“Digital Nomad story” is a weekly story series sharing experiences and tips from digital nomads and word travelers on how the being of a digital nomad actually looks like & how they’re rolling in their nomadic lifestyle. Join the journey!
Hi! My name is Isabella,
I am from Italy but I have been living as an expatriate in many different countries for the past 15 years or so… I lost count. I don’t consider myself a digital nomad since I don’t live on an online job – for now – and I have been moving around to do “regular” jobs in customer service and contracting, always in tourism. I have been very fortunate, I reckon, and been given the chance to travel all around the Caribbean and Mexico. My job was great and well paid, but I came to a moment of my life, where that was not enough. I needed more freedom, more time to learn new skills, read more, and do something on my own. So after 2 years of saving I have resigned from my job and decided I would put all my knowledge into a personal project.
I will be travelling across Latin-America which has been my dream since I was in my 20s ( I am 44 now) and I will do volunteer jobs and work exchange program and in the meantime, I will build my website where I give tips and information on travelling to the Caribbean and Mexico.
Meanwhile, will think about different other projects I have in mind in collaborations with friends.
What’s your normal daily routine as a DN?
I haven’t tried it yet, but I believe you need to be very disciplined in order to get the results you want since working on your own might bring you to too much flexibility or the opposite.
What’s scaring you in digital nomad lifestyle?
I believe the thing that will make me more nervous would be the fear that I won’t make enough money to sustain this lifestyle I want.
What are your beliefs about “being a digital nomad”?
I believe that is mostly about owning your own time even though it doesn’t apply when you have a deadline to respect so you have to cancel all your other priorities and focus on one, but is part of your choice. And most of all being able to work from anywhere you want so you can visit places and live like a local while you work and then move to the next stop when you feel ready to go and bring your work with you. Especially if you love what you do, which is also part of this choice of course, you will never need a vacation. Or at least I wouldn’t.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about digital nomads?
Following groups where people ask on how to become one I can see they have a misconception that being a digital nomad is a job in itself. but it is not, it is a lifestyle. A digital nomad is somebody who works on line and is, therefore, location independent. And he/she can do any kind of job that allows it.
Many people are afraid of never being able to settle down after being nomads. They can’t live long in one place, they can’t find a partner who’d love to travel as much, etc. What are your thoughts on this?
I can see that keep travelling can be very tiring and draining, but I hope to do it for ever and maybe chose a place where to stay longer, but keep moving…
What are the main things you are looking for when deciding where to go next?
I always try to follow a path. For example, I am setting off for a journey in South America and will move from north through south, but slowly, trying to really live like a local in the places where I am and mingle with the culture. This is why I will often chose to do exchange program experiences like the ones suggested in workaway as I believe that if you work and stay for a couple of months it will give you the chance to know more people and connect with the community you are living in. That is what I am looking for when I travel. When I hear people that travel in 50 countries in one year, I think: wow good for them, but I don’ t think that would work for me. Travelling is a way to enrich myself and learn and If I jump from one place to another without even knowing where I have been and learning about the history and culture it doesn’t really make me feel I have been there at all. This is why I made my choice to travel and work and become a local everywhere I go.
Top 3 places to visit
I believe there is no good place or wrong place, there are places and I want to visit as many as I can, judgment free, just seeing the beauty all around me. However If I have to suggest a great place where I have been, I would say Yucatan Peninsula, where I have lived for 7 years. I am talking about it in my blog where I aim to take people out of the Riviera Maya and show them around the beauties of the rest of the region, very different from the crowded and overrated Riviera Maya.
What’s your vision of the future? How long are you planning to keep up with your digital nomad lifestyle? Do you have any long-term plans on your mind?
As long as life allows me to. I have plans and I am finding a lot of opportunities now as a content manager and copywriter, which is what I love to do. And I am working on other projects. I have just set off for my journey and I am already seeing many signs that I am on the right path. Believing in yourself is not enough, you need to work hard and be consistent and go for it.. and opportunities will come.
Gathering all your current experience – what would you now say to your old self, back when you just started?
I am already old 😉 and I say to myself right now… Just go for it, without turning back, so that you will never have to say… “I should have tried”