A Wanna-Be Digital Nomad Interviews An Established World Traveler

Date:

Key Takeaways

  • Diego Bejarano Gerke advises financial preparedness for aspiring digital nomads, emphasizing saving for five months and maintaining a three-month safety net.
  • Research destinations, avoiding peak seasons, and choosing workspaces are vital for successful nomadic living.
  • Opt for Airbnb, prioritize insurance, and secure multiple payment options.
  • Build a strong online work portfolio and maintain positive reviews for professional success.

Bali, Indonesia–Diego Bejarano Gerke, the CEO of WiFi Tribe and co-founder of Beach Commute, attended a virtual interview with martial arts student and wanna-be digital nomad Luisa Tulouna.

The veteran nomad shared the ground realities of working in a new country and offered guidance on how the future digital nomad could achieve her goals.

Luisa shared her desire to travel to Brazil, Thailand, and the Netherlands, explaining how she planned to have saved for five months of living (what she estimated at $9500) before deciding to leave.

Diego suggested looking at online resources that show the costs of living in various cities worldwide, the ground situation, and the “livability” of the place.

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Having a healthy living capital

Diego agreed with the amount his host thought she needed, adding that a healthy living capital would be that which would last three months and some extra for a flight back home in case of any emergency.

Diego informed Luisa of the possible cities she could visit and cautioned her from going to hotspots during the tourism season as the cost of living would be high. He recommended that she look for digital nomad groups on Facebook or Reddit or “find a co-working space that emphasizes community building.” About practicing her martial arts, the traveler recommended she find a sporting community where she was traveling.

He suggested that when she first decides to travel, she should plan to stay in one place for three months at least as it usually takes a while to find a healthy balance between work life and play.

“The first week, I would probably just look around at the gym that you’re going to be at,” he revealed in the interview. “Decide whether you need a co-working space or which cafe is the right spot for you to work from.”

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Avoid hostels if trying to work

Diego noted that most nomads opt for Airbnb and paid community couch-surfing services. She should avoid hostels, especially in a tourist destination, as the crowd would be “trying to party while you’re trying to work.”

“Get health insurance, get travel insurance, and get a few different credit or debit cards because you will inevitably lose some, or they will be blocked,” Diego recommended, adding that she should keep an eye out for banks with the best rates.

Warning that a physical job in retail or hospitality usually isn’t an option for foreigners, Diego urged Luisa to start looking for online work, explaining the importance of a portfolio and maintaining good reviews for her work.

What We Think

Diego’s advice is essential for aspiring digital nomads. Research destinations and prepare financially for emergencies. Avoiding tourist hotspots during peak seasons can be cost-effective. Joining digital nomad communities and finding ideal workspaces enhances the work-travel balance.

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Diego’s emphasis on insurance and financial readiness is wise. Building an online work portfolio and maintaining positive reviews are vital for a successful digital nomad journey.

The interview was published in The Guardian. Read it here.

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