During the summer of 2018 I decided to not just use my break for fun and adventure, but to trial what my life would be like as a digital nomad living the laptop lifestyle. I was curious to see if it was for me, because so far I have been living a very “normal” and structured life working as a teacher in London while starting my side hustle as a blogger.
What’s a digital nomad you ask? I have written a few digital nomad articles so far that cover that and many more questions:
- The digital nomad lifestyle revolution
- How to travel the world as a digital nomad
- How to become a digital nomad
That’s the theory. But how does it pan out in reality. To find out I embarked on a digital nomad wannabe journey. Everywhere I went I took my laptop and, of course, smartphone with me — hard to imagine to travel without it nowadays. My goal was to use the times on trains, buses and planes as well as in different locations to work on my blogs and copywriting projects and to see for myself how I could actually manage. Can I be or become a digital nomad?
To give you a better idea of what I do to support my digital nomad lifestyle, you can have a look at my personal blog:
Blogging, writing and editing web content, blog content or publishing/guest publishing, making content more…
And so you understand better how regular blogging, guest posting and web content writing can earn money, have a read of some of my most recent blog articles published on blogs I manage:
Ready for take-off?
Trip #1: London-Luxembourg
A short trip of 3 days I knew I wasn’t going to get much done, also because the hotel was so amazing and I kept on enjoying the pool a little too much. Well, I do love a nice hotel or co-working space as you can see on my blog and I make recommendations about the best co-living spaces I come across in London.
However, when I sat down with my laptop I actually got 2 blog articles done while being in the hotel room and in the lobby. I was surprised about not being distracted, but I realised that when you know what to write about you can really do it anywhere (well, where there is GOOD WIFI).
Trip #2: London-Stuttgart-Basel-Zurich-Ulm
During my stay in Germany in my hometown Ulm I had planned a few trips to visit friends and family. The flight is only an hour so I decided to rather use the time to catch up with my reading and researching, which is also important to be inspired and well-informed as a blogger.
At my family home I set myself certain days and times where I would work and I got many things done, however, I noticed how many distractions I had there. I wasn’t as efficient as I wanted to be. On the train to Basel I really intended to do some writing, but it was so packed and busy that I was barely able to move in my seat. I ended up taking a car ride to Zurich via car sharing platform BlaBlaCar so did nada. But finally on my longer bus journey back to Ulm with Flixbus I was able to write 2 more articles, despite the WIFI not working (sometimes that can be a blessing due to fewer distractions). Turns out that pleasure and work are compatible, if one is really disciplined and uses the free timeslots on journeys wisely.
Trip #3: London-Ibiza
Now, as I was staying in Ibiza for 10 days I had planned to do a lot of writing for many different projects and I was so motivated that I started off on the plane. I had chosen a remote villa for my stay so that I wouldn’t have too many distractions around me. And it worked! Everyday I developed a routine where I would swim in the pool and then do some work, have lunch, do more work and then in the evening reward myself by exploring the island. I would say I managed to write, research and read for up to 6 hours per day. I didn’t get everything done I had intended to, but at least I learned how disciplined and organised I have to be. The beauty of it all was that I could design my day based on the workload I had while making the most of the island’s attractions, beaches and hot spots.
I suppose it depends on the kind of work you’re doing and whether you enjoy it or not. Luckily, most of my blogging and writing projects are fun, but I do admit that you need self-discipline and a daily plan or target — otherwise you lose focus and rather occupy yourself with other things like relaxing.
I found that an earlier start in the morning helps to set targets for the day. This would give me points on my to-do-list I had to tick off before I could do any fun stuff. Rewarding yourself after you have completed all your tasks really makes a difference I find and psychologist Marisa Peer explains this very well in her book “I am enough”.
After having read the famous 4 Hour Work Week book I developed different goal setting strategies as the author Tim Ferriss suggests. I tried to make a weekly plan with 4 goals to achieve during that week. I picked those goals in order to achieve the next step in achieving bigger goals so that week by week I got closer to it.
Every day of that week I would do tasks that lead towards achieving those goals. I would try to tick off as many as possible every day. However, I was flexible in moving the tasks around, if I had to. This approach seems to help me stay focused on what matters most in the present situation.
Is the digital nomad lifestyle for me?
I can certainly answer this question with: YES! It’s a fantastic feeling to be in charge of your own day and to have the flexibility to do the tasks when, where and how you want to do them. Of course, it’s all down to how you utilize your skills and finances, but I actually didn’t spend that much and earned money while traveling. Read more about how other top bloggers do it to get inspired here:
Top 10 German Bloggers List & How Their Blogs Make Money Blogging
The best German bloggers are perhaps the pioneer of the professional blogging era and with the support of their…
Do you think you can pull it off too?
Check my article “How to make money online in 5 sustainable ways” to find out how you could become a digital nomad and live the laptop lifestyle.
For anyone interested in digital entrepreneurship, head over to this article of mine: Digital Entrepreneurship and Internet Skills Required
If I can do it, anyone can!