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Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips Tools and Tips

10 Years As A Digital Nomad: A Summary

Go out and find yourself. Most people see traveling as the ultimate way to self-reflection. In this post I want to share my most valuable insights from 10 years of traveling full-time as a digital nomad. I’ll also include some tips that might help you start traveling longer for less and stay connected with friends and family at home. 

*This post may contain affiliate links, see here for full disclosure; it was first published in 2016 and updated in 2021

Traveling full-time requires flexibility and dedication because you have to organise every single day and plan a lot ahead.

How to stay connected with your friends and family?

Many people ask me this: Don’t you miss your friends and family? And my answer is a clear yes! But there are wonderful ways to keep in touch and keep an intimate connection with those you love – even at a distance. We all experienced it during the pandemic, being seperated and not able to visit our loved ones can be tough. In my case, I am so used to hop on regular video calls and keep my peeps at home updated about my travels through social media. However, there is one favorite thing I love the most: my best friends and my family – and even my former colleagues, they all have a world map hung up in their living rooms where they can track my travels! It’s a beautiful map and comes with push pins to see exactly where I have traveled to.

Traveling as a form of learning:

When you travel, you are like a sponge, or perhaps more like a student. Suddenly, you start taking notes again and pay attention to the details that your history teacher would have told you in school. This time it interests you though. But what has changed? I believe that seeing the world ‘live’ makes your synapses function differently. Everything you learn about a destination and its people, food, and culture will be printed in your memory. No history class would have ever been able to do so. Traveling full-time leaves an impression on you. I always go away from somewhere with the feeling that I actually added a new puzzle piece to this big picture called ‘earth’.

When you are traveling you learn a lot about the tradition and culture of the places that you go...
Here, we all paid attention: during our city tour in Lisbon we learned that touching this guy’s ticket brings luck.

Do every day what truly makes you happy

If you are an explorer and love the idea of seeing all the places in the world, stop surfing the web and go see them for yourself. All those dreams we have, are often never realized because we are too busy with ‘quickly’ doing other things rather than actually dedicating our time to what we really want to do. Our dreams seem to be lived by other people, those people from the magazines or Instagram. We seem to like to say that before we can ‘play’ we have to take care of our duties and do something that is ‘really important’. Yet, I’ve learned that there is nothing more important than following your passion and doing what makes you truly happy RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, your life will always feel like a long sequence of duties.

See it for yourself: traveling long-term makes you live and experience what you usually see in magazines or on postcards.
Way better than on a postcard or in a magazine: live and in full color, these views are unbeatable!

Frankie was right!

For some it might sound selfish, but you shouldn’t care because those people most likely won’t care if you die with regrets. ‘I do it my way’ is a deliberating concept for happiness. Design your life with all the creativity you have and add the details to it which make you happy. I believe that this is the key to personal freedom, from which you will enter a new dimension of life. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your personal lifestyle design. What suits you might not suit me, but that’s fine.

So, being a wAnderful soul, it has dawned on me that traveling does not have to be reduced to the short periods of vacation time that your boss approves at the end of each year. For me, the most beneficial consequence after changing my life was to become self-determined and free to choose wherever and whenever I want to go.

After 10 years of living a nomadic lifestyle, first solo, then as a couple and now with my two beautiful sons, I have learned a lot and worked even more to maintain this way of living. And even if it was not always a clear vision that I followed and it also was not always easy, I don’t regret the drastic transformation that started in 2011. In fact, traveling full-time and becoming location independent sometimes is tough. It requires a lot of determination, discipline and creativity. But it is the most rewarding lifestyle you can imagine. Be careful though, it’s very easy to crawl back into the safety net of our society which sells pre-made lifestyles. Remembering your ‘why’ is crucial…

Being a tourist for a day...even if you are traveling full-time you might enjoy the typical tourist attractions.
Dreams don’t have to be sand castles…!

Remember your ‘Why’

Living outside the system can be tough. So, the most important part for me is to remember why I chose to change my life. And perhaps you can relate to it: your 9-5-job bores you; the routine of work-eat-sleep-repeat makes you unhappy; life seems dull; your time feels wasted. If that sounds familiar, it will be easy to remember why you want to make a change.

Your motivation to find a way to make a travel-life happen is almost guaranteed. And with each new place you visit and new person you meet, you will realize that life can be so colourful and diverse. Your grey old you from the past seems to fade away. Like an old friend from the past, you get less and less emotionally attached to the past. Reality is what your life is now, and this is an important process to your personal freedom.

Once your new self is completely shaped, you feel more like a protagonist of a big adventure. You have completed the transition phase from your conventional life: welcome to your new you! As soon as you no longer feel like you are wasting your time with your daily tasks – you are living life to the fullest! Isn’t that what we are all here for?

See all the beautiful places around the world - when you travel it seems like you live life the fullest...
Let life be colorful and diverse.

Travel longer for less:

If you are serious about traveling full-time and want to know how you can get to know the world without going bankrupt, check out my post on ‘How to travel without being rich’. My first advice is to switch from tourist mode to traveller. Here is how you can adjust a few travel habits that might help you save money and experience your destination differently than ‘the average’ tourist:

  • Become social, social and triple social:

Instead of reading your Lonely Planet, you can get personal advice from real travellers: I joined many digital nomad groups on Facebook and even created my own. That’s where I get location specific info on accommodation, activities or simply if I want to know how to get to a new place in the most efficient way. You save time browsing the web and you’ll get personalised answers to all your questions. Plus you can exchange and connect with like-minded people – priceless!

But I also use those groups to learn about new trends, find out about useful tools/apps, travel deals, and to evaluate new destinations before I go. Here are my favourite ones: Digital Nomads Around the World, Girls Love Travel, The Family Travel Group and We Travel We Blog.

  • Keep Your Costs Low With Volunteering Programs

Worldpackers, HelpX, Workaway and Wwoofing are ways to get a more local experience while saving on accommodation costs.  All four organisations require an average of three to six hours of your help per day, mostly five days per week. This gives you enough time to get involved in a local project, but also still leaves you time to explore the destination you are visiting. Conditions vary from host to host and can sometimes be individually negotiated. Here is a post that includes our experience with an organic farm in Hawaii.

Wwoofing is an alternative way of traveling long-term: you can support the local community and enjoy getting to know more about the culture and people.
Our little farm on Oahu…
  • Live Like a Local

If you don’t want to ‘work’ or be actively involved in some sort of local project couchsurfing or housesitting might be a better option for you. They are a little bit less predictable though because you have to apply for a couch/house sitting gig in advance and hope that the house owner will choose you. This tip is not good for last-minute travel plans. But it is our favourite option to stay away from hostels, or if we are tired of volunteer work. And if you manage to get a house sitting gig in one of your chosen destinations, it’s like winning the lottery – a home away from home for free!

  • Start a Travel Blog

Not everyone should do this. Maintaining a blog is a big commitment and requires a lot of dedication. But even if you don’t like writing and researching you can always think of alternatives such as a photo or video blog. Either way, I would highly recommend that you have at least one online platform on which you document your travels. Whichever option you choose, or if you decide to feed them all, rest assured that this will bring you a lot of benefits for your travels. If you are interested in starting a travel blog, check out my post on ‘How to become a successful travel blogger’.

  • Traveling Full-Time is Pure Fun?

It’s a big mistake to think that it’s all very easy. When you are traveling full-time, you’ll find yourself outside your comfort zone almost every day. And that can be a bit challenging for some. That’s why I created my coaching program for aspiring digital nomads! In 1-1 sessions via video call, I guide my clients through all the phases, map out a plan with them and answer all their questions. My most recent project, Life By Design, is an online course that helps especially couples and families to create a sustainable life full of travel. You can register here to get on the waitlist.

Enjoy each end every moment! When traveling full-time, you have time to sit back and relax.

Conclusion

Traveling full-time or long-term is like a job – especially when you have kids! You spend a lot of time in front of your computer to organize your next flight, bus, hotel etc. Every day has to be newly created. Even if that scares you, I’d say try it out at least once in your life! I am pretty sure that you won’t regret it. For me, not knowing what I will do tomorrow is the beauty of a location-independent life. Not having a routine and living without material burdens lets me live more flexibly. As soon as I was able to appreciate the fact that I don’t have to know every single step in advance, it brought me personal freedom. Today, I live a very exciting life full of new adventures every day even with my family! Here’s to another decade of traveling!

Start a travel blog, sell products on amazon or become an online entrepreneur with whatever skill you are qualified for: digital nomads enjoy a life of full-time travelling to exotic places all around the world.
Cheers to ten years of traveling!

Did you like this post? What are your experiences from traveling full-time? Or are you about to start a nomadic life yourself? Get in touch or comment, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this topic!

 

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Thank you, COVID-19!

In times like this, when crisis and panic are your neighbours, it’s even more important now to stay calm, sane and positive. A few weeks ago, I did not think that the coronavirus outbreak could affect us during our stay here on Koh Phangan. In fact, I didn’t even pay much attention to it, as I don’t read/watch the news. Only when people started talking about it in Facebook groups and when they cancelled one of the events we were supposed to attend in Europe, I knew, the upcoming months would be changing drastically…

And that’s ok. We are stuck in paradise, it could be worse.

No, seriously, I mean, at first, it sucked, sure. Especially because we lost around 1000 Euro due to non-refundable accommodation bookings and flight changes, not considering the potential business ops that such events mean for us. But hey, in the end, it is only money. We are not hurt or don’t suffer anything other than being forced to change our travel plans. 

So, I know this is complaining on a high level. Therefore, I decided to not think about it any longer. Why waste this kind of energy if you simply can not change it?


Here is our Coronavirus Diary, to give you a daily update on how things go here in Thailand:


Why every crisis is also an opportunity

A few weeks ago, I talked about this on my Instagram feed and wondered how many people are actually thinking about the Covid-19 outbreak as a positive thing. I, by no means, want to belittle things and I truly feel sorry for those who are affected and suffer from the virus’ effects. But at the same time, I think we all need a little upbeat music in this orchestra of serenades.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/B91idOAJvgS/

And that’s why I think, we should start to put this into perspective, so here are some stats for you:

  • Seasonal flu deaths this year: 102,429
  • Road traffic accident fatalities this year: 284,514
  • Deaths caused by smoking this year: 1,053,641
  • Deaths caused by Coronavirus this year: 154,388 (18th of April 2020)
  • Recovered Coronavirus Cases: 575,837 (18th of April 2020)

Again, I am not trying to diminish any concerns about this virus, but before you start buying supplies or survival kits, please look at the stats without the panic glasses on – according to worldometer.com ‘an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses’ – every year. This is a fun website to check out, by the way, but that’s a different topic, let’s go back and focus on the stats again.

What do you think are the causes for the worldwide panic and hysteria then?

Exactly. The media and our governments are freaking us out. Right!? Even if the virus spreads in an extremely rapid manner, and ok, yes, it is highly contagious but AGAIN, look at the numbers, PLEASE. It is still not some sort of killer virus that goes around to erase human mankind. I simply don’t get why in Europe now panzers and the military pop up like pimples! Do you?

Why the f… are we not globally staying at home for two weeks or more and the whole drama would come to an end?! Seriously, if the lockdowns are there to minimise the spread or even eliminate the virus, then it should be done on a global level. Otherwise, all the individual efforts of those countries who are putting their people under quarantine or into lockdowns will be in vain.

What I truly appreciate, in times like this, is the fact that our travel insurance is covering us all the way, even when my home country’s companies long have turned their backs on us! In general, I am a big fan of SafetyWings, they are such a great solution for nomads like us. Plus, I met the Co-funder of SafetyWings in Chiang Mai and learned that the company is not only delivering great products and solutions for location-independent people but also are truly idealistic and visionaries too.

So, if you are looking for travel or health insurance that covers you worldwide without breaking your bank account, consider booking via our affiliate link here (to no extra cost to you, of course).

UPDATE (18th April 2020): Check this site to know if you are eligible for coverage in a coronavirus affected country: HERE.

Back to our story.

How Coronavirus messed up our travel plans:

For us, travelling is not some sort of vacation – it has turned into our lifestyle. This means, when I say that our travel plans have been messed up, I am actually talking about that our life, in general, has come to a halt, as we don’t have a home base. So, every flight that we have to cancel means that we don’t know where else to go, or at least, we have to rethink again. Yes, we are homeless but happy, so to say.

But especially during a crisis like this one, it makes it a bit more complex: if your government tells you to return to your home country, they are talking about ‘normal’ people with a home and a life there. We don’t have either. 

So, when we came to Chiang Mai in January where I gave a talk on social media marketing at Nomad Summit, our plan was to continue in March from there to Italy to attend another travel conference. As you can imagine, this conference was cancelled.

This was the first blow because without the conference our flights to Europe became obsolete: why head to Europe if there is nothing but cold weather (well, and lovely grandparents, uncles and aunts, and some friends, of course)?

So, we decided to spend some money to change our flights (=445 Euro) and extend our visa (=100 Euro) for another 30 days.

It seemed to be a smart decision back in February because we thought that with the upcoming speaking gigs in Georgia in May (Nomad Summit) and Rumania in July (Bansko Nomad Fest), we will have to fly to Europe anyways… we still don’t know if those will happen – who knows for how long the worldwide air travel ban will last.

As of the moment of writing (18th of April 2020), the situation in Europe seems to become under control though, so there’s hope.

Currently, our visa is valid through to the 30th of April, and then we will have to see what the Thai government decides for those foreigners in their country who have already overstayed their normal visas, like us.

A month ago, we were looking at these three options:

  1. Leave Thailand and go to X destination
  2. Leave Thailand and come back in (aka do a visa run)
  3. Take our scheduled flight to Germany
    All three options stopped being options by the end of March when Thailand closed its borders and international air traffic was put to a halt. (see updated text in red below for the current situation here in Thailand)!

UPDATE (18th of April 2020): Thailand’s borders are still closed The country is still under a state of emergency. At the beginning of April, the Thai premier minister officially announced that most foreigners’ visas will be renewed automatically until the 30th of April.

As of the moment of writing, this is the situation with Coronavirus in Thailand:

  • Total Cases: 2733
  • Active Cases: 899
  • Recovered: 1787
  • Deaths: 47

The German embassy helped stranded tourists to get an extension to be able to overstay their visa without being fined. On April 5th, our flight got cancelled, so we were part of the group of foreigners affected who got stuck in Thailand.

Looking back now, we have had so little restrictions for our daily life here and have been able to participate in pleasant activities such as going to the beach, driving around the island on our scooter or using the resort’s pool, that we are very grateful and happy that we decided and were forced to stay put.

Still, I can only say, thank you, COVID-19 for making all our lives a bit more complex.


