Nerves for my trip

Nerves for my trip

In February 2013, I board the plane for a three-week solo tour of Cuba. I am more nervous than usual. Since the fatal journey in 2010 with the Trans Siberia Express (by train from Moscow to Beijing) I have not made long journeys alone.

The flight

I watch a movie and talk to my neighbor on the plane. The conversation makes me even more nervous, because she is going to stay in a resort and does not dare to travel alone in Cuba. Just what I’m going to do! I used to have no problem with it, but the one trip that went wrong still plays through my mind. I sleep a bit and think I have already bought all guesthouses and buses so the route is fixed so it can’t be that difficult.

Cuba

We land in the middle of the night, my transfer to Havana is ready. After an hour’s drive I arrive at a super nice hotel in one of the old historical building. I check in and get ready to go to sleep. I shift the time to local time and fall asleep.

Havana

The next day I wake up early and have an extensive breakfast. I get into conversation with a Dutch couple who have just traveled through Cuba for three weeks by car. I get some tips and check my clock. It’s time to meet my local agent to receive my hotel and transfer vouchers.

Something goes wrong

I take a seat downstairs in the salon. A little later, a woman approaches me, the agent. She says I’m late. I made a mistake in the clock setting and now she has to go to another appointment first. Oh well something is already going wrong! Breathe in and out!

It will be fine

I can go with her to the other two hotels she has to go to and while she is talking to them I can explore the area and afterwards she will give me my vouchers and explain some little things to me. Great deal, I come along and explore a part of Havana where I probably wouldn’t have been otherwise. At the end of the afternoon I am dropped off at my hotel with my vouchers and some tips by the agent. The next day I explore Havana a bit more. And then the adventure really starts, because then I will take the bus through Cuba to the other end of the island.

The rest of the trip

The transfers are going well and the guesthouses are cool and I get in touch with locals everywhere. My confidence is growing again. When on the bus from Santiago to Baracoa a tire blows on the way, we all have to get off. I get into conversation with 2 Italian sisters who have just started their journey. I meet with them to have a cocktail after dinner. It results in 3 dinners and a friendship with one of the sisters.

Baracoa

We are not only talking about Cuba, but also about life. We review that we have few vacation days to see everything we want to see in the world. This is the place that is starting a change for me and one of the sisters, because at the end of 2013 we both quit our jobs and went on a journey.  We have a correspondence blog for 6 months together, parts of which can still be read on my website, she from South America and I from Oceania. We did not know all this at the time in Baracoa during the dinners and cocktails.

New adventure with confidence

Back on the plane, I was able to look back with satisfaction on a beautiful journey. My fatal trip in 2010 where I ended up in a local hospital in Mongolia and psychosis was diagnosed no longer arouses fear of traveling. There is even talk of my travel addiction again. On November 18, 2013 I left for Australia as a digital nomad, with new adventures in mind.

I wrote this blog for the assignment, describe a fiercely or special moment in your travels for the Instagram course Writing Travel Stories. It is a series of three assignments. The 2 other assignments can be read here: Assignment 1 who inspire you with travel stories and assignment 2 describe your environment.

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Working from everywhere

I don’t have an office. My office is my laptop, my mobile phone and the cloud (for storage of my files). So even in Holland I am free to work from everywhere. And I do that also a lot. Sometimes I go to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or other city just to work from there and most of the time I combine that with being a tourist in my own country by visiting something or taking a tour.

In Utrecht my favorite places to work from are:

On the road I develop my own favorite places, most of the time this is:

  • My hotel/hostel room
  • Lobby of the hotel/hostel
  • Small cafes
  • Parks
  • Co-working spaces

Challenges

With this lifestyle there are a few challenges to overcome:

  • I myself struggled with staying grounded, so I decided to keep a room in Holland where I can always return to, to call home.
  • Other issues nomads struggle with are that in order to have health insurance, have your company subscribed to a country. You have to have an address, except if you live in Estonia. There they have e-citizenship. Later on in the summer Eunice Frijde and I will be making short movies about why the Netherland should also introduce e-citizenship. You can also help by signing this petition.
  • Another thing that can be difficult, but don’t have to be is maintaining long distance relationships with friends, family and lovers. If people are not familiar with internet or don’t like it, it will be difficult to keep contact. Both party have to be willing to put the effort to keep this relationships sane.
  • If instead of having your own company, you work in contract for others it can be difficult to obtain a working visa in some countries.

The future

With more and more people not getting that lifetime contract and the pension being more and more a myth. More and more people will be starting to work location independent or at least work from contract to contract even if that is in the same town. So we should be working on the rules of countries to accommodate this lifestyle.

What else?

