Freelance Writer

All my life I’d chosen to pursue computing and technology, not for any other reason than it was something I enjoyed. However, when my time came to graduate and set out into the world of work, I found myself in a conundrum.

None of the “normal”office jobs my peers were snatching up seemed appealing to me. I didn’t want to spend my entire life chained to the same place, even if it was doing something I loved. It was during a panic attack over this exact subject that a close friend asked me if I had ever tried freelance writing. After some searching, I landed my first job.

Taking the Plunge

It wasn’t right away that I used my freelance writing to support my travel. It took a lot of option weighing before I finally got up the courage to sell my things, move out of my house and jet off across the world.

Taking the plunge will forever be the hardest part of becoming a digital nomad. Psychologically, the uncertainty of working on the road was a nightmare to overcome even though it wasn’t much different to what I was already doing.

For anyone stuck in the limbo between freelancing and becoming location independent, the greatest advice I was every given was to see it like a bungee jump. All you have to do is take the first step and trust the rest will fall into place. So step up to the edge, don’t look down, and leap!

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The Importance of WiFi

An incredibly important element of being a traveling freelance writer is ensuring you’ll always have access to WiFi. For my first trip, I did the somewhat stereotypical southeast Asia trail. Everything was great when I arrived in Bangkok.The hostel had WiFi, so I spent the mornings working and the afternoons exploring this fantastic city.

It wasn’t until I moved on to some of the more remote islands that I realized I’d failed to consider the importance of good WiFi. I struggled with unpredictable and slow connections until finally, while exploring northern Vietnam, the issue reached a breaking point. I had several pressing deadlines, and finding an internet connection seemed to be nearly impossible in the remote rural accommodation choices I’d made.

I came to realize your best option is to base yourself in larger towns and cities and then take breaks from work to visit the less developed areas. I’d recommend others do the same.

The Work-Life Balance

Another evident problem that began to arise as I fully threw myself into life as a traveling writerwas balancing work and exploration. You can never imagine how it feels to have to say no to the opportunity for an incredible hike into the jungle or that second beer on a bar crawl because you’re running behind on work until you’ve had to do it.

After some less than sensible decisions, I started giving myself a set weekly schedule so the choice between working and enjoying myself was already made. What schedule you have is up to you, but my main advice is to stick to it.

When Disaster Strikes

There are two unavoidable fears that are constantly looming overhead when you’re traveling as a freelance writer. The first is that you won’t make enough money to survive.The second is that your computer will get hacked or damaged,and you’ll lose your work.

Both of them happened to me simultaneously when I was in Australia. I contracted a particularly nasty piece of malware that completely shut down my computer. I couldn’t access my work or even contact my clients to tell them what was going on. On top of this, I was stranded in a foreign country with very little money in reserve.

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While most smart travelers had savings, I did not.So in an act of surprisingly quick thinking, I volunteered myself to a nearby World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program. Now I always make sure I’m aware of workopportunities in my local area in case I get stranded again. I also decided to make it a personal policy to have a backup device on hand and start taking internet security more seriously. I learned one of the best things I could do with my computer is to use a Virtual Private Network(VPN)to protect myself from future hackers, especially since I use public WiFi often when working.Now, I use a VPN, anti-virus software, and I make sure all my passwords are strong to avoid disaster.

This life I have now is one of my dreams, and it was surprisingly easier to achieve than I imagined. For me, the biggest obstacle was believing it was possible that I could excel with this lifestyle. For anyone struggling to take that first step, know that your fear does not have to define you.

About the Author: Cassie is a blogger who writes abouttechnology and traveling. She’s visited and workedin countries all over the globe and loves her life as a digital nomad. She hopes she can help others fulfill their dreams!


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