October 26, 2022
What exactly IS a digital nomad? We hear that term thrown around every day, but what does it really mean to be a digital nomad? In today’s podcast episode, we explain that no two journeys look the same and give a few examples of different ways to live this travel lifestyle. We also share our top 5 reasons for becoming a digital nomad, and why we recommend becoming one.
Don’t forget that in celebration of the launch of this podcast, we’re doing a giveaway! You could win a box of goodies, which includes a reusable water bottle, a travel notebook, stickers and more. Simply follow us on Instagram at @austinandmonica, like our giveaway post, and tag a friend in the comments (bonus entries for sharing it to your stories and tagging us!). Giveaway ends on Wednesday, October 12th.
Topics covered in this episode:
Resources mentioned in the episode:
FYI – this is AI generated, so it’s going to have mistakes! But, it’s great for remembering what was said and pulling out pieces.
Austin: [00:00:00] What is of you guys. Thanks for joining us for a second episode of the profitable nomad, couple podcast. We’re super excited to share some thoughts with you today about what it means to be a digital nomad. We have a couple definitions for you guys, and then we’re going to share our top reasons for living life as a digital nomad.
Austin: We think everyone should give it a try and we’re gonna share why. Yeah,
Monica: exactly. So when preparing for this podcast, I realized that the term digital nomad is really trendy, but I didn’t actually know what the definition of a digital nomad was. So I Googled it. Of course, whenever you have a question, that’s naturally where you should go, right?
Monica: So I Googled it and Google said that a digital nomad is a person who earns a living, working online in various locations of their choosing rather than in a fixed business location.
Austin: So you might be able to tell from that definition, there is a lot of variety that can still fit in this definition. So [00:01:00] it says someone who earns a living working online.
Austin: So that could be you’re running your own business, which is our personal recommendation. We’re gonna share later in a future episode, why we think everyone should start their own business. Especially if they wanna work online and travel, but it could be that it could be you’re working for somebody else in their company, um, living in various locations that they’re choosing.
Austin: So this could be living in a totally different country than your home country. It could even be in your own home country, like where you grew up, they all qualify as being a digital nomad. There’s no super concrete definition.
Monica: Yeah, which I love because it allows us to all fit into that category and make and create a journey that fits us.
Monica: So. In that definition, there are a couple of other options here. So there’s being a nomad versus being an expat. So an expat is somebody who stays in one country normally indefinitely, but it could also just be an [00:02:00] extended period of time. And they really deep dive into the culture and work on integrating into the culture and the community there and making that their place of residence, at least for the.
Monica: Immediate future, whereas a nomad is going around and getting a wider variety of cultural experiences, but not going nearly as deep as an expat would
Austin: go. Yeah. An expat’s more stationary than a digital nomad typically is. So, as we were saying earlier, Being a digital nomad does not mean you have to travel to a bunch of different countries.
Austin: And we wanna make that super clear because I feel like that’s kind of a expectation of being a digital nomad is you have to have traveled to dozens of countries and bend to every continent and bend all over the world. But. That’s not true. You know, you could be a digital nomad and just, if you’re from the United States, you can into different states and never leave the country and still be a digital nomad.
Austin: It’s a very individual journey. Monica and I, for example, [00:03:00] during COVID, there were a lot of travel restrictions, so we could not as easily leave the country. And so we’ve been traveling for. Probably the past two years as digital Nomez on the Western coast of the us, we’ve traveled between maybe five, six different states regularly.
Austin: And I mean, we’re gonna share the amazing things that we’ve been able to do because of that, but it’s not as exotic, maybe as living in a different country, but it’s still living as a digital Noma and we wanna make it clear that you can have incredible experiences doing.
Monica: Yeah, there’s so much in our backyard that we didn’t even know was here and being able to travel the Western United States for the past two years has been incredible.
Monica: The people we’ve met, the places we’ve been the experiences we’ve had all within a, you know, a driving distance, a day’s drive from where we both grew up has been absolutely phenomenal. Yeah. So when I was looking for [00:04:00] ways to get out of the rut, we were in to be able to work online and travel more. The thing that kept coming up was being an influencer and a travel blogger.
