Have you ever wondered how would it be to become a digital nomad? Somehow, it always feels like all nomads and freelancers around us already know what they’re doing and you’re just lost in the middle of it without the smallest understanding on how to get there yourself. That’s why it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce you to a new category in Digital Nomad stories: Nomad Journey in Making! This is where fresh-in nomads and freelancers will be sharing their very first experiences to becoming digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, bloggers, creatives and so much more. Make sure to stay tuned for more stories to come but right now – let’s get to the case!
The first story is from Nina & Andrea but I’ll let them introduce themselves! (You can also read their interview right below the video!)
I’m Nina from The Netherlands and this is Andrea from the Italy, and we’re a digital nomad couple!
What’s your background story and how did you decide to become digital nomads?
Andrea: Interesting one because basically, the whole digital nomad thing is fairly new to me. I was binge-watching Youtube this one day and I bumped in a video from Crazy Freelancer, that’s how I started getting into the movement, I started reading about it and get as much information as possible. All of a sudden I felt a click. What happened next was that I shared it with Nina but at the beginning, she wasn’t 100% for it…
Nina: Yes because I didn’t really know what it meant to be a digital nomad, are you just going on a vacation or… you now. I was a bit skeptical. Also, I didn’t know how would you start on freelancing. At the beginning, it kind of seemed more difficult for me than it actually is. After a while, he told me more about it and I thought it’s something really cool because I always liked traveling, and I wanted to travel more! I also didn’t feel so good at my job back then so I was like yeah, let’s do it!
How did you make the decision about the services you were going to provide? Are you learning it all from zero or you have some previous experience?
Andrea: Here our experiences are very different. I’ve been working in the digital industry for the last 4 years. I’ve got computer engineering background, I’ve been working as a software developer so for me it was an easy bet. I knew that I’d provide my clients with the web design and web development services. For Nina things were slightly more complicated/interesting.
Nina: I was working before in marketing for e-commerce company but I didn’t like it that much and I felt like it didn’t really fit with what I really like, my personality and my ambitions. So I decided not only to become a digital nomad but also to switch careers, and to study UX design. I thought that it fits better with who I am, what I like to do because I like to create and build things but there’s still marketing aspect that I like which is researching. So I studied UX design in the first month of this year and I’m also just starting to find projects.
What’s your plan for the future? Where do you see things going within a year or even later on?
Nina: As this is our first year as digital nomads, we’re going to take this year for going to Southeast Asia, see if we like it, if we like this lifestyle and whether it makes us happier, if it actually works for us. The next year we’d definitely like to continue our journey, probably within Europe.
Andrea: Yeah, definitely! I think, at the beginning, Asia is definitely a good place to go but for a longer-term we see ourselves living in the Europe. We don’t really know where yet…
Nina: Definitely a sunny and warm place!
What do your friends and family think about this adventure? Were they supportive and do they understand what this journey is all about?
Nina: This again is a question that is quite different for both of us. My parents were actually quite supportive. At the beginning, they were a bit weirded out because they didn’t know what is a digital nomad, is it just a long vacation? After explaining the concept and telling them what we were going to do exactly, they kind of got it, and now they are actually very, very supportive and they are really happy for us. This might also be because of the fact that my dad is an entrepreneur so they get it more. So I was quite lucky and it was easier for me!
Andrea: For me, it was weird and funny at the same time. I come from the very south of Italy and people there are not as forward as Ninas parents could be. When I told my dad “Hey, dad, I’m quitting my job to become a digital nomad!”, first of all, he was like “Why are you quitting your job?!” For them, once you have a job, you need to work there for the next 25 years, retire and that’s it. So this thing doesn’t make sense at all. Then I started explaining them what was it all about and, more or less, they got it. Now, when I started to get some results from my freelancing business, they seem to be a bit more calm, and happy for me.
What’s your suggestion for those who’d like to follow the same path?
Nina: Our suggestion would be: if you really want to become a digital nomad then just do it! I think, most people are dreaming about this lifestyle but they’re not actually doing anything to take the lead. It’s actually easier than you think! It might seem hard because you have to quit your job, you have to leave the life you know, you have to leave your friends but if you really want it then just do it! Quit your job but you have to have a certain kind of plan. I think it’s good to have a plan!
Nina: “So this is what I want to do as a freelancer or as a remote worker.” If you know that then you actually have kind of 90% of what you need. So our main suggestion is “Just do it!”
Andrea: If you don’t have any skills that you could work on as a freelancer then don’t quit your job right away. Build a skill set first! But if you already have that, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it! You can do whatever you’re doing for your company as a freelancer as well. If that’s the case, just take the lead and go for it!
Thank you very much for watching! And if you’re coming to Asia anytime soon, drop us a line!