21 Mar ‘Keeping our engine rolling’ or ‘How do we pay for our digital nomad lifestyle?’
After more than three years living like digital nomads we thought it would be nice to share with you how we are actually ‘paying’ for this lifestyle. We write ‘paying’ because often there is no money involved in deals we make with our customers. We almost trade more than we invoice. Over the course of the last three years we have become skilled hustlers and we have traded our skills for almost anything. First we like to share with you four cool examples of how we traded our skills for travel, accommodation and maintenance for our bus and after that we have summarised all the things we have done over the past three years to be able to live this lifestyle. We hope this inspires you to hit the road and work and live anywhere!
Four examples of how we traded our skills:
1. Travel to India and Thailand for free
It was five weeks of really hard work but we have travelled to India and Thailand and learned a lot about Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, made amazing new friends and stayed for free in exchange for a website, photography and videography for two great yoga instructors. We even included a new lens for our camera and a new macbook in this deal.
2. Free rooms and food for our wedding guests
When we got married in Mexico we had the entire hotel for free for three nights for us and all our guests and we arranged a great deal for our food and drinks in exchange for web work and photography. Our Mexican friend Chris was the hero who agreed to this and made this possible. We are still thankful!
3. Live for free on a tropical island
We have lived on the tropical island Isla Holbox for almost a year without paying rent in exchange for a website and photography. We made great new friends, not only with owners David and Sascia but also with a lot of fellow travellers who were passing by. This is where we learned what the value is of the people you meet when traveling and that you not always have to travel to meet them:)
4. Had our bus fixed as an exchange when we ran out of money
Somewhere in the fall of 2012 we almost ran out of money and our bus stopped working. During that same period we were talking to the owner of a Mountain Bike Tour operator and he needed a website and knew a good mechanic. We agreed that he would pay for our repairs in exchange for a new website for his company. He was so happy that he later on took us on two magnificent tours throughout Chiapas in the south of Mexico.
We hope you like the examples above of how you can trade your skills for the most crazy things. Of course we have done a lot more over these last three years to keep living the digital nomad lifestyle. Recently we were doing a count of all the different projects we have worked on that made this lifestyle possible. Below you find a summary of ‘how we do it:)’
Projects we did as digital nomads:
– We have made over 35 websites (and counting..)
– 12 videos, everything from short promo videos to pecha kucha presentations
– We gave more then 10 presentations about startups, digital nomad lifestyle, and more.
– We facilitated 8 workshops on business modeling, making your passion your paycheck, etc
– We did 4 training programs on location (15+ participants) both in Mexico and in Holland
– We did the marketing and maintenance for a web shop
– We got paid or exchanged photography more then 5 times
– We are running 3 online courses and they have been completed by 15 students (and counting)
– We filled out one questionnaire about life in mexico that paid €250,-
– We helped fellow entrepreneurs more then 10 times with marketing consultancy (online marketing, communcation and social media)
– Twice we found people so kind to sponsor us for StartupBus
As you can see we have done quiet a lot of different things the last three years to life this beautiful lifestyle. It is not always easy, in fact sometimes it can be quiet hard, but it is always worth it. We are in charge of our own life, we decide where and how we want to work and we get to see this beautiful world and meet a lot of beautiful people that live on it:) If you have any questions for us about this post or anything else regarding this lifestyle, leave us a message!
JC from HollandPosted at 07:47h, 22 March
I get questions from people interested in a digital nomad lifestyle and they think you must be loaded financially upfront. I think you must be loaded with talent and have the gift of seeing oppertunities. You both clearly have that gift and are talented, a great combination to travel and work.
I enjoy your blogposts, they are very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.