I seem to have a knack for writing, and I love to travel, so what better way to embrace and combine the two than to become a digital nomad?
St. Basil's Cathedral-Moscow, Russia
Why Be a Digital Nomad?
I have been working since I was 18 years old, and I am soon to be 68 years old. I retired three and a half years ago, returned to school, got a second college degree, worked briefly in my new field, and very soon came to realize that being restricted by bosses, structured hours, and having to be in certain places at certain times, is not the type of lifestyle that I desire for myself. It isn't about the money, because my wife and I have enough to live decently. We have a comfortable home in a rural area that is close enough to major highways, shopping malls, restaurants, hospitals, doctors, and supermarkets that we can be in an urban area in 5 minutes. We are located half-way between New York City and Philadelphia, and are very close to many other iconic cultural areas, such as Bethlehem, Allentown, Easton, Lancaster, and New Hope, PA to mention just a few. But.................I have grown tired of the restrictive nature of home ownership (especially, since it no longer affords me any tax advantages).
Therefore, I am making plans to shed my home ownership, my two cars, and downsize my belongings from a three bedroom home full of "stuff," to a backpack, a laptap computer, a tablet computer, and a mobile phone, and begin a new life as a digital nomad.
In my life, I have so far traveled to and through, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Haiti, and Russia,but there is a lot of world left to see and a lot left to write about.
Not every digital nomad writes about the places they've been, the places they are, and the places they are going. Some are actually employed or contracted to do various types of work, which require only a computer and an Internet connection. That's the life for me, but I neither want to be an employee, nor do I wish to be a contract worker. My life as a digital nomad will be focused to travel blogging and vlogging.
My Most Interesting Travel Abroad Experience
My most interesting travel experiences, even before thoughts of becoming a digital nomad were my trips to Russia. While in Russia, I visited Moscow, Cheboksary, Kazan, and Yoshkar-Ola. I also met my wife while travelling in Russia. When I returned, I wrote about my experiences with dating and marriage agencies in Russia with the hope to help single men have a meaningful trip to Russia and avoid getting scammed by the huge "Mail Order Bride" (which is an oxymoron, because there is no such thing as a "Mail Order Bride") business. I learned about some amazing Russian dishes, and I learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of travelling to Russia.
I learned that Kazan is the oldest city in Russia, and that every province in Russia (a province is like a state in the US), had it's own special local language, in addition to Russian which is spoken in every province and all of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) countries.
I learned that Russian people are hardy individuals, and have no qualms about partying outdoors when the temperature is as low as -27 degrees Celcius. I spent New Years Day in Lenin Square in Yoshkar-Ola, where there were many BBQs in progress, many ice sculptures were scattered about the square, horse-drawn sleigh rides were being offered, and a brass band was playing for the many people dancing in the square. (And of course, there was much Vodka to be had!!)
I learned about and visited Russian Banyas, I went skinny-dipping at a Finnish sauna, learned about Kvass, Kefir, and Korelefski Salad. I learned about some strange Russian customs, like not whistling in the house or car (will bring financial misfortune), and why Russian people don't have wedding or baby showers (they think it's bad luck to pre-suppose that I baby will be born healthy and happy, that a marriage will actually happen).
I learned that Russian women want the man to be the leader and make decisions. Don't ask a woman where she wants to go if you are taking her on a dinner date, TELL her where you are going on a dinner date. I still have more to learn about Russia, Russian People, and Russian Cuisine, and I am planning to return again in the next year.
First Steps to Becoming a Digital Nomad
Property/home ownership is a serious drawback to becoming a digital nomad, so the first step in the process it to get rid of my home, property, cars, and all the other stuff that makes living out of a backpack impossible. Selling the house is not overly difficult, the "stuff" inside the house is more challenging. I have decided that it may be advantageous to use the services of a company such as MaxSold to take care of disposing of all the belongings that I will no longer need. The only things really necessary for me to keep are family photos, whatever clothes my wife refuses to part with, and enough clothes for myself to cover me for a week before I need to do laundry. I have Social Security, in addition to three pensions, so living abroad should not be to difficult as long as we stay away from Europe and maybe certain areas of Scandinavia where prices for food and lodging tend to be inflated due to tourism.
I have found very nice condos on AirBNB in places like Cha Am Thailand for as low as $522.00 per month for a two bedroom within 200 meters from the beach, and there are places in other areas in Thailand that are even cheaper. All with FREE WiFi. A digital nomad's paradise!!! This, and other places in Southeast Asia are a digital nomad's or travel blogger/travel vlogger's dream locations.
Cha Am, Thailand
Where Else to Travel as A Digital Nomad/Travel Blogger/Travel Vlogger
It's a great big, wide, wide world out there, and there's a lot left to see and do while I am still able, so here are the places I've researched that I would like to visit as a digital nomad.
1. Krasnodar, Russia
2. Chaing Mai, Thailand
3. Hua Hin, Thailand
4. Pattaya, Thailand
5. Dalat, Vietnam
6. Phnom Penn, Cambodia
7. Siem Reap, Cambodia
8. Vilcabamba, Eduador
9. Issan, Thailand
10. Panama City, Panama
11. Minsk, Belarus
12. Lviv, Ukraine
13. Kiev, Ukraine
Having done some research on places to stay and Internet accessibility in these locations, I have come to the conclusion that these places are the best options for costs, comfort, and available amenities. One of the great things about Thailand is that 7-11 is everywhere, so if one can't find what one needs at a night market or a weekend market, it's sure to be available at a local 7-11.
Over the coming years, be on the lookout for new travel blogs/travel vlogs from your favorite digital nomad (that would be me!). Look for me on the beach near Cha Am or the mountains around Chaing Mai, or you may hear from me when I am sitting on my balcony in Dalat, Vietnam. The world of nomads isn't the same as being a Mongolian herder living in a Yert, today it's dudes and dudettes travelling with a laptop, netbook, or tablet and writing for work or writing about their experiences having an office in paradise.
© 2020 John Fisher
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 11, 2020:
Congratulations on being able to afford the lifestyle that you desire. A life as a digital nomad sounds very appealing.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2020:
It sounds like fun and it seems that you have done your homework as to costs and available amenities. As long as your health is good, enjoy your new life as a digital nomad.
Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on January 10, 2020:
Really enjoyed your article! great ideas and information