Successful Nomads: Lucy Sheref

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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.

Lucy Sheref is the one answering them for us today! You can find her at

1. Where are you from?

I’m from London, England. I get a lot of “you sound like you’re from Londaaaaaan” when travelling (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall). It’s annoying!

2. What is your background?

I have a degree in Psychology & Counselling and afterwards went into retail Planning for Disney as I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had a great time and learned a lot……but I always felt like it was a bit ‘off’ and that something wasn’t quite right. In the end, my dad inspired me to go travelling as he had a real adventurous spirit when he was younger and left Egypt quite young. So I guess it was in my blood!

3. What is your job?

I started my travel blog when boyfriend and I initially decided to go travelling long term. Initially, it was just for fun, but has evolved into much more and has led to so many opportunities. I now proudly consider myself a freelance travel writer.

4. How much money do you make per month?

It varies. From one job I make around £300 regularly, however, I also have a fair few freelance jobs here and there which are irregular and don’t always pay very well. I once got paid around $5 for some article editing for example! All in all I make £1000+ most months and as I live in Thailand, is more than sufficient.

5. How long have you known you wanted to be a digital nomad?

I didn’t ever know I wanted to be a digital nomad as I didn’t even know it existed as a job! The one thing I did know was what I didn’t want which may seem negative but it helped me to find my way to digital nomadism!

6. What is the biggest mistake you made when you started?

So many! The biggest thing I did wrong was to compare myself to everyone else and try to run before I could walk. Such a self-destructive thing to do and not at all helpful! I do think everyone goes through this though, and it has made me more thoughtful about my decisions now and kinder to my mistakes.

7. Where are you right now?

I currently live in Koh Tao, Thailand. Thailand is the first place I travelled to back in 2009 (on a solo backpacking trip) and it’s had my heart ever since. I initially came to Koh Tao in 2013 and kept coming back. In fact, it’s where my boyfriend proposed to me☺

8. How often are you on the road?

We used to travel pretty fast, moving to new places every few days however our travelling style has completely evolved since then and we now accept that we are slow, comfortable travellers. That’s not to say that I don’t occasionally rough it or have an adventurous spirit, but I do accept that I need certain things for my job, and my sanity! Wi-Fi, electricity and the occasional glass of wine!

9. What is your favourite place in the world?

That is tough. There are places in every country that I liked and loathed in equal measures but overall, India is somewhere that really made me love the life I lead. To be able to have the freedom to spend a few months travelling through such an incredibly diverse country made me feel so grateful. On the other hand, it can also be the most infuriating country to travel through so I experienced my highest highs and lowest lows there too.

10. Are you a carry-on person or a checked luggage person?

I used to lug huge 80L backpacks around, as well as a seriously over-packed day-bag, and honestly, I ended up dumping so much of my stuff just so the load would be easier to bear. When I came home for a wedding in the UK about six months through our travels, I switched to 35 Litres, which I could technically take as carry on. I don’t always do so though as I can’t/won’t cut down my liquid stuff!

11. What do you always have on you that you couldn’t live without?

My Laptop. Couldn’t live or work without it!

12. How much time do you spend on your business versus how much time you spend exploring the place where you are?

Honestly, I spend about 80% of my time working and 20% not working. Luckily though, as my job makes me location independent I rarely feel as though I’m missing out on things. I mean, I can work from the beach!

13. What are the essential skills to have as a digital nomad?

Being self-motivated is the most important quality in my opinion. You often won’t have a boss to speak to in person and sometimes they may even be in a different time zone so you need to be able to manage deadlines without being nagged.

14. What are the awesome benefits of being a digital nomad?

Well, if I want a duvet day, I can have one and still work. I love being able to set my hours and work while I travel. If you love travelling and working creatively, being a digital nomad is awesome.

15. What is the downside that nobody sees?

Oh no! This will probably make people hate me for being so ungrateful but there are downsides. The negatives are obviously different for everyone but for me, it’s missing out on important life events in my friends and families lives. Honestly, the people who matter will stay in touch with you (and vice versa) but I’m rarely around for birthdays or special occasions. I missed a couple of weddings last year, and even one of my best mates hen do, although I did make it for the wedding!