s house, but also to get to know the culture of the place first hand from your host – highly recommended!

I have some recommendations for your travel budget too: You can travel with no money, with a medium budget or with a lot of money. It’s all about your mindset. I think that traveling shouldn’t be only about cutting expenses, but also about thinking: How or where can I make money to save for my travels? Some tips on how to lower your budget are: Look for cheap plane tickets, use couchsurfing, cook your own food, and don’t party too much.

Do you have any advice for those who want to follow your path and want to travel the world?

You shouldn’t think too much. We always hear that you only live once but we don’t know to what extent that is true until we leave our comfort zone (usually at home and surrounded by comforts of all kinds) and see how wonderful the world is.

How long have you been traveling and where have you been? Do you have a favourite place in the world?

From 2009 to 2013 we were the typical workers who saved their money to have 2-3 weeks vacation per year. We could travel to places like the United States, Indonesia, Cambodia or Turkey. In 2014 we took the big leap.  Life had to be more than just work, come home, work and wait for those three weeks at most to travel. In 2014, we went around the world for more than 300 days visiting 17 countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, the United States, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, India, Jordan).

We couldn’t just stay in one place. There are so many, among them surely Easter Island, the Perito Moreno glacier, the Salar de Uyuni, Machu Picchu, the colonial Mexico, the Taj Mahal, Petra, the beaches of Thailand …  we could spend hours naming special places around the world.

Yolanda and Marcos on sight seeing tour

What is your travel frequency? How often do you change the place you stay?

Since we returned from our world trip we haven’t travelled for long periods, although it’s true that we have been in India (Kerala) and South Africa during this 2015. We would travel more often if we could, but we don’t complain.

How do you manage distance from family and friends? Do you miss having an established home?

Well, distance is not a big problem. In these times of social networks and video calls, contact is more direct. Eventhough you are separated by 10.000 km, it seems like you are at home. It’s a strange feeling to travel in a way that you are so connected with one another.

Can you imagine keeping up the digital nomad lifestyle for the rest of your life?

Definitely! Imagine how much we have left to visit! We’d love to go to the Galapagos, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Iran, Europe … we haven’t even been to Iceland yet. There is still so much to see that we surely cannot do it in one single life!

Are you a digital nomad with experience? Then you might want to read our blog post “Hey you, digital nomad! I want to offer you something