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The Life of a Digital Nomad: Lessons Learned

  • 03.10.2018

by Melissa Harris

You may have caught our latest post, revealing everything behind those rose-tinted Instagram glasses. We gave you a little insight into what it can truly be like working as a digital nomad – all the good, the bad, and expensive parts of it…

After the amazing response from you guys, we have decided to follow up on these home truths to give you some beneficial hints and tips for if you are about to take the plunge and join us as part of the remote-workers club! Trust us, we wished someone had told us these before we’d started…

1. Choose somewhere that actually makes sense and aids your work 

Many people have looked at us over the past 6 months with one eye raised, like, “huh?!” when we told them we were heading out to Ibiza to work. We get it, it’s not everyday you hear that. Not only are we able to work as long as we have strong wifi connectivity, but as you may know, Stories Studio offers content creation for clients as one of our core services, and this often requires us to shoot in idyllic locations – something which Ibiza most certainly offers. Our relocation has aided our work more than we could have hoped for, and opened doors for us that even we didn’t expect. There is no way we would have been able to shoot a summer campaign for a wine brand (dependent on beach shots) in sunny Sheffield, so it is important to consider location before you take the leap of faith. Important questions to ask yourself if contemplating a move – does the new location have good travel links? Good connectivity? And just general good vibes? (always an important one for us!).

2. Keep your Mac book away from sand at all costs (quite literally) and be careful when venturing through airport Security

For Emily’s Sanity, I’m not going to focus on this point too much. If you did catch our last post, you’ll know we have encountered a few mishaps involving sand and a very expensive Macbook keyboard. Let’s just say that situation has recently been amplified by a suitcase crashing into said Macbook whilst going through the airport security conveyor belt. A completely smashed laptop screen, an insurance claim, and a new desktop purchase later, we have some minor tips for you guys. Numero one: make sure you have insurance. Numero two: don’t take your laptop near tiny grains of sand that seem to be completely magnetic to keyboards. Numero three: get a laptop case.

I’m going to leave this one here…

3. Next up; get a Monzo account

What a saviour this has been! Mainly because in the midst of our roaming, we have somehow managed to misplace a couple of our cards. So Monzo can be added to Apple Pay (which mostly everywhere accepts) and you don’t get charged for using it abroad.  It also has a very cool and user-friendly interface, which let’s be honest, we find always helps when it comes to these things.

4. Find a project tool that works for you 

Sure, we haven’t given up on paper and pen just yet, but when you are working remotely, and especially when you have a team in different locations, having an online platform to communicate and keep on top of projects is so important. As a team, Stories use Asana, allowing us to log everything project related, including deadlines, attachments, communication and calendar views. If you are spinning a lot of plates – this one is definitely for you!

5. Find somewhere with upright chairs

Sounds simple, right? Well, you wouldn’t believe how many cafés and restaurants with strong wifi access (a remote workers dream) have quirky beanbag themed interiors. It’s all very cute but if you want to help preserve your back for a couple more valuable years of your life, scout for locations that offer full lumbar support!

6. Don’t let the lines get blurred with time

We have received messages in the past asking us, are you always on holiday? There are, of course, benefits to having the flexibility of choosing where you work for the day – but what is sometimes not shown through the glamorisation of Instagram, are the 3am finishes when you are lost in your project. Not necessarily having an exact finish time to leave the “office” can sometimes mean that there is a blurred line with finishing work. Our tip would be to make sure you have a break when you need it – walks to get a coffee and stretch your legs are a favourite of ours and this definitely helps to aid our creativity!

So there we have it – some tips from us based on our incredible (and sometimes brutal) experiences over the past 6 months. We would be completely naive to think that we are going to embark on the next 6 months in a new location without an equal amount, if not more, of stumbling blocks (and subsequently – new learning curves). So if you stick with us – we promise to share all the trials and tribulations of our journey with you.

We would LOVE to hear some of your stories if you already embrace all things nomadic – or if you have any questions that we haven’t covered, let us know! We would be happy to answer.

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