The lives of the digital nomads are unique and have always evoked the curiosity of the other professionals, especially the cubicle dwellers. So we thought of getting to know them better – from their favourite destinations to dealing with homesickness and sustaining their life as digital nomads, living their dream.
This week, we are happy to feature Jose Harvey, who blogs at My Normal Gay Life. Let us get to know him right away!
1. When did throw off the bowlines and embark on this lifestyle & what do you do?
About two years ago, in the midst of my second graduate program, I decided to start a blog focused on my day-to-day life as a gay, married man. I quickly realized I didn’t enjoy writing about the day-to-day but writing about our travels was something I felt passionate about. So I decided to focus on just our travels which are a huge, important part of our life together.
So now, I travel around the world as much as I can and I present my journey to the world in the form of stories, tips, tricks, and travel updates. I think it is well-received and really enjoy it.
2. Could you tell us in % (roughly) as to how you divide your time between these activities as a digital nomad?
a.Work – 50% – A lot is lumped into this category including writing, marketing, traveling, etc.
b. Sightseeing -25%
c. Socializing/Fun – This can go hand in hand with A and B but I’d say approximately 20%
d. Research/look for next place to go – 5% – I plan preliminarily and make decisions on the fly.
3. What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
- Traveling around the world and experiencing cultures/the beauty of the earth.
- Making my own schedule and living by my own rules.
- Meeting amazing people and being anywhere I want.
Cons (Or Challenges as I call them)
- Homesickness – I have pets, a husband, and a base. I miss it sometimes.
- Money – Traveling is great but I’m working my way to turning a profit. It’s a matter of time.
- Loneliness – Sometimes it’s very lonely.
- Explaining what I do – No one really seems to get it and that’s ok.
4. The lack of “home base” often times presents its own challenges, and most of the people experience it in one form or another. What advice would you offer to overcome that?
Well, I don’t lack a home base. My home base is in Raleigh, NC where I own a house, have a husband, have pets, and have a good community. Digital nomads come in all shapes and I do it this way. I do know some people who really don’t have a home base and they seem to be ok with it. They tend to stay in one location for 3-6 months and then move on.
I think the key to success in that situation is to replicate home by maybe renting an apartment or what have you. As for me, I replicate my habits from home to the best of my ability while I’m on the road. That means I set time aside to work, to write, to explore, to work out, to spend time with my husband, etc. This helps keep me a bit sane.
5. Tell us the top 3 things in a location that you look for and can’t do without them as a digital nomad.
- Absolutely need WiFi. I can do without it for a bit but my job depends on being online.
- A good grocery store. For me, this is important because I don’t always want to eat at a restaurant. Sometimes I need to keep it low key and it helps my budget.
- Easy access to public transportation or (at the very least) walkability. I’m not renting a car everywhere I go so being able to get around is important to me.
6. If you could live anywhere in the world as a digital nomad, where would you go and why?
Well, I’d like to live in South East Asia because it’s beautiful and very different from my own culture. I think it would be quite the learning experience and there’s so much to explore!
7. Of all the places that you have lived as a digital nomad, which one is your favourite & why?
I really love Ecuador. The country is rich in delicious food and incredibly kind people. The landscapes are incredible and it’s just a wonderful country.
8. What is that one thing that puts you off while traveling/as a digital nomad?
Actually, I am sort of put off by tourists. I understand that might come off as ironic but it’s true. Sometimes tourists are so disrespectful, culturally insensitive, and just frustrating. It’s something that’s always bothered me so I try my best to encourage people to be culturally aware when they travel.
9. How do you find a place for living & what are your preferences?
It just depends on whether I am backpacking or not. If I am not backpacking, I use things like Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Now that I’ve learned about the service offered by GoGo Places, I’ll probably use it too. If I am backpacking then I sort of wing it and things are decided at the last minute.
10. In a few short words, what other advice would you give someone before embarking on this lifestyle?
Just know you are in for a world of wonder, learning, and exploration. But it’s a lot of work. It takes all the discipline you have to get things done while you’re also traveling around the world. There are times when you will feel lonely and even defeated but push through it. The reward of living your life how you choose and experiencing the world is worth it.
Thank you for sharing your stories of your life as a digital nomad, Jose! GoGo Places wishes you more adventurous & lovely endeavours on the road!
You can know more about Jose’s adventures on his blog My Normal Gay Life.
So what do you think of Jose’s journey? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you think you know someone who has been living their dream as a digital nomad, feel free to let us know. We are always out looking to feature people who are off the beaten path, chasing their dreams!
Also, you can read the previous edition of the interview of the digital nomad Claudia here.
Let’s make the adventure happen!