Hello from London, where we’re housesitting for a couple of weeks before we start the next chapter of our adventure: we’re moving to the Algarve! After a hectic year of travel in the Americas, our plan was always to move to Portugal in the autumn, but we had our sights firmly set on Porto until Andrew was offered a great teaching job in the Algarve.
Last week we celebrated five years of travel, can you believe that? I still vividly remember waving goodbye to our families at Heathrow in 2013, clutching our brand-new backpacks and one-way tickets to New Zealand, heading off on what we thought would be a two-year trip around the world. Yet, here we are in Colombia five years later, reflecting on both the amazing and tough aspects of this nomadic lifestyle we’ve managed to carve for ourselves.
It’s been over a year since we set ourselves up in Thailand to become digital nomads. Since then we’ve moved around Asia, Europe and South America and have somehow managed to stay solvent along the way. So, how did we make digital nomad life work for us, despite the challenges? Is it possible to earn a decent income remotely, and what are our future plans?
Want to save money on accommodation while you travel and spend time with cute pets? Then house sitting is the perfect solution. I’m writing this post from a spectacular farm house in rural Portugal where we’re currently looking after dogs and pigs. Over the last three years we’ve also house sat in a lavish Spanish villa and all over London, which has saved us thousands of pounds in accommodation and satisfied our pet cravings. So, how do we land all these great opportunities? Here are our top house sitting tips.
Do you dream of escaping the daily grind for an online job that would allow you to live abroad somewhere cheap and sunny? In our digital nomad destinations series, we’re chatting to remote workers who’ve achieved this dream and now live in various corners of the world. This week Shane from The Working Traveller, who I finally met in Chiang Mai this year after five years of following his blog, talks about expat life in Turkey.
Lisbon, Ljubljana, Tallinn, Berlin… This month our heads are spinning with potential digital nomad destinations in Europe as we try to choose the perfect base to work from this autumn. With that in mind, this week we met up with our friend Alyson from World Travel Family, who was our Airbnb host at the very start of our 2013 trip in Port Douglas, Australia. At the time, Alyson was getting ready to travel the world with her husband and two boys and now runs hugely successful travel and homeschool blogs while exploring from a new base: Romania. So, what’s life in Romania like and how does the country shape up as a digital nomad destination?
Somehow, five months have dissolved since I last published a report of our progress towards making a digital nomad living. So, what have we been up? Well, we’ve made visa runs to Penang and Hanoi, taken a spin on the Mae Hong Son Loop, celebrated our four-year travelversary and taken up yoga. Oh, in case you missed it, we also got married and started planning our onward adventures to Nepal and Sri Lanka. That might all sound exciting, but daily life in Chiang Mai has mainly been all about work. So, what have we achieved?
Work-wise, January has been a good month for me. In fact, for the first time since we left the UK in 2013, I’ve managed to make as much money as I used to in my full-time writing job in London. That’s great news for our travel fund and digital nomad goals, but I’m not getting too comfortable just yet. I know that freelancing can be a risky business and I’m still very much finding my feet. With that in mind, I thought I’d share eight things I’ve learned so far about working as a freelancer here in Thailand.
We love living in Chiang Mai. Every day we wake up in the most luxurious apartment we’ve ever rented and get to swim for free in our outdoor pool. We can eat out at one of our favourite restaurants, meet up for dinner with friends or have a massage whenever we like. We’re pretty much living a dream lifestyle, but for what price? Find out in our cost of living in Chiang Mai breakdown.
It’s been two months since we arrived in Thailand with a dwindling bank balance and a dream of working remotely. The path so far has been full of tangles but we haven’t let ourselves get too tied up in angst over the challenges we’ve faced. Instead, we’ve ploughed on and made humble progress towards our goal of achieving a sustainable online income. This is our first digital nomad report and we hope other aspiring remote workers find it helpful.