The new term digital nomads comes from the ancient term “nomad”, which basically means moving from place to place, bringing all your belongings with you.
The term “Digital” refers to the ability to earn a living as long as you have a working internet connection.
So you are digital nomads?
Yes, when I (daddy) quit my job as a teacher in 2014, I did so with the intend to spend more time with my wife and kids – and if all went well, to show them the amazing world I had learned to love as a backpacker 20 years ago. Together with my wife, I established a danish web shop called BAGESTAALET.DK, and from day one, we outsourced the parts that would otherwise bind me to a physical address and fixed hours. So, instead of packing and shipping orders myself, I found a fulfillment partner that would deal with that part of our business. The marketing, webdesign, accounting and customer support part, stayed with us. After a year, we opened a sister company in the UK, called “The Pizza Steel Company Ltd” that supplies the UK market. After two years we opened PIZZASTEEL.COM which supplies the rest of Europe with our amazing product 😉
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..and you just started a company from scratch?
It wasn’t always easy, and we went through a rough start up period, where I hardly made a living, but the last few years, our monthly income has gradually equaled and surpassed what I had previously earned as a teacher. I now earn about 40.000 DKK per month (6500 US$), which is more than we need on the road 🙂
After 3 years, we have just partnered up with our 3rd fulfillment partner – this time in the south of Germany, so that we now have fulfillment partners in Denmark (supplying Denmark), England (supplying the UK) and Germany (supplying the rest of Europe). It is my hope that the company can keep growing steadily in the years to come.
But when did you decide to become digital nomads?
The company was growing for the 3rd year in a row, so we decided to take the next natural step: To sell our house and our car and pursue our dream of becoming full time travelers. Houses in the part of Denmark where we lived, had very few buyers, but with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we managed to sell our house and our car with a small profit (5000 US$). So, all we had were two large backpacks, laptops and 5000 US$ in our bank account, and off we went 🙂
But please don’t feel bad about this! This was what we had dreamed about. A life of freedom. To be able to go where we wanted, when we wanted. And to be honest, since our travel/health insurance is now our only fixed cost, we now have more money to spend than we did when we had a house and a car! For the first time in years, we are actually adding to our savings every month! Yeehaa! ..and our kids just love the concept of worldschooling 🙂
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Steps towards personal freedom 🙂
Our life is not for everybody, but I believe that most people would benefit from a simpler lifestyle, focusing on the things that brings them true joy in life.
Next time you are about to turn on the TV to kill some time, put away the remote and grab a pen and a piece of paper.
Write down all the things you would like to change in your life. What would make you happy?
Next, find one thing on your list that you would consider to be the most important, and write down what is keeping you from realizing that goal? Then come up with solutions on how to remove those obstacles and what you could do to reach that goal. You might need help, so write down who could help you.. and don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends (both real life and social network friends).
Don’t be discouraged that reaching your goal could take years. As long as you have a plan and go for it, time will pass (ass it always does). It took us several years before we were ready to turn our dream into reality, but every small step we took along the way brought us closer to the life we now live.
If lack of money is keeping you from moving forward, try to minimalize your lifestyle. Only buy the stuff you REALLY need. Buy 2nd hand clothes, sell the things you don’t use and find areas of your life where you could cut down or cut away expenses. It might be small things, and it might be big things, like selling your house, switching to a smaller apartment, selling your car or downsizing it. If you get used to spending less money, you will also have to earn less to finance your future life of freedom, and you will be amazed to see how little money you actually need to be happy, if you start adopting a more minimalistic lifestyle.
Is life on the road what you imagined it to be?
Having home schooled our kids since they were 5 yo, and having embraced a very minimalistic lifestyle for the past few years, this new lifestyle is not that much different from what we have been used to. We are still together 24/7 and we still embrace the minimalistic lifestyle (where you only buy the things your really need). The main differences are that every day is a new adventure, we never get bored of our home “base” and surroundings, our home school has turned into a world school, and we have started collecting those special memories that will last a lifetime 🙂
Being digital nomads is not a life of total freedom, since we still need to connect to the internet once a day, to answer customer emails and deal with problems. And every few weeks, we must spend a few days with book keeping and accounting + the occasional weeks work with webpage design, advertising etc.
But – then again, not being millionaires, a life as digital nomads is probably the closest we can get to a life of freedom 🙂Follow us on: