Interview With Rebel HQ
I was asked to be featured in an interview with Rebel HQ, a website dedicated to digital nomads. Below is that interview.
Q: How did you first become interested in the digital nomad lifestyle, and what motivated you to take the leap?
A: The pandemic was a huge motivator. I realized I wanted to make more memories while I was young and healthy enough to do so. Shortly after the airports opened, I gave up my apartment, packed a bag with my laptop and a handful of clothes, and started living intentionally as a nomadic writer.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a digital nomad, and how have you overcome them?
A: Reverse culture shock was an unexpected mind shift I hadn't anticipated, and it's still something I'm struggling with. Then there are other things like travel and health insurance to consider. I discovered a company called SafetyWing, a travel medical insurance created by nomads for nomads. They are also working on a health care insurance plan for nomads. I highly recommend checking them out.
Q: What are some of the benefits of being a digital nomad, and how has this lifestyle enriched your life?
A: I've been living far better than I ever have in the states. Every month I live in a new city and stay in beautiful apartments I could never afford in the US. I eat delicious food, and I've improved my mental and physical health. I've made new friends and experienced adventures that before seemed so out of reach. I've also overcome fears, discovered new desires, and became a better person since joining the digital nomad community.
Q: For someone who is considering becoming a digital nomad, what advice would you give them to help them get started?
A: I wrote a blog on my website where I mention some valuable tips and items a person might need when considering this lifestyle. However, wherever you travel, I highly recommend learning the language or understanding enough to help you get by.
Italki is an app with teachers you can hire from all over the world. You can book classes online and learn a new language by speaking to them one-on-one. Duolingo is another app that lets you practice new languages as well.
Final tip: bigger cities usually mean better wifi. So keep that in mind when you book your next trip.
Q: How do you manage to balance work and travel while on the road, and what tools or strategies do you use to stay productive?
A: As a writer, I can set my own schedule, but getting caught up in a new city and wanting to explore it rather than work is an easy pattern to fall into. Time management is critical for a nomadic writer.
I usually book one or two exciting experiences on the weekdays and save the weekends for writing. Most people have the weekends off, which means crowded cafes and longer lines. I can skip all that waiting by creating adventures on the days most people work. Friday through Sunday, you can find me held up in my apartment, hunched over a computer screen, and ordering food via delivery service.
Q: Can you share any tips for finding affordable accommodations and navigating different cultures while living as a digital nomad?
A: Airbnb is where I book all of my housing. I rent an apartment for a month at a time because it's cheaper than renting a place for a week. Airbnb also has a section where you can hire tour guides in the area or book fun events hosted by locals.
Q: What role has social media played in your life as a digital nomad, and how have you used it to build your personal brand and connect with others in the community?
A: Social media plays a massive part in my life. It's a way to connect with potential readers, promote my books, and share my nomadic adventures within a community. I've made so many connections and friendships with other authors (some of whom I've met up with while on my travels), and the support I receive from them is outstanding.
Q: What are some common misconceptions about the digital nomad lifestyle, and how do you address them when talking to people who are curious about this way of life?
A: A common misconception is that I'm on vacation. Yes, I can travel and explore new places, but it doesn't mean I'm not working. As digital nomads, we still need to earn an income, meet deadlines, and dedicate the hours to the career we're pursuing. The only difference is that we don't work in a traditional office setting.
Q: What are some of your favorite digital nomad hotspots around the world, and why do you love them?
A: There are so many places I've traveled to, and I love all of them for different reasons. In the past year, I've explored the hidden witch markets of Peru, surfed the desert sands of Icca, hiked through Colombian jungles, walked among accent ruins, and climbed an active volcano in Guatemala. I've met interesting people from all over the world, made new friendships, and accomplished personal goals of mine.
There is no place on earth you can't work from as long as it has high-speed wifi. The trick is time management and ensuring you schedule moments for adventure that won't interfere with work.
Q: Lastly, what's next for you on your digital nomad journey, and what exciting projects or adventures do you have planned for the future?
A: I'm currently in Barcelona, Spain, where I'll reach out to literary agents to represent my book, Blood Lies, a dark, YA romance about a vampire with a vendetta, hunters without morals, and friendships that last beyond the grave. It's going to be bloody fantastic!
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