There is going to be a first ever international conference for Digital Nomads (DNX) in Berlin, 1 august 2015. Also there is a cruise ship leaving from Gran Canaria to Brazil full of digital nomads going on a digital detox (because of the prices of internet on board ). It’s a cool cruise and cheap. So if you are interested to know more about the lifestyle you can join them or connect with me. I am more the willing to tell you more about my lifestyle.

And to answer the question in the title I call myself a data nomad, because I travel a lot, even in Holland I travel a lot and I work from project to project on data-analysis, data-cleaning, data-visualization and WordPress website. So even my work is nomadic and I love that, being able to work with different people and different project all year round.

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Why I call myself a digital nomad

Definition of Nomad

When you google Nomad, you get the following definition:

A Nomad is a member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another.

Nomadism is also a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra, or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources.

A nomad is a person with no settled home, who moves from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word nomad comes from a Greek word that means:

one who wanders for pasture.

Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Today, some nomads travel by motor vehicle. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters.

We can distinguish 3 kinds of nomads through time:

  • The hunter/gatherer
  • Pastoral nomad owning livestock
  • Peripatetic nomad

Nomads keep moving for different reasons.

Nomadic hunting and gathering

Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Many groups of ‘nomadic’ hunter-gatherers (also known as foragers) moved from campsite to campsite, following wild fruits and vegetables.

Pastoral nomad

Pastoralists raise herds, driving them, and/or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover. Pastoral nomads make their living raising livestock, such as camels, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, or yaks. These nomads travel to find more camels, goats, and sheep through the deserts of Arabia and northern Africa.

The pastoralists are sedentary to a certain area, as they move between the permanent spring, summer, autumn and winter (or dry and wet season) pastures for their livestock. The nomads moved depending on the availability of resources.

Peripatetic nomad

Sometimes also described as “nomadic” are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources, but by offering services (craft or trade) to the resident population. These groups are known as “peripatetic nomads”.Nomadic craft workers and merchants travel to find and serve customers.

Nomad life

Most nomads usually move in the same region and don’t travel very far to a totally different region. Because they usually circle around a large area, a community gets formed and the other families generally know where the other ones are. Many governments dislike nomads because it is difficult to control their movement and to obtain taxes from them. Same problem modern nomads face nowadays with governments.

Modern Nomads

These days more and more people are starting their life as a nomad. There are lots of names for the nomad lifestyle like: digital nomad, nomad, urban nomad, location independent professionals, etc. Most nomads are working travelers that have chosen to not have a house, a traditional career, but a life of freedom.

Why the nomad lifestyle

Everybody has their own reason to start that lifestyle. For me it was the quest and freedom that push me in taking that lifestyle. I first started my own company to have the freedom to work whenever I wanted and on projects I like. And with having my own working hours came the freedom to be location independent and travel the world. And with the freedom came detachment from stuff. So I started selling my stuff and move into a smaller place in Holland. I became with the nomad lifestyle a minimalist (another time I will tell you more about this term). I own a few furniture, all my cloths can fit in a bag pack and there is still room left in it. With cleaning out my stuff I experienced new freedom in my head to think and freedom. Even my administration is fully digitalized, no maps anymore.

 

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Living your dreams!

Lucky me

Some people are meant to be in your life. You share a passion for something with them. They make you think about things, wonder about things, laugh and take up challenges in your life. I am lucky to have a few of these people in my life. One of them is Claudia, we met in January 2013 on our travels in Cuba. We discovered we share a passion for travel and are both introverts. After Cuba we kept in touch inspiring each other with our travels on opposite side of the world.

Europe

Once back in Europe the opportunity came to meet again. Claudia doing a travel design course in Rome, Italy. Me a digital nomad who can work from everywhere saw an opportunity to see Rome through the eyes of an Italian Islander. So we settled on a date and of I went to Rome. We had a wonderful time me exploring the city by myself when Claudia had classes and in the afternoon with Claudia as a private guide ;-)! How cool is that?

Taking up your dream!

Of course we talked about travels and the travel design course Claudia was doing. But the nice thing is that after the course she is going to Latin America to be a tour leader! I am happy for her, but a bit jealous that she is going to skip another European winter to travel. She is going even further with her dream in the future she is going to be a travel consultant! She has a successful blog about Latin America and Sardinia. Talking to her about her plans and being in Rome, got me inspired and started dreaming again of my life as a digital nomad and making new travel plans. For now I will settle for following Claudia’s adventures on her blog and digitally, but not for long. Because we will meet again in Latin America , Sardinia, Netherlands, Curaçao or any other part of the world.

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A traveling existence

This article was published on the online platform Atria meet (Atria ontmoet) in Dutch!

