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Digital Nomad in Bali, my Life as a Freelancer on the Other Side of the Planet

Being a Digital Nomad

My friends and family would often ask me “How can you be on the other side of the world all the time?”. I am going to show you that everything is possible, and that you too can be the next Digital Nomad.

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Lost at Nusa Ceningan
 

It all started during my third year of business school, in which they allow you to take a semester abroad. After having saved as much as I could by doing small student jobs one after another, I could finally put a name on this new adventure: Santander, Spain. It was February 2014 then, I was 20 years old, and very anxious to go live abroad on my own in an unknown country.

This experience completely changed me

I was rather shy, and met people from all around the world: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Italy… A real melting pot, several months living in community, to share and open up to others.

“Travel and encounters make us thrive and allow us to have a different view of the world.”
I came back from Spain, transformed, with only one obsession, leave again.

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Santander
Back to class in September. The good news is, in Webmarketing Masters you can have 6 months of working experience abroad. I wanted to go on an adventure, far away.

 

Everything is possible, it’s just a matter of will and giving yourself the means to succeed

I contacted dozens of agencies in California, Australia, Panama, Bali… I was determined.

I have always been a strong supporter of spontaneous applications, and my first interview was with Kesato & Co a web agency in Bali. A few days later, I got a positive response. It was 6 degrees then, we were in November, and I was about to fly out to Bali a few weeks later, I did not realize what was going on.

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Canggu, Bali
 

But why did I choose Bali as a Digital Nomad ?

Surfing is my passion. After going through magazines and seeing empty waves, Bali stayed in a corner of my mind. I like the simple things in life, I am not materialistic and most importantly, I need the ocean. The rhythm of the Parisian working life doesn’t suit me, but that’s where I studied and I learned to accept it. Indonesia suits me, but there are still so many places to discover, and I am sure you too have a destination in mind you dream about.

“I have always made my professional choices according to my passion”

Personal fulfillment is very important for me, it’s a source of productivity and creativity in the working environment. I really wish you all to find your passion in life, and if you don’t have one today, it is never too late to find one.

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Morning Ritual
 

Personal development as a source of productivity

I literally fell in love with Bali. The culture, the warm welcome, the climate, the lifestyle… among others. The island of Gods offers many opportunities, and with a few years behind, with businesses starting to realize the potential of the Internet.

Developing a taste for travel since Spain, a lot happened since the internship in Bali. I took a gap year to go work in farms in Australia. A wonderful experience, I met a lot of people, however work wasn’t very satisfying. I therefore went back to Bali for a second internship in Digital Marketing.

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« A smile is worth a thousand words »
 

The Trigger

I had the perfect life, but somehow something was still missing, a freedom I didn’t have yet. The firm I was working for did not have its own offices at the time, so we were working in a co-working space, where freelancers got together. I met Luis, a Venezuelan web developer, that was travelling all the time, a true Digital Nomad. It was a revelation for me.

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Nusa Penida
 

What if you were the next Digital Nomad ?

You just need to put all the chances on your side.

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Ubud, Bali
 

“ With perseverance, you can find everything on the internet. ”
Google offers Adwords and Analytics certificates, Facebook has its Blueprint certificate to master online advertising. Hundreds of YouTube videos teach us coding, and we have no excuse to get stuck on a problem, we will find the answer on the internet.

 

You also need to be patient. Firms today are not all ready to trust someone abroad. E-fame takes time, you need to convince and carry out several projects, but once you get started, obtain a contract on crème de la crème will be a piece of cake ! Between my thesis and internship, I managed to build websites and finally create a Portfolio. Some Instagram campaigns are on the way, with Blanc SauvageLUAP and MOONRISE Bali !
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Balangan, Bali
 

The advantages of being a Digital Nomad

You want to start later today, to go surfing ? Not a problem, as long as you remain organised.

“ You are autonomous and free, and organise your time table according to your work. ”
I personally found a real equilibrium in Bali, between travels, food, encounters… You want to discover a new island this weekend ? Once again, it’s only a matter of being organized. You would be impressed to see the amount of co-working spaces there are, with the freelancing trend, these offices burst out. You help each other out, share, but most importantly create a network little by little.

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Full immersion, in southern Bali
 

One last piece of advice

Don’t hesitate, go on an adventure. I respect our parents, that for the most part kept the same jobs during years, if not their whole lives. Our generation however gets tired easily, and needs change and discoveries. At first, pick cheap destinations so that you don’t add a financial pressure.

“ Being a Digital Nomad is not only directed to digital jobs. ”
I meet a lot of freelancers that are lawyers, consultants, marketers, etc. that still work for the same company but from a distance. Others are engineers or work in education, and find projects online. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, leave on your own, you will get to know yourself better and , I hope, discover new passions. Get a move on !

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Uluwatu, Bali
 

What about tomorrow ?

A lot of projects ahead ! My best friends, César and Marie are going to join me in my Digital Nomad adventure. We all have different sets of skills – all focused on digital aspects – and we’re currently working on a ‘nomad’ web agency as well as a travel blog. On top of this, we have a passion for content-traveling helps-and we update an Instagram account that has a lot of success. We get contacted every week by restaurants, hotels, brands…very promising.  Every online project we do adds to our experience and helps us to build on our personal projects. Finally, we think about Greece and Southeast Asia in the next few months!

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@aynomads
 

Make your dreams come true.

For your eyes only, a few shots taken with my film camera between Hossegor and Bali this winter! Enjoy!

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