Digital nomads

Well, it’s been a while now but Madi’s Wanderlust series has returned and it’s time for the big finale! From travel photographer to freelance dancer – we’ve had them all and today it’s Lynn and Alba’s turn to take you on a trip into their travelers’ lives. Over a decade ago the girls from Luxembourg and Spain started their journey – first alone, then together as a couple – which lead them to many of the most wonderful places on earth. “For me it all began after high school. When I was at university I saved every little money I had and spent it all on travels”, Lynn remembers. Her big dream had always been to do a world trip after finishing her Bachelor’s degree and that’s exactly what she did. “During that time I met a lot of people that were long term travelers and I felt really inspired by that”, she says.

The idea of a nomadic lifestyle was quickly born, yet one big question remained: how can one afford it? “There’s actually two ways: you can either have temporary jobs that are mostly seasonal, like workaways for example. Or, you work while travelling and then that’s digitally”, the 32-year-old explains. From blogger to online seller, from consultant to virtual assistant – the spectrum of possibilities is endless. But getting to the top of the digital nomad career ladder requires patience – and lots of other jobs. “To tell the truth we’re only just starting to be digital nomads. We’ve tried out selling microfiber towels of our own brand Naturastic on Amazon, but we cannot live from that”, Lynn admits.

 

“I used to sell little souvenir trolls and Vikings in Norway during summer, then when we were in Mexico we offered yoga and meditation classes in a hostel. Plus Lynn is a diving instructor and substitute teacher, but these jobs are all rather seasonal”, Alba says. The equation is always the same: work intensely for three or four months, earn some money and then head back out into the world again. “As a nomad you don’t have a lot of engagements so you’re pretty free to do whatever you want, whenever and wherever”, the 33-year-old explains.

Lynn and Alba’s newest project is called “flee winter” and possibly the one stepping stone they needed to finally become 100 percent digital. “We’ll be working as freelance online travel consultants for a company from the UK, we’re their Japan specialists”, Alba says. The principle is easy: choose a destination you love, build up connections with locals and create personalized itineraries for your future customers. “Our clients get professional advice and insider tips based on their personal expectations and wishes. This can be relaxed holidays for retired couples, activities for nature lovers or any other suggestions based on their interests, like Manga tours for example”, Lynn explains.

 

The one big plus (aside from being able to work while on the road): being paid in Euro. “People often ask us how we do it. For them, traveling means holidays where they spend a lot of money and that’s the big difference – for us it’s a lifestyle. We can live like queens in Asia with the money we earn at home because everything is so much cheaper”, Lynn says. Also, the way she and Alba choose to live differs a great deal from typical European standards, as she explains: “It’s very minimalistic, we only have what few things fit into our backpacks, plus our laptop.”

 

But being a nomad has its downsides too, as Alba states: “Sometimes it’s super complicated and people don’t understand the concept of it. Especially the fact that we don’t have a fixed address is often a problem.” As a resident in no less than four countries, simple things like getting a VISA credit card or being registered for health insurance can quickly become a bureaucratic mess. “We don’t fit in a box or a single category”, Lynn says. And, after more than ten years of travelling, it’s the most basic things of everyday life that start regaining value. “Before, my priority was to get to know new places and cultures. Now I often really miss having a life together with the people I love, or things like having a garden and growing my own plants. And a dog, I would love to have a dog so much”, Alba says.

However, there’s others like Lynn and Alba out there and the community is growing day by day. “Popular spots for digital nomads like us are places with so-called co-working spaces. Sometimes, life as a constant traveler can become a little lonely, but there you meet a lot of people with whom you can share your experiences and exchange ideas”, Lynn says. Hotspots like Berlin, Barcelona, Chiang Mai or Ubud in Bali are the must-bes for anyone that wants to build their business while discovering the world. “These places tend to be a bit hippie and are super comfortable, and there’s fast wifi which is essential for our job”, the 32-year-old explains.

 

And, whatever cons their nomadic lifestyle might have, Lynn and Alba wouldn’t want to miss it for a second. “I feel like we have many lives in one life”, Alba says and adds: “For us it’s no big deal to take a plane tomorrow and go to Australia or wherever, it’s like taking the subway.” A flexibility that is an active choice the couple makes day by day, as Lynn explains: “People often say that we are super lucky to live like that. Yes, we are lucky that we were born in Europe and borders are open, but on the other hand this lifestyle is our decision. Whenever we feel like we don’t like one of our five lives anymore, we just leave, or head back to a place that we love. That’s total freedom and the world is so big, there’s always something new to be found.”

Laura Tomassini

 


Mady Lutgen

Mady is looking back on 18 years of experience in the Luxembourgish media world. She quit her job at Revue to launch an online magazine in which importance will be given to what makes us feel good – inside and out.

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