A real digital nomad? Nothing is as inspiring as meeting real people living the life that you’re dreaming of. Find out how they did it!
This week we meet Digital Nomad Chloe Holgate
Hi Chloe! Please tell us a bit about yourself
I am 32 years old and from England, UK. I’ve just started my ‘digital nomad‘ life but I have lived in different countries before this. I have lived in Spain, Brazil and Portugal and worked as an English teacher for 8 years.
What motivated you to pursue a life as a digital nomad?
My main reason for becoming an English teacher was because I love travelling.
After living and working in Portugal for over 4 years, I realised that I wasn’t travelling as much as I wanted.
My days off were Friday and Sunday and I became frustrated with my routine and the lack of flexibility that I had with my job.
Although I was having the experience of living in a different country, and I was in a country that I love, I was missing the excitement of travelling to new places.
I was tied to Portugal for 11 months of the year and I didn’t have time at the weekends to travel out of the country.
I’d never heard the term ”digital nomad” until a year ago and even then I thought it was only for people who worked in IT related fields.
Luckily, I realised that it wasn’t and that there are so many different possibilities and ways to become a digital nomad.
Do your friends/family/colleagues think you’ve gone crazy? Were they supportive?
I have always travelled a lot, and I have lived abroad on and off since I was 24 so I don’t think they have only just started thinking I am crazy 😉
I do still get asked ”When are you going to stop travelling so much?” “When are you going to settle down?” I think some people see this lifestyle as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘lazy’.
I don’t post pictures on facebook of myself working, but I do post lots of pictures of all the new places that I am seeing.
Sometimes, I think people don’t realise that I am actually working as well as travelling.
Most people, and especially family, are supportive of my decisions – I think they trust me and my plans.
I don’t get myself into trouble (financially etc). I think people are starting to realise that you can be considered ‘successful’ without having the mundane 9-5 lifestyle.
What is your location independent job?
I work as an online English teacher for a Chinese company. I also make online English courses which I sell on various platforms. As well as that, I also have a YouTube channel where I teach English.
What do you struggle with most when you work and travel?
Despite having the freedom to ‘work when I want’ – this can definitely have a negative impact. I don’t work from co-working spaces, only from my airbnb.
Therefore I have to be strict with myself and make sure that I am not working too much, it is easy to get wrapped up in things, especially when I am making a new course.
On the other hand, I sometimes can’t find the motivation to get started! If I was back in Portugal, working in a language school, I wouldn’t have this problem because i’d have my set working hours!
How did you get into this line of work? How can others do the same?
I joined different ‘digital nomad’ groups on facebook and I read lots of threads every day about people’s different experiences.
People would often mention that they taught English online. At first I was skeptical about it, I thought it would be impossible to make such good money by teaching online at home! It seemed too easy!
I started researching into it, and applying for lots of different teaching jobs, and they all sounded really interesting.
There were so many different companies out there that I ended up having to turn some jobs down!
If you’re interested in doing this kind of work then the best thing you can do is read about other people’s experiences.
Learn from their mistakes and take on their advice! Find out as much as you can, you’ll discover that there are many more opportunities out there than you ever expected to find!
What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?
Do it! But have realistic expectations.
If you want to be a digital nomad, you’re going to need to work for it.
You won’t be sitting on a beach, drinking cocktails all day!
Don’t just google ”online jobs” and expect to make lots of money from filling out surveys.
Find out what your skills are, talk to other digital nomads, join facebook groups and read blogs about other people’s experiences!
When I feel lonely, I speak to my friends back home on whatsapp – it’s so easy to stay connected to people!
Myfavorite digital nomad location is Mexico
The one item I always pack is my MacBook!
My favorite digital nomad tool/app/blog/ resource is … this blog and various facebook groups!
In 5 years time, I want to be enjoying life as much as I am now!
My all-time favorite quote is “once you need less, you’ll have more”
Thank you, Chloe, for sharing your great story with us, as you see being a Digital Nomad is not as reckless as many peole think. You can achive a great life style, but you also need to work hard! As they say: Work Hard, Play Hard!
If you’re curious about English Teaching Jobs, Chloe can help you with the process, you can find out all the details and apply here to join her Mentoring Program.