Along with many of our online colleagues, we classify ourselves as digital nomads. But what does that mean exactly?
“Digital Nomads are individuals that leverage technology in order to work remotely and live an independent and nomadic lifestyle.”
To add to what Reddit says, the digital nomads that we know tend to live financially conscious lives, have less possessions than most people, are totally free to live how they want, and are incredibly happy!
But, how do we find a balance between working remotely online, and having time to explore the destinations we’re visiting or living in?
If we don’t travel, then we have nothing to write about.
If we don’t write, we have no funds for travelling.
It’s a catch 22.
Oftentimes we feel like we should be out there mingling with people, trekking up a mountain, or visiting the popular markets and sights. We see other travellers looking down at us because we’re being antisocial on our laptops, rather than discussing where we should travel to next.
Our website and our freelance columns are our job, it’s our passion, it’s what we love. We feel like it’s a small sacrifice to miss out on a couple of Happy Hours in order to earn a few hundred dollars, which will ultimately get us from one exotic destination to the next.
Here’s what a very young Australian girl on her gap year said to us recently when she saw us working on our computers:
“Ugghh, I’m so sick of hearing the “W” word! You’re travelling, you shouldn’t even be thinking about Work!”
There are times when we feel left-out and like we don’t fit in with other travellers, but we brushed off what the Aussie said because we’ve come to the realization that it’s OK to not be full-time travellers anymore. We’re not just tourists – we’re now expats, bloggers and tourists. Unlike before, our journeys around the world don’t have an expiration date. We’re in no rush to see the top tourist sites of the city we’re in, because most likely we’ll be there for a month and will have plenty of time to get to them.
We now enjoy living in places, whether it’s in our own apartment or house sitting. This allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the culture and community. We get to have local neighbours, we’re able to know about the best restaurants, secret hikes and off-track beaches. We can unpack for a while and make long-lasting friendships.
We still have the desire for adventure, to learn and explore. But we also have the desire to sit still and put some effort into our career and into learning about a place, its people and its culture.
Over the past four months, our website has been seriously neglected. Our plan to live and work in San Pancho fell through, as it ended up being more of a place to have family come and visit us. After that, we were really interested in travelling around Mexico and loved exploring all of the colonial cities and gorgeous beaches. It’s one of the best countries in the world for backpackers and we absolutely loved our 7 weeks of moving around.
However, we were just doing the bare minimum on the site, and rather than timely responses to emails and prospective partners, people weren’t hearing from us for a week, sometimes two… or three. In order to keep our heads above water, make significant progress on projects and reach out to new advertisers and partners, we need to slow down and take some time for us.
The new plan is to travel around a country for a month, then sit still for two or three, while getting caught up on everything, writing about the experiences we’ve just had, and really enjoying the community that we’re a part of. We’ll write about how to find an apartment or good hotel / hostel, the cost of living, and all of the incredible things to see and do in the city we’ve put down temporary roots in.
We’re currently living on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, which has given us a chance to unpack, unwind and focus on getting together some great articles.
Being digital nomads allows us to meet interesting business owners, work with wonderful companies, be offered some amazing products, but most importantly, it allows us to continue to travel the world. We love everything that this title encompasses.
We’re still trying to find the perfect balance between being travellers and having an online job, but we think we’re doing OK and are pretty happy with where we’re at 🙂