My First Take at a Digital Nomad Life. What Went Wrong?

First thoughts after working 1 month from Spain

Being able to work from anywhere in the world seemed the coolest thing a few years ago. Now I am doing it. I have to say that Covid19 helped with this because it showed employers that working from home can be efficient too. Then if I have to work from home anyway, why not work from a sunny, warm place, right? (check with your boss first, though).

After working from home for almost one year, I’ve finally made the plans to work a month from Spain. This is how it went. My boyfriend and I booked an apartment for one month in Frigiliana, Spain. A beautiful village away from the city hustle. Initially, we were looking for places in Malaga, but we couldn’t find one in our price range with all the needs we had (more on costs later).

Frigiliana, Spain — photo by calinamuresan

This Went Wrong 1.0 — Missed The Flight

So there we were on our way to the airport, we live in Romania at the moment. Around 2 hours later, we were still in traffic. 3 hours later, still there, and we didn’t advance munch. Almost 4 hours later, we’ve made it to the airport, but we knew all too well that our flight was gone.

This is the first thing that went wrong. We’ve missed the actual flight because of a car accident that jammed everything. My frustration has never been so high, I could feel my eyes getting watery. But no time for crying, we need to move on. Take 2. The next available flight was in 3 days, and of course, we’ve made it 4 hours earlier this time. Finally. Spain.

Fortunately, I was able to get a few days off in the first 2 weeks, so the day after we arrived was one for exploring. The village is from a fairytale, with small white houses and touches of blue and turquoise, inviting you to chill and breathe the fresh air. I was already in love with the idea of being a digital nomad.

This Went Wrong 2.0 — No Routine

Until I had to get back to work. Even if I was in Spain, I was still working a 9 to 5 job that restricted a lot of my day. While grateful for being able to work remotely, it made me think about what I want in life, which I will touch on in a future article. I had to work insane hours during that period which didn’t help, I was feeling very digital, but not nomad at all (except for the weekends).

I’ve explored a lot in my free time, so much that there was no room for actually creating a routine. My idea was that while doing fun things in my spare time, I will still be able to create a routine. I was determined to have a month full of workouts, healthy foods, and positive thoughts.

Well, that didn’t really happen. There were some short workouts and some healthy foods and a bit more positiveness until a point. It was clear that neither of us had any discipline, and that we were too amazed and lost in the exploring part to bother thinking about other stuff. I’d say that for a first experience it’s to be expected and that I learned a lot about how to manage my time, food, exercise, and even sleep.

Money Talk

When it comes to spendings, I think I managed quite well, with the mention that next time I will keep track a bit better of what I am paying for, like an actual list. As a reference, the accommodation was 750 euros for the entire apartment, so 375 per person; and the flight, 2 way was 30 euros (the second flight, one way, was 30 as well, but hopefully you will not need a second one) and there we spent around 500–600 euros per person.

What I’ve Learned On Short

  • Being a digital nomad while working a 9 to 5 can be frustrating, but definitely better than working from an office
  • Plan your meals
  • Creating a routine in a new place takes time
  • Be kind to yourself and enjoy the experience

I am already trying to become a full digital nomad, being able to work from anywhere in the world is an amazing experience, and I am here to live it.

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