Insights into Extended-Term Digital Nomading with Portugal Blogger James

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Welcome to Place Independent Good results Stories!

In this series, I’ll be introducing you to inspiring males and girls who are utilizing their one of a kind expertise and talents to reside the place independent life-style of their dreams.

Headshot of long-term digital nomad James from The Portugalist blogIn this interview you will get acquainted with James, a lengthy-term nomad going on eight years of complete-time travel and remote perform! In other words, James was digital nomading ahead of it was cool.

James is a digital nomad and travel blogger who has spent the previous 7.five years on the road, going to locations like France, Spain, Germany, Portugal, South Africa, Mexico, and Thailand. He is at the moment primarily based in Portugal exactly where he writes the travel weblog Portugalist, a weblog solely devoted to Portugal.

Adhere to James’ adventures: Web-site | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Initial, please inform us a small bit about your self. What’s your background and what are you carrying out now?

I mostly grew up in Ireland (despite the fact that I lived in Portugal as a youngster as properly). Just after college, I moved to the UK and lived in Scotland for quite a few years exactly where I ended up receiving a job in on the net advertising.

There, I discovered a lot of the expertise that would allow me to perform remotely.

About 7 or eight years ago, I left all of that and became a digital nomad. I began by residence sitting in France, and was in a position to save a lot of cash on rent that way.

At a single point, I looked following a farm of 18 alpacas which was fairly an expertise.

Then, as I started to earn a bit far more cash, I stopped residence sitting as a great deal and began renting rather, staying in locations for three-six months at a time.

How generally do you travel? Do you have a single city that you take into consideration a residence base?

For the previous 7 or eight years, I’ve frequently been spending three-six months in a location. At times I’ll have a couple of whirlwind trips exactly where I’ll attempt and see quite a few locations in a couple of weeks but, frequently, I’m fairly a slow traveler.

I haven’t had a suitable base for a even though, despite the fact that I’ve normally thought of Lisbon and Berlin to be residence. Each of these locations clicked with me, and I ended up going back fairly a couple of instances.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

How do you generally pick your destinations?

In the previous, excellent world wide web was such a huge issue in selecting a location.

When I initially began traveling, and I was living in rural France, I couldn’t come across anyplace with world wide web. I was functioning from a Dongle and would have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest McDonald’s if I wanted to upload or download something big.

Factors have changed a lot in such a brief space of time. I’ve worked from Laos and even Myanmar, so I think about these small villages in France are now a lot far more digital nomad friendly. Possibly.

When did you understand you wanted to come to be place independent, and what had been your motives behind that selection?

I definitely wanted to travel, and I hadn’t accomplished adequate of it when I was younger. I was also functioning in an market that just seemed like it should really be extremely suited to remote perform, and I definitely wanted to continue functioning in that market. I’d only just gotten a “proper” job, and wasn’t prepared to go back to bar perform.

At the very same time, I was incredibly frustrated with my actual job and becoming a digital nomad felt like a excellent way to get a bit far more independence and travel at the very same time.

What had been some of the initially measures you took toward attaining this life-style for your self?

Prior to setting off, I spent at least a year writing ebooks and creating internet sites as I believed that is how I’d make my cash.

Inside a couple of months, even so, I ended up meeting an individual who wanted me to handle their on the net advertising for them and I ended up carrying out that for two-three years rather.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

Of all the locations you have lived and worked so far, which a single was the most effective suited for men and women living a place independent life-style and why?

Asia, especially Thailand, is good for digital nomads. It has excellent world wide web, it is low cost, and there’s a good neighborhood. These are surely the keys to a location that is suited to the place independent life-style.

There are only a couple of locations like that in the globe, although. Lisbon, for instance, has a good neighborhood and excellent world wide web but it is nowhere close to as low cost as locations like Chiang Mai are. At times, you cannot tick all the boxes. At times, you could only tick a single.

Distinct locations fulfill distinctive wants.

At times, I commit a couple of months in a single location to fill a single or two wants and then go off traveling to fulfill other wants.

Inform us about your perform. What is your key supply of revenue?

At the moment, it is my weblog. It does not make as a great deal cash as I’d like it to, but I’m taking some time to definitely perform on it and see if I can get it to develop.

I create solely about Portugal, which is uncommon for a travel weblog. It does let me to definitely get to know the nation although, and it indicates that I can produce a definitely good resource for men and women who are going to or moving right here.

The weblog mostly earns cash from marketing, but I often get a commission if an individual books a hotel or tour by way of the internet site.

Connected post: The Only Affiliate Advertising Course You will Ever Have to have

How did you get began?

I began writing about Portugal due to the fact incredibly couple of men and women had been. I’d lived in Portugal as a kid, and then spent time living in Lisbon and the Algarve as a digital nomad, so I felt like I knew it reasonably properly.

Naturally I was plagued with self-doubt at the very same time, but no one was definitely writing in-depth about Portugal and I felt like, if no one else was going to, then I would.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

What does the typical workday appear like for you?

I get up, have a cup of coffee, and then perform for a bit. Typically that is someplace involving 7 and eight am. Then I go to the health club, and then perform some far more. In the afternoon I could meet up with an individual for a coffee or take a language class and, if that occurs, I’ll typically perform once more in the evening.

