A B O U T M E
Hi. My name’s I’m Elly and I’ve been living as a digital nomad for almost a decade.
Like so many nomads before me, I read Tim Ferriss’s Four-Hour Work Week and decided there was more to life than the nine-to-five. So, I quit my job as a magazine editor, sold everything I owned and booked a flight to Southeast Asia.
I remember being equally excited and terrified, with no idea what this brave new world of remote work had in store for me. If I’d have known, maybe I’d never have taken the leap. But looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Since 2011, I’ve worked remotely as a freelance journalist from Thailand, Bali, Ibiza, Sri Lanka, New York, Australia, New Zealand, Laos and many other incredible destinations.
I’ve experienced digital nomad life in all its amazingness There’s nothing more freeing than having the ability to work from Bali one month and New Zealand the next. But I’ve also seen the darker side that brings about stress, heartbreak, loneliness and frustration.
Along the way, I’ve written about travel, working remotely, and the digital nomad movement for clients including BBC Travel, Stylist and Fast Company. One particularly surreal week, I even got featured in Tim Ferriss’s newsletter.
I decided to create Nomad Voices because I want to show those considering becoming nomads what this lifestyle is really like – the good and the bad. Plus, sharing my stories, and the stories of other nomads lights me up and as Howard Thurman says, the world needs more people who have come alive.
If you’ve ever considered digital nomadism as a lifestyle choice, but need a bit of extra encouragement, information or inspiration to take the leap, you’ve come to the right place. Or if you’re a nomad who’s already on the road, wondering if anyone else feels the way you do, I’m here to remind you, you’re not alone.
A B O U T N O M A D V O I C E S
When you think of the phrase ‘digital nomad’, what comes to mind?
Perhaps it’s the Instagram influencers perched on the edges of infinity pools, laptops within reach, casually earning a six-figure income with a coconut constantly in hand. Or you might think of the dropshippers; those gym bro clones who exploit cheap labour to enable their luxurious tropical island lives and want to help you do the same. “Sign up here to earn $10,000 in your first month working online!”
So many of the articles you might come across about #digitalnomadlife will either romanticise it as luxurious and carefree or demonise it as unethical and unsustainable. But neither of those portrayals is accurate.
At Nomad Voices, I want to tell the story of the real digital nomad movement. The one that’s been going on quietly for years. Here you’ll meet the people who have decided it’s possible to live happily and sustainably beyond the conventions society has set for us – and have worked out what that really means.
Some of us are fully nomadic and have no fixed address, others travel the world in a campervan while others have a home base. There’s no right way to be a nomad - it’s flexible by its very nature. There’s also no need to turn in your nomad badge if you want to stay local for a while, or even forever; it doesn’t have to be a restrictive label because it’s a state of mind. And best of all, it’s the most supportive community I’ve ever been a part of; there’s always someone to cheer you on and pick you up if you’re having a hard time.
Whilst I’ll talk about the amazing side of digital nomadism – the freedom, the growth, the possibilities and, yes, sometimes the coconuts, I’ll also address the dark side of working from anywhere in the world. It can be lonely, it can affect your mental health and it can also negatively impact the destinations that become digital nomad hubs.
The coronavirus has accelerated the adoption of remote work, so there’s no doubt this movement is in for an interesting few years. Already, we’re seeing governments responding with new residency programmes and visas to attract digital nomads. Meanwhile, more nomadic entrepreneurs are building business models that bring real benefits to the local communities that provide their temporary homes.
Through Nomad Voices, I’ll chart the development of the nomad movement and investigate how it’s going to impact the way we live and work in future.
Join us in the search to #findyournomadvoice