Monica: And I want you to hear me right now that you don’t have to be an influencer. You don’t have to be a travel blogger. You absolutely can be. If that’s something that you’re passionate and fiery about, but there are so many ways to make money online. It’s really hard to find. It’s hard to find all the different jobs that you can do with the experiences and the knowledge and the expertise you already have.
Monica: So Austin and I have actually put together a list with several different categories breaking up. Um, I think we totaled what, like 63 different ways that you can make money online without being. An influencer
Austin: and that’s just skimming the surface. You guys like literally, there’s an unlimited number of ways you can make money online.
Austin: We’ve put together this list of a few ideas, but get creative with it. You could do anything online. It’s so incredible that we live in such a. [00:05:00] Technologically founded world. And there’s so many things we do today that a decade ago, or two decades ago never, would’ve been dreamed as possible. So take advantage of that and take your work online.
Monica: Yeah. Use this list as a springboard for you onto your online journey so that you can also become a digital nomad. You’ll find the link in the description below. Um, so go ahead, download that and then use it as a brainstorming mechanism for you. .
Austin: Yeah, so you don’t have to be stuck feeling like you have to be a social media influencer is I, I mean, if that’s what you wanna do, that’s totally fine.
Austin: We’re not trying to knock it, but we just wanna open your eyes to the other opportunities that are
Monica: out there. Possibilities that you have. Absolutely.
Austin: And you don’t have to jump into a digital nomad lifestyle all at once and go all in either whether you’re doing it for two months or three months or four or five years, it’s it totally depends on your situation, in your circumstances.
Austin: So you don’t feel like you have to go [00:06:00] all in. And if you’re not traveling full time for three years, you’re not a digital nomad. Don’t think for some reason that’s not as impactful or not as legit as doing it shorter. Because it is, and you can try it out for a couple months or a year and then go back home and stay at home for a couple more years and then go back out later and try it again.
Austin: Like it’s, it’s so diverse. The possibilities are so diverse about how you can
Monica: work. Yeah. We know a lot of people who, who actually have a home base and they’re at their home base for, you know, nine months out of the year. And then they go and they travel for three months and then they come back to their home.
Monica: Because that’s comfortable for them, or we know people who like to go out for a year and then come back to their home country and spend a year with family. Or we for example, have traveled to different countries or different states. And then we spent several months there and then we end up going back home to visit family for various reasons and then go back out on the road.
Monica: So it really is up to you to curate your [00:07:00] own digital nomad
Austin: journey. Yeah, that is so true. So probably the worst thing you can do is compare your journey to someone else’s. Anytime you compare your journey or your story to someone else’s, you’re gonna start feeling bad about yourself, and that’s gonna be an instant dream killer.
Austin: You’re gonna just drag yourself down. You’re gonna feel guilty or you’re gonna feel self-conscious or it just brings on so many negative feelings to compare. So just don’t. And obviously that’s easier said than done, but your, your path is totally unique and individual to yourself.
Monica: Yeah. So Austin and I, um, put together a list of all the reasons why we absolutely love being a digital Noma.
Monica: And we believe that everyone should experience it at least a little bit in their lives, at least once.
Austin: Well, it’s not a comprehensive list. These are not all the reasons. These are our top five. We think these are the best reasons why you should at least consider it. And then after you’ve considered it, give it a try.
Monica: After this episode, if you need more convincing, please hit us up on Instagram [00:08:00] because we absolutely would love to chat with you about how incredible this experience is and how life changing it can be for you.
Austin: So our first reason is. Because living as a digital nomad creates so much flexibility in your life.
Austin: You have the freedom to choose where you wanna work and where you wanna set up your office. You have the freedom to create your own schedule. You can work super early in the morning or super late at night or both, or neither you decide when you get your work done and where you get it done. For
Monica: us, this has been really important because we’ve had the opportunity to live with friends and family who have needed our support in different times.