Guiselaine

Say you are going to continue your (working) life traveling for a while, then most people come up with dream images of traveling. In part this is indeed true – you go to exotic places and hopefully you enjoy the new environments – there are a number of essential differences:

  • As a digital nomad you work en route, so you are not constantly touring and lazing on the beach;
  • Because you travel for a longer period of time, your budget is smaller and you therefore have less luxury:
  • walking instead of taking a taxi, not eating out every day (unless that is cheaper than cooking yourself) and staying in cheaper accommodations;
  • You stay in a place longer so that you explore your environment at a slower pace and become a semi-local that is recognized in the store for example;
  • And yes indeed you are going – at least I will – live in a slower pace. No more working behind your laptop for ten hours a day, but a maximum of four hours. And do all the work that can be done without a laptop (thought, writing) without a laptop in special places such as botanical gardens and beaches.How does such a life feel
  • The short answer: generally delicious. You have freedom and enjoy life more, at least me. I also have the discipline to work when it is needed at beautiful locations.

You meet yourself

You also have to get along with yourself, since you are in your own company all the time. If you are traveling alone, if you are open to it, you will have contact with others and very nice conversations or a company to do something. It is important here that you use your intuition well and your brain, and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It is also important that if necessary, you take time to be alone. A lot happens on such a day and to keep it off of you / to process it is useful to keep a diary, because it is often not possible to talk to someone about decisions you have to make or to record events. discuss.

Who are those digital nomads?

Because there are more and more singles, you can see that more and more women are traveling alone, often mainly to “safe” countries for a short period. But increasingly they choose to travel further afield and for a longer period. The “location independent entrepreneur” or “digital nomad” is currently still a male affair, but more and more women are opting for this life.

Customers

Attracting customers is especially difficult in the beginning: how do you convince people that you are not on vacation and that you are actually working in paradise? In the beginning I made the mistake of sharing many photos of my environment and few work-related photos. So now I also share the somewhat boring pictures of me at work in the faraway places. And I use my blog and social media to regularly let you know that I have room for new assignments.

The benefits of this life

What gives such a life next to freedom and space to think is different for everyone. For me it is an internal introduction to myself and the opportunity to improve a number of things in my life. Could I also do this at home? Maybe and maybe not. I was already making changes to my life, but I think traveling is speeding up this process.

Future

How long I keep traveling and where I end up is sometimes even a surprise to me. What I do know about my travels is that I follow fewer tourist paths and sometimes I stay in a certain place for a longer time. Places that I like, such as in Adelaide and Bali. It often starts to itch again to continue traveling. It is wise not to record too much in advance, which gives you the freedom to go or stay in one place.

Guiselaine Capella decided in November 2013 to spend her life traveling for a while. She has sold everything and now travels around the world with her business. Along the way, she enjoys the beautiful environments and the world, she recovers herself and she also makes WordPress websites for people, she gives workshops in Google Analytics, Hootsuite and Excel and she analyzes in SPSS.

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Interview (14) Let me introduce you to Guiselaine

This interview was published on Women who are travelling!

Interview (14) – let me introduce you to Guiselaine

Name: Guiselaine Capella

Nationality: Dutch

Occupation: Travelling data analysis entrepreneur

Guiselaine

Me and my laptop will be my base for a while. I am intended to go wander the world fulltime as of half November, because traveling for just a few weeks a year wasn’t enough for me anymore. I am an introvert who likes to explore the world thru books, traveling and daring myself into doing things on my bucket list.

I was borne on Curaçao, a small Island in the Caribbean. The weather and architecture on Curaçao are very beautiful. At 19 I went off to the Netherlands to study. It was my base till recently. But now I am intended to become a world citizen, not bound by country boundaries. I am a digital nomad who will work from everywhere in the world on her laptop to sustain my travel life.

What was your inspiration or the event/idea that made you want to travel? 

I just grew up dreaming about seeing the world and wanting to travel as much as possible. I always started planning my next trip on the way back from a trip.

What was your first travel experience?

My first travel experience was when I was a baby, but I can’t remember that just have the pictures to prove how small I was on my first trip. I love the feeling of sitting in the plane and watching the world pass by below you and dreaming of visiting those places one day while you’re on your way to another destination.

Kangaroo Island

Have you ever felt lonely travelling solo?

I never felt lonely on a solo trip, because when you travel alone people tend to talk to you more often. But I have felt lonely on a group trip. I think loneliness depends on yourself and the company you are in.

Do you have any fun stories of things that happened to you that you realized even at the time, “This never would have happened if I had been traveling with someone else?”

I think the funniest thing that happened to me was being proposed to in the jungle of Ecuador by one of the jungle guides. I was staying there for a few days and decided to participate in a workshop making wooden rings. But I sucked at it even though I was the only one there who understood what they were explaining in Spanish. So at some point I just gave up making a ring and went to bed. The next day I was getting to the bus to leave when one of the guides approached me and started talking to me and then gave me the ring and said he wanted to marry me. I think he never saw a more clumsy women or was happy that there was someone who could speak Spanish. I still have the wooden ring.

