I have a friend (we will call her Jenny, for that is not her name) who is something of a “digital nomad” – she travels the globe, working from her laptop wherever she ends up. I’m always jealous of her gallivanting around but it’s so great to see someone out there living the dream – and proving that you can do it on a budget, without needing to earn the big bucks in order to travel the world. In fact, she’s finding that she can live quite comfortably in some countries, on fraction of the income she would need to live in the UK and with a better quality of life.
A while back my dear friend stayed in Romania for several months and had a great time. I’ll admit I was living my life vicariously through her; her Facebook was like watching a travel documentary but with more swearing and beer. I’d never thought of Romania as somewhere one might want to go and live before, but she seemed to have a great time – and it wasn’t costing her the earth either.
The brilliant thing about the modern world is that it’s entirely possible to live hundreds of miles away in a different country, but still chat in real time to friends and family at home – and to continue to work for your existing clients, as well as picking up work from any country in the world if you choose. One thing I didn’t quite understand was the cash side of things – how do clients all over the world manage to get their cash to my friend in her Romanian holiday let?
I would have long conversations with Jenny while she tried to explain to me all the details of how her life in Romania worked. The currencies she accepts payment in; how she organises paying taxes; how she buys her groceries when she doesn’t speak Romanian (turns out you learn fairly quickly if it’s the language everyone around you is speaking). She explained that she’d done a bit of work recently for an SEO agency who are UK based and they had no trouble in sending money to Romania. Jenny is essentially able to work and live in Romania in the same way as if she lived in the UK. Surely this is one of the major benefits of the digital age!
Of course, this works both ways – with people from abroad living and working in the UK who want to stay in contact with friends and family back home. Now that we can use apps like WhatsApp and Skype to make calls over the internet, and sites like Transfer Rapid to send money, the geographical distance between two places becomes largely obsolete! Can you imagine if someone had told you all of this would be possible even ten years ago? It makes you wonder what will become possible in the next ten years…