I will update this post on a frequent basis, so make sure to bookmark this page and check back on a frequent basis if you are interested in how our journey will continue…

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy. <3

Oh and, here are two websites that I think everyone should know of…

Best resources to check Coronavirus updates:

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Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips

8 Tips To Stay Sane As A Digital Nomad Family

Being exposed to new situations, living in unfamiliar places and meeting strangers on a daily basis can be a challenge at first. But it can also be one of the most rewarding things about travelling solo. You are not only constantly pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone but you also adjust more easily to new situations and build a strong foundation. This can help you at work, in your relationship and in many more situations in life. 

family sitting on a wooden bench at the beach
Travel proof: our kids love the digital nomad family life.

Whoever has eaten out alone once in their life knows what I am talking about. Or have you ever attended a day trip with a group of people you didn’t know? Does starting a conversation with the person next to you on a plane make you feel uncomfortable? Well, these are all examples that can happen to you when you go out to see the world by yourself. 

Sometimes you’ll end up feeling uncomfortable but once you’re through it, you will realize that it was a necessary process to grow even a little more.

Hang on! While this might already be a constant learning process for yourself, how on earth is this working when there is more than you involved? I am talking about your family. Well, when there is not only your own concerns, fears and worries to be taken care of, this task of stepping out of the comfort zone is yet a whole different story. 

woman kneeling at the beach looking towards her son, the sun goes down in the back

In this post, I want to dive into the struggles, challenges and opportunities you are facing when globetrotting as a family.

Your takeaways from this post:

  • Communication is key
  • Listen: Everyone in the family needs to be heard
  • Why you should always remember your WHY
  • How to create a space of love
  • Relax: You don’t have to be perfect (all the time)!
  • Why you should (re-)watch Monty Python

When will you ever stop searching?

The other day, we went to have lunch in a restaurant, here on Koh Phangan. The woman next to me started asking questions after Vincent walked over to her to show her his toy cars. She noticed his strong little character and the confidence he has when talking to strangers – he is only two years and 9 months old at the moment of writing this. In fact, when we go to eat out, he usually sits with other people, as he likes to get to know them. And since he is a friendly little feller, there has not once been an occasion that a person sent him away or was annoyed.

In this particular situation, the woman was especially fond of him right from the start of their conversation. After she had heard that we are homeless by choice and have been wandering the globe since 2011, she asked me: “But don’t you feel exhausted by constantly moving around? When will you finally arrive at one destination and stop looking?”. 

It’s not the first time that I have heard this question. It seems that people think that we are lost and on a quest to find our purpose in life or at least a destination to settle down.

While I am not saying that we will never settle down, it is clearly not what we are after right now. I responded as I usually would:

“We have already arrived. This is our life. This is what we do because we love it.”

She nodded and seemed to process the information. We kept talking for a while and I had the impression that she realized we are not some sort of hipsters who are following a popular trend. In fact, my reasons for still being on the road, even as a family, made perfect sense to her: we design our life the way we want to. No limitations, other than visa and money, of course.

All this being said, it is not always easy. Here is what we do to not go crazy when being together as a travelling family 24/7 for 365 days.

Pin for Pinterest with title 'How to stay sane as a digital nomad family'; family in the background, father makes a handstand, mother and two children laugh
Pin this on Pinterest and save the post for later!


1. Communication is key when you travel as a family

First and foremost I recommend to never forget about the importance of talking about EVERYTHING. I mean literally every single thing. Even if it seems to be only a tiny little problem, spit it out immediately. Never carry it along with you. Because if you do this, it will most likely transform itself into a big fat elephant-like problem. And then, it’s a lot harder to resolve it.

Being together and most often not able to shut a door or leave the house to go for work, means that you don’t have these 8-10 hours per day apart from each other during which both parties can process the other one’s words and eventually calm down or even forget about the argument.

When you are never separate, or at least not for long, you’ll want to constantly be transparent with your thoughts and feelings. Trust me, this helps big time. I had to learn this, I was never good at it but now, I even feel comfortable when sharing something that might cause trouble. 🙂    

woman swimming with two babies in a swimming pool, the ocean in the background

2. Remember your WHY

While it might look like the perfect lifestyle (and to us, it certainly is), I would be lying if I’d say that we are happy all the time. There are moments when I worry and wonder if this is the right thing to do – especially since we have kids. 

We human beings are designed to imitate and follow the masses. It’s so much easier too. Doing what everyone else does can’t be wrong, can it? And when you are swimming in the opposite direction, everyone else’s opinions and fears will always swim into your face. I learned to dive deeper and not let myself be affected by the current. I am, of course, not talking about swimming here, but I am trying to explain with this allegory that you can or cannot let other people’s opinions influence you in your process of making decisions in life.

Hey, it’s your life. What good does it do if everyone else is happy but you?

So, the best way of going strong into your direction and keep walking your way, is, in my opinion, when you constantly remember why you are choosing this as your life. In my case, I only have to think about my life back in Germany before I left in 2011: I seemed to have had it all, a well-paying job, a nice apartment and a full bank account. But I felt empty inside and I was not happy.

You, as a family, can do this together as well! Just try to look at all the positive aspects of living location-independently and living like a digital nomad family. And then ask yourselves, would you be happier where you were before and with what you did back there and then? Most likely, it would not even be easier, just different. But trying out something new – even just for a little while – can be so rewarding.

Little child and woman sitting on rocks overlooking the ocean form high above.

3. Everyone needs to be heard

Before we decided to have kids, we talked a lot about how this would affect our current life. There were times when we were not so sure if we really wanted to change something. And yet, we plunged into the adventure and this unknown road of being parents. No one can prepare you for this, it’s the most challenging and at the same time most fun ‘job’ I’ve ever had. A journey, I wouldn’t want to have missed, so I am very glad we decided to go this way.

At the same time, we loved the way things were and knew it would never be the same. Again, there were these voices from other people who made it even harder to focus on our own voices. They kept telling us that when we will have kids, we would have to stop and settle down. Kids need structure, and a home, they need familiar places and faces and what happens when they need to go to school?

With all these questions and statements, it was – again – not easy to break out the norm and choose the uncommon way. But, as with my initial decision to quit my job back in 2011 and start travelling the world, having children and keep travelling is again, the best decision we could have made. 

We made it our mission to listen to our children’s needs all the time and as they grow, it becomes a priority to choose the routes that THEY want. Even if that means that we might end up staying somewhere for longer or forever. This all only makes sense if everyone in our family is happy. If not, it’s like driving a car with a missing tyre, you will still be able to move but it won’t get you far and not as smoothly as before.

Pregnant woman in bikini top and long pants is holding her belly while standing at the beach and looking at the ocean.
Read about my learnings from travelling full-time for more than 9 years!

4. Create a space of love

I came to learn that children are little ‘wonderers’, they always want to know what’s going on. If one of us leaves the room or walks away, Vincent’s first question is where we go and what’s happening. He is absolutely fine with this change of situation if we are in a good mood. If there is a tense atmosphere because we are running late to catch a bus, for example, or if we want to quickly fit in an hour of work before dinner etc., he can’t handle it. He will stop you and demand to stay or take him with you.

The key to this is always to stay calm and reassure him that he is in the best place possible. If you make it sound fun and add something really interesting to him, he immediately let’s go of the thought of following you or wanting you to stay.

That made me realise that he is ok whenever he has the feeling of being loved. It’s such a logical thing to say, I know. But when you’re in a situation like the ones above, it’s not always possible to see these things. Sometimes it seems to be the exact opposite you had in mind. All you wanted was to quickly do XYZ. But if you remember that your kids always have first priority and that this thing that you wanted to tick off your to-do list actually can wait, you will take off the pressure. 

Your children will thank you by not making a scene. It’s not always easy but if you keep responding with love, you will make everyone’s life so much easier.

A woman and little child are walking on a pathway, the ocean and beach in the background.

5. Keep up with a routine

Speaking of easy – while keeping a routine might seem to be the exact opposite of what you are looking for after having left your former life, it will bring you and your family towards a much healthier state of mind. Even little things like brushing teeth and reading a story before we go to bed, no matter where and when can help big time.

Not only for my children, but it’s also important for me and Claudio to have a routine. For example, we always (try our best) to start the day with some sort of exercise. Here in Thailand, we rotate in the mornings and attend the yoga classes in the studio next to our resort. Or sometimes we simply swim or go for a run at the beach.

And when it comes to working hours, we also try to be as consistent as possible: most mornings are for who is involved in a bigger/more urgent project. Lunch is family time and depending on the workload, sometimes even the afternoons we get to spend time together as a family. When the kids are in bed, after 7 or 8 PM, we tend to work both on our laptops until the energy lasts…

Why is having a routine so important? Because everyone in our family knows what comes when and time slots can be used much more effectively when they are planned out. It’s my German genes that like efficiency a lot! lol

Woman and her son sitting in the middle of a group of people on the floor in the sand.

6. Don’t worry about being perfect!

I have long let go of the feeling of being an uber-human. No, seriously, in the beginning, after giving birth to our first child, Vincent, I tried to go back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible – I even started working again only 6 weeks after he was born and we made our first road trip to Italy when he was not even 3 months old…

Sometimes I think, it’s a mommy-syndrome to always wanting to be perfect. But I have learned with the time and especially after having our second child, that self-care is equally important to taking care of others. It’s not always on top of the list, of course, but whenever I can, I try to remind myself to ignore all the necessary things to do (like cleaning, taking care of the laundry or paying bills) and carve out time to recharge my batteries. After one hour of yoga or talking to a friend, I feel that my energy level is up again and then, I am a much happier mum than before. 

How do you do it when you are alone with the kids? Great question, I am glad you asked! It’s, of course, my big fat luxury that Claudio is there too. He does have work to do but is flexible enough to work around our family schedule. So, our children enjoy the rare case of having their mom and dad around them all the time. And I can sometimes simply say: “It’s your turn!”.

When he can’t take the kids and I need a break, I usually bank on nap times. Or I ask a random stranger to watch them for a while. Just kidding! Many times, I just wait and see what fun things we can do together that are not as exhausting as others, like for example reading a book together, painting or playing with playdoh. And then, afterwards, the show can go on. 🙂

A pregnant woman is sitting in the sand with her son, black sand strand, in the background is the ocean.

7. Zoom out and look at the bigger picture

This tip is good for anyone, I think, who has sometimes the feeling of being overwhelmed with a situation: whenever this happens to me, I try to remind myself that all your feelings are self-made. You are the one who reacts to the situation, the situation is not responsible for your feelings and thoughts. Plus, ask yourself: does the moment that you are experiencing right now affect your entire life or just this very instant. If it’s the latter, you might want to take a deep breath and relax because you are most likely overreacting. 

What I mean by that most situations are not as big or bad as they seem when we are in the middle of them. I ask myself in these situations if it’s really worth spending all this energy on something that is not important, or if I should just let go. Usually, it’s a lot better to let go. It takes a lot of practice – that’s why I love yoga so much, it helps you to focus more on the important things in life and readjust your inner balance.

But I am no master, by all means! The other day, Vincent was playing with his ball right before bedtime. Most days, he is full of energy right before he falls asleep. This is especially challenging if the rest of us is tired too and simply wants to have it peaceful and quiet. So, when he started kicking the ball right towards the face of his 9 month-old brother who was laying on the floor on a cushion, I first told him not to do so, but when he still continued with his game, I took his ball away and threw it outside.

I totally overreacted, I admit. But in the situation, I was so angry and I didn’t see any other solution. Later, I felt stupid because there are a million ways to react better than this. I could have moved his little brother or distracted him with some other toy.

You see, if I had taken my own advice that I am sharing with you today, then I would have totally said that the situation is not affecting my life as a whole and that I should not spend any negative energy on it. Zoom out and look at those kinds of moments as often as you can. It’s so helpful!

A child and her mother are sitting in the sand of a beach in front of a row of houses.

8. Make every day a fun day

Travelling and working remotely can result in a blur of endless days of sunshine. It’s very easy to forget which weekday or date it is. And because we humans always get bored with everything after a while, it might happen so that we sometimes feel bored by yet another beautiful sunset or yummy tropical fruit juice. Even if you are not travelling like us, you can probably relate to that. Your life might be really good and still, sometimes you forget to appreciate all the positive aspects of it.

What helps me the most when I get a feeling of boredom or when I notice that my three boys fall into a low mood, then I pull the silly card. Laughing and fooling around is like waking everyone up and reminding ourselves that life is good. Making fun or doing something completely different helps a lot with staying connected as a family. So, if you can, you might want to try humming (just for yourself or with sound) Monty Python’s version of ‘Always look at the bright side of life…’. And I am sure you’ll instantly feel a little better!

A woman and her son overlooking the ocean, both smiling.

Conclusion: 

I consider my family as some sort of company or community: we all have our roles to play and every character contributes to our well-being. While it is not always easy to be together every single day, we have found that living the digital nomad lifestyle as a family is such a fun way. As long as you remember the reason why you initially chose to start this journey and if you always keep in mind that most situations are not as bad as they seem, you can make this work and be a much happier family than you used to be.

Please let us know what you think about these tips in the comments below. Did we miss something? What is your best advice for someone starting out as a digital nomad family?

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Destination Guides Digital Nomad Family Tips General Family Travel Tips Top Travel Posts

The Ultimate Guide to Koh Phangan For Digital Nomad Families – What to Do And Where to Stay

It’s no secret, Thailand is a magnet for travelers and digital nomads alike. We found that Koh Phangan for digital nomad families is just perfect! During my eight years of roaming the world, I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful spot of the world several times. But the last time was different. It wasn’t old backpacker-me ticking off tourist attractions this land of smiles has on offer. Nope. This time, I brought my little nomadic family along.

Read on if you want to know where are the best places for digital nomads and how living on Koh Phangan as a digital nomad family looks like.

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families offer so many cool places like this swing heald by palm trees where a couple with their child sits, the ocean in the background.
Swinging life away on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families… at one of our favorite beaches in the south of the island.

Note: This is a collaboration post, partially from people we personally know and have met on my travels, and partially from my blogger network. It aims to give you a not single-minded perspective on the island’s potential! You’re welcome! 😉

Koh Phangan For Digital Nomad Families – why go?

For us, the question of ‘where to next?’ pops up as soon as the days of our current visa come to an end. It’s mostly a challenge and it requires a lot of patience and travel planning skills if you want to slow travel as budget-friendly as possible. But there are a few things that can help you make a decision: One big factor is the weather. Yes, it’s that simple. Don’t visit Europe, for example, in the cold and grey months of November and January (December is fine if you like Christmas, then it’s actually lovely there!).

