I always wanted to do something unusual in my life. I thought that the world was so full of possibilities that it would be a shame to devote the whole lifetime for only one standard life, filled only with one work experience.
So when I’ve heard about digital nomads for the first time, I thought it was a thing for me. Dreaming is essential, but only turning dreams into plans will give you the real memories. So I started to plan my new life.
Dreaming of the islands
Since I live in Poland, I used to travel a bit in Europe, in a vacation mode. But when I started to absorb digital nomads’ stories each evening, I unexpectedly realized that I really could go where ever I wanted to. I gained a new dream: living for a while on a tropical island somewhere far away. And in fact, my destination islands were closer than it seemed.
I decided to go to the Caribbean to gain my first digital nomad’s experience. I learned more about this region and I was more than surprised when I found out that some of the islands are actually… a territory of European Union. A few islands in the Lesser Antilles are French overseas departments. Which meant that I could go there, live, and even work with my ID card only. No visas, no paperwork. That was amazing!
But I was still working full-time in Poland. I needed to wait almost two years when I was finally able to quit the permanent job’s responsibilities and save the money for the travel. During this time I also met my boyfriend. On the third date, I told him that in one year I will be in the Caribbean. Firstly, he thought I wanted to blow him off. But after a few months, he sank into this idea and started to plan the journey with me. Those were great two years. Filled with planning, excitation, and new ideas. And they resulted in a wonderful two-months trip to the Caribbean.
The dream comes true
So after this long period of planning we finally landed in the Caribbean. We couldn’t be happier! We were going to spend the whole of October 2018 in Guadeloupe and November in Martinique. To the island, we came with an evening flight and had problems with getting sleep because of jungle noises and excitement. The next morning, at 6 AM, we were already on a beautiful Plage de La Caravelle near Sainte-Anne village in Guadeloupe.
In general, our adventure was amazing. We tasted the island life, discovered its every corner, had breakfasts accompanied by cute lizards and hummingbirds. Each day, after work hours in our terrace, we were going to the marvelous beach and were enjoying hot sun, warm water, and white sand in palm trees’ shadow.
This is how it usually looked like. But this also the only thing that others see before trying this lifestyle themselves.
Troubles in paradise
So let’s begin. We both quit our permanent jobs before going to the Caribbean. We were planning to start our own businesses which would give us a chance to work from anywhere in the world. Of course, we had some savings for this trip. And that was the most important thing because during the travel we earned nothing. We were working pretty hard while not laying on the beach. But our main achievements was only learning and building strategies. No earning at that moment. So money resources are the first thing that you need to think about before trying digital nomad’s life.
Wanna work? No way.
But ok, we were aware of this situation. The worst thing was our bad luck if it comes to electronics. Because on the second day, one of our computers died. A computer technician found on the island couldn’t do anything with it. And trust me, working on your website design from a smartphone is not that easy.
Wanna use your phone? Forget.
And if it comes to smartphones. During one of our hiking adventure in Guadeloupe, two weeks after we came to the island, we found a beautiful lagoon with warm crystal water. So we quickly jumped in. And trust me again, swimming trunks are a really bad idea. And that’s how we drowned one of our smartphones!
So this way, we had only one computer and one smartphone to work with, but two pairs of ambitious hands. We needed to create a time schedule for our working days and strictly stick to it to have all the things done.
Wanna buy something? Better go and find yourself a coconut on a beach!
The last big issue was that my phone SIM card couldn’t catch any signal on the island. I was thinking “ok, I still have WiFi, so it’s everything I need”. Well, it was not. The trouble occurred, when I tried to make a bank payment. And I couldn’t because of a two-factor authentication, where my phone number was needed. So for three weeks, before my phone operator figured out what was wrong with the signal, I had very limited access to my money.
So this might be discouraging. The fact, that you cannot work on your new business as much as you wanted to. The knowledge that your new ideas still do not make any money and your savings melt in a pretty fast way. And that you are really far away from home in case of an emergency. And those awful mosquitoes in the end… All of these caused us crises a few times. Yes, it seems to be possible even on the paradise beach.
But you know what? We have managed all this. The lack of work tools learned us a lot about self-discipline and being the most productive in the shortest time. Our planning skills get really high. We had a huge lesson to cope with stress. Now we know how to secure our electronics even better. And the most important thing: we tasted this life and it confirmed that it suits us no matter what.
Let the travel guide you
After coming back home from this two-months trip, we can say that we absolutely loved a digital nomad’s lifestyle. Even besides all the obstacles and failures. Each time, when we ended up the work day in frustration, we went to the beach. And in my opinion, nothing motivates more than a great business brainstorm session in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea. We found out that our best ideas came to us, while we were swimming in the sea and watching the sunset above the palms.
Sometimes it is good to fail. One of my online business were not doing so well, so I decided to quit it. Things comes and goes. But traveling while working will learn you to manage everything that you do.
So if you will only have a possibility to try this kind of lifestyle, independent from your location, go for it! It’s gonna be hard. You will fail many times. But it also might be your best decision ever. Give yourself the opportunity to create amazing memories. And let the travel learn you to get along well with any aspect of your life.
Author’s bio: Dominika
Dominika recently decided to start a life as a location independent person. She describes herself as a multipotentionalist and aims to lead different ways of life. In the Caribbean, she founded a blog Sunday In Wonderland, where she shares her passion for looking for the beauty in this world. Check out also her Instagram profile: @sundayinwonderland