Lee and Intan: "One of the reasons we stay nomads is for the freedom and flexibilty"
Tell us about your nomad journey.
We decided a few years ago that we would remain flexible with our jobs in order to travel as much as possible. Last year, we traveled to Amsterdam, and getting visas was such a process that we decided to stay for almost a year and really enjoy the stability. We traveled on weekends to cities in Europe, Borneo, and China, and then spent a couple of months in the US before moving to Bali early this year.
Any advice you wish you knew before starting out on this journey?
I don't know if it was ever a conscious decision. We chose a long time ago to prioritize work and travel over staying in one place. If we had to move to New York for 3 months, we did it. 6 months in Amsterdam? Sure, let's pack up and move. We will figure the rest out once we get there. We feel lucky to be motivated by the opportunity to travel and work remotely, and try to keep our expectations low. Honestly, our advice is to listen to your heart. If it feels right and you can figure out a way to make it work, do it.
Any tips for traveling nomads?
Cheap flights make a difference. If you can plan a trip a few months out and catch a good deal on Jack's Flights it's well worth the wait. You have some extra walking around money and it adds to the enjoyment of the trip. And if you're not set on a specific place to depart and let the good deal decide for you, you're in for an adventure. We've never gone wrong with this strategy.
We also join local Facebook communities for places we travel to and may live for a while. It allows us to tap into the conversations going on, the news, and local events. And once we got work visas in Amsterdam, for instance, Intan found a job in an expat community that turned into 8-months steady income while we explored Europe. If you have any questions or issues you can always find an answer there.
How has Covid-19 impacted your travel plans?
We were lucky to have moved to Bali before the travel bans. I have a social visa and can work with clients anywhere and Intan is Indonesian and so is able to work with an apparel company based in Canguu. We miss traveling and get the itch for it often. Once we're able to move around freely we will plan the next trip. We are using this time to build a home and settle instead of the craziness of living out of our suitcases.
What do you think the future of remote work will be like after Covid-19?
Hopefully, more companies will be open to remote work. So many were against remote work before Covid-19 and now that they are forced to experience it in their teams, perhaps more will be open to new remote roles and flexible work schedules. One of the reasons we stay nomads is for the freedom and flexibilty. It's difficult to imagine getting a job where it's simply not possible to travel to Cambodia on the weekend, or stay in Singapore for a month, or visit family for a couple weeks. At the very least, I think everyone is hoping it goes back to normal but with everyone a bit more conscious about health, safety and the environment.
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Posted in: Nomad Stories