So, in 2018, during our stay in Portugal’s scenic Algarve, we met so many families who travel and work remotely just like us. After a while, it happened so that we connected and exchanged travel plans. Most of the other families already booked their flights to Asia. And since we now focus on what is best for our kids (back then, we were still with our first son only and me being pregnant again), we decided to follow along and meet with our and his playmates on Koh Phangan, Thailand. Such a great decision!

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families has it all! The (still!) laid-back island vibe you are looking for when thinking of an island escape. GORGEOUS beaches and lush green jungle spots! Oh, and boy, do I love Thai food – take me back, please, yum!

Bird-eye view onto Koh Ma Island on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families.
One of the best views you’ll have up at the 360 Bar.

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families: best places to eat on

Orion Healing Center

This place alone gives me a reason to go back to Koh Phangan. Seriously, I wanted to stay there as soon as we walked in the first time (and we came back many more times during our stay on the island). How can I describe it best to do it justice: you walk into the outside sitting area when you come from the parking lot and feel already peaceful and calm. It’s actually a healing center where people practice yoga and enjoy detox treatments. But you can (and should!) also eat in their fabulous restaurant and cafe.

Collage of one big picture with an outside sitting area with hammocks, palm trees, and two small pictures with typical food.
Take me back… Yummy food and a peaceful vibe!

When you have the time, then you should come several times as it is impossible to try all their food at once – which I really recommend – you can tell, I am absolutely in love with this place (and this is no paid advertisement, it’s my genuine opinion LOL). You can choose from Yogi breakfast bowls to yummy vegan dishes and, of course, sip your way through their healthy smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.


Seed to Feed

We love the idea of this place: they grow their own salads, herbs and green leaves right next to the restaurant. Besides this awesome fact, everything is nicely presented to the visitor and there is simply a relaxed atmosphere. Oh, and of course, the food is delish too! Try one of their yummy salads and you’ll see what I mean. It is a nice change when you want to eat something fresh instead of the evergreen Pad Thai dish. But, of course, you can also get traditional Thai food in case you’re wondering…

collage of two photos, one showing hanging menu signs and the other showing four glass jars with spices and herbs.

Eat.Co

Vegan restaurants are on the upcoming as it is no secret that many travelers come to this beautiful island with a mission to heal, relax and exercise. That’s why you also see many yoga places and organic shops around. Eat.Co makes it a priority to serve creative dishes in a very laid-back and artsy ambience. You can even shop some organic clothes and hand-made jewellery as well as soaps, oils, incenses and non-chemical insect repellent.

Tip: The portions are rather small so if you’re hungry you will have to order two dishes each if you don’t want to leave hungry… But then again, I was there when I was pregnant, so perhaps you will be fine! LOL


Pantip Market

As a digital nomad in Koh Phangan, you can’t eat out in restaurants all the time. Even in Thailand that can get pricey. One of the best solutions, other than cooking yourself, is to go eat at the Pantip Market.

Thai street food market, food stalls and vendors

Koh Phangan’s Pantip Market, also known as Pantip Night Food Market, is an all-day food market in Thong Sala, the largest town on the island.

Whichever time of day you come there, you’ll be able to choose from a wide array of reasonably priced meals. Ranging from the smallest snacks such as pancakes, doughnuts or meat/tofu skewers, to full-on meals such as Pad Thai and of course you can find also the beloved mango & sticky rice dessert. Many of the stalls have started using paper plates and banana leaves instead of the omnipresent plastic.

The market becomes the liveliest in the evenings. Around the Full moon dates, even stalls selling souvenirs pop up in Pantip and it can become quite difficult to find a free seat in the common seating area. 

This tip comes from my friend Veronica from Travel Geekery. Check her also out on Instagram:



What to do on Koh Phangan

One of the greatest things to do on Koh Phangan is clearly to enjoy the countless beautiful beaches and explore the many hidden bays. See below for a full list of best beaches on the island. But one highlight you simply can’t miss is going snorkeling in the little bay of the so-called Secret Beach.

Snorkeling at Koh Raham – Secret Beach

Pass through the jungle-like resort and restaurant entrance from which you will get to the very far back of the sitting area. Once you’ve reached the end of the pathway, you will see people jumping off the little rock. You can also simply put on your snorkeling gear and climb down the stone stairs to submerge into the crystal clear waters.

Immediately you will be surrounded by plenty of fish that hang out there and get attracted by the food people through into the water… (not my favorite part, as I don’t think humans should feed wild fish, but the kids loved to see them and swim with the little fishes…)!

Little alley with coconuts on the side, woman with child in her arms underneath a sign that says Koh Raham
You will feel like a pirate in this place!

Angthong National Marine Park

When we travel, we always try to look outside the box and find activities that are not so common or done while in a destination. Our idea is, in this way, to generate content that is not very common and can help more travelers to plan their trip, and to us to increase traffic to our blog.

During our trip to Thailand, we went, of course, to Koh Phangan, an extremely popular island that almost every traveler to the country visits. But here we found a tour to a national park called Angthong National Marine Park which, despite widely publicized everywhere, very few people really did take. Everyone prefers to party at night and rest in the day…

Man and woman standing at the beach smiling at the camera, sun glasses on their eyes, the ocean and a green jungle mountain in the background.

So, we decided to go on a tour that left at 07:00 am and returned around 19:00 in the afternoon. We were surprised and loved it. We saw several nearby islands, hidden lagoons between mountains and paradisiacal beaches with practically no people. Without doubt, one of our favorite activities in the area, and for which to this day many travelers ask us about.

This tip is from Alejandra from Universo Viajero, you can find her also on Instagram:


Full Moon Party

No article about traveling to Koh Phangan should be without a short mention of the legendary Full Moon Party. It might not be for everyone and is clearly not for (anymore). But this Koh Phangan travel guide wouldn’t be complete without it. So, here is my honest opinion on this rather special event.

When I visited Koh Phangan the first time, back in 2011, I also went to see what it’s all about the Full Moon Party. The hype is huge, people who want to be part of this massive party at the beach, travel from other parts of Thailand (and even outside the country), just to be there when Koh Phangan goes wild. Prices go up, hotels fill up and alcoholic beverages get scarce. Everyone buys colorful (or white) shirts and those neon colors that reflect at night.

Full Moon party bracelet on arm wrist

When you are in your mid-twenties celebrating with your friends, you might have the time of your life dancing the night away right at one of Koh Phangan beautiful beaches. But if you have kids and get a little older, like us, a wild party event like this just doesn’t do the trick any longer. I’d rather stay at home or sit by the bonfire at Zen Beach.

Should you go? Yes, sure. It’s one of those things you can tick off your bucket list. But no harm is done if you miss out. But that’s just my humble opinion… Please leave a comment at the end of this article if you agree/disagree. Thanks!

Check for more activities and tours on Koh Phangan here:


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Where to stay on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan, one of Thailand’s fairest island getaways, is known for its beauty but, too often, it’s party culture. The home of the infamous Full Moon Party, it can be a little tricky to find places to suit travelers who aren’t on their gap year.

Bluerama

That’s why Bluerama, a small hilltop resort about ten minutes from the port offers the best of all worlds. Situated at the top of a (very) steep hill, this small boutique outfit only has ten bungalows on stilts, each offering incredible views of the bay before them. The bungalows are tastefully decorated, beautifully air-conditioned and offer privacy from other guests.

However, because of the location, the hotel also has one of the world’s most stunning swimming pool views, as you are almost suspended above the ocean. And this poolside setting usually attracts a cool clientele with trendy music and a laid back cocktail vibe around sunset.

view from terrace of the Bluerama on Koh Phangan
Photo credit: Bluerama

Bluerama is also ideal for digital nomads as it offers some of the strongest WiFi signals we’ve seen over South East Asia. Working by day at the pool and streaming Netflix at night means you’re easily connected, albeit in some beautiful surroundings.

This tip comes from James and Lee Scrivener from The Travel Scribes.

NOTE: This is not an ideal hotel for families, in fact, it is an adult-only spot. However, we wanted to include it in this post anyway as it can be interesting for couples and solo travelers who might stop by and read this post too.


Buritara

What can I say – would I recommend it? Hm, not to everybody, I think. But here I am telling you that we had a wonderful time there. Why? Despite the somewhat rundown facilities and the not so ideal location, we can definitely say that it is worth to stay at Buritara if you are a digital nomad family.

Every year, during European winter, many German-speaking families have made it their habit to reunite on Koh Phangan to escape the cold. In fact, there is this one famous German travel family, the Horlachers, who started the so-called ‘Koh Phangan Winter Camp’ back in 2017.

people at the beach, in the middle there is a bonfire lighting up, clouds hanging in the sky.
Getting ready for our bonfire night…

The reason this is such a great resort to choose when visiting Koh Phangan as a digital nomad family is because you will be surrounded by not the ordinary hotel guest but with people who think and breathe exactly like you: travel, location-independence and anything that is related to an alternative lifestyle.

If you are interested to be part of such a community during your workation on Koh Phangan, check out this (German) Facebook group, or simply speak to anyone at one of the many beaches who looks German and for sure they can tell you where the next get-together will take place. Your best place to connect is clearly the god ol’ Buritara.

A big outdoor swimming pool in a resort, children playing in the water, palm trees and the view towards the ocean in the background.

Song Pi Nong and Longtail Beach Resort

The reason I am listing these two hotels here together is that I cannot really speak from personal experience as we did not stay there. But from all the families we met on the island, who stayed at either of the two places, they highly recommended them. In fact, if you want to have a little more European standard and cleanliness, then you are better off at one of these places. Like I explained above, we didn’t mind the lower standard that Buritara had on offer because the people made it an overall positive experience, but as a travel blogger who recommends hotels and restaurants, I honestly have to say that I wouldn’t stay there under ‘normal’ circumstances.

Tip: Check for availability at Longtail Beach Resort and Song Pi Nong way ahead of time, these are popular places and sell out fast during December till March!


Search here for your Koh Phangan accommodation:


These are perfect beaches on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families!

Often we are asked which beaches we find the most beautiful. To answer this question is not so easy, because one beach is more beautiful than the other, that’s how we feel. But here are our two most favorite beaches:

1.) Srithanu Beach (Nice Beach)

Our house beach in Srithanu. We have consciously decided to stay only a few minutes by motorbike from Srithanu Beach. This is where we are most frequently found. We like the clear, calm water, the small bay, the white powder sand and the Nice Beach Restaurant with the delicious Thai cuisine. This beach is particularly suitable for families with children of all ages.

woman with child plays in shallow water at the beach. In the background you can see the sandy part of the beach with little shops and restaurants.

One can walk very far into the water, as the beach doesn’t drop much towards the sea. Since there is very little current in this bay, the water is clear and calm. Here you will find the ideal bathing fun for the whole family but be aware that there are only a few shady places…

From approx. 6 pm you can enjoy here also daily beautiful sunsets. For us, the Srithanu Beach (Nice Beach) is the number one beach on Koh Phangan.

Sunset at the beach, some people are in the shallow water, a couple is laying on a blanket in the sand and watch the sun go down.
Always worth a visit: Happy Beach or Nice Beach, as they call it.

2.) Malibu Beach

Malibu Beach lives up to its name. If you didn’t know you were in Thailand, you might think you were in Florida. It has the finest, whitest beach in the north of the island. From afternoon (approx. 2 pm) more and more shade falls into the bay and thus also on the beautiful beach. Therefore we recommend a visit in the morning. Like at Srithanu Beach you can walk far into the sea. So you can relax on the beach while the kids play in the water.

There is only one restaurant on the beach and it is highly overpriced – on top of that bringing food is not allowed. However, as far as we know, the beaches in Thailand are mostly public, so we decided to bring small snacks, fruits and drinks with us. Tip: Just don’t sit directly in front of the restaurant.


3.) Bottle Beach

This beach in the northeast of the island is very difficult to reach by land, so the best way to get there is by taxi boat. You can book the trip directly at the port in Chaloklum and it should not cost you more than about 300 BAHT for both ways. For children up to 11 years of age, there is usually no need to pay. The travel time is approx. 20 – 30 minutes. It is best to start in the morning at the harbor in Chaloklum. If you are traveling with a larger group, you can certainly negotiate a group discount.

At Bottle Beach, you will find a handful of hotels and restaurants, so there is plenty to eat and drink. Best time to visit: Avoid the weekend! Then, you might be lucky to find the beach all to yourself!

typical Thai taxi boats on the shore of crystal clear turquoise water

4.) Haad Khom / Coconut Beach

Coral Bay Beach, as it is called by most people, is well known for its pet: a huge and friendly pig. In the spacious bay, you will find many cozy places in the shade. Children will love the swings that are hanging down from the palm trees. The restaurants offer good Thai food and the beach pig is, of course, an attraction. As the name „Coral Bay” already suggests, the sand is not the finest and in the water are sometimes some stones and corals. This makes a good snorkel spot though, so don’t forget to bring your goggles.


5.) Zen Beach

Zen Beach is not very suitable for swimming, especially for families with children. Apart from its strong current and the fairly deep entrance right after a few steps into the water, there is a high chance of being stung by a sea urchin. It happens quite frequently that people come out of the water with one of the long spines in their feet.

Nevertheless, this beach has an absolute special vibe. At sunset many alternative free spirits, musicians and acrobats meet here to make music, dance and enjoy a huge fire show. It is a special experience to soak up the colorful hustle and bustle with music, acrobatics and dance around the campfire. Many practice yoga or simply enjoy a coconut and watch the beautiful sunset.

woman kneeling in the sand watching her child walk in the distance towards the ocean, the sun goes down in the background.

More beaches on Koh Phangan

These were our top five beaches on Koh Phangan. As you can imagine, there are many more beaches. Here are more beautiful beaches we recommend to visit:

Thong Nai Pan

Thong Nai Pan is located in the east of the island. With a scooter, it takes about 30-45 minutes to get around.

Cocohut Beach

Famous for its legendary swing, this beach is worth a visit. Make sure to enjoy some delicious food at the Cocohut Resort.

Haad Yao

The bay at Haad Yao is relatively large and offers plenty of space for families with children.

Haad Salad

The bay is very, very beautiful. However, you can always find sea cucumbers (harmless) or sea urchins when snorkeling further out.

Although we have already spent 7 months on Koh Phangan, there is always something new to discover. We can recommend the „Koh Phangan Travel Guide” from „Home is where your Bag is”. We were surprised ourselves about what we discovered in this pointed travel guide.

These tips for Koh Phangan for digital nomad families are from our lovely friends Sabrina and Holger at Worldsafari Family. Check them also out on Instagram.


