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The Life of a Digital Nomad; The Good, The Bad & The Expensive.

  • 17.09.2018

by Melissa Harris

You may have seen that for the past 6months, we at Stories Studio chose to opt out of usual office rituals and signed ourselves up to embracing all things nomadic (on a Balearic island, nonetheless). We have regularly received Instagram messages wondering – how do you do it? How can we do it too? and more often than not, are you on a permanent holiday?

So here we go, we are stripping things right back for you guys…because as beautiful as those sunset beach picnics look – it’s not always plain sailing living next to the ocean. There’s been sand jammed inside MacBooks, tears over internet connectivity, and many sympathetic glances from bar staff wrapping up their shift as laptops are closed for the day, and we are here to share it with you.

We can’t shy away from the fact that we are surrounded by holiday goers on a day-to-day basis. In an effort to blend in, we soon came to the realisation that beach bags still do the trick, offering a great spacious option for us to transport our belongings with passersby none the wiser. We swapped towels for laptops, suncream for cameras, and coverups for stationary. One thing that remained? Sand. So much sand. And it turns out, dropping what felt like the entirety of Playa D’en Bossa beach onto your Macbook keyboard doesn’t really bode well for the laptop actually being able to function afterwards. We then proceeded to spend the entire flight over to Menorca where we were shooting a campaign for our client, sucking the sand from between the keys. 400 euros later and a few tears, we were back in business.

It also turns out, not every café, hotel lobby, and restaurant within a 10-mile radius of our apartment decided to factor in workplace safety assessments when considering their interior design. Sure, we didn’t expect to turn up to be greeted by a sea of ergonomic chairs, but equally, it does makes things a little bit more difficult when the only available seat in the café, is a hammock.

Next up…let’s talk WiFi. Something so very essential for remote working. It is all well and good totally blitzing an iPhone hotspot so that we can upload our latest Instagram story, but tackling a short deadline whilst being greeted by an extremely casual message of “892 hours remaining” for your WeTransfer, might’ve stopped us in our tracks…just a little…

So no good story started with I didn’t go and live in a castle, right? Well, what the story didn’t start with was the day that you unknowingly left your car in what you thought was a secure carpark – only to realise that during your stay the entire carpark would be taken over by the medieval festival. The irony is that we actually walked out of the apartment in complete awe of it all, both of us laughing and cheering at the parades, the flags, and at one point even got involved with the Spanish dancing. Our mood quickly deteriorated en route to shooting a clients campaign when we got to our usual parking space – only to find that it was now a food stall. No more car. Apparently, learning Spanish might have meant we would’ve understood that any car left there during the festival would be towed away, and you would be made to feel like a complete criminal by having to walk 40minutes to the compound to collect it (we don’t really want to talk about the $150 to ransom fee…)

What we have learned over the course of our digital nomad experience to date, is that it is not all sunshine and rainbows (quite literally – who knew that Spain had worse storms than England?) that, and leaving the parasol open does result in it being blown over the side of the apartment and smashing into pieces on the street below at 5 am (much to our neighbours distaste). For every tough day though, there are 10 incredibly magical days. And for every deadline, that means you are up until 1am, there is a team of staff at Emporio café, stood around your table waiting for you to finish, with a celebratory shot in hand. Seriously go check them out if you are ever in Ibiza.

Being able to work remotely has inspired us in SO many ways. In actual fact, we owe a lot to our regular beach picnics, as these actually led to Stories being chosen to shoot Berlucchi’s summer campaign out here in Ibiza – one of our favourite and biggest shoots to date! We have also been able to put our client Ponderlily’s travel journal to good use – creating content for them on coffee tables around Europe!

Ibiza has completely opened our minds, we are feeling more inspired than we ever have in our lives, and we are living within a world heritage site, providing us with a constant solid backdrop for content creation. To answer the previous question of “how do you do it?” in all honesty we decided that we didn’t want to wait for an opportunity to present itself, so instead, we created it.

If you’re getting geared up for life as a digital nomad, stay tuned, our next post will be giving you all of the hints and tips to avoid our faux pas!

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