A few years ago, my boyfriend and I stumbled upon a reasonably-priced little sailing boat. Tiny as she was however, she was very seaworthy. We saw this as an opportunity for great adventure. In 2013 we made a 10-week trip, from Holland to the Channel Islands, and back. This trip got me hooked! I wanted to make more adventurous trips and share my passion with others. However, in our 9 to 5 society, traveling is limited to scarce vacation time. And if you’re traveling by sailboat, that won’t get you very far.
Around that time, the digital nomad phenomenon started to come into public attention. I read some articles about people who earn money independent of their location. Most make a living with web design, programming, blogging or running a tech-start up. Their lifestyle allows them to travel the world.
This got me thinking. What if I could do the same? Location-independent income would allow me to take longer sailing trips during the summer. I would be able to visit more adventurous destinations. I became exited about this idea.
But how realistic is this digital nomad thing anyway? Well, at least it is not unrealistic for many of my friends and family. They are already making an income without going to an office each day. So why wouldn’t I be able to do the same?
Yes, earning a living like this may entail that my income may be irregular, uncertain and in some cases, low. But for me, that’s not the end of the world. I do not need a big house with lots of expensive stuff in it. Never understood the idea of buying a big TV set just so that you could see the Grand Canon ‘as if you were there’. If that is what you want, why not use that money to go there yourself? What I want out of life is experience. And while living as a digital nomad may be poor in stuff, it will allow me to experience the sailing trips I dream of. So why not try it?
Next question: What is my plan? Well.. at this moment, I do not have a grand scheme ready yet. At this time, my plan is to keep all options open. I have all kinds of things going on, and I’d like to see where they lead me. I make graphic travel journals, and I love writing too, so I am silently dreaming of getting my own book published. Then I could actually turn sailing itself into a source of income. Same goes for my blogging. I have a Dutch-language sailing blog with a loyal fan base and I hope to grow my new site big and strong too. I could sell my art and illustrations. But I am also keeping more pragmatic options open. I did a programming course in college, which I really enjoyed (I even received an A for that course). Coding seems to be as much an art as painting and writing is. When I will finish my master’s thesis, I will pick up where I left off and develop my coding skills further.
So, here I am. At the beginning of my new journey. Where do we go from here? I don’t know. There is going to be some trial-and-error, probably. But that’s not bad. It means I am learning. Learning how to combine the best of both worlds. So, stick around, and you might learn something too..