This post is part of the Successful Nomads series
Have you even wondered how people can travel and support themselves at the same time? It’s not as difficult as it seems! To show you that there are already plenty of people doing it, and that you can do it too, we’ve interview different kinds of nomads. They were all given 30 questions, with a minimum of 10 to answer.
Kach Medina is the one answering them for us today! You can find her at http://twomonkeystravelgroup.com/
1) Where are you from?
I’m from the Philippines! But after finishing university I worked in Kuwait for 4 years before taking a job in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
2) What is your background?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Philippines. My parents are both dentists and they’ve been working in the Middle East for many years. The tradition in my country is different to the western idea – you must finish your degree, get a job and a stable career, buy a house and then travel when you retire – only if you can afford it.
3) What is your job?
My partner and I are Travel Bloggers with our website Two Monkeys Travel. We also have a few clients now, where we manage their Social Media accounts and online Marketing.
4) How long have you known you wanted to be a digital nomad?
When I quit my corporate job in 2013, I was actually trying to think of different ways to earn money and one of the options was being a digital nomad, but I didn’t know how to start. Then last May 2014, we attempted to start a Travel blog but we only started to take it seriously last October 2014 and that’s when we also started earning money online.
5) Looking back, what do you wish you knew when you started?
How I wish I had already started honing some technical skills and that I didn’t hesitate in investing time and money in online certifications and training. It’s all a great learning experience though, so I have no regrets!
6) What did your friends/family thought of you being a digital nomad?
Well, we’ve been supporting our 2 years of travels by doing different jobs – Teaching English, Teaching Yoga and doing Ayurveda Massage Therapy and our online job is just recent. My family thinks it’s just one of the new bright ideas that we have. Some of our ideas failed and some prospered. They’re used to this sort of behaviour from me now!
7) Where are you right now?
Currently Sailing from Panama to Colombia via San Blas Islands. We were in Central America for 4 months and now heading back again to South America (we lived in Peru for 8 months!)
8) How often are you on the road?
We’ve been traveling slowly for 2 years now, we started in South East Asia then India and the UK, before settling in Peru for a while. We’ve always mixed traveling with working as it’s the best way to immerse ourselves in a community and get to know people and cultures properly.
9) What is your favourite place in the world?
Patagonia, Chile! Everywhere you look there’s no end of breath taking scenery; mountains, rivers, glaciers, and pure turquoise lakes. The people there are friendly and extremely hospitable, we hitch hiked the whole CareterraAustral and met amazing people along the way!
10) What kind of lifestyle are you living with the money you make?
We actually started out as typical backpackers, saving each penny and always trying not to spend that much. Our lifestyle usually changes wherever we go, we spend more money on food and indulging in some luxury hotels whenever we’re on the move. Sometimes we rent apartments and stay in a place for longer, making money through Yoga classes and massage therapy. We don’t party that much compared to our younger years. We also save some of our money for our future! With a mobile or nomadic lifestyle, you need to be prepared to be flexible and adaptable, which can mean switching from indulgent to thrifty pretty quickly.
11) How much time do you spend on your business versus how much time you spend exploring the place where you are?
When we were just starting, I actually spent about 16 hours a day on building our website, writing content, networking, social media management and marketing our brand! We eventually hired an assistant and more writers who started writing and submitting articles on our site which helped us to work less. I sometimes work 10 to 14 hours per day but there are days that I only work for 2 to 4 hours, just checking emails and answering social media inquiries.
12) What are the essential skills to have as a digital nomad?
Of course the Technical skills of understanding the internet world are very important, as well as being persistent, organised and consistent in achieving your goals!
13) What do you have to say to people too scared to leave their day job?
JUST DO IT! It’s scary to take the risks but it’s all worth it if you want it badly enough. If you don’t follow your dreams, you’ll spend the rest of your life working to achieve someone else’s.
14) What are the awesome benefits of being a digital nomad?
You’re location independent and can design your own lifestyle. 3 months ago we were hitchhiking along the Carretera Austral in Patagonia and there was money coming in to our bank account. We’re able to move around, work with brands and do exchange deals, which helps us to keep experiencing some of the finer things along the way.
15) What is the downside that nobody sees?
That you’ll be spending 16 hours a day for a month or so just to build up your website and get your name out there. It can also be hard to get started in freelancing until you build contacts and start to develop different income streams. Getting used to not having a regular salary every month can be a little daunting, you sometimes don’t know where your money is going to come from!