Meet Jarek – A Software Developer living and working in Tenerife

Jarek is a Software Development Manager working for an international company. He was fed up with the East European Weather in Poland, so a couple of months ago he just decided to move to Tenerife.

Currently one of the most popular ways of working is using SCRUM, a modern way to organize work flows. “SCRUM?” – you ask yourself – “What is SCRUM?!”. In his presentation he will tell us everything about it. How does it work? Why is it so popular? Can I use it for my work, even if I am not writing software? Also, he will talk about how it feels to lead a project of writing new software.

In the following interview, you can already get to know him a bit and read about the reasons why he moved to Tenerife, how it is to live in a foreign country with his wife and his daughter and why he thinks Smartphones are changing the way we travel.

Would you like to learn more about Jarek’s life abroad and why and how he’s using SCRUM? Yes? Us, too! Join us on the 8th of May at this month’ presentation at Coworking in the Sun!

Join Us for our Special Event!

  • When: Tuesday, 08.05.2018 at 17:00h

  • Where: Aula 2 in FU International Academy Tenerife, C.C. La Cúpula, Local n° 69, 38400 Puerto de la Cruz

Don’t miss out! Join our events on Facebook and MeetUp.

Jarek Cichon

  • Age: 42

  • Digital Nomad since: 10 month

  • Profession: Software Developer/  Software Development Manager/ Scrum Master

  • Nationality: Polish

  • Stay in touch via LinkedIn or Instagram

10 Questions to Jarek Cichon

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

I think the way I’m living is not a nomadic life yet, I just moved from Poland to Tenerife.  Nomadic life seems to require more traveling. However, if I define nomadic life as a ability to move to any place – well, any nice place, like here –  then yes, it is a first step towards a nomadic life!

The reasons why I moved abroad are mainly the following:

  1. Weather:  Poland is really nice country, but each autumn, winter, spring is a disaster in my opinion.  Each year I was thinking to do something about it.
  2. Education: as a parent of a 12 years old daughter, I figured that one or two years in Spain – in a friendly Spanish school – would give her a nice opportunity to learn a new language  plus open her a unique view of a different life style.
  3. Health: Each year we spend 2 weeks at the mediterranean coast, and were always feeling better, thanks  to sun, salty water and good food. Again, traveling back to Poland, I was always wondering, what I could do about it.
  4. Finally, because I can!  😉 Writing software is an activity that can be done from any place with a decent internet speed, so here I am!

2)   How do you earn an income now?

Actually, in the same way as before: working as a Software Development Manager with an international company.

Usually, people imagine working at a corporation as a boring task from 9 to 5.  This is not true at all, when you look at companies that produce software. Writing a software is creative process, and if you take a look at how for example Google is working – it is not really a typical desk and chair environment. It is possible to be a Digital Nomad and working for a corporation.

3) How many hours do you work at an average on a usual day?

I work about 8 hours per day and try to stay in a creative process. But I think it is not really possible to create something longer than 8 hours per day.

My recommendation is to take breaks from time to time! In fact, it is recommended to have a break, to drink a coffee or to have a small chat with someone. Even 15 minutes of a break can bring a total different view to a problem which you have to solve.

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

So far, we have traveled within Europe. My preference is to travel by airplane – it is not only the fastest, but also cheapest way. Usually it is possible to get to any EU country from any other EU country for something around 70€. To find such cheap flights with low cost airlines, I use GoogleFlights or, a website that allows you to search for combined connections.
Another trick is to check also charter flights – here on Tenerife we have pretty wide range of airlines that are selling leftover places for a good price, including baggage.

We have tried Couchsurfing, a website that connects members to a global community of travelers to meet up or give a place to sleep. Selecting our hosts and guests carefully,  it was always a nice experience and an opportunity to meet people who are travelling around the globe. Getting to know these people actually inspired and showed us, that you can just take your stuff and see the world. And it was nice to realize that these were all real, normal people traveling around – not only superheros! 😉

5)   What would you consider to be one of the best tools for becoming a digital nomad?

That’s simple! A Smartphone!
I am still surprised, that I can plan my whole trip just using my phone. Check your destination, buy your flight, store the boarding card, check the bus schedule, buy a bus ticket, rent a flat or a hotel room, learn some words in the local language, and so on – everything just by phone. There is simply an app for everything!

6)   Do you have any advice for those starting a digital nomad life?

  1. Learn languages! English is not enough.
  2. Plan!  Quoting Eisenhower “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

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

Each summer we travel to see a new country. So far, we visited Paris, Rome, Prague, Bratislava, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Sweden. And of course finally Tenerife!
My favourite place in the world is still Poland. I also had a moment of hesitation after leaving Paris, but I exclude Tenerife from this ranking! 😉

8) What is your travel frequency? How often do you change the place you stay and do you have a home base?

I do not consider traveling as a way of life for myself. I travel if it seems to be a good idea. The last 10 years I spent mostly in Poland. And when I’m travelling, I am with my wife and kid – they are my home.

9) How do you manage the distance to family and friends? Do you miss having an established home and a wardrobe without weight limit?

With family it is easy – I see my wife and my daughter on daily basis. Friends visit us from time to time or I am flying to Poland, luckily Tenerife is really well connected with the rest of  European countries and in between Social Media like Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp helps a lot.

Regarding the other question, I am in fact really happy to have a wardrobe with weight limit sometimes. When we were moving out, we had to start to arrange our stuff every day and after 2 weeks of throwing out a lot of things it was really funny and liberating to realize that you don’t miss anything of it. Things are making me busy, they are occupying my attention… The less stuff you carry around, the better. So actually I see travelling or moving as a benefit, as an opportunity to remove stuff from your life that you don’t really need.

10) Could you imagine keeping up the digital nomad lifestyle for the rest of your life?

Normally, I do not plan for more than one or two years ahead. Also, raising a child has some priorities.
Anyway, you can depict the nomad lifestyle in two opposite ways:

  • You move to a foreign country, lose your friends, suffer a lonely life. And if by chance you get new friends, you move again and lose your (new) friends again. The lonely road for lonely wolfs.
  • Another approach is that you have a friends in your country, and take travelling as an opportunity to get to know new people and find new friends. So after one country you end up with friends from your home country plus friends in a new place. After a few times you end up having friends everywhere, and are enriched by several different lifestyles and cultures. Plus, you kind of see the world more complete.

So far, I’m more likely to see the nomad life in the second way, of course assuming that I stay long enough in one place.
In conclusion: Yes, I’d be glad if I could follow the digital nomad lifestyle for the rest of my life.

Jarek will be visiting Coworking in the Sun to share his experiences and knowledge on May 8th. Learn more about the event on Facebook or MeetUp.

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