To celebrate my 1 year of being on the road and to explain how this adventure has even been possible, I put together the following words. Who knows, maybe my story will plant a couple of restless seeds, and tell a tale about how life can be lived differently. Welcome to my story about a nomad’s life.
1 year ago, I did something considered crazy to most people. Tired of routines and in need of something different in life which I couldn’t quite put into words what was at that time, I chose to quit my job, sell my stuff including my home, and start a new life with my backpack as my best friend. When I started the journey, I had only hoped that I would make it through a whole year of traveling. I didn’t know whether it was a reality.
Breaking Down My Bucket List
During the last 365 days, I’ve driven, flown and sailed thousands and thousands of miles, jumped on more than 100 buses and 16 flights, crossed 3 oceans and 17 borders, slept in more than 50 hostels, climbed 3 mountains and 1 volcano, seen 3 out of the 7 wonders and 2 of the natural ones, seen stars in the Atacama desert, done diving in the Blue hole, animal watching in the Amazon, driven old cabriolets in Havana, done yoga in Ubud, an ayahuasca retreat in the Sacred Valley, swimming at Copacabana, hiked the Inca Trail, danced tango in Argentina, gone taco hunting in Mexico, done road tripping in the States, climbed pyramids in the jungle, done cave diving, prayed with monks, and so my list goes on.
You may wonder how I have managed to stay traveling for a year. How I have managed to live a life with my bucket list as my ultimate guideline. The answer is simple: I have been creative, trying not to let limitations rule my perspective, but instead looking at the world as a place full of opportunities. This may sound corny, but it’s actually the truth.
A Good Saving & Cheap Living
My recipe for traveling a year is filled with various ingredients. It’s no secret that having a good amount of savings was a great help, since it gave me time to search for opportunities for creating an income plus allowed me to do the adventures, I really wanted to do without having to worry too much about the money.
At the same time, I’ve been conscious about my choices. Specially, when it comes to spending money on food and accommodation. This journey has in no way been about living in five stars hotels and eating at fancy restaurants. When that’s said, it has neither been a journey living in bed bug hostels and cooking every meal myself. Instead, it has been about finding a balance, knowing that if I go crazy one night and eat at a fancy restaurant, that’ll mean a cheaper hostel the next night. Besides, I’ve been spending most of my time in cheap countries, such as Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, and Guatemala.
To prolong my journey and settle for periods of time, I signed up for different volunteering work through Workaway, which is a great page offering all sorts of jobs all over the world. You can teach, build, paint, do gardening, housesitting, or work at hotels or hostels.
In Guatemala, I chose to work at an eco-lodge at Lago de Atitlán for a month. In return for my work, I was given accommodation and 3 meals a day which resulted in me spending less than 500USD that month. I only worked about 20 hours per week, which gave me plenty of time to explore Guatemala while at the same time, having time to search for other opportunities.
In the beautiful wine region of Mendoza, Argentina, I worked 2,5 months in a hostel in the center of the city. Again, I was given accommodation plus breakfast in return for working 25 hours a week.
In Bali, Indonesia, I worked 1,5 months in Ubud as a personal assistant for a company focusing on spiritual journeys and lodging. Here I had my own studio plus a fridge filled with food.
In all, I did 5 months of volunteering over the last year, and I wouldn’t have missed the experiences for the world. To actually settle, to walk the streets of the cities on a daily basis, and getting familiar with the locals give you the opportunity to get to know a country and culture that much more.
The Pursue of Becoming a Digital Nomad
I knew that the voluntary work was only enough to prolong my journey. It wasn’t making my nomadic lifestyle sustainable. Before leaving for the journey, I remembered reading an article about people working online from all over the world. The so-called digital nomads. It didn’t take long before I started looking into it. I joined different groups and online sites for digital nomads, and their stories inspired me. What I also learned, is that the category digital nomad doesn’t cover one job in particular, instead it covers a lifestyle. The major point being that you have to figure out what you are good at in order to become a digital nomad. It could be anything from graphic design and creating websites to customer service or teaching. For me, it was more or less obvious that it had to be something with words, since languages and communication always have been my thing.
Ever since I started traveling, I’ve been keeping a travel blog. The same you are reading right now. I immediately felt in love with travel writing, and it didn’t take long before I sold my first article to an online travel site. This inspired me to start pitching other sites. Mostly, the response I got was positive, but the money was still too small to make a living.
So in August I applied for a job as a freelance translator and copywriter for an iGaming site doing translations and copywriting from English to Danish. Today, this company is still my client.
A couple of months ago, I got another client. This time my job would be to do content writing on various subjects for different websites. A job I really enjoy doing.
A Promising Future for the Nomadic Lifestyle
With two clients providing me with work, and a couple of upcoming clients, my nomadic lifestyle is slowly starting to look sustainable and promising. When that’s said, being a freelancer is always combined with a certain instability. You never really know how much work you’ll be given each month.
One thing is for sure, I love working as a writer and translator, and I’ll keep focusing all my energy on continuing the journey with this work. The world is such a big place, and there is so much to see. Plus, my 3 pages long bucket list will keep me kind of busy for the next many years to come. So cheers to another year of being on the road. A lifestyle I wouldn’t trade for the world.