My digitally nomadic life started 5 years ago in the back bedroom-cum-office of my house in Australia.
Occasionally, I pick up my laptop and amble down to the local beach side café at the end of my lane.
(I’ll be honest. A noisy café with slightly sticky tabletops kills the mood, writing-wise. The coffee’s good though.)
Sometimes, I even work from my bed.
OK, so it’s not quite nomadic. I don’t own a backpack. And I’ve never written a blog post from Machu Picchu for a client in Boston, while simultaneously booking my next flight to Chiang Mai.
But I have cast off the shackles of a 9-5 office existence and I make a full time living as a freelance writer. So, Step #1 – tick.
In 2020, however, I’m going the whole 9 yards. I’m moving to another bedroom-cum-office on the other side of the world in the UK.
I know what you’re thinking: Same bedroom, different time zone.
Maybe you’re right, but it will be a much colder bedroom. And that’s just the start. I’ll have to pay more for my internet and change the mobile phone number I have had for 25 years.
I will lose clients who don’t believe I can provide the same service unless I’m 15 minutes’ drive from their office. I will lose other clients who don’t want to grapple with the inconvenience of a 10-hour time difference. And who could blame them.
Out of sight, out of mind, I will be forgotten by those whose word-of-mouth recommendations are the mainstay of my business.
And yet, I can’t wait!
Sure, there will be some readjustments and my income may take a battering, but I already have a handful of clients in the UK and North America. They don’t care where I am. I just need to win a few more like them, and retain my lovely, loyal Australian clients who are happy for me to go a-wandering.
I will be living in a country with cheap and easy access to Europe, so travel is firmly on the agenda. Paris, here I come; and the chances of me working from a guesthouse in the Greek Islands are suddenly in reach.
There will be ups and there will be downs, but at least I will be giving it a red-hot go.
And maybe I can pave the way for future digital nomads who haven’t quite reached the edge of the cliff I’m about to jump off.
Maybe I can share some essential tips, lessons learnt, and insanely practical advice about making a living from your own back bedroom-cum office, or even a guesthouse in Greece. Like, check your calendar before you don your face mask and curlers. It’s not a good look for that Zoom meeting with a new client.
Ah, the exotic life of a digital nomad!