Monica: So whether that be, you know, home renovations or help with babies, we have been able to take a couple months out of our year to spend with our friends and family to support them in their lives, as well as taking the time for ourselves and our marriage, to be able to go out and explore different [00:09:00] places and have time to ourselves and, and different things like.
Austin: To give you guys a little bit of a glimpse into our year and our experience with this. We started out the year in Washington and we were helping Monica’s parents do some house renovations and some not renovations, some house projects. We then went to Idaho and helped a childhood friend of mine with house renovations and their new home that they bought.
Austin: A couple years ago, they’re doing some big drywalling projects and such, and then we were able to go back and visit my parents in California, help them with some stuff there. And now we’re in Utah because my sister just had a baby and she has twins that are almost three. So she needed some help taking care of all the kids.
Austin: Because we work online, we’ve been able to move and help different family members and friends. If we didn’t have the flexibility of having an online job that never would’ve been possible. So we’re really grateful for that fact. And we want you to be able to. Live similarly so that if you have family or friends [00:10:00] or buddy who needs help, you can pick up and go there and it doesn’t have to cut into your work because you can still do it while you’re living at their
Monica: And you don’t have to wait until you’ve collected all the PTO to be able to go and travel and either be there for friends or family, or just to go out and explore the world.
Austin: So if this reason hasn’t convinced you yet, our next reason is. Living nomadically creates so much novelty in your life. This has been a really interesting thing for me to look into the past several months.
Austin: I’ve been really interested in this idea of how as humans, we need both structure and. A routine, but we also need novelty. We need to shake things up and living as a digital nomad inherently in the nature of this lifestyle creates that novelty that we all need every day is a little bit different.
Austin: There’s always something new. There’s always something exciting to do, breaking things up, really satisfies that need to, to have [00:11:00] novelty in your. I always think
Monica: about how often when I had an office job, I would get in the car and then all of a sudden I’d be at the office. And I couldn’t remember anything that happened from the time I left my house to the time I arrived at the office.
Monica: I missed all of the buildings, all of the plants, all of the landscape, everything, because I was just so stuck in this routine. This is what I did all the time. So deep in my muscle memory that I missed, you know, my half hour commute. So. The cool thing about travel is that when you’re in a new place, you are so far out of your routine, that you notice everything.
Monica: You notice, the architecture, you notice the parks, the birds, the animals, the people all the way, because it it’s. It’s outside of your routine. And so you are able to really revel in that novelty and to really experience the world and be fully present in your life, which is so, so fun. And
Austin: some people need more novelty in their life than others.[00:12:00]
Austin: Um, Monica and I both need a lot. And so we create it going back to our earlier point. You get to decide how much novelty you need and fit that into however you’re gonna be travel.
Monica: Yeah. All right. Point number three, there is so much you can learn from the world around you, as you go out and experience new cultures and new people and new languages and new ways of living.
Monica: There is so much that you can learn. And the cool thing is that you get to experience it all firsthand.
Austin: An analogy that I like is, think about an engineer. Who’s learning how an engine works and how it functions and how the pistons move. He can sit in a classroom and study textbook and watch YouTube videos.
Austin: Till the end of his life, and he’s gonna get a rudimentary understanding of this engine, but it’s not until he goes into the workshop that he is really gonna understand it. He needs to lift the hood of the car and take the engine apart and see the [00:13:00] pistons and move them and take it apart and put it back together again and touch it with his hands.
Austin: And that’s when that engineer is going to get a much better understanding of a motor and an engine and how it functions. And so. It’s kind of like that with our lives. Like we can read about and learn about and hear about these stories of different people and their cultures and their histories. And it’s all fine and great, but it’s not until you experience it firsthand and have your own tactile experience living there that you’re really gonna understand it.
Austin: It’s not until you are living in a country and talking to the people there and hearing their stories that you’re really gonna understand those people.
Monica: Absolutely. There is so much opportunity for growth as a person. And as a couple, the more you get outside of your bubble and you experience the world.
