Hey guys! As you can see I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately. Everyone keeps asking me how (and why) I’m doing it. The number of friends and people I have had reach out to me to tell me that I’m inspiring them to follow their dreams or to travel more has just made me so extremely happy. I want to be able to help even more people, which has motivated me to focus my blog and stories more on travel. I want to share my stories as a digital nomad, offer tips and most of all, inspire.
So, What Is A Digital Nomad?
A digital nomad is someone, usually a freelancer or entrepreneur, who doesn’t have an office they have to work from. Basically, you work at home (or coffee shops or shared spaces). Pretty much any digital nomad job involves a computer, doing something like graphic design, coding, social media or digital marketing. A digital nomad may also have their own company or has taken time off just to travel. It’s someone that takes advantage of the fact that they don’t have to stay in one place. It’s someone that doesn’t have a permanent home and travels constantly, exploring different parts of the world. I am taking FULL advantage of this and so far have visited many European (and U.S.) cities.
Why This Lifestyle?
I’ve never been one for sitting in an office all day. Actually, I’ve never been one to want the path in life that society tells us we “should” take. You know that path. The one where you go to college, get a job in your major, get married, buy a house and then have kids. All by the time you’re 30. I always felt like I should want that stuff and I even tried taking that route in life. But I always felt unfulfilled chasing those dreams that I was told I needed to have. I thought I was one of the only people who felt left out, like this path wasn’t for me, but it turns out I’m not. I need freedom. I need space. I need the ability to do at least SOME things on my own terms. And you can’t do that in a 9 to 5 office job. I knew I needed to live my life differently, I just didn’t know how.
How Did I Become A Digital Nomad?
I used to work in marketing for cosmetics and as much as I like the beauty industry, having an office job felt like it drained my soul a little bit each day. Each time that I had to hop on that train out to Queens, head into a dark cubicle, sit on my computer, then tread home after it was dark out, it hurt. I knew I needed out, but I didn’t know how or what else I should do. I lived this life for six years, until I decided I couldn’t do the routine anymore. The only way I could see out of it was a move and with that, a career change. In fact, I was so fed up with my current life, that I made a pact to myself. I told myself that no matter what, in six months, I was moving to LA. You know, sometimes it’s a good thing when you reach that peak moment of unhappiness and dissatisfaction because that is exactly the place where change happens.
I told everyone I knew that I was moving, reached out to my LA friends, applied for jobs there, started to find a replacement roommate and did everything I could to make sure it was happening. It was in this frenzy of reaching out to contacts and making this happen, that I came across the company I work for now, Multibrain. It’s a social media management platform that helps entrepreneurs grow their business’ on social media. I loved what they were doing in the social media space and I loved the fact that everyone worked from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, it had never even occurred to me that I could be one of those people that don’t work in an office. How had it never occurred to me? I HATED working in an office. Of course I didn’t have to work in one. Why would I? Why would anyone subject themselves to something that makes them so unhappy? Well, I know exactly why. Because we think that’s all there is for us.
So I pitched myself to work for Multibrain. I came to them with what I could bring to the table and how I could help them grow their business. A couple weeks later, I had the job! I was thrilled, screaming and jumping up and down. No joke. At this point I still hadn’t considered anything other than finding an apartment in LA and working from home. Then, as fate would have it, I was sick with a cold and was going into work late. As I was laying on the couch that morning, the murmur of the tv in the background, I heard something that immediately caught my attention. It was a millionaire entrepreneur, telling the story of how he grew sick of owning all of these things, these possessions, including his home. In fact, he got rid of it and started living in Airbnbs. That was his new lifestyle. Isn’t today’s world amazing that something like this is even possible?
That was my a-ha moment. Funny how you can look back to those few defining moments in your life and just be able to pinpoint exactly when something inside of you changed. The more I told my colleagues and my friends and my parents about my idea to live as a “nomad,” the crazier I felt.
“You won’t have a real home?” Everyone asked me, their voices filled with concern.
It started to make me doubt that it could possibly be a good idea. How crazy. Just not having a lease and a place to put all of my stuff. But that’s because we are conditioned to think that’s a crazy thing to do. And in today’s society, it kind of is since it fits outside of the “norm.” To me though, it sounded so completely freeing. Here I was, always complaining that I hated being chained down, and now I had the opportunity to be free of all of the things I didn’t want or need anymore. I decided I was going to try it out.
How Do I Live This Way?
I sold all of my furniture and ended the lease in my Brooklyn apartment. I moved all of my clothes and shoes to my parents house (I would have used a storage locker or gotten rid of more if I didn’t have that option). I don’t have a monthly internet bill or rent payment or car payment. With that said, I have a lot more money to travel with. I have the money that I would normally spend on that stuff and use it to pay for my transportation, housing, food and clothing (because new clothes is a necessity to me) costs. I plan out my trips either a couple months in advance or two weeks before. I always stay in Airbnbs, with a friend or the occasional hostel or hotel. Surprisingly, it all about evens out. When I do want to save money though, that’s when I will stay with my parents or a friend. I’ll talk much more in-depth about this on a future post.
How Can You Do It Too?
This could be its own post as well, but I will say, if you also want to experience rapid self-growth or have a nomadic lifestyle, here are a couple suggestions. There are plenty of remote positions available that you can apply for. Besides a salaried remote job, you can always freelance or consult. Anything from graphic design to social media management to coding. Don’t have any of these skills? You can take courses online to build some. You may not be able to make as much money as you do now, but it all depends on what your priorities are and that’s something you have to decide that for yourself. Even if you don’t want a completely nomadic way of life, I hope that I have at least inspired you to go out and travel or do something outside of your comfort zone. It’s a bigger risk to stay complacent and bored in your life than to go out and experience something new or crazy.
All in all, I love my job, company and the fact that it offers me the opportunity to constantly see the world. It’s not a life meant for everyone, but it’s the life I always wanted and never even knew. I’m sure one day I will want to have a steadier, more settled life, but in the meantime, I am at the happiest, most fulfilled place I have ever been with myself. My biggest suggestion to you is if you’re not satisfied with where you are or what you are doing today, just know that you have the power to change it. With all of this said, I will be doing more and more blog posts related to this lifestyle, guides to cities and many, many more tips and inspiration! I hope you enjoy it