I Left My Desk Job, Now What?
People have been asking me about how I am able to move around so much for weeks and even months at a time. September 2016, I left my office job and it hasn't been the easiest for me, but I am a lot happier now and I may never go back to that way of life again.
Where do I start?
When I left the corporate world, I did not have a plan. I had no savings whatsoever. No real course of action. Do I encourage people to follow the same route? Nope. If I could redo it, would I do it differently? Not really. The thing is, at that time, I had this strong gut feeling that I needed to do it, and I can't delay it any further. So, I didn't, and I went for it.
I did, however, do a little research and Joined a lot of Facebook groups. I also have a good support system, and I have a mentor with whom I can 'consult' with whenever I'm questioning my own choices. You have to *try* to surround yourself (even just digitally) with people who have the same goal as you do, a geographically independent life.
I constantly check online sources for 'remote work' or 'online jobs' or 'home based jobs'. I am a little picky with the jobs I apply to, only because I no longer wish to work for a corporate as I feel undervalued. It wasn't smooth sailing because I didn't know what type of job I would fit in to. I felt lost, seven years of experience in technical support felt useless, and like it didn't support any of the thing sI now wanted to do.
I tried a few things before finding out what I'm good at and what I like doing. I learned that you can't say you're not good at something unless you actually try it, and also you will never know what you want unless you try.
My life is not just about reaching "goals"
What you see in social media is what I choose to show. Barely a few minutes of my life. What happens behind the scenes are 10+ hours in front of the computer, fighting the laziness - which most digital nomads struggle with. Literally balancing work and life, which includes figuring out how to get your job done when you're too tired or hungover (not recommended for obvious reasons), cause hey, we all know we're guilty of this at least once.
People would tell me how lucky I am for being able to travel and be where I want to be, I would say I'm really blessed to have this life, and luck had little to do with it. I work my ass off. I have to have four jobs, two of which don't even pay, and it's okay, cause I'm just starting. I have to start from the bottom, I have to build my credibility, and I have to continuously learn new skills and improve my existing set. My life includes worrying how I'll get by, but I have to be thankful that I do.
I stopped spending so much on material things unless I truly need it, whenever I attempt to splurge, I would compare it for x nights in x or plane fare to x. I've been traveling on a budget for a while now, and realised accommodation with hot water became a luxury (thank goodness some hostels have it). Also having your own room sometimes isn't an option. Sleeping in a shared dorm with 20+ people became normal, spending hours and hours in a common area or a coffee shop became routine. I have also got used to eating in front of my laptop or to what I call working meals. I worked in surf spots while everyone surfed, I have a job I need to be in, so being focused and strong willed has been key. I've also worked in a moving bus because time management isn't my strongest suit.
I lived a comfortable life in Manila, I have my own room, a private space, most of the time my mom or my brother would cook for the family, but now either I cook my own meals or rely on restaurants or eateries. I guess I gave up comfort for the life I'm living now.
Am I complaining? Definitely not. I love how I'm living my life and I wouldn't want it any other way. Yes, some days I question myself and why I put myself in difficult situations, but every choice I make either teaches me something or directs me to something better.
If you're looking for a step by step guide on how to start your digital nomad journey, this isn't the right place to be. Each digital nomad walks different routes and has their unique journey. What I can help you with is a lending ear, and maybe some advice if you need one. This is my journey, what's yours?