Barcelona market

What was your best travel experience?

Sorry have to go with Ecuador again. I fell in love with the mountains over there. So I went on a half day horseback riding trip through the mountains without prior horse experience. The first half hour I was for sure I was gone fall off the horse, but as the scenery grew more and more intense. I relaxed and was in heaven on the horse going thru the mountains with the spectacular views of valleys and small cities.

Is there anything you would have done differently/ any regrets, if you could do it over again? The only thing I regret is not traveling more. I guess I am gone make up for that now.

What was your worst travel experience?

My worst travel experience is definitely becoming psychotic on a trip with the trans Siberia Express and through Mongolia. Being hospitalized there is an experience I am never gone forget in my entire life and hope to never experience again.

What’s the strangest situation you have found yourself in?

Two stories qualify for this question the double date in Petra, Jordan and not being able to open my suitcase lock anymore in Barcelona. I will narrate the last one. I was on a city trip with a friend and on the last day we decided to put all documents in one suitcase and go explore the city one last time as we were flying late at night. But to our horror, when we came back we couldn’t open the suitcase anymore. So we decided to go with the suitcase to the airport and ask there if they would open it for us. But nobody wanted to do that. So we went to the police office at the airport. I remember the police looking at us not believing our story and after that they were making jokes about shooting the suitcase etc. At that moment nothing was funny to me. After a while they decided to open it for us and let us get everything we needed on the flight out and close it. Back at home after the flight it took me hours picking locks and ultimately just smashing the suitcase to open it.

Guiselaine

Where will you never return to?

I haven’t been to a place jet I would go at all anymore, but Camaguay in Cuba would be on my not soon to visit again list. I loved Cuba but that city I didn’t like the atmosphere at all. It didn’t feel like the rest of Cuba to me.

What advice would you give women traveling solo to your home country?

I don’t know if there are country specific advice, but what you definitely should do is trust your instinct when you travel and be careful when your instincts tell you to be.

What are your future travel plans?

I am gone be traveling full time with no and data as a digital nomad. Working everywhere and nowhere. Experiencing the world. I am starting in Australia and slowly make my way to Asia. And after Asia I hope to travel further around the world to the next continent.

What are your top three tips for women traveling solo?

Be aware of local way of doing things.

If you don’t feel comfortable somewhere or with someone just leave the scenery.

If you want to chat with locals go sit on a square and you will end up having the most beautiful chat of your lifetime about conversation even though you sometimes don’t speak the same language.

Guiselaine

What would you tell women who are looking to travel alone but worry about their safety?

Be caution, but just relax and enjoy yourself. As long as you follow your instinct you will be ok.

Couchsurfing..what do you think about that?

I am starting to experience it now. Don’t think it fits my character well, because I like to have lots of alone time.

How do you pay for a life of travel?

I used to work a lot and save to travel. But now I am just gone travel and earn money on my way or swap my way through the world.

Tell us about the best food you have ever eaten on your travels?

I am a fresh fruit juice addict so in every country I want to taste all kinds of different fresh juices. I loved the way they make lemon juice in Jordan with a little bit of mint.

Jordanie

What is the most breathtaking view you have ever witnessed on your travels

I think the sunrise in Jordan dessert on the back of a camel definitely qualifies as one of the best. Although sunset at the beach is also one of my favorites.

What item will you always carry in your backpack?

My camera, something to write my thoughts on and my passport. I am totally obsessed about where my passport is all the time.

Who was the kindest or most generous person you met on your travels, and what did they do?

I think I have to go with Marc in Cuba for putting up with me climbing El Yunque. And afterwards for lending me his flip-flops, because mine broke and walking himself bare feed.

What have you learned from travelling?

Traveling open possibilities for me. I get inspiration from traveling and seeing and meeting on the road. That’s how I get inspired and refreshed to work and built my life.

Who inspires you? What other travellers do you look up to?

I get inspired by photos I love to see pictures of far away places and hear stories about what people experienced on the travel. That’s the reason I think I am addicted to travel blogs.

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The side effects of life as a Nomad

In February I decided that I wanted to travel full time as a digital nomad. But the big question then was how do you become one? Where should you start searching for information? Are there others who do this? My first stop was the library for the book “What is your excuse?” From Esther Jacobs and google to people who travel full time and how they pay for that life. So I started contacting some of them for tips. A whole new world opened up for me by talking / emailing:

They gave me many tips and contacts to explore further. With these contacts and information came more contacts and more information. For an infobate like me, this was heavenly! Now two weeks before departure, I start to taste my digital nomad lifestyle. For this I started a major cleaning. This is a handy side effect of becoming a digital nomad. As a result, I also became a minimalist and with cleaning, space was created not only because of the things that went away, but also in my mind to think. Who or what inspires you?

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What is your excuse?
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