Thursday, April 26, 2012

My biggest travel fear


Well, friends, I think it’s time for an update. Jim and I are finalizing our travel prep before shipping out of the country on May 7th. We thought that we had gotten rid of 95% of our belongings, but apparently there is still a lot left! We look forward to spending the next week packing up, donating, and selling all of the remaining stuff.

Being compulsive list-makers, I think we have approximately 37 lists going right now. Actually, to be more accurate, Jim has 13 Excel spreadsheets and I have 14 handwritten notes on scraps of paper. Some of the lists cover the exact same topic, but were written at different times. There’s just something soothing about writing a list, isn’t there? Making a list decreases my anxiety by giving me one less thing to remember. At some point, I plan to post copies of our packing lists as well as our tips on 101 things to do when embarking on a life of long-term, worldwide travel.

But for now, the most pressing thing on my mind isn’t making sure that I remember to bring my passport. Nor do I have any anxiety about the countries we’re visiting or the fact that I’m not fluent in Croatian, French, or Afrikaans. Heck, it doesn’t even bother me that we only have 2 nights of accommodation booked in Croatia (our first stop) and will be “winging it” for the remaining 5 weeks. All of these things are challenging, but they will get sorted out because they have to.

The one thing that keeps me awake at night is... worrying about a reliable internet connection!

That’s right, folks, I said an internet connection. After spending years in front of a computer in graduate school and then being tethered to a Crackberry at work, my biggest concern is having an internet connection. Can you believe it?

Wanna know why? Well, friends, I have a confession to make. My name is Natalie and I’m a digital nomad. A digital nomad is someone who works remotely in order to live a nomadic lifestyle.

There are lots of employment options that bode well with the lifestyle of a digital nomad. For example, many long-term travelers generate income from photography, graphic design, web design, blogging, and writing. What all of these have in common is an ability to work anywhere in the world using “digital” technology.

My personal goal is to develop several revenue streams that allow me to become location-independent. What do I mean by that? Well, I’m establishing several different options for making money using only a laptop and an internet connection. That way, I should have the ability to live and work anywhere in the world I choose (subject to immigration restrictions), as long as it has a reliable internet connection.

As you can see, since my livelihood is dependent on the internet, it’s very important to have access 24/7. Unfortunately, this means that I am not traveling the world on an extended vacation… I will be working as a digital nomad!

Lists, lists, and more lists!