Digital nomads stories – how they work & travel (Part 2)

RioStill want to read more stories about digital nomads? Last time I interviewed three digital nomads about how they work and travel, about their fears and failures, but also about the beauty of this lifestyle. Now I am back with three more stories. Nomads from Poland, Germany and Croatia opened up and told us why they chose this lifestyle and what are the lessons they learned on the way.

 

Alan Ciechalski, Sales differently

Alan
Can you briefly tell us who are you and what do you do for a living?

My name is Alan Ciechalski, from Poland. I’m a freelance web designer and an internet marketer. I help small businesses get their first clients online through Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimisation.

 

How did you become a digital nomad and what made you decide to adopt this lifestyle?
I went on holidays to Rio de Janeiro while still being at a full time job. I met Johannes Voelkner who told me about the digital nomad lifestyle. From then on I wanted to become a digital nomad and have a business I could run as location independent individual. It took me 4 years of different trials and errors but this summer I decided it is the time to make the jump.

How much did it take you to get here?
Few hundred euros a month is what I started with and about three thousand in savings. I’m still figuring it out, but I made a commitment to myself that by the next summer I will be totally independent.

 

What problems have you encountered on the way?
So far there was no real problem, apart from a bad internet connection in few places.

 

Did you fail until now? And if so, what did you learn?
Yes, I did fail few times, usually by my own fault. Lack of focus and commitment. Now I’m older, more experienced and focused. I can see that everything is possible if you put your mind to it.

 

Was the reality according to the plans or did you have to adapt many times on the way?
Pretty much it is what I expected. It’s not that hard to do work even if you are in paradise. Once you commit, you don’t make excuses. And the pressure is on me to get the job done or I will run out of money.

Once again you have to adapt to places where there is no internet or it’s really unreliable.

 

How much time do you spend abroad and how much “at home”?
This is my first time when I went away for more than two weeks but I’m expecting to travel for the next 4-5 months. I might return to my home base in Scotland to recharge my batteries and speak to my family, but then I plan to go on the road again for few months.

 

What’s the most important advice you would give to someone who wants to become a digital nomad?

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@AncaMuraru”]Don’t wait to be ready, commit and then figure stuff out later. If you fail, fail spectacularly and quickly. This way you will learn faster.[/tweetthis]

 

 

Nina Soentgerath, Reise Happen  Nina

Can you briefly tell us who are you and what do you do for a living?
I’m a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Alongside, one year ago I launched a travel & food blog, since traveling and eating are my two big passions.

 

How did you become a digital nomad and what made you decide to adopt this lifestyle?
Actually, I didn’t know that there exists a word for what I am doing. I heard about digital nomads first time about a year ago. Unfortunately, I lost my job in 2007 and had no idea what to do. As I couldn’t find another job at that time, I became a freelancer and started to travel long-term a year later. Today, I am still traveling and working as a freelance graphic designer; and I still love it! But I never really decided to adopt this lifestyle; I just did what I loved.

 

How much did it take you to get here?
I became a freelancer first and later I also started traveling around the world. I already had the business and clients, which made it a lot easier. I just had to pack my backpack. My clients don’t ask where I work, as long as I hold deadlines.

 

What problems have you encountered on the way?
There are and will always be times when you ask yourself how to go on, how to earn enough money or how to get new clients. You don’t have these problems when you are an employee and get your money at the end of the month. But I always liked my freedom too much to go back. Actually, I was in the lucky situation that every time I didn’t know how to go on, a new client called me and the problem was solved by itself. Sometimes you just shouldn’t worry too much about it and believe in yourself.

 

Did you fail until now? And if so, what did you learn?
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@AncaMuraru”]The most time failures happen for a reason. Failures are new opportunities, sometimes also fortune and the best way to learn. [/tweetthis]
So yeah sure, I failed, I lost jobs and money, but in the end it was for a reason. It made me stronger, more self-confident and to the person who I am today.

 

Was the reality according to the plans or did you have to adapt many times on the way?
I had to adapt just once, as I had a boyfriend who didn’t like traveling at all. Today, I know that this can’t work, but at that time it was quite hard for me to accept. In the end I quit the relationship to live my life and not his life, as I was the unhappiest person ever.

 

How much time do you spend abroad and how much “at home”?
I have a home base (in Germany), but this year I actually didn’t spend a lot of time there. The plan for next year is to be six months at home, six months traveling mainly Europe, as I travelled a lot to South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand and many other places far away, but I don’t know Europe very well. But actually plans are made to be changed!

 

What’s the most important advice you would give to someone who wants to become a digital nomad?
For many people, this life is a dream, but the reality is different: stop seeing things through rose-colored glasses! A lot of people think this is just traveling and party. But actually it isn’t, it is hard work, an unstable life, sometimes you feel lonely and you have to handle problems you wouldn’t have at home.

For me this is pure freedom, but not everybody is made for that life.

 

 

Luka Marsic 

LukaTell us a few things about who are you and what do you do for a living
I’m originally from Croatia and Germany and I am involved in several location-dependent businesses, in which I have outsourced most of the work. I’m also a consultant and coach. In my free time I’m a location independent psychology student. 😀

 

How did you become a digital nomad and what made you decide to adopt this lifestyle?
I became a digital nomad after rethinking what is important in life. After suffering from several (in most cases lethal) health problems and being able to recover, I’ve started to take challenges and to complete them. From learning to walk and eat again to finishing school, studying and always learning new things, helping people to move their businesses in the right direction up to building own projects. As I was always based in two to three countries, I always had to think location independent, in order to earn money.

 

How much did it take you to get here (earn enough money to travel and work)?
Less than expected. About one year.

 

What problems have you encountered on the way?
In terms of business, it was to transform into the position of working for yourself and not relying on the “comfort“ of a 9 to 5 job with a steady monthly salary, as well as getting to the point of being a maker instead of a talker.

In terms of personal life it was hard to plan months ahead where to get my medicine and to fight the fear of being stuck somewhere with health problems, but after a while and lots of research I was able to cope with every situation health-wise.

 

Did you fail until now? And if so, what did you learn?
Yes, there were and still are several business-ideas, which didn’t work out the way I wanted. The two most important learnings for me were:
1. Don’t be too emotional about a project that doesn’t work.
2. You don’t dump an idea, you make room for a new one!

 

Was the reality according to the plans or did you have to adapt many times on the way?
I am very impulsive. That’s why I constantly look for challenges and change plans. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to make plans and to try to accomplish them, but if you discover afterwards that a change in a different direction would be beneficial for your plans, why would you stay on the wrong path?

 

How much time do you spend abroad and how much “at home”?
It always depends on the circumstances, but I’m never more than two months in one place.

 

What’s the most important advice you would give to someone who wants to become a digital nomad?

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@AncaMuraru”]Stop talking and start doing! Learn something new each day! And the harder you work on your dream in the beginning, the easier it will be afterwards![/tweetthis]

 

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