Monica: For example, just Austin and I, we, um, last year we moved to Guatemala for four months out of the year, and it was one of [00:14:00] the most incredible times. To just learn to rely on each other and to learn how to work together more efficiently. And it was a really pivotal time in our business as well, but there was so much personal and couple growth that came from that experience.
Austin: Uh, yeah, that’s a great example. When we were living there, we also met an expat from England. And learned about his personal journey of why he was living in Guatemala. And we met his family and we met a woman who. Was teaching us. I mean, we took a cooking class from her and we learned about her childhood growing up as a young woman in Guatemala and what that’s like, and we never, would’ve been able to understand these people the way we do.
Austin: Now, if we weren’t living there literally in his backyard,
Monica: Yeah, and I mean, there’s still so much we could learn from them, but during those months we really were able to soak it in and get a better understanding for what their life was like and what [00:15:00] they value. And it really gave us some perspective into our life and, and taught us to value some similar things that they do.
Austin: So our next point that we wanna talk about is being able to take ownership of your own life. We.
Monica: I, I love this. Can I talk about this one? yeah, go for it. All right. This one is so important to me because so often we are told what we are supposed to do with our lives and being a digital nomad is the first time that Austin and I really took control of our lives and said that, you know what?
Monica: We are the author of our story. And so often I hear people saying, you know, I would love to go travel. I would love to go meet these people. I would love to learn this new scale. I would love to do all these things, and then they always. Someday. And that someday is never gonna come. If you don’t make it.
Monica: All of those dreams and hopes and aspirations are left on the table, unless you take ownership of your life and you start working towards them and you [00:16:00] make them happen. And so becoming in digital a. Was the first time that Austin and I were really able to say, this is what we want and start working towards it and going after it.
Monica: And it has been a little bit uncomfortable and it’s been a little bit uncomfortable for people around us, but the coolest thing has started to happen as we’ve been chasing our dreams. People in our circle have started to take no of their life and realize that they have dreams. They’ve been leaving on the table and it’s been really permission giving for them to start working towards those dreams as well.
Austin: Yeah, I wanna plug my mom real quick. She taught me this lesson. When I was in high school, she told me you can’t just sit around and wait for the perfect opportunity. You have to create the perfect opportunity, cuz if you wait for it, you’re gonna be waiting your entire life. So whatever it is, if, if you wanna travel, if you wanna start a business, if you want to improve your relationship, if you want to do whatever, don’t wait for it.
Austin: Go do it. Go make it happen. You know, take life by the reigns. Like Monica also said you are the [00:17:00] author of your story. You get to write what you do.
Monica: Yeah. Change starts now you guys .
Austin: So I wanted to expand a little bit on what Monica was just saying about people who have been able to break out of their bubble a little bit and take a little bit more ownership of their life.
Austin: I mean, just living in proximity to us, living as digital NOMAS has bled into their life. A little. The example is both of our, our parents, our mother specifically, but also Monica’s father. They have branched out and done things. They never would’ve done. Had it not been for us living nomadically. And they’ve actually discovered they really enjoy
Monica: It’s been so fun to watch them take time for themselves and push themselves outside of their limit and then watch it, light them up. My mom in particular, she, um, got married pretty young when she got married, her husband was going through med school and then they had. Six kids. And so she’s never had the [00:18:00] money nor the time to be able to really go out and explore.
Monica: But, you know, I get my travel bug from somewhere and I definitely came from her. And so as we have taken the initiative to start traveling and start exploring the world, it’s been really permission giving for her to start taking resources and time for herself to be able to go and explore the world. See it together sometimes with us sometimes with her husband, um, my father, that’s kinda kinda a weird way to say it and it’s just been so fun to see that passion reignite inside of her that has been so deep down inside, so hidden behind the needs of her six children.
Monica: And so it’s so inspiring to watch people start to chase dreams and start to, to realize that they are actually in control of their lives.
Austin: And now that she started traveling, I don’t think anyone’s gonna get her to stop. you? It’s. It is true. Like you can see in her eyes how happy she is to be able to do these things that she hasn’t been [00:19:00] able to do before I get my travel bug, definitely from my dad, whether it’s for work or just for fun, he’s traveled all over the world.
