One year as a digital nomad

Time for a post of a slightly different kind. Travel, adventure, uncertainty and part-time work... This was my life when I decided to try my luck as a digital nomad and leave my home country Switzerland for a year. In this short article, you'll learn what I consider to be the ten most important points to keep in mind as a digital nomad.

Video - One year as a digital nomad

Below you will find a list of the ten most important points that have emerged from my experience as a digital nomad. As an alternative to this article, you can also conveniently watch my video from the "Festive Tech Calendar 2021". This includes all ten points and how they relate to my journey. The video also includes a picture or two of the trip, of course. A big thank you to the organizers for letting me be a part of this year's calendar.

I would like to urge everyone to have such an experience themselves. I can't put into words what a brilliant experience it was for me! If you want to learn more or have similar plans, don't hesitate to leave your comment or contact me directly via LinkedIn! If you've already had your own experience, please share that too! I'm really looking forward to it.

My 10 points for digital nomads

So here is the list of top ten points from my experience....

  1. Have a few non-time-sensitive tasks ready in case you get stuck somewhere.
    • It happened to me in Latvia, for example, when our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. With such tasks you can bridge the time meaningfully and productively before the journey continues.
  2. Get a local SIM card with a data package so you can work from anywhere.
  3. Store your data in the cloud.
    • Especially when traveling as a backpacker, a hardware failure can quickly occur. As a traveler, your data is even more at risk locally on a device than it already is anyway.
  4. Have a rough hardware replacement plan ready.
    • What do you do when your hardware actually fails? And what if you're supposed to deliver work right then?
    • Depending on the country, this can be a bigger or smaller challenge. For example, with the keyboard layout, which I had to find out in Bulgaria.
  5. Make sure that you keep critical equipment close.
    • As a traveler, you don't have a designated home and you often share space with others. Keep yourself from unnecessary stress by keeping an eye on the important and valuable devices. And especially don't do like I did and leave your headset at the airport.
  6. Stay agile and improvise when necessary.
    • For example, if you leave your headset at the airport and need to produce videos. Fortunately, I was able to switch to Azure Text to Speech.
  7. Meet people, make friends and expand your network.
    • Countless times I was surprised how friendly and helpful still unknown people are. The exchange and contact with such people, an absolute highlight.
  8. Record important meetings.
    • Not everywhere in the world you have equally good internet. If you're out in nature somewhere and a spontaneous, unplanned meeting is called, it can be difficult. It happened to me in the Andes in Ecuador. The recording allowed me to watch the entire meeting again afterwards and make additions.
  9. Organize your time. Make sure you have days off and you can enjoy traveling to the fullest.
    • Don't forget the benefits of being a digital nomad. Enjoy other cultures and nature. Coordinate and plan your time so that you can visit places where digital work and communication is almost impossible. In my year, for example, that was in the wild Amazon or on a multi-day boat trip near the fabled Galapagos Islands.
  10. Things go wrong... And that's a good thing!
    • Don't despair if something doesn't go according to plan. Stay agile and improvise, that opens up new possibilities. I can only say that my plan was already defeated before I left and from then on I had to be very flexible and improvised. Looking back, it was exactly this flexibility and certain lack of plan that was a highlight!

Are you planning something along these lines, have you already had similar or completely different experiences? Let the community know in the comments or contact me directly. I'm looking forward to it!

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