Wanna be nomad

Finding suitable affordable housing in the Netherlands that is close to public transport is more difficult than difficult. So, since I like to travel, I decided to travel permanently without a permanent residence. I read myself well in about the nomad phenomenon, but only practice can tell you if you are suitable for it. Well, like that military advertisement, I am unsuitable for it. And for the following reasons:

  • I always have trouble finding new living space. Requirements it must be cheap, connect to the previous rental period and be close to public transport.
  • I only managed to get a letter address for 3 months after which the municipality refused to give me one again and I couldn’t find anyone else whose address I could use as a letter address. It is legal tug-of-war with the municipality. They prefer not to provide letter addresses.
  • It is difficult to find a new place all the time. It is a crime to find a new place to live. What is fun for traveling is less fun for living.
  • You spend a lot of time looking for a new home
  • You have to get out after a fixed period if you are going to rent anti-squat or temporarily.

I lasted three years and my range in the Netherlands moved further and further away from Utrecht, so I now live in Eindhoven and Utrecht is terribly far. My mission is to make a home exchange back to Utrecht / Amsterdam and the surrounding area. And then live there for a long time and enjoy traveling in between. I give up that fiddling with housing, but not that fiddling with traveling.

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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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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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Changes, changes

 ’If you have a dream, go for it’

Sometimes you dream and fantasize about all sorts of things, but you do not know how you can incorporate it into your life. But other times you really think; it’s been enough and book a ticket with a departure eight months later and think that that should be enough time to give yourself time to get used to the idea and sort things out. And yes some action, make sure you actually come into action! I can tell you now from experience :-). With one week to go before my departure, I know a lot more about traveling entrepreneurs than eight months ago and I also know that the life of a traveling entrepreneur is also something that fits me right at this particular moment in my life. Funny thing is that you think that something does not exist simply because you don’t know about it. But really everything in life has been done by someone. There are more people than you think that did it or are doing it. So I am not that special in what I am about to do. But everyone is doing it in her/his own way! The way that suits you best! My unique way! On the one hand it is very exciting to step into the unknown, but on the other hand it also feels super comfortable, because I’m just combining two things I like to do traveling and being an entrepreneur.

What am I about to do?

Going see the world with my laptop! First stop is in Australia with a short stopover of a few days in Singapore!

What will be the same?

I will still be doing analysis in SPSS, giving workshops and courses and building WordPress sites.

‘Follow your heart, and do what you like and not just follow the money’

What is going to be different?

I will be working from different places and learn to live life at a slower pace. You probably will see some pictures of me working on my laptop on the beach, in the park, in the forest, at a beautiful scenery, etc. Not to make you jealous, just to make sure you know everything is possible. Keep dreaming big and sometimes just try one of those dreams!

 Follow your dreams!

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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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