Function, by the way, typically indicates writing weblog posts for Portugalist.

I attempt to create pretty in-depth content material, particularly content material that no one else is writing about.

I’m beginning to cover Portuguese wine now, for instance, as there’s incredibly, incredibly small written about it.

That is a single of the positive aspects of getting a travel weblog that focuses on a single nation: you can definitely start out to go in-depth.

If an individual else wanted to comply with a path equivalent to yours, what suggestions would you give them?

These days, I would propose men and women searching at remote jobs.

A remote job is an in-residence job that you can do from anyplace, which is a lot simpler than attempting to come across and handle your personal consumers.

How a great deal could an individual count on to earn when just beginning out?

I earn adequate to reside in Lisbon, which does not make me wealthy regardless of the increasing rental rates right here. I really earned far more when I began out due to the fact I was functioning for consumers, so possibly I’m carrying out issues backwards!

I know men and women who start out off earning much less than $500 per month, and other people that earn ten instances that. It depends on so quite a few aspects, but especially your skillset. Developers earn far more than copywriters, for instance.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

Do you have other revenue sources as properly? What are some of the other approaches you earn a living?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a enjoyable guidebook to German culture which earns a small cash. I nevertheless do some occasional advertising consultancy for consumers as properly, as this pays a great deal much better than blogging.

In your opinion, what is the hardest factor about living a place independent life-style?

Generating good friends on the road can be really hard, especially if you are not in a single of the digital nomad hubs.

It is particularly really hard to make good friends with locals if you are only preparing to remain someplace for a couple of months.

You get much better at it, although. I’ve produced good friends on the road that I continue to see about the globe. It is nevertheless normally really hard, although, and I consider it’ll normally be a single of the hardest issues about getting place independent.

Connected post: 10 Stunning European Co-Operating Spaces for Your Subsequent Workation

What are some of the issues you like about it the most?

I like the flexibility of it all. I like getting in a position to take breaks throughout the day to go to the health club when it is not busy, go purchasing, or meet an individual for coffee. I nevertheless get all my perform accomplished, but I do not consider I would get that type of flexibility in a conventional job.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

How did becoming place independent alter your connection with travel? Do you do issues differently now?

I’ve gotten applied to spending quite a few months living in a location and definitely receiving to know it. While I nevertheless do shorter trips right here and there, I a great deal favor to travel gradually.

Do you have any good cash-saving travel guidelines to share?

I’m a huge fan of cashback internet sites like TopCashback. These internet sites give you the commission they would commonly get for referring. For instance: if you go to booking.com through them, you will get three-four% cashback. It typically only indicates that you are saving a couple of dollars at a time, but it all adds up.

What do you consider are some of the important traits or expertise an individual should really have if they strategy to pursue a place independent life-style?

I consider you need to have to be incredibly independent. Some men and women genuinely need to have a boss to inform them what to do, or they need to have to be in an workplace to really perform. If that is you, this possibly is not the proper life-style for you.

You need to have to be incredibly versatile and motivated to be place independent.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

Productivity can be a big challenge for quite a few digital nomads. Share with us a single of your most effective guidelines for staying motivated and receiving shit accomplished.

It is a weird tip, but I consider getting much less time can be a excellent factor.

I come across if I have someplace to be in the evening, I’ll really be a lot far more productive throughout the day.

Getting a lot of time is not normally a excellent factor.

Do you have any place independent part models who have helped you or motivated you to reach your ambitions?

Like most other place independent men and women, I’ve study The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.

I do not consider I really followed the suggestions (as excellent as it is), but it did give me the motivation I required to go out and attempt to make this come about.

I should really possibly study it once more as I definitely do not perform 4 hours per week.

What’s a single of the most useful purchases you have produced for your business–something that wasn’t necessarily costly, but offered you with a lot of worth?

Getting a laptop stand and separate keyboard and mouse has surely been a worthwhile obtain. I commit so a great deal time in front of the laptop, and I cannot think about what my back would be like now if I hadn’t invested in these issues.

Inform us about a single of the largest errors you have produced and how other people can steer clear of it.

I’ve jumped from a single variety of perform to a different, but that is a thing you definitely want to do progressively. This weblog, for instance, took about two years to make up.

You cannot just make a decision that you are going to start out a weblog and count on that to be your new supply of revenue.

Even switching from supplying a single variety of service to a different (e.g. advertising consultancy to copywriting) requires a even though. You need to have to make up consumers, and a reputation, and anything else. It is not a thing you can do quickly.

Digital nomad interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist

Lastly, if you could present your younger, much less knowledgeable self a single piece of suggestions for this journey, what would it be?

Earlier on, I produced a lot of internet sites that would make cash from marketing or affiliate sales but they had been all incredibly brief-sighted. They would perform for a couple of months or years, but I wasn’t pondering about them lengthy-term.

Now, I’m far more focused on lengthy-term projects.

I attempt to produce issues that are helpful and add worth, and I want that was a thing I’d focused on earlier on.

A lot of thanks to James for sharing his really hard-earned wisdom! Nevertheless have inquiries? Ask away in the comments!

Learn what it's like to be a long-term digital nomad in this interview with travel blogger James, the Portugalist


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