Austin: My mom, on the other hand, she’s not a traveler. She’s definitely more of a homebody. And she has a lot of fears when it comes to traveling or when it comes to doing things outside of her box. And we’ve seen that change. Uh, she actually came and lived with us for a week when we were in Guatemala and it was so far out of her bubble.
Austin: Like she has a difficult time going to a new. I love your mom, but it’s hard for her to branch out and go to new places. So her coming to Guatemala was a huge step in overcoming her fears and she loved it. She enjoyed being there. Loved it. And she’s talking about coming to visit us in the next country we traveled to.
Austin: So. Us living as a digital nomad, couple has inspired change and increased greatness in other people and the people around us. And to [00:20:00] see that change and to see people conquering their own fears or conquering past limitations. It’s. Indescribable how, how fun and how amazing it is to see that in people.
Monica: It’s, it’s been one of the most incredible experiences of our lives. For sure.
Austin: It could also happen in your own life. As, as you take these steps to travel to a place you’ve never traveled before, or the fear of taking your work online when you’ve never worked online before you can see those changes in yourself and as you start.
Austin: Creating these opportunities that you were previously sitting around waiting for you are gonna change as a person. You. Yeah.
Monica: All right. And that takes us home to our fifth point last, but definitely not least. um, as humans, we all have an innate desire and need to connect with others. We are a tribal people and as we go out and experience the world, we have the [00:21:00] ability to connect with a wider variety of people.
Austin: Easier. To maybe put this in a little bit of context to give an example to it. We were talking with a friend of ours who was telling us of a woman who moved into her area. Who’s from Ukraine. She’s been here for about two weeks, but she, I mean, she’s never been to the states before, as far as I know. So she’s in a new country, surrounded by people.
Austin: She doesn’t know, as far as I know she doesn’t speak English. So that’s, you know, difficult. And I, I couldn’t imagine what that would feel like to come to this new place and just feel. I’m I’m sure she feels isolated, probably very lonely, but think about how impactful it could be. If you have spent. A couple months or a year of your life living in Eastern Europe, whether it was Ukraine or a neighboring country, if you’ve been there before, you automatically have connection points with that woman, who’s here in the states, you can, you know, connect with her on some of the culture.
Austin: Maybe some of the [00:22:00] food, you share some stories with her, and there might still be a language barrier. You’re gonna be able to connect with her in, in ways that other people here wouldn’t be able to, and you can make her feel a little bit more welcome. I mean, that’s just, if you go to, to one country, some Eastern European country, if you’ve traveled to dozens of different places throughout the world, and you have this wider breadth of life experience or world experience, you now have so many different connection points with people that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Austin: And you can break down more barriers with it.
Monica: Yeah. To that point. That is so important. Now more than ever, especially in this post COVID world, we’re living in where for so long, we were shut up and, and kept away from everyone else in isolation. And there, in that time, there’s been a lot of discord. That’s kind of been.
Monica: Introduced. And a lot of people are, are saying that we’re more different than we are the same, but that’s absolutely not true. And I believe that that through connecting with people, we can heal the world. And as we go out and [00:23:00] we explore the world and with open eyes and open minds and curiosity and let it.
Monica: Influence us and change us. It opens us up to opportunities to connect with other people, to bring more, more peace and more happiness to the world that is so dark and scary sometimes, you know? Yeah, for
Austin: sure. The more you travel, the more people you meet and the more people you meet. The more, you begin to realize how similar we are.
Austin: You’re gonna start to realize how you have similar fears as other people. You have similar goals or desires, like deep down inside of us. We’re all still human. So
Monica: that leads us to the end of this episode. I really hope you enjoyed it. I really felt you felt the, the inspiration and the motivation. You need to start taking control of your life, being the author of your story.
Monica: If you need someone to support you to be your biggest cheerleader, please reach out to us. We love connecting with other people who are chasing their dreams.