How does a digital nomad travel and work at the same time?

Working while traveling may seem like a dream, but it's a lifestyle, digital nomadism — find out how, with planning, anyone can get there.

Working and traveling the world are goals that seem irreconcilable at first glance. But there are already people proving that it is possible to do both at the same time: make money living in the country we dream of visiting. This is the premise of digital nomadism, a lifestyle that allows you to discover different cities and countries without giving up work and income.

This idea has inspired professionals from different areas and could grow at a time when we are reviewing our way of working due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has accelerated the distance work, for example. In Brazil alone, 7.9 million people work remotely, according to Pnad Covid, released by IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) in 2020.

Among the professions that allow digital nomadism are, for example, developers, content producers, administrators, photographers, videographers, designers and different roles in the e-commerce area. And also that of writers, such as Matheus Souza, author of the book “Digital Nomad” (finalist for the Jabuti Award in the Creative Economy category) and LinkedIn Top Voice, in 2016.

He adopted digital nomadism in 2017 and tells, in this interview with iFood News, how he planned to live a working life while traveling across 20 countries.

IFN: When did you discover digital nomadism?

MS: The first time I heard about the topic was in 2015. At the time I thought it was a bit utopian, but over time I realized that the work I was doing, as a marketing assistant at a college in Santa Catarina, could be done remotely. . So why not perform my tasks from literally anywhere? That was the snap.

IFN: What was your first experience like?

MS: At that time, I tried to negotiate working from home with my managers, but it didn't happen. I then started producing content on LinkedIn with the idea of “being seen” and getting some freelance jobs. It worked, and in a short time I was earning more as a freelancer than as a CLT.

From then on it was planning. I saved six months of my salary, resigned at the turn of 2016 to 2017 and took my first trips as a digital nomad to countries with a low cost of living, such as Mexico and Thailand. I've been on the road since then and have been to more than 20 countries.

IFN: When did you feel that you could be a spokesperson for this subject for different people and help them in their professions?

MS: It was something natural. When I became a digital nomad, back in 2017, I started documenting this entire transition on my blog and social media. From the beginning, I realized that people were interested in the topic, but there were few sources in Portuguese.

In 2018, the publisher Autêntica Business was invited to write the book and today I have thousands of people following me on social media. Interest in the topic certainly increased even more during the pandemic.

IFN: What is the profile of those seeking guidance on this subject? Is there any standard?

MS: In theory, anyone who works in any job that can be done remotely – the pandemic has shown that many professions allow this. Most nomads I know, however, work in marketing, design or IT. But this is not a rule, as I have also met nomads with more traditional professions, such as lawyers or psychologists. Regarding age, my audience is between 25 and 34 years old.

IFN: Which destinations are most conducive to digital nomadism?

MS: For those who earn in reais, the tip is to go to countries with a low cost of living. I would recommend destinations in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam; Eastern Europe, such as Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro; or Latin America, like Mexico, where I started my nomadic journey in 2017, and am currently.

IFN: What tips would you give to those who want to join this lifestyle?

MS: The main advice I would give is to be careful with the “drop everything” speech. There is no such thing as “giving up everything to travel the world” as many articles show. I didn't drop anything – I planned, worked and continue to work hard.

With this in mind, this planning starts with the question: can your current work be done remotely? If so, my suggestion is to make a financial reserve of at least 6 months of your last salary and choose a country with a low cost of living and devalued currency – Mexico or Thailand, for example – and play.

If your current job cannot be done remotely, your planning should include a career transition – you can offer services and products online or freelance remotely. In either scenario, don't drop everything; This will only generate frustration. Plan.

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