Conclusion

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families is a very special place – either if you are after the colorful Full Moon Party or if you simply want to stay for a few months and use it as your nomad base. Especially for digital nomad families, this Thai island has a lot on offer: calm and beautiful beaches, friendly and relaxed people which is probably the reason why there is a healthy mix of both travel families and solo travelers.

If you liked this post, please share it with your family and friends. Also, leave a comment to let us know what part of Koh Phangan you like best or if you are still planning to visit this gorgeous island. Stay tuned for more Thai content as we will be back there from January-March 2020!

In the meantime check out our existing Thai articles:
4 Day Thailand Itinerary
Island Hopping Guide for Beginners
5 Things to Know Before Visiting Bangkok


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Digital Nomad How To Make Money Top Travel Posts

World Travel Tips for Digital Nomads

Have you ever wondered how life on the road really looks like? It’s a complex form of living and then again it’s the simplest way you’ve ever dreamed of. It includes living out of a suitcase, travelling to anywhere you want (and where there’s WIFI) and so much more. But it also means that you have to take care of a few things that common life doesn’t require. Want to know which are these things? Here is your ultimate guide to a digital nomad’s life!

A person standing in front of a building

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This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

Life on the Road: All You Need to Know About How to Become a Digital Nomad

The Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal. What does each of these spectacular world landmarks have in common? Well, for some of us, each of these locations could be an office with a million dollar view. Remote work offers the best of both worlds to the tech-savvy and adventurous among us. Sightseeing while you work can be a dream, and you don’t need much to get started. Oftentimes all you need is a functional computer, a good internet connection, and an entrepreneurial spirit to become a modern-day digital nomad!

For today’s digital nomads, the possibilities are just emerging as increasingly more companies offer remote contracts or the ability to work from home. With a bit of planning and determination, you can join the ranks of other global nomads making a living on the road.

1. Establish Your Goals

For digital nomads, the end goal is generally to travel while working and create some kind of sustainable income. Although the popular image may be one of whipping out your laptop poolside, enjoying a cocktail — it’s not that simple (or practical!) to do.

The digital nomad is often envisioned as a 20 or 30-something Millennial having the right profession to combine travel and work, but you can hit the road at any age.

The life of a nomad is a balance between working on-the-go and enjoying new culture and sightseeing. It doesn’t always mean you have to leave the country — plenty of nomads spend their time exploring the diversity of culture in their own backyard without ever setting foot on the tarmac. A simple camper van and a sense of adventure can easily satisfy your urge to get out of town for a while.

Check out how one day CAN look like in the life of a digital nomad family!
The video is in German – English subtitles are coming soon!!!

2. Identify Your Skill Set and Income Sources

A person using a computer

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The most common question asked by nomadic wannabes is how they can get started. It’s not that hard if you already have the right skill set. If you aren’t lucky enough to have that perfect work-abroad job offer, develop your talent and create a situation where you can work digitally. Create sources of passive and active income as you embark on your journey.

Active Income:

  • Have a journalism degree? Establish a freelance practice before you set out.
  • Are you an educator? Many tutoring programs have moved online.
  • Have some other tech-savvy skill? Try blogging, web design, or creating a podcast.

Passive Income:

  • Rent your permanent home while you travel.
  • Create an online store to generate income.
  • Write and promote a book and publish it online.

Whatever your talent, you can move it abroad under the right conditions. Develop your income before you set off. Have a plan in place and create a timeline. It’s not a bad idea to have more than one source of income just in case.

Click HERE to get my FREE cheat sheet on how to find remote work!

3. Expect Hurdles to Your Nomadic Life

Many a global nomad enjoys the good life for several years, only to find that things get… complicated. Marriage, changes in health, babies, ageing parents, long-term plans and retirement plans all begin to emerge as potential hurdles. You may miss the boat on buying your first home or begin to see cracks in your social circle as you travel. Just like in any job, being a digital nomad means accepting that:

  • Loneliness is to be expected.
  • One day, you can return home, wherever that may be.
  • It’s never too early to plan for retirement.

Just as in the typical “day-to-day” grind, you will find yourself with items to take care of on your personal agenda. Health insurance, paying the bills, and taking care of family do not disappear when you venture on the path of global nomadism.

4. Complete a Trial Run

If you find yourself questioning whether or not life on the road is for you, it’s not a bad idea to complete a trial run before you throw in the towel on your 9 to 5. Take a break or a holiday first, and see if you can make it work.

Before putting in your notice, book a ticket to your location of choice with the intention to work as you go. Your aim here is work/life integration, not a vacation. This will allow you to work out the kinks before the real departure.

5. Choose Your Location … Wisely

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The global nomad can live anywhere, but that doesn’t mean they should. Choosing your locale to suit a budget is not only smart but it saves you the headache of relocating when things go south. Choose your location based on your income and don’t overstretch your budget. The same rules apply anywhere. Here are some tips:

  • Try affordable locations first. Southeast Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe are all great budget starting points. It’s like finding a starter home — once you know you can make it there, move on to pricier areas if you feel ready!
  • Stay long-term first. It takes several months to establish yourself in a location. Before bouncing off to the next country or city, plan to stay in each location for several months or a couple of years at a stretch. This helps you get to know the ins and outs before moving on.
  • Save before you go. Never start your nomadic experience in debt or without a financial plan. It’s a recipe for Couchsurfing disaster! Pay your debts before you go or at least know that you have enough saved to pay the bills for the next six months before setting off.

Remember, if you have financial or personal problems, they won’t go away just because you did. Whatever baggage you travel with (be it emotional or financial) will follow you wherever you go. Deal with your reality before departure to make sure you plan is successful.

6. Say Goodbye to Tradition

As a digital nomad, your life may diverge quite drastically from others in your social circle. This adventure comes with a trade-off. There will be no white-picket fence in your nomadic future, and you may find yourself cutting ties more frequently.

  • Be prepared for a moment when you question your decisions and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
  • Check in with yourself from time to time. Are you okay missing out on milestones and trading that for the travel experience?
  • Surround yourself with other nomads who “get it.” Don’t be afraid to let go of friendships temporarily as you experience this new lifestyle.

The quiet life, working at the same place for your entire life and settling down just don’t always work well when you’re spending more of your time on the road. Be prepared to hunker down wherever it works in the moment and move on when opportunities have been exhausted.

7. Don’t Brush Off Visas or Taxes

If there’s one piece of smart advice we can offer, it’s this: taxes and visas are a given. Neglecting these two areas can leave you in some pretty serious trouble. Many an adventurer sets out without obtaining appropriate financial advice regarding taxes. Or perhaps, it seems adventurous to “just go” and “see what happens.” We strongly advise against doing this. You still need to have a plan!

  • Depending on your country of residence, not filing taxes can come with swift penalties.
  • As a global nomad, you are likely self-employed. Seek out advice on filing taxes before you go.
  • Never enter a country without the appropriate visa or travel document and always register at the embassy if you go abroad.

In the case of a natural disaster or other unforeseen event (it happens more often than you think), be prepared to have an escape plan. Make sure you copy all your documents and have a close friend or family member guard them back home just in case. Or, keep copies of important financial information including taxes close to you at all times.

8. Protect Your Most Important Companion

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Speaking of cutting corners, this is one you don’t want to mess with! We’ve heard it all. Journalists who go abroad only to lose entire interviews and data on the road. Designers left with no editing equipment. Videographers with no tape.

  • Protect your gear and guard it with your life! Insure it, hide it when not in use, and back it up.
  • It’s likely most of your work while on-the-go is done via your laptop or even your phone or iPad, so don’t leave your gadgets unprotected. Invest in cases or other protective gear that functions as a barrier against drops and damage.
  • Invest in luggage and gear that doesn’t impede transit through customs. Keep things moving along with a suitcase that is versatile and modern.

Get your travel and tec gear before you start your digital nomad life:

Pick a few simple tricks of the trade if you plan to venture abroad on your nomadic journey. Take it from us, time saved equals money earned while you wait for your flight!

Get Started Today

Being a digital nomad does involve a lot of forethought and work, but the payoff is worth it. With the right attitude and willingness to plan, your business could be up and running within a few short months. In search of more advice? Many digital communities are thriving on social media, so do a quick search and connect with other nomads in your area of choice. Happy travels!

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About the Author:

Katie Tejada (McDaniel) is a writer, editor, and travel enthusiast. With a love for adventure and the great outdoors, she spends much of her time writing outside.

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Destination Guides Digital Nomad Top Travel Posts

The Philippines, Every Digital Nomad’s Dream Workation

jeyjetter.com: Great WIFI - even at the beach!

When it comes to working remotely, picking the right place is crucial. Finding somewhere that offers a great working environment as well as new experiences and adventures is what we all aim for. Which is why I’m sharing why everyone should spend some time in the Philippines, digital nomads especially.

To be fair, you have to be careful about choosing the right island, because Internet connectivity varies a lot. But don’t worry, there are places that have it all! Read on if you want to find out how to combine the perfect island escape, with some efficient work hours!

Being A Digital Nomad In The Philippines: Work, Play And Enjoy

Let’s be honest, the whole digital nomad lifestyle only makes sense if you fully embrace the fact that you are location-independent. So, why spend your days in a noisy city if natural beauty is your thing?

At least for my taste, I can get so much more out of it, if I’m in a relaxing and beautiful environment. Surrounded by palm trees and the sound of ocean waves, I just simply seem to function better.

That’s why I loved our one month trip to the Philippines in October. It was the perfect mixture of getting some serious workload off my chest, while successfully improving my suntan. Almost every day, we enjoyed a swim in the ocean and a long walk at the beach, while also being productive a few hours each day. That is my definition of a perfect life-work-balance.

Plus, we got to spend three days with 400 fellow travel bloggers in Manila, networking with companies from the travel industry at TBEX, “The World’s Largest Gathering Of Travel Bloggers, Writers, New Media Content Creators, And Social Media Savvy Travel Industry Professionals.” A perfect wrap-up of what it is like to be a TBEX newbie is coming soon. So stay tuned!

Back to our reasons why it’s so much more fun in the Philippines! Let’s start with my favorite part, the beach:

5-reasons

1) 7641 Philippines Islands For Digital Nomads To Choose From!

If yIf you have been following my blog then you might know by now that I am an absolute beach bum and sun follower. Recently, I got 20 of my travel blogger friends to tell me their top 5 beaches from around the world, in order to get more inspiration and extend my bucket list. But that’s a whole other story.

Our Favorite Island

In the Philippines, we visited many places but if I had to pick one favorite, it would be Kalanggaman Island, a small island an hour from Leyte Island.

It’s a hidden gem and I’d say it’s an absolute insider tip that you should keep to yourself for now or only share it with your best friends. So, yes, you are now part of the inner circle and if you still hesitate, let me show you why you should go to Kalanggaman Island at least once in your life.

img_2354

What I love about traveling is when I discover places that are not yet overrun by tourists. To be honest, I’d rather be on a deserted island than sipping a cocktail on a beach chair next to hundreds of others. Perhaps that’s why I loved it so much on the Galapagos Islands this year in March.

Robinson Crusoe for one day: take a break from your WIFI addiction!

On Kalanggaman Island you (still) don’t have to elbow your way through to the water, it actually gives you the feeling that Robinson Crusoe must have had.

Things To Do On Kalanggaman Island

There are no restaurants, sleeping facilities, or any running water on the island. Ok, so you will have to forget about WIFI and your work for a day or two! But if you hire a tent or bring your own, you can play castaway for a night! And if you stay only for the day and get bored of lying on your beach towel all day, you can go snorkelling, rent a stand-up paddleboard or even go scuba diving.

For advice and help, the friendly staff at Leyte Gulf Travel and Tour are happy to assist you. It’s totally doable to organize everything on your own though, but they are there to makes things easier during your time in Leyte, not just at Kalanggaman!

jeyjetter.com: How to get to Kalanggaman Island

How To Get To Kalanggaman Island:

  • On the Island of Leyte, you take a bus from Tacloban City to Palompon (3 hours). Then hop on a boat (1 hour). Done!
  • Hire a van from one of the well-known companies, Grandtours or Havens, in Tacloban City for about P300 round trip.
  • Make a reservation for your boat at the Eco-Tourism office a day or two in advance. They monitor the number of people and limit it to 500 per day. So, especially in high season be prepared and book in advance.
  • The price for the boat (for a maximum of 15 people) is P3000, so be sure to make friends beforehand and split the cost!

jeyjetter.com: Where to stay on Kalanggaman Island

Where To Stay And What To Do On Kalanggaman Island:

  • We stayed in Tacloban City at XYZ Hotel, which is not a budget accommodation but includes a yummy breakfast buffet and pool on the rooftop. Check out their availability for your travel dates.
  • If you prefer to stay in Palompon, there is Pacci Hotel – a local’s recommendation, check the reviews and prices here.
  • If I go back one day to visit the island, I’d prefer to stay in Palompon. This saves you the long bus ride in the morning. You simply hop onto a boat after you wake up and enjoy the beauty of the island for a whole day.
  • On second thought, I’ll be bringing my tent and sleep on the island – a unique experience for sure!

2) Friendly; Friendlier; The Philippines!

Beautiful landscape and dreamy beaches are only half of your travel experience. It’s mostly the people around you who can turn a trip into an unforgettable memory.

At least, this was my experience in the Philippines. Asia-lovers already know that there is some sort of special kindness and friendliness towards travellers in countries like Thailand and Indonesia.

Yet, I got the feeling that it is almost a tad more genuine or intense in the Philippines than anywhere I’ve been in Asia.

Friendly people in the Philippines

3.) Food Heaven – Delicious Taste Will Make Your Senses Go Wild!

Now, there could be a whole blog post about this topic, but I will keep it short and simple: O-M-G! Think delicious spices, mixed with fresh vegetables and seafood, plus a portion of love. The food in the Philippines is absolutely delicious.

And if coconuts, mangos, curries and seafood are your thing, welcome to paradise! So, while you are working hard on your digital nomad projects, rest assured that your nutrition will be well balanced!

One of my favorite food experiences was the so-called “Boodle Fight.” Everyone stands in front of a table that is covered with big banana leaves. On top of the leaves, you’ll find fresh seafood, a mixture of vegetables and fruits, delicious sauces and plenty of rice.

Now, the best part is that you get to eat with your hands! Perhaps that is where the name comes from… although we didn’t end up fighting with each other. Fighting with ourselves to learn how to elegantly shuffle rice with sauce into our mouths, on the other hand, was a different story!

jeyjetter.com: Boodle Fight and other food delights

4) Great WiFi For Working Nomads On Philippine’s Best Beaches

Let’s go once again back to this topic: the beach. I know, I’ve said it before, but it’s so hard to pick one favourite in a place of almost countless islands. Living nomadic in the Philippines means you’ll need to fit some work into your visit.

