I am passionate about traveling. In fact, I have developed a nomadic lifestyle that allows me to live everywhere but nowhere, and I like it that way. My first year abroad was supposed to be a one-time event, kind of like a gap year in my life. However, after almost eight months in Europe, I knew that I wanted to make that gap year a way of life. Nine years later, I am still at it. I went from gapster to international house sitter to digital nomad without even knowing for sure where I was headed.
Some things happen by accident
For me, quite a few things in life have happened by accident. I didn’t plan on being an international house sitter. That kind of happened after I returned from my gap year and was trying to think of a way to extend the marvelous lifestyle on the road that I had so enjoyed. I spent the following year experimenting with the whole idea of international house sitting as a way of long-term travel, without my husband, and returned stateside with a victory report. He quit his job and the next year joined me on the road again. What a good decision for the both of us!
I didn’t plan to write a book about my life as an international house sitter, but when I realized that tons of people wanted to know about my unusual lifestyle, I tried my hand at the book “thing” and by jingo, people ate it up. I scored with a niche group with my first bookFinding the Gypsy in Me – Tales of an International House Sitter, much to my surprise.
Next, came emails from various parties asking if I would be interested in writing for them. Once again, it was nothing that I planned. I wouldn’t have even known that there was so much work available for freelance writers at the time except that the first offer I got turned out to be fairly lucrative and from that point on, I discovered that I really could make money from writing.
Which do I prefer – house sitting or writing?
I love them both. However, writing has taken over my life and so now I really do consider myself a true digital nomad. I would house sit again, of course. I haven’t done so for almost a year and a half though. Yet, if the right house-sitting opportunity came along or a favorite client needed me, I would definitely be interested as long as it fit into my schedule. I’m sure that will happen and I will happily find myself, once again, house sitting. It’s all good.
I finally admit it. I’m a writer
I finally admitted to myself that I am a writer about a year ago. Because I admire great writers, thinkers, scientists, orators, poets, artists and musicians, I was/am very hesitant to make that claim about myself. I would never put myself in the same class as the truly gifted, brilliant writers that have inspired me. However, I do write. I write with or without an audience. I write because it is cathartic. You might say that it’s a habit that I can’t seem to break. I was writing when I was a kid, a teenager, a college student, a young mother, and a professional woman. I write even more, not less, these days. I remind myself constantly that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote the entire Little House series after the age of sixty. We are what we are and denying it —not giving the essence of who we are permission to soar — is a travesty. I may never be famous, but I will probably always write.
Summing it up…
I have found a way to combine two passions, travel and writing. There is no way that I could have foreseen that these two passions would come together in such a mutually beneficial way, but they did. I count myself as one of the luckiest ladies on the planet. The money that I now earn from writing whether it is freelancing, writing my own travel advice books, blogging or my newest murder mystery (work in progress) is used solely to support my continued travels.
What has happened to me is largely due to the day and age that we live in — the online community via the Internet. It has leveled the playing field for ordinary people. I now collaborate with people from all over the world without even leaving the comfort of my own home, wherever that may be. It is indeed a brave new world and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Can anyone become a digital nomad? That’s a good question. Stay tuned for my next few posts as I attempt to share what works for me and what very well could work for you.