As an author, blogger, Zumba® instructor, a modern Translator and Interpreter combining travelling and working as a digital nomad. Barbara has taken her life on the road embracing remote work and (by the sounds of it) not regretting it! Completing her Magister (German Master’s degree) in Italian, Spanish and Latinamerican Philology in 2011 and a Master’s degree in Conference Interpreting and Legal Translations in 2014, that lead her to freelancing as a translator and interpreter. Now specialising in tourism and culture (The Travelling Translator) which fits in nicely with her blog Barbaralicious which was born late 2013 and is a combination of two of her passions: travelling and writing. It wasn’t long before Barbra to the next step to author and September 2015 saw the launch of her first e-book Mein Weltreise – Ein Traum wird wahr, needless to say this was just the start! We had a chat to see where she’s at and where she’s going:
- What’s the first step to becoming a Digital Nomad?
That’s a super difficult question. I actually left it to the end and still don’t know how to answer. There are so many digital nomads who don’t even know about the term. And how do we define the concept anyway? My father is a computer programmer and when I was little and we went on vacation he always took his HUGE desktop and monitor with him, working from the hotel room while we were playing at the pool. He was super surprised when I told him that, actually, he is a digital nomad and it’s no wonder that I became one, too. In my opinion, the only real condition is being location-independent. So everybody with a location-independent job or who has an online business has already taken the very first step.
- What is the biggest doubts that you overcame before you decided to give it a go?
I was in the very fortunate situation that I had already planned a trip around the world when I learned about the digital nomad lifestyle. So I went to my first DNX with my round the world ticket in my pocket and left just two weeks later. Instead of just travelling the world, I tried to live like a nomad, went on working online (I had been a freelancer for more than five years by then) and simply gave it a try without any risk. I said to myself: “If it doesn’t work out, I go home after my trip around the world and back to my normal life.” But it did work out and I went home for just one week to say hi to my family and left again for my first “real nomad adventure”.
- Were there any books or people that you looked to that showed you the way of this unique journey?
I was following Feli, Marcus (the founders of DNX) and their travel blog Travelicia and became their co-author after the DNX. But no, no books. No 4-hour-work-week yet. All this came later. My development was kind of reversed. I learned most of the relevant stuff after leaving home.
- What’s been one of the hardest things you’ve experienced being a Digital Nomad?
Rejection of family and friends as well as the need of making new like-minded friends. It took my family 2 years to accept that I’m not going to change. My mother still tries to convince me to come back and get a normal job, to do my PHD and live a “normal life”. My friends back home still ask my every time we are talking “You still don’t want to just stay here when you’ll be back?”. It hurts to see them suffering, but it hurts as well that they don’t see that I chose the life that makes me happy.
- How long do you stay in one place, do you think you’ll ever stop moving around?
The first two years of my life as a digital nomad, I’ve been moving super quickly. I was convinced that as a travel blogger I need to see as much as possible to create engaging and exciting content. It’s one of my learnings that I don’t need to be in a new place twice a week to have the stuff to write about. And it took me a long time to really find my niche as a travel blogger writing for digital nomads, not backpackers, not tourists, not solo travellers or female travellers. I want to write for my fellow nomads, tell them what they can explore in their free-time and what is expecting them in each place. That’s why I created my series of city guides for digital nomads. So now it’s almost the other way round: I have to stay at least a few weeks in every place to be able to write a guide about it and learn as much as I can about any nomad-related topic. And I love it! I’m happy to feel settled for some weeks, but I’m excited as well when I can start my next adventure. So, I guess in the future I will build several home bases and travel around from there. I think I will be multi-locational as some nomads already call themselves.
- What’s the biggest reward that you get from being a Digital Nomad?
To see sunsets over the ocean as often I want. Ok, seriously: it’s not 100% true. I can’t always have that. I could! But I want to write about Nomad places and not every place is at the sea. I loved Chiang Mai, too, although it’s in the middle of the mountains. But I do have the choice and I do have the possibility to see the most beautiful sunset every day. That’s putting a smile on my face every day!
- What’s the next place you intend to head on your adventures?
Budapest! It’s been on my list for ages! Last year, I couldn’t go because I had to help with some family issues and had to stay in Sicily the whole summer. Not a bad place at all to stay… And I’m thankful because it made me write my first guide for digital nomads. But I’m super excited to finally go there!
What’s the next thing on your Bucket List?
Well, two big things are the Great Wall and the Taj Mahal… Then I will have seen all Seven Wonders of the World! But both countries are not easy to travel, no big nomad countries and it’s expensive to get the visa. So, I guess the completion of this list has to wait. But I’m patient and happy with where I am now.
Let us know about the books that inspired you guys to take your first steps into the nomad lifestyle below!
Big thanks to Barbara and to check out her bucket list, blog and even reach out to her then head over to https://barbaralicious.com (and make sure you click on the English version if you can only speak English).