So, I thought I would give you a few more examples, in case you decided to try to combine your work with a vacation hotspot.

Best beaches in the Philippines

4 Good Places To Combine Relaxation With Work

Of course, you need to get some work done (hence the ‘workation’), but you can’t miss out on the relaxing and enjoying either. Here are the best places to visit for both working and relaxing.

Manila:

While this is not the beach escape I mentioned earlier, I want to start with the country’s capital as an exception.

Manila lies right at the ocean, but it’s not recommended to take a dip there. It used to have the cleanest waterfront in Asia but that was a long time ago.

Yet, if you want to get into vacation mode (perhaps you don’t ever get out of it as you are continuously travelling like me) then the Belmont Hotel gives you an introduction to Filipino diversity.

It’s a five-star hotel close to the airport where we were hosted a couple of nights during TBEX. The rooftop pool and great WiFi made me want to stay longer…Check for availability here.

Bohol:

Of course, I was glad to leave the city in order to fully immerse in the more natural side of the Philippines! Bohol is an island south of Manila.

We flew into Cebu and took a short ferry ride to neighboring Bohol. This green island is famous for its funky little mountains that are known as the “Chocolate Hills”. Due to a current project, we skipped the tour to the mountains and stayed at our accommodation by the beach.

TIP: Skip Alona Beach! It’s plastered with hotels, boats, and vendors. The West coast around Momo Beach is almost deserted and has nice waters to swim in!

Bohol

Bantayan Island:

An odyssey later, we arrived on an island Northwest of Cebu Island. Bantayan Island seems to be slowly moving its way into the radar of travellers.

The people on the island seem to be preparing for the big tourist rush, with many new hotels and beach bungalows under construction during our stay. The ones that are already up and running are mostly spread out along the beach.

We stayed a few days at Marlin Beach Resort and enjoyed a good WiFi connection right at the beach. Check their availability for your travel dates here.

TIP: Break up your journey or start as early as possible in the morning! The traffic in Cebu city is horrendous! It took us almost two hours to get from the ferry dock (coming from Bohol) out of Cebu city. The bus ride up to the North also was longer than the expected 3 hours. In the end, we missed the last ferry (at 5 PM) and had to stay in a little harbour town to wait for the next ferry in the morning.

jeyjetter.com: Great WIFI on Bantayan Island

Leyte Island:

Sad but true, this island was put into the center of the world’s attention only after it got struck by typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Three years later, the terrible disaster that took many lives is almost invisible, and the optimism of the people who survived and still live there is incredible.

If you want to experience genuine happiness shown to you by welcoming locals and watch a flourishing variety of tourist activities, then you should pay a visit to Leyte. Small cafes, with a great work-space atmosphere in Tacloban and good WiFi, lush nature and crystal clear water are at your doorstep.

jeyjetter.com: Your next digital nomad base: the Philippines

Quirky Facts about the Philippines that will blow your mind!

Travelling is about widening your horizon, right?

For me, it is the most entertaining way to learn new things. Like I said before; the number of islands you find in the Philippines seems infinite.

If you wanted to spend one day on each of the 7641 islands (including the 534 recently discovered,) it would take you over 20 years! Wouldn’t that be a great nomad challenge!?

This huge amount of islands naturally creates a vast cultural diversity and many firsts. You will be able to say without a blink: the Philippines are unique and one of a kind.

Some facts about the Philippines you didn’t know:

  • There are 170 different languages spoken and only two official ones: Filipino and English.
  • Nowhere else in the world will you find so many different dialects in one nation: more than 500.
  • Some Filipinos don’t even understand each other when they speak in their home dialect.
  • From June to December is typhoon season – the Filipinos name those heavy winds from A-Z. Each year they get through the whole the alphabet.
  • The Filipinos start their Christmas preparations on the 1st of September. You’ll see Christmas trees and decorations everywhere while listening to Jingle Bells & Co!
  • The Philippines have one of the world’s largest population (over 100 millions), but you can still find deserted islands and beaches because in total the area is big enough to not make it feel crowded.

Chasing work-life-balance

So, who is up for a workation in the Philippines?
Hopefully this post got you into the mood… Let me know how your workation goes!

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NOT DONE READING YET?

Check out A 13-Day Workation on the Atlantic where you can read about a cool cruise from Columbia to Portugal with 200 fellow digital nomads.

Or perhaps you’re still deciding if the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, read here how Five years of full-time travelling have changed my life.


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Thank you TPB Philippines for this great trip to Leyte Island.
Like always, all opinion are MY OWN. So, to everyone else, no worries on biases or BS, you won’t find that here. I keep this real. Thanks for the support!

Categories
Destination Guides Digital Nomad

6 Months in New Caledonia as a Digital Nomad: the Pacific Island Paradise

Generally speaking, I’d say that remote work is the most exciting career path anyone can take, but I would be lying to myself if I didn’t say that the level of excitement will oftentimes depend on the destination you’re about to call your home for the next few months. I would also be caught with my pants on fire if I didn’t say that I was a bit apprehensive about taking such a long trip to a completely unknown location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

After all, who knows how good the Wi-Fi connection is on a small island paradise in the Southern Hemisphere – arguably a digital nomad’s most relevant concern. Little did I know that this would be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life, culturally, spiritually, gastronomically (dear god, I can still taste that delicious Bougna) and of course, professionally. Here is my take on New Caledonia as a destination for digital nomads, and how you can have a blast living, working, and partying in this little piece of heaven in the Pacific.

Infinity pool overlooking the pacific ocean with a young woman inside

Noumea: a place to live, laugh, and work

Check it, I’m not just a traveller, I also have to make a living, and that requires a stable Wi-Fi connection and a relatively peaceful place to focus and get things done. So, if you were to think that I was staying anywhere else on the island except the capital itself, you would be mistaken. Generally, I heard the internet connection here is not that great, averaging at about 3mbps, so I didn’t want to take any chances.

As for accommodation, the city is full of mainstream hotel brands just dying for you to experience their version of the local culture, which is why I stayed clear of them from the get-go and I advise you to do the same.

Once you settle into a nice Airbnb or a local’s apartment, you can move on to the exploration of this charming urban gem. As for the livability part, the people are friendly, the Wi-Fi is stable, and the city streets are teeming with life at every corner. 


Get €25 in travel credit towards your next trip when you sign up for Airbnb using my referral link: www.airbnb.com/c/jjerg or

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say at TripAdvisor


cristal clear water, paradise beach, a boat anchoring on a small white sand beach

The culinary delights, the sweet summer wine

If you’re a foodie traveller, you’re bound to feel right at home here. The fusion of French and traditional Melanesian cuisine is simply bewildering, to say the least, and if nothing else, it’s bound to tease your taste buds in new, exciting ways. Here are some of the culinary treats I learned to cook during my stay, but you can find them at any restaurant:

    • Bougna. Remember how at the beginning I said that I can still taste the Bougna in my mouth when I think of New Caledonia? Yeah, I wasn’t kidding. This traditional dish belongs to the Kanak people if I’m not mistaken, and it’s made out of chicken or lobster (although other variations exist) sprinkled with coconut milk and stewed in banana leaves. Yum!
    • Snails from the Isle of Pines. More on the enchanting islet later on, but for now let’s just stop to acknowledge just how amazing this culinary masterpiece actually is! Honestly, I wasn’t too big on the whole eating-a-snail thing at first, but hubby over here made sure I tried the dish at least once. I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure, and the large snails simmered in French wine and garlic really offer something different to your taste buds.
    • Bat stew. Yes, bat stew. Just forget you’ve read that for a moment and focus on the tender marinated meat roasting on the fire, offering quite a punch in terms of flavour and aroma. It’s amazing, to say the least. One little side note: tribespeople eat the meat with the fur still on, but you don’t have to.
  • Poe. Pronounced “poe-ay”, this is a traditional dessert made with pumpkins or bananas enriched with coconut cream. Delish.

palm tree, small sand beach, a few people in the water

Revelling in the beauty of Isle of Pines

If you come to New Caledonia to live and work, you mustn’t skip a day-long excursion to the neighbouring Isle of Pines, arguably the most enchanting place I’ve ever laid eyes on. This place is heaven on Earth, and you can discover the intricate beauty of the Isle of Pines in a myriad of ways. One of the most mesmerizing natural settings I had the pleasure of visiting here is, of course, La Piscine Naturelle (Natural Pool), a small saltwater lake residing on the eastern fringe of the island.

I dare you to resist the urge to dive right into the crystal-clear, shallow waters surrounded by lines of pine trees casting a beautiful shade on the surface – it’s impossible! The entire islet is so breathtakingly beautiful, that if there was a chance to live and work there, I’m not sure I would have gone back to the main island at all. While there, don’t forget to visit the Statue of St. Maurice, and even explore the island by air if you’re not terribly afraid of heights like me.

Book your accommodation here!

a close-up of an animal skull, in the background the ocean and a piece of sand

Lounging at the beaches of the main island

It wouldn’t have been an exotic remote work escapade if I hadn’t taken my time exploring the honey-hued beaches of the main island, ranging from the port in Noumea itself, all the way to the never-ending stretches of sand overlooking the expansive ocean on either side of the island.

If I could recommend a beach you should definitely visit, one which is close, convenient, and long enough to help you avoid the crowds even during those incessant peak tourist months of the year, it would have to be Poe Beach to the north of Noumea. This ten-kilometre stretch of pearly-white sand is bound to steal your heart, and the view from here is just mesmerizing – not to mention that the water is warm, crystal-clear, and full of friendly critters.


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6 months in New Caledonia as a digital nomad

Exploring the cultural heritage of the region

Last but not least, I should note that experiencing the culture here can be tricky business. I guess it depends who you tag along with really, as there are many different ways to get your taste of Caledonian heritage. On one hand, you have the unmistakable French cultural influence that permeates the region (after all, this is their colony), and on the other, you can witness the struggle of the indigenous Kanak people to preserve their cultural identity.

Luckily, the Kanaks are being increasingly represented in recent years, as I’ve heard, because they attract tourists. Whether the reasons for preserving their cultural heritage are honourable or not, you will still have the chance to experience their traditional song, dance, and rituals.

In retrospect

Thinking back on my time spent in New Caledonia, I can safely say that it was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. If you’re looking for a mix of adventure, exploration, pure hedonism, AND want to get some work done in the process, well, this is the place to be.

So, what do you think about a New Caledonian adventure? Are you up for an exotic challenge? Don’t be shy and share your opinions down below!


About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels, she likes to read poetry and prose and surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She spends most of her free time at home walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography and a regular author at AdventureFit Travel. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

Categories
Digital Nomad Tools and Tips

How To Connect And Expand Your Digital Nomad Network

-This post was last updated on the 18th of April 2020-

When you are constantly on the move, it is hard to connect with a digital nomad network, right?

Wrong!

There are plenty of ways to connect with other people and grow your business network even if you are a remotely working nomad. This post is about how you can use live events and social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook to network and grow your brand awareness.

First, let’s start with what a professional business network is, for those who aren’t sure.

What Is A Professional Network

What is networking, and how does it work?

Great question!

A professional network is a group of people you are connected to – for professional business reasons. Your network would include anyone who is like-minded and can help you move forward in your profession as a digital nomad.

This digital nomad network should be more than just a collection of names: it should be a collective of other professionals that you have formed a relationship with. There should be mutual respect and trust built in a business environment with everyone in your business network.

Your network, if done properly, will be a goldmine of referrals and work leads, as well as advise and knowledge shared.

How To Network Professionally

While everyone has their own networking technique, here are some pointers if you aren’t sure how to start:

  • Use all available options – you’ll read more about networking opportunities below, use all of these to their full potential and you’ll find yourself with a full and resourceful network.
  • Connect on a personal level – as we said above, you need to create relationships with your network. Don’t expect someone to be a connection simply because you send them an email or two.
  • Keep in contact – on that note, make sure you stay in contact with your connections as well. You don’t need to message them every day, but be sure to make contact once in a while to ensure you don’t become strangers.
  • Give as much (or more) than you take – your network works best when you have value to offer to your connections as much as they have to offer you.

Why Professional Networking Is Important

A professional network can help you in so many areas. When you’re a digital nomad, your network is most likely what will help you gain more work. Finding clients through recommendations and referrals is a great way to get work.

Expand Your Network As Working Nomad

Ok, so we know WHY you need a business network, but HOW do you expand your professional network? Read on to learn more…

Building A Network At Live Events

I will state the obvious now: meeting with someone in person is simply the best way of building your business network. As much as I am a digital gal’, you’ll leave a deeper impression and get a real feel for the other person when you get to talk to someone face to face.

This year, I was invited to one of the featured speakers in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at the Nomad Summit, one of the largest conferences for digital nomads. And you know what? It’s such a game-changer to meet people in real life.

During the three-day conference, I had so many great and inspiring conversations, met potential business partners, got invitations to press trips, made friends and learned from the many informative workshops.

It was my third time attending such an event – and for the second time, I was part of the speaker crew like at TBEX Ostrava. I wrote a full article about our experience during this one travel blogger event in the Philippines.

Last year’s speech was about ‘How to drive traffic to your blog with social media’.

Download my entire speech here!


And this year in Chiang Mai, I talked about how you can use social media to create and boost your online presence. Check out this video to see my full presentation in Chiang Mai:

Networking Methods While at a Conference Like TBEX or Nomad Summit

  • Make your time count:

Come to such an event with a business mindset. Ask yourself before the event who are the people I want to talk to? What session do I want to attend?

  • Practice your elevator pitch:

There are many small talk situation where you will casually have to answer questions like who you are, what you do and why you are here. So, make the most out of these situations and include all the details that make your brand unique. You never know if the person you just met at the lunch buffet might be the DMO of your next travel destination.

  • Dress professionally and wear comfy shoes:

You’ll walk a lot during these types of events, so choose some shoes that won’t bother you after a while. Also, your first impression counts and the people you meet might make their decision to work with you, or not, based on your professional appearance. So, even if the overall topic of a conference like TBEX is travel, leave your tank tops and board shorts at home!

  • Don’t be shy:

I know it might be a bit frightening to talk to random strangers. But if you get there with a mindset to go back home with new and valuable contacts, there is no way around it: you’ll have to talk to other people. News flash: Everyone else is in the same situation, and most people don’t bite. So, relax and enjoy meeting many inspiring people!

Live Events Summary:

‘Surround yourself with quality people.’

Tony Robbins

This quote by Tony Robbins stresses a core ability that successful people master when building their business network. It applies to real life but also online platforms, choosing the ‘right’ contacts to connect with is crucial as a digital nomad to build a tribe around yourself. Not only can they potentially lead to future paid projects, but you will also be able to rely on a strong foundation.

