Life As A Digital Nomad [A Customer’s Story]
Since publishing our recent fun article entitled The Rise of the Digital Nomad [How To Have An International Lifestyle], we’ve been in contact with a number of our customers who are living the dream and loving life as a digital nomad.
Today we’re handing over the reins to one such customer, the irrepressible, Roo Foster.
Here’s Roo to tell you her story of life as a digital nomad . . .
I’ve been a long term traveller for about 3 years now, and in those 3 years I’ve done a whole myriad of different types of jobs all over the world – from working as a summer camp counsellor, to video editor, to freelance writer, to ski transfer rep, to Media Director at the previous summer camp.
I’d always wanted to travel the world and set off on my first round the world trip back in 2011, just after I graduated from University, but never really dreamed that I’d still be travelling now. The year before, I’d started my travel blog (Roo Around The World) as a means to keep family and friends up to date on what I was getting up to and I soon found that blogging became my absolute passion. The blog grew and grew, and eventually I realised that if I worked really hard at it, I would be able to turn it into some sort of business, allowing me to become entirely self-employed and roaming the world at my own pace, knowing that I’d have a (somewhat) steady income.
Being a digital nomad is by no means an easy feat and it can sometimes totally drain the way you travel – I am constantly thinking about where my next piece of paid work is going to come from and what I need to be doing to bring in more money from my own site. As I mentioned before, my blog isn’t the only form of income I have though. I studied Film at university and specialised in editing, so through that I made quite a lot of contacts and am able to draw on these to find clients who need a video editor for various projects. The client sends me their footage via online transfer, I edit it to their liking (this part can take quite a bit of back and forth) and send it back. I’ve cut music videos, documentaries, show reels and trailers, among a few other projects.
I also do a bit of freelance travel writing – I’ve written for some of the big name travel companies such as Gapyear.com and MyDestination, as well some smaller companies like Hostelzoo and Gap Daemon. My blog is really the biggest factor in securing these jobs, as it serves as a permanent and ever-growing online portfolio – potential employers can view my writing style, photographs and videos with ease, and immediately see whether or not my writing would suit their site and readers. Over the years I have built good relationships with a lot of travel companies and online magazines, mostly by being in contact with them through social media and emails – once you get an ‘in’ with a company and do a good job for them, they will usually take on more of your work or look to you when they need an article about something in particular.
Getting paid for work like this is simpler than you think too. Depending on where I am and who I’m working for I will either send my own invoice or request payment online. I now have 3 bank accounts in 3 different countries so I can be paid in various currencies and then just transfer the money online using a company such as CurrencyFair to wherever the money is needed. Easy peasy.
Freelancing in this nomadic way can be hard, but it’s all about being persistent and building your portfolio, whether that be through your own website or through another medium such as Youtube or Linked in. If you work hard, you will get the results in the end. The best part of it though is that you can work from absolutely anywhere. Want to go and do a ski season in France but all your clients are in London? Want to spend a year in Australia but have no contacts there yet? It’s really no big deal because everything is digital these days and almost everything can be done via the internet! The contacts you have made back at home are still valid and viable wherever you are in the world as long as you’ve got an internet connection!
Being a digital nomad beats an office job any day!