Most of my clients and many collaborations come to life because of the connections I’ve made. Vitamin B is key. So, try to look at Facebook and LinkedIn as your online bazaar for new business connections and focus on those who will benefit you as a brand.

Are we connected yet?

There are many other great conferences for digital nomads throughout the year. Click here to see a list of events in 2020 to get inspired and make a wishlist for next year.

A bunch of people wearing hats in a small hat factory in the Czech Republic
A great way to grow your business network – or make new friends – is actually AFTER the conference is over! This picture was taken in a hat factory during our FAM trip after TBEX. Aren’t we crazy hats, I mean, cats?

Professional Networking Online – Using Social Platforms to Network Yourself

There is a clear go-to platform when it comes to building a professional network and that is LinkedIn.

Social media expert Andrew Chow says, ‘LinkedIn is like your virtual CV, you need to showcase what you have on offer and why people should work with you.’

With a few simple but effective strategies you can make your LinkedIn profile work for you and attract the right people. Check out my LinkedIn profile to get inspired.

Building Your Professional Network on LinkedIn:

  • To use LinkedIn in your favour, you’ll want to be active on the platform. Andrew suggests posting once a day before 9 am and providing valuable statements along with industry insights to your audience.
  • Always behave professionally and showcase your expertise.
  • Remember to think about the bigger picture before you post: will this statement/ article that I am going to share help to solve a problem/inspire or motivate my audience?
  • In my case, as a travel blogger, Andrew suggests showcasing my 20 best travel articles in order to attract the right brands and tourism boards. This way, it becomes immediately clear what Jey Jetter stands for and this way they’ll know what standard of writing/work they can expect from me when they collaborate with me.

Additionally, it is useful to list specific keywords in the skills sections. So, again, for me, that means to mention long-term travel, nomadic life, digital nomad tips as opposed to a generic keyword like ‘travel’.  

Your goal on LinkedIn is to present yourself as a ‘thought leader’ in your niche. So, be sure to share new industry insights and add your own comments to it. This way your business network will perceive you as the expert in your field.

Action steps for growing your business network on LinkedIn

-> Connect with people in your niche but also think outside your niche. Ask yourself: who can profit from my service?

-> Re-post your existing articles from your blog on your LinkedIn profile (BUT keep them to a maximum of 600 words; if the original article is longer than that, make part 1, part 2, part 3). At the end of your post, add “The existing article was published on yoururl.com”. This helps you with building link juice too!

-> Post once per day (or more). Motivate on Monday, inspire on Friday. Always ask the right questions or add a call-to-action at the end.

-> Go through your old business cards and contacts from former jobs and invite them to connect on LinkedIn!

Linkedin Summary:

  • LinkedIn is great to showcase your expertise, make every word count
  • Post regularly and with the intention of presenting yourself as a ‘thought leader’
  • Use specific keywords in the skills section (NOT: ‘travel’ but ‘long-term travel’)

LinkedIn profile Julia Jerg - how to improve your business network

Expand your business network with Facebook:

Facebook has turned into much more than ‘just a social platform’.

Yes, it’s great that you can connect with long lost friends, but if you are after the real deal, change your mindset and use it for your biz. There are experts who claim that there is no money to be made on Facebook. But if you are smart about it, you can still use it as a tool to connect with the ‘right’ people AND eventually make money off of it.

And that’s why you need to look at Facebook groups as the gold nuggets of the platform. They are a powerful tool for growing your business network and building up your reputation as an expert.

It is crucial to be active in groups that are relevant to your niche. Again, for me as a travel blogger, there are great groups to connect with other digital nomads and travel bloggers, get advice and help others out who seek help with their lifestyle and blogging tasks.

But when it comes to my actual profession, (I am a social media manager, did you know?), I also dedicate some time to showcase my knowledge on social media.

Additionally, I created a Facebook group to help other travel bloggers and digital nomads to become more successful on social media. Through this, I generate a lot of valuable direct contacts who are not ‘only’ group members, instead, I count them into my business network.

Are you a member yet? Request to join here!

Action Steps For Growing Your Business Network On Facebook:

-> Find 5-10 Facebook groups that you find useful to your brand. Engage with the group members, ask the right questions, answer other people’s questions and offer your advice on topics you’re knowledgeable about.

-> Dedicate 15-20 min per day to comment on other people’s posts and try to answer questions that show your expertise.

-> Share industry insights but add a comment to establish a reputation as a thought leader

-> Check the competition and see how they are running their ads. If you want to know why they are doing great, you can use this tool and adopt their ads’ strategy.

Facebook Summary:

When you spend time on Facebook, use it wisely and share only articles that contribute to your overall mission: in my case, it is travel tips, digital nomad topics, and advice for social media marketing. My audience can follow my business page for digital nomad advice and travel inspiration. In my Facebook group, I share social media tips and network with like-minded people.

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Grow your business network as a digital nomad

So, What’s the Best Way to Expand Your Business Network

I think a healthy mix of in-person and online networking is best.

Obviously, you can’t attend every possible network event that’s out there; but I suggest that you pick a few each year. Use them to build your brand and make deeper connections with people that you perhaps already know from social media.

Then, of course, update your LinkedIn profile today, get active on this platform and use it to showcase your expertise. I hope I’ve convinced you, in this post, that Facebook is not only about socialising and finding new friends.

As stated above, Facebook groups have such great potential for you to make business contacts too!

If you want to know more about how social media marketing can benefit your brand/blog, watch my free webinar – I’ll show you a few hacks to improve your performance online. Or contact me to get a 1:1 coaching session with me.

What are your favourite and most effective ways to grow your business network as a digital nomad?

Do you have any other tips?

Share your thoughts below, we’d love to know! 


NOT DONE READING YET?

Perhaps you need some inspiration to get your digital nomad life set up? Here are some resources that help me a lot.

Or check out which digital nomad gadgets we use to organise our lives!

Categories
Digital Nomad How To Make Money

How To Make Money While Traveling

The most frequent question I get asked is how I can afford my lifestyle. People are also always looking at how to make money while traveling. Or how to make enough money to help them pay for their travels.

Travelling is mostly considered a luxury expense, something you save up for, or only do once in a while. On the contrary, as a digital nomad, you are free to choose wherever you work from and where you live.

So, for me, it has become plain logic to choose destinations that also offer some sort of value for the time that I don’t work on my laptop. People who have followed my blog, know by now that my perfect place is at the ocean and the beach – this means paradise to me.

But there are obviously many more ways to design your lifestyle as a digital nomad. I know a lot of people who prefer the city or they stay in one place for a long time and have a second base somewhere else.

Earn money as a digital nomad

Most Obvious Ways To Make Money While Traveling

If you are looking at how you can travel and make money at the same time, you are not alone. Many people dream of becoming digital nomads, the thought of working while traveling appeals to the masses, it seems.

There are two ultimate ways to travel and make money at the same time:

  • Use your travelling to make money
  • Continue working while you travel

How To Travel For A Living

If you are able to leverage your skills in a way that allows you to travel, this is a great way to go. Getting paid to travel is an amazing way to use your talents.

Some of the professions that will allow you to make money travelling are:

  • Photographers – travel guides and websites are often in search of top quality images of the places they write about.
  • Travel guide researchers – while not as glamorous as it sounds, researching a place for a travel guide will allow you to see the most of any destination.
  • Flight attendants – the oldest and most stable way to see the world. Although a tiring profession, and not as flexible as other traveling jobs.
  • Cruise ship employees – Cruise ships have many different positions for you to apply for, from waitressing to beauty therapists.
  • Au pairs – if you’re good with kids, living with a family as their children’s caregiver will give you a safe and fun way to see the world.
  • English teachers – spend some time in a foreign country teaching the locals English.

If you’re really not sure how to travel and work, the above-mentioned jobs will give you a great stepping stone. They do, however, require you to report to a boss, and may limit your choices on where you travel to, as well as how long you stay.

If you want more freedom, you’ll want to look at remote and freelancing jobs.

How To Work While Traveling

If you are lucky enough to secure a job that allows you to work while traveling, it is a lot easier to work from wherever you are. Being able to travel and work gives you almost complete control over where you go and how long you stay.

The list of remote jobs is longer than you’d think, some of the most popular jobs include:

  • Content writer – write content for online businesses and websites.
  • Photographer – work as a freelance photographer, selling your images to websites and magazines.
  • Virtual Assistant – as a virtual assistant you can work anywhere you find good wifi.
  • Web designer/developer – design or develop websites as a freelancer from wherever you find yourself.
  • Ghostwriter – ghostwriting is a great option if you have a talent for writing, and you’ll most likely not need to sit too still to do it.
  • Blogger – finding a way to monetize your own blog, especially a travel blog, gives you the freedom to travel and blog in your own time.
  • Influencer – if you can wrangle together a fair amount of social media followers, you can use your influence to keep you going financially while on the road.
  • Editor/Proofreader – as long as your English (or whichever language you decide to work in) is A grade, you can offer editing and proofreading services to writers and bloggers.
  • Social Media Marketer – use your social media skills to help businesses reach their audience in the best ways.

Any of these jobs will allow you to grab your laptop, book your plane tickets and head off to a destination office space. Whether you’re wanting to work while travelling across Europe or spend your office hours on a beach in Spain, you can work knowing you’re not losing out on any paychecks.

Of course, digital nomadism does not necessarily have to be combined with travelling – but in my opinion, it’s a lot more fun to do so! Check out the following guest post to learn about a few options to choose from if you haven’t started freelancing or earn money online and still want to know how to make money and travel…

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How to Make Money Traveling as a Digital Nomad

Guest post by Jenny Holt:

The first time I took a year off, before college, travelling and working meant finding an array of bar and waitressing jobs across America to get myself from Georgia to Hawaii, then on to Australia, and then Southeast Asia.

The last leg of the trip was trickiest workwise but luckily there was a lot of demand for teaching English. As I found out on a second trip a few years ago, there are a lot more options now for the digital nomad – you can earn from your hotel from your AirBnB or in a cafe with a WiFi connection.

How To Travel And Make Money

There are hundreds of ways to earn money online while travelling. The simplest of those is the ubiquitous travel blog. It is also a great way to keep in touch with friends and relatives back home, as well as those you meet on the journey.

These take time to seed and gain a following, but by using a weekly email blast, affiliate marketing, and advertising, you can begin to earn some money toward your travels.

The best part is that if the blog is your main business any expenses might be tax deductible. Affiliate marketing income can be gained from airlines, hotel sites, and travel rating sites among others.

How to Balance Work and Travel

While moving from one place to another, I often found myself losing work time. A tour across Europe meant using a lot of buses, coaches and especially trains.

This is great for the environment, but a bit more boring than driving or cycling somewhere, so like many commuters I turned to work during the travel times.

An easy way to fill in the time is to do micro jobs such as taking surveys, posting reviews, partaking in fora and moderate forums, or even delivering packages en route.

In addition to these tasks that many sites pay people to do, you can enter contests and sweepstakes as well. Some people who enter many of these are rather successful over a year, but there’s naturally no guarantee of a payout.

Make Money While Traveling – Teach a Skill

Yes, it is possible to continue to teach English or other skills while travelling. The wonders of the Internet and communication software like Skype means you can freelance teach people anywhere, so as long as both of you have a secure Internet connection.

Teaching online is not your only option as a freelancer. In addition to tutoring students, you can become a virtual assistant or be a call centre customer service Rep.

A Simple Answer to Making Money While Traveling

There are tons of companies who will pay you to participate in their surveys. Most surveys don’t take much time and simply ask you for your opinion or expertise.

Those questionnaires are mostly multiple choice questions which will earn you either points that you accumulate and get paid out later or some pay you per survey. It’s an easy way to do on the side.

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What are your ways of making money while travelling as a digital nomad? Do you work as a freelancer? Let us know, so we can get inspired and follow your example!

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About the author of our guest post:

Jenny Holt is a freelance writer and mother of two. She loves nothing more than getting away from it and taking her pet Labrador Bruce for long walks, something she can do a lot more now she’s left the corporate world behind.

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NOT DONE READING YET?

Check out this post to read which gadgets I use to stay organised as a traveller and digital nomad.

Or perhaps you’re still deciding if the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, read here how five years of full-time travelling have changed my life.

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Digital Nomad How To Make Money

7 Steps to Create a Location-Independent Business By Teaching Online

Teaching Online as a form of location-independent business option

There are so many ways to become a digital nomad and create a location-independent business. Teaching online is one of them. This guest post by Eduardo Yi is for all those of you who have some skills and knowledge to share and would like to know how to create an online course to become a location-independent business entrepreneur. 

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Teaching Online: A Location-Independent Business Modell

The online course industry is exploding these days, and for a good reason. The fact that you can share your knowledge with the world and make money for example by teaching online from anywhere around the globe has driven many teachers to craft and selling an online course.

It doesn’t even matter what you will be teaching online; there’s almost certainly a market for it somewhere, so if you’ve wondered about how to start an online-course that sells, you’re in luck.

First, here’s a few reasons why you absolutely should build an online course:

  1. Quicker Monetization – Launching a blog or even youtube channel can take months and sometimes even years to build. With a course, you have a product ready-made that has zero inventory costs and high revenue possibilities.
  2. Eager Audience – If you’ve taken the time to learn something, chances are, so have a lot of other people. That means you will have a large, ready-made audience hungry for your product.
  3. Easily Scalable – Need more income? Re-release the course again with an extra module. With low overhead and tiny incremental costs, an online course is one of the most scalable businesses out there for digital nomads.
  4. Satisfying Work – You’re not just selling another done-for-you service, creating and selling a course has the potential to change lives through education.
  5. Perfect Brand-Builder – Many people take a long time to become an authority in their niche. Skip the line and create a course, and you can position yourself as the go-to person for this area.

Now that you’re convinced (hopefully), what do you do next? Simple. Here are seven easy steps to create your online course.

 

1. Explore Your Niche

I’m sure you’ve probably heard this expression before but remember: the riches are in the niches. If you want to separate yourself from the pack and really cater to a hyper-specific, underserved market, narrow down your niche into something more specific.

For instance, it may be that you are a full-time digital nomad blogger and a successful one at that. In this case, you might consider catering to a specific genre, such as developing a course for finance or education bloggers, or even beginner bloggers. You could even narrow down further and focus on beginner education bloggers.

You definitely don’t want to go too deep, but having a speciality is key to finding an underserved market that you can capitalize on.

 


Not into creating a location-independent business? Get my FREE guide to finding remote work instead:

Not into building your location-independent business right now? Get your FREE Guide to Finding Remote Work!


 

2. Set Your Goals

How much do you want to make with your course? Prices, depending on expertise, can be all over the place, ranging from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand. The speciality you choose and the market you’re in can go a long way in setting these rates.

If you’re just in it for a side-hobby or you’re more interested in building an audience; in this case, consider pricing it a little lower. If you want this to be your primary source of income to fund your nomadic lifestyle, then price it a little higher. Regardless, you need to set your goals first and let the rest of your plan follow suit.

 

3. Find (or Build) an Audience

If you don’t have an audience already made, then you’ll need to build one. This can include running paid advertisements or creating a “lead magnet” so that people will opt-in on your mailing list.

They key is to create something of value, and continue delivering value to your audience before you eventually sell. Give, give, and give… then pitch. You have plenty of knowledge to give, so don’t be stingy with it!


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Create your Location-Independent Business By Teaching Online

 

4. Price It Right

What you ultimately decide to price your course it is up to you, but the key idea here is to create value. It doesn’t matter if your course is $50 or $50,000 if your students don’t feel like it is worth the money, then they won’t stick around long.

Consider also what a course like yours would go for in a physical setting. In some cases, a class on generating an e-commerce business would sell for $10,000 or more, specifically because, through the course, you will learn how to make much more. Do some research, and price accordingly.

 

5. Build a Sales Funnel for your Location-Independent Business

The first thing you need to do is build your foundation for the course itself, and that includes picking the platform that you want it to host on. Pick carefully, because an inferior platform will communicate to your students that the course itself is inferior.

Make sure that your course is mobile-friendly. Most likely, your students will be consuming it on-the-go, so you want to make sure that they have the capability to do so, and that the quality won’t suffer as a result.

Your sales page should have some key information: an attention-grabbing headline, a video or infographic to tease the course, explanation of the course itself, social proof, and a call to action. Make your course irresistible to potential customers, and you will have people lining up to enrol.

 


THESE POSTS COULD ALSO INTEREST YOU:

Want to mingle with like-minded people who already run a location-independent business?

or check out how you can earn a little extra as a digital nomad!


 

6. Create the Course

You may wonder why this is nearly the last step on this list. The answer is simple: there’s no reason to create anything if there are no students to buy it. Once you have the audience, however, you need to deliver in a big way.

The key to any good course is to create a transformation in the student, taking them from where they are to where they want to be. If your course is in affiliate marketing, then start with an introduction to what that is, and move them to more advanced techniques towards the end.

These days, course creation is simple too. Many of the supplies can be bought off Amazon, and freelancers are available worldwide to help with anything you may need.

 

7. Launch It!

Your course launch should follow a series of steps:

First, tease your course to your e-mail list. Second, answer any questions or concerns people may have about it. Then, open the doors to your students.

After that, you want to continue to answer questions that potential (and current) students have about it. Go out of your way here to be accessible; part of what people pay for is access to you, the expert.

Then throw in a bonus to entice more people to sign up and continue to convince people why your course is worth it. Finally, send out a few e-mails letting people know the doors are closing! Create a sense of urgency and grab the last few stragglers who are on the fence.

 

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There are plenty of ways to develop and launch a course, but these are the ones that I’ve found to be most successful. 

What about you? If you were to create a course to teach online, what would it be about? Write back and let me know!

 

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About The Author

Eduardo Yi is the lead content marketer at Teachable, a platform that allows everyone, from creative individuals to established organizations, to easily teach online and create profitable businesses.

 


NOT DONE READING YET?

Perhaps you are not into teaching but you love writing? Consider having a blog instead. You can generate passive income from your site if you write about your travels or life as a digital nomad.

Or perhaps you’re still deciding if the digital nomad lifestyle is for you, read here how five years of full-time travelling have changed my life.

Either you have a location-independent business or want to work remotely as a freelancer, read this post on the gadgets and devices all digital nomads should have!

 

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Digital Nomad How To Make Money

Anywhere In the World Can Be Your Office

Freelancing is on the rise, as 45% of people are choosing work flexibility over pay. Many people are now deciding to give up the traditional 9-5 office-based career and harness the vast array of technology available which allows people to pretty much work anywhere in the world. The digital nomad culture is growing, as one in three people look to work overseas.

Freelancing as a lifestyle choice

People are now making anywhere their office. Whether they’re based at home, in a hotel room, airplane or even the beach. This freestyle way of working allows people to fully combine work and life. Technology is key of course. But with Wifi more reliable than ever and even simple tools like Facetime and Skype, you don’t even need to be in the same country or time zone as your colleagues or clients anymore.

But it’s not just about working freedoms and flexibility. It can be even healthier to give up the 9-5. A UK sleep expert at Oxford University has found that having people under 55 start their workdays before 9am can actually be considered to be “torture”, leaving them stressed and exhausted.

Your alternative program when you are freelancing
Your alternative program when you are freelancing: Nothing beats a relaxing walk at the beach while watching the sunrise!

The challenges of being your own boss

Depending on what your work is and where you are doing it, there will inevitably be distractions. If you are travelling and try to fit experience the destination, you’ll be having trouble finding the balance to do so. Or it could be from your kids in the next room to the temptation to go for a walk instead of opening your laptop. But that’s when it comes down to discipline.

It’s not always an easy work life. But if your regular 9-5 just leaves you feeling bored and unfulfilled, with every day feeling like Groundhog Day, then you can change it. Wherever you want your office space to be, breaking away from the rat race could change your life forever.

In my case, the decision to becoming a digital nomad and determine has been the best in regards to personal freedom. The sensation of being able to work wherever and whenever I want is priceless. My biggest challenge is still to find enough time during the day to do everything possible to really experience the new places I travel to. But, I guess, that’s a luxury problem and not even really one, if I look at it from a “normal” perspective!

Part of the freelancing lifestyle while traveling is to find a good place to work. Your office CAN be a hammock every now and then, but sometimes your job requires to sit in a chair for a few hours 😉 Check out our video on three co-working spaces in Berlin. We asked the owners what the benefits of working in a co-working space are in comparison to a coffee shop – the video is German only, sorry!

What is your opinion on freelancing instead of working the “normal” 9-5? Would you be disciplined enough? Are you already doing it? What is the biggest challenge for you?

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Digital Nomad Tools and Tips

10 Best Free Travel Apps that You Must Have When Traveling

Travel planning has become a lot easier nowadays. We live in a digital world and can enjoy a full range of useful tools which make it a lot easier than in former times! Thanks to great travel apps, it’s been a blast for us to keep on top of our routes and bookings. Yet, you have to know which one to use. There are some awesome free travel apps that help you enjoy your holidays from the planning to your destination: here is a list of 10 best free travel apps that will prove to be useful throughout your globetrotting adventures. We hope you enjoy your new free travel apps for your next travel planning!

10. Waze

If you’re driving, then Waze is a must-have app, when travelling. It is the largest community-based traffic and navigation app that will show you all you need to know about the road you’re on. You’re getting information about the streets, real-time traffic conditions, gas stations, and you’re even seeing Waze users on the road in real-time. It’s fun, useful and free!

For iOS and Android.

9. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is, we believe, the only air travel app you’ll ever need. It’s been voted time and time again as the best travel app and it’s free to download and use. With 50 million users a month, Skyscanner provides you with all you need to make sure you easily and quickly book the best flight for your needs. For those of you are constantly on the go, it’s truly a must-have app!

For iOS and Android.

8. BringFido

Dog lovers, don’t think we’ve forgotten you! If you want to take man’s best friend with you on your vacation, then you will need BringFrido to let you know which places are pet-friendly. It will also tell you about where the dog attractions are, the airline pet policies, dog events, outdoor restaurants and even dog restaurants. The app is free and it’s waiting for you to download it!

For iOS.

7. Uber

The taxi is dead, long live Uber! Uber is the best way to move when you’re on vacation. If you’re not sure about which bus to take, call yourself an Uber and be done with it. It’s just a tiny bit more costly than a taxi but wildly more comfortable and it’s also safer. Uber is available in 76 countries and 473 cities! Download the app, it’s so simple to use it!

For iOS and Android.

6. PackPoint Packing for Sheraton

This packing list travel companion will help you get and stay organized when travelling. It’s a great tool for those who feel overwhelmed by packing and those who love to be as organized as possible. The app itself is powered by TripIt, and the two can work together if you want to (importing info from PackPoint into TripIt). Select the activities you’ll be doing on your vacation and PackPoint will tell you what you need! If you’re going on a photography holiday, then PackPoint will remind you to pack your batteries and everything else you need for your trip. Just give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

For iOS and Android.

5. Lola Travel

Lola Travel is the newest app on our list and it is also the most promising one. For now, Lola Travel is a free app that requires an invitation to join. It is a personal travel service for pretty much anything you need when you’re travelling: hotels, flights, tours, etc. It connects its customers with the company’s travel consultants, which means that you’re going to have a personal travel assistant who’s going to do all the elbow grease for you. Again, it is free for now, but it plans to introduce a yearly or monthly subscription.

For iOS.

4. TripIt

All your travel plans, in one place, is the TripIt’s tagline. It’s that simple and that effective. Forward your flight email, hotel booking or calendar to the app and it will take care of the rest! It works for train rides, buses, hotels, hostels and even all of them put together. You won’t need to write down anything on a piece of paper, ever again. TripIt will do everything for you and it’s free! It’s also one of the most popular travel apps in the world, so give it a try!

For Android.

3. Wiffinity

Wiffinity let you find and connect to over 300,000 hot spots from around the world. So, even before you arrive to your destination, you’ll have all the hot spots listed in the app, and their passwords! It’s got great coverage and you can even use the app offline, once you’ve uploaded the map for offline use. Think about it, you’re in a foreign country, you don’t speak the language and you’re looking for a Wi-Fi password. With Wiffinity, it’s so much easier!

For Android.

2. Triposo – Your Smart Travel Guide

Triposo is a smart travel guide app that you must try! It will give you tailored recommendations about hotels, sights, restaurants and activities! You can even do the booking through the app and you’ll be pleased to know that the app also works offline. So, if you’re even in a city and you feel overwhelmed by all the options, open Triposo and let it guide you!

For iOS and Android.

1. Google Translate

Google Translate has been around for what seems like forever and is one of the must-have travel apps, but it was only last year that the live translation feature was introduced, and the live translation is what makes the Google Translate app spectacularly useful. Simply point your phone’s camera to a sign or piece of writing in a foreign language, and Google will translate it in real time. You just can’t make this stuff up!

For iOS and Android.


*This post and photos were originally published on BookSinglesHoliday.com and cross-posted here with their permission.

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Digital Nomad Tools and Tips

Are Digital Nomad Programs an Option to Start Your New Lifestyle?

When I decided to quit my job in 2011 and travel the world, I wish someone would have taken me by the hand to show me my options for leaving the 9-5-routine. Today, there are more and more digital nomad programs that help people find a smooth way into a location independent lifestyle. Terminal3, for example, is created for those who work online and want to travel with others for six months (July-Dec. 2016). And then there is the Nomad Cruise that connects digital nomads and entrepreneurs on a cruise ship. Check out our blog post about our trip from Colombia to Portugal with 200 fellow digital nomads. 

Beaches, mountains you pick your scenery in your new style of living!
This could be you, going for a run before you even have had breakfast! Photo credit: Terminal3

 

In 2011 it seemed to be a crazy thought of mine, when I first considered not going back home to pick up my old career path that I left behind to travel for a short 6-month break. That I never returned and changed my reality seems today like a logical step. But back then, it was a bit scary at times: what if I won’t be able to ‘make it’ out there in the world…. what if Germany, my home, my safe haven, was my only option to make money and create my life… All these thoughts, fears and doubts pop up, thanks to society that shows us only one way: after school you go to university or get a job, then start a family and have a house/car and dog. Whoever dares to do something else is mostly considered an outcast, loser or lazy bum. But, if I look at my life today, I feel like I am not working less than I used to do back in my office job. The difference is significant though, as today I work next to the beach or in a nice cafe plus, whenever I want to.

Working in cafes or at the beach has become my daily routine.
Not your normal office, right? Gotta love this remote lifestyle!

Sounds great? Yes, it is! And if you wonder how to do that too, then perhaps you might be interested to follow a crowd of people who do exactly the same: work remotely while discovering the world. The concept of Terminal3 is super straight forward: you join a bunch of digital nomads and enjoy the luxury while someone else does the travel planning and organisation for you. Flights, visas, accommodation and activities are all taken care of. As a bonus, you will get to know others who might have great ideas to inspire your own path, or you might even meet your future business partner on this trip. Working remotely can be lonely if you don’t have a partner at your side, so anyone who loves to brainstorm and enjoy the company of people with the same lifestyle, should sign up!

Hiking, biking, or the beach - your choices are what matter!
Isn’t it always greater in good company?! Photo credit: Terminal3

With the creation of more and more programs like Terminal3 we learn about a shift in the thinking pattern of people who desperately want to break out of their routine. It is great to see that it becomes less and less scary for others to accept this new type of work-life style as something normal. At the end of May, we are stoked to hop onto a cruise ship that will be relocated from Cartagena (Colombia) to Lisbon (Portugal). On top of this really economic transportation option comes the bonus for us: this very cruise ship hosts another digital nomad event called “Nomad Cruise” where around 200 online entrepreneurs get together and exchange ideas and visions on a 13-day cruise across the Atlantic Ocean.

Nomad Cruise from Columbia to Portugal, we are in!
All you need to know: dates and program, wanna come??? 😀

For both of these digital nomad programs, there are still spots left and we will be posting in the following weeks a few more details about them. We really think that these are great options for anyone who is already working remotely and especially for people who want to change their lifestyle towards location independence. Stay tuned and spread the word – it would be great to meet one of the events!

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Digital Nomad How To Make Money

Let’s Talk Money – Part 2: How to Travel Long-Term

To travel long-term is one of the biggest dreams of many people. Wouldn’t it be great to see the whole world before we die?!? But money seems to be the biggest issue and the number one limitation when it comes to travelling. It shouldn’t be though, as there are so many ways to stay on the road without being rich! If you’re eager to explore and travelling is your passion, for sure you’ll accept a bit of an effort in order to reach your goal and live your dream, right?! Check out my first post about how you can travel long-term here!

Mahahual, MexicoGorgeous sunset in Mahahual, a tiny Mexican fisher town close to the border of Belize.

What is it that stops you from following your dream?

Whoever I meet on the road seems to be in a similar situation: Life back home is ok, all sorted out: a job, a house/apartment, family/friends as well as the daily hobbies/leisure time activities. Great! But apparently for some of us wandering souls out there, this seems not enough. If you are happier on the road than in a routined life, you can probably relate to the following: if only money wasn’t an issue, we would all be traveling the world forever, right?

Life back home seems to make sense, though. Everyone chooses this way that society defines to be the ‘correct’ one. If no one would follow that system, the world would be a different place, for sure, and economy would turn into a very hollow concept. Before I take it too far, I should say that I don’t want to change the system or pretend that everything other than conventional is automatically better. In fact, I think we all should decide for ourselves what is ‘right’ or best.  And if that means that you don’t fit into the conventional system, you should at least be given enough creative space to develop your own way of living. Having said that, let’s suppose your mission in life is similar to mine:

MY MISSION IN LIFE: TRAVEL LONG-TERM AND SEE THE WHOLE WORLD

I haven’t had one conversation in my four years of travelling in which other people tell me that they do not want to travel long-term. ‘I wish I could do this forever’, is one of the most heard sentences in these conversations. But they’re running out of savings and want to go back to make more money till the next time when they get their days off from work. Eventually all have to go back and return to a life that is determined by a job and paying bills. Some lucky ones have found their dream-jobs and really don’t mind going back. But it strikes me how many people I talk to are actually unhappy.

Wouldn’t it be great to find something that allows you to travel long-term whenever you want to and for how long you like? Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t actually! Do what you love and try to make money out of it! It might be a bit more difficult or take you longer to set it up, because you have to become creative yourself, but it can’t be harder than following orders from other people or working every day 8 hours in something that you don’t enjoy! Trust me, there is always a way if you follow your real passion.

Vancouver HarbourDo material things really make you happy?

How to travel long-term and turn it into your lifestyle:

First of all, get rid of everything that you really don’t need: sell the ‘things’ that you bought only for that short exciting moment of pleasure, such as clothes, jewellery, decoration for your house etc. All these things that you would leave behind if your house was on fire and you’d have to run away. Make a list! Evaluate the list and start over, for sure you can find more things in the basement! Selling it all through eBay or other online marketplaces might give you the necessary cash to get started.

Tip: Keep your apartment and rent it out in order to see if you enjoy life on the road at all or until you decide to travel long-term on serious terms. 

Once you are on the mission to explore a new country, your main challenge is probably to keep your costs low. Travel more for less in an enjoyable way, right? I travel on a budget but never feel poor or almost every time I want to do something, I decide in favour for it. There is no worse feeling than missing out on something that is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! And the idea is to enjoy travelling without feeling guilty about the money you spend. And since you will be on the road for quite some time, beach bumming tends to become quite boring after a while. So, most people don’t mind to pick up a job – if that means that you can enjoy your sunset by the beach on a regular basis.

Mahahual, MexicoLuckily free Wi-Fi has become a standard facility in most places, and sometimes you can get lucky and even work at the beach!

How to make money on the road?

When I realised that I don’t want to go back into the 9-5 job routine, I started to do whatever it takes to travel long-term: I did a lot of research on work visas, ways to make money online and how to safe on your expenses. All I thought of was how to keep doing what I was doing. And it all came down to four major costs/spending areas: Accommodation, food, activities and transportation. I thought, if I can figure out how to live for free, eat like locals and not like a tourist, save on activities and transport, my costs will be very low and don’t need much money. So here is my momentary model of living:

Step 1: Live for free through a work-exchange:

Today we try to never pay for accommodation, ideally not even for food (which is mostly harder though but also a lot cheaper). There are some great websites that help you find voluntary positions that you don’t need a work visa for and where you still have plenty of time during the day to explore or do whatever you like. For me, the 4-5 hours per day in the morning leave me plenty of time to work on my own projects in the afternoon and I have sorted out my major expense, the cost of living:

Step 2: Cash up with a local job in countries where you can get a work permit!

In my case, I started off trying out different jobs in tourism and marketing which I found in each place by talking to the local people. In Chile, Australia and Canada I got a work visa and in these countries I made enough money to be able to travel again for longer periods afterwards. I recently found out about a fairly new website called JetSetterJobs. Here people like me can search for casual work anywhere in the world. Some jobs are paid, some are on a voluntary/exchange basis. Check it out, it makes your life so much easier when you travel long-term:

In general though, you need to do the legwork once you’ve arrived in your new destination. There are very few ways to find a job online in remote places. That’s why I find it a really great idea to set up a platform like the one from JetSetterJobs.com! These guys understood the need for a platform that helps nomads to find jobs easier!

Part-time jobSometimes you’ll find a really fun job not necessarily behind a computer desk! 😀

Step 3: Use your free-time in order to build up your own online-business and become location independent!

Even though I usually try to make money on the road (whenever I legally can), I also always keep my eyes open for freelance jobs, especially in the phases where I don’t work locally. These sorts of freelance jobs such as helping to build websites, translations jobs, copywriting and all sorts of marketing projects are great to move around and not spend too much time in one place. Here is a few example pages that I regularly scan:

Now that you sorted out your living costs and realised that you can actually live comfortably on a casual income, you might want to take your lifestyle to the next level. Who wouldn’t want to stop doing those little jobs and rather spend time at the beach or hiking in the mountains!? And that is the key if you travel long-term: Organise and plan well every step ahead. All my time and efforts go towards the goal to see the whole world. The timeframe doesn’t matter, as long as the journey is enjoyable. So, since I don’t have any regular bills like I used to have when living in one place, all I earn goes directly towards my travels. That means, with the money I make I can finance my life on the road without worrying about fixed costs.

But at the moment I am building up my own online-business of which I hopefully soon will be able to live off. Being fairly new to the blogging scene I can not yet speak for myself, but I’ve learned a lot and know that there are many bloggers out there that make profit from their websites. All you need is a product that is in demand or find a niche and position yourself as an expert. If you travel long-term, you gain great knowledge of all the travel related questions other people might have. I know how scary it can be and how many trial-and-error situations one has to go through before one figures out the challenges of a nomadic lifestyle. So stay tuned and I will hopefully be able to share soon more about my business idea…

Mahahual, Mexico
Enjoy the benefits of traveling…and where best can you do this, in a hammock, right?! 😉

Good luck to you all and happy travels!!! If you have any questions about how to travel long-term, please leave a comment below and I am more than happy to contact you.

Categories
Digital Nomad How To Make Money

If You Aren’t Rich But Want to Travel…Change Your Attitude, Think Creative… and Touch a Koala!

You don’t have to be rich in order to travel the world, y. But last time at the border control the immigration officer wasn’t so sure about it. He looked at my passport and paused. Then he looked up and sent me over to one of his colleges. I wasn’t surprised about this. It happens almost all the time when I’m at the airport. I mostly never get waved through immigration immediately and usually have to answer a few questions before I can get into a new country. I guess too many stamps in your passport makes you look suspicious…

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And still, after all that travelling I must admit that so far I had never had someone being as blunt as the Canadian officer in Toronto a few months ago! Like his colleague before, he turned each and every single page of my heavily used passport and looked at it with a raised eyebrow before he asked me: “So…. are you rich?!?”

I think I am rich, but most people probably think I have a lot of money on my bank account when they hear about my travels and lifestyle. Truth is, I definitely have not a lot of money and each time I earn a little bit it goes straight towards my current or next trip. In fact, I don’t even have many possessions to call my own. All I own fits into my backpack that I have been carrying around with me for the past 4 years…it’s mainly clothes in there and I guess my camera, phone and laptop are the only considerable valuables that I posses…

So, how do I travel around the world without getting bankrupt?

Well, first of all, I changed my expectations and way of thinking. I said Goodbye to my career and re-adjusted my standards of living. Also my attitude has changed completely. I do not strive for a high job position at a fancy company any longer and I couldn’t care less if I drive my own car or have a chic apartment for myself. The less stuff you own the more flexible you are, I found out….

The security of a permanent job I happily exchanged for location-independence, adventures and the flexibility to be able to travel around – whenever I want. It’s deliberating and mind-changing. And I think it is the first transformation that has to happen in your head. For me travelling was eye-opening and helped me appreciating life differently.

 

So, I transformed my former mission of climbing up the job ladder into a mission of exploring the world. May each and every single day be interesting and hopefully exciting for the rest of my life, I thought. And I couldn’t help but feeling the need to take this challenge serious. I suddenly saw that a career did not fulfil me any longer. All I wanted was to learn each day something new, see different places, get to know people from other countries, learn about their cultures, try to challenge myself by pushing myself out of my comfort zone and never feel bored of life again.

Location-independent since 2011 and full-time traveling ever since: my life as a digital business nomad looks completely different than before.
Climbing a volcano in Southern Chile…at 4 am! Totally worth it to get up that early!! 🙂

And I think on top of my attitude it is my educational and professional background that helps me a lot to get around easily: I studied English and Spanish language, literature and culture at the University. After I graduated I wasn’t sure what to do with my Bachelor’s of Arts. So I thought it’d be a good idea to get a degree in something that is actually a bit more concrete. I decided to get an extra occupational degree in Communications/ Marketing and PR.

PR and Marketing Consultant goes full-time traveller: Today, I call myself a digital business nomad.
Back in the days as a Marketing Consultant…a very different me! Photo Credit: Mirco Taliercio

Being fluent in three different languages in combination with a skill that can basically be applied all around the world has helped me a lot on my travels. And I am lucky enough to work as a freelancer for different projects every now and then. This allows me to travel and work location independently… But I am not saying that this is the only way to be able to travel and it is clearly not the only type of work I do!

Actually, I find it very refreshing to pick up jobs that I wouldn’t even have considered back home in Germany. It’s funny when you take off the career pressure and turn a job into an experience. You can relax because you know it will not be for a long time and that you learn a new skill or simply something about yourself by throwing yourself into a completely new environment. I still give one hundred per cent when I start a new job. But I am no longer getting emotionally involved like I used to do.

Traveling full-time is an alternative lifestyle for people who work online and without being rich.
A peaceful sunset on one of my trips to Bali in 2014…

When I travel, I meet many people on the road with all sorts of professional backgrounds and many of them exchanged their careers in order to live a nomadic lifestyle like me. Some find the perfect spot to live and simply stay in a spot in paradise. They all seem to feel the same: Once you’ve made that step out of the routine you quickly realise that there is so much more you can do and somehow everything falls into place in the following.

I hardly ever know what I am going to do in a few months ahead of time. That might be scary for some people, but I find it exciting. The majority of people though love security and a predictable way of living. I guess everyone has to decide for themselves what is best for oneself… But I can totally relate to all those wandering souls around the world that get attached to the nomadic lifestyle as opposed to the conventional house, car and full-time job.

Long-term Travel: As long as you are open, not picky and a little bit creative you will manage to get around!

Traveling brings you in touch with so many interesting species...
Oh and touching a Koala will bring you luck too. May the holy Koala spirit will be with you on your travels! 😉 

Categories
Digital Nomad How To Make Money

Let’s talk money: How to travel without being rich!

In Bariloche Argentina

Travel longterm: Here are some fast facts about how you can start travelling and finance your trips:

  • It sounds cheesy but that is really the first step: you GOT to believe that it is possible!
  • Once you convinced yourself, convince your friends and family that it is a good idea to quit your job and buy an open flight ticket to wherever you want to go. Of course, keep your job and ask your boss for a permission to get a longer break in case you are not sure and want to see first if you like travelling at all!
  • The money for your flight ticket is the first thing you should worry about: start saving today and stop spending on unnecessary things like clothes, eating out, drinks or the mandatory coffee at Starbucks in the morning on the way to your office….
  • You might get some funds by selling all that stuff in your apartment/basement which you won’t need on your trip anyways…and hey, think about it, you can always come back and get news things again, IF you ever come back…! And if NOT, you will have to CARRY all that you want to take!!

    Carrying way too much stuff on a 5 day hike through Patagonia’s National Park “Torres del Paine”…
  • Then, get excited and imagine all your dreams vividly! Again, mind setting is crucial for almost everything in life!! First you have to be able to see/ create it in your head before it can become true!! No kidding!
  • After that you have a few options to chose from on how to create your travels:
  • couchsurfing.com or housesitting might be an interesting option for those who want to save on accommodation and get to know places with the help of your hosts…it’s a great way to start and get a feel for travelling.
  • Whoever likes contributing whilst out there should have a look at wwoofing! This is a great organisation that connects organic farms with volunteers all around the world. Each country has a website and you can contact the farm owners for a small fee to see if they need help. You will receive accommodation and food in exchange for 4-5 hours of work per day, weekends are off, of course. There is no payment, but that means you don’t need a work permit either! Which is great!

    Harvesting baby carrots on one of the organic farms in Canada where I stayed as a woofer for 4 weeks!

    And there is still plenty of time to explore the surrounding area and you will see that the hosts are mostly more than happy to show you around! Almost anywhere around the world you can find wwoofing…my next stop will be Hawaii, just saying! Type into Google ‘wwoofing‘ and the country you want to visit. There you’ll find the website for the particular country and you can purchase the contact list for all the registered farms. It’s about 20-30 Euro depending on which country you choose. It’s the only investment you have to make, but then you won’t spend any money on food or accommodation…

    Wwoofing in the morning and canoeing in the afternoon!
  • You can always try to go deeper and obtain a new skill that allows you to travel and work online… I have worked on a freelance basis as a copywriter, translator, PR Manager and recently I am doing an online course to get a certificate in web design. You find jobs like that on freelance.com and this way you can easily travel and do a few hours per week from ANYWHERE around the world! Basically all you need is a laptop and internet access…so don’t visit for too long remote places! 🙂
  • If online is not your thing, you might want to think about teaching a language. English is pretty high in demand in Asia, Africa and Latin America. But even German is popular!! I taught German in Australia for several weeks. It started as a joke but in the end I had 5 regular students, who booked me a few hours per week!! No, I did not have any teaching experiences at all! But this showed me something plain and simple: If you are trying new things, you will always find new opportunities. So getting rid off old habits and routines helps to stay flexible in your mind! Try different things! Learn! Connect! Talk to other people and listen to their stories. You might get great ideas for yourself!

    Not one of my best ideas but a lot of fun: On a scooter in India’s Goa…being used to right sided traffic this was challenging, as it felt very “wrong” to drive on the left side of the street! Perhaps it felt strange also because it was my first time to drive a scooter and India’s traffic is crazy…but hey, I survived! 😀
  • Teaching German was simply an idea to try something different…and it worked! One of these five students was a business owner who sells products on Amazon. He wanted to expand his business at that time and asked me to help him translate his texts on their website. I agreed and up until today I have done several projects for his company on a freelancing basis.

So BE OPEN and trust that one door will eventually open and lead to another one!!! But most importantly, go out there and try it yourself…there are so many beautiful places to discover!!

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Travel the world: The stunning Iguazu Falls at the border of Argentina and Brasil!