In July 2015, I left the UK and started a new life as a digital nomad. When you are constantly on the move your life changes in lots of ways. You meet a lot of interesting people, experience new places and cultures, and sleep in a lot of different beds. It’s a life of adventure.
As the year was drawing to a close, it struck me I’d written from a lot of different desks during the preceding months and I wrote a blog post entitled “The Desks I Left Behind Me”. I wrote from a lot of different desks in 2016 as well, so I repeated the exercise the following year.
I never wrote a post for 2017 because I was living in the Netherlands for the entire year, had a fixed address there, and did all my writing from the desk in my room.
The thing about the digital nomad life is it gives you freedom. You don’t have to travel, but you can if you want to. The Netherlands is the place where I feel most at home and I was happy to stay there. However, in the Spring of 2018, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to start looking for a new home. It proved difficult to find one in the Netherlands so I began travelling again and working from different desks.
Blog posts of this nature may give a brief insight into the changeable nature of life when you are a digital nomad, but that’s not really why I write them. More than anything, I just find it interesting to have a log of the desks I’ve used each year.
Although I began 2018 in Belgium, I was still living in Veghel in North Brabant, so I was still using the same desk as I was using at the end of 2017.
I began travelling again in March and started writing from a desk in an apartment at Esmoriz, Portugal.
A month later, I was still in Portugal, but I was living in Caparica. I didn’t have a desk in my room, but I had a good table to work from instead. I used that table for four weeks.
Then I took the train to Faro. I was only in Faro for a couple of days, but I had work to do and was very glad to have a nice desk in my room.
The next desk I wrote from was in Granada Spain.
I stayed in Granada for a couple of months and the weather was very hot. I loved it and one day I wrote from a table up on the roof. It was nice, but it’s hard to concentrate on your work when you are surrounded by beautiful views.
After I left Granada, I went to Leipzig in Germany, but the room I was meant to rent there was not as good as I’d been told it would be, so I spent a couple of days writing here there and everywhere in a hostel. Then I arranged to rent a mini-apartment in Duisburg and headed West.
I didn’t have a desk in Duisburg, but the table in my apartment was a very good substitute and the kettle was always near at hand when I needed a coffee.
In August, I left Germany, headed for the Czech Republic, and spent four weeks writing from a desk in Poděbrady. It was a nice desk, and I loved the town, but I had an urge to go to Romania. Life as a digital nomad has its drawbacks but when you want to go somewhere new you always can. So I headed for Bucharest.
I lived in a tiny house in Bucharest and it had a very nice desk. It also had a desktop computer. That’s the first time I’ve ever rented anywhere and found a computer there or me to use. I didn’t use it though. I prefer to work from my laptop.
After three weeks living in the tiny house, I flew via Turkey to Odessa Ukraine. I’d been wanting to go there for a long time. The room I rented was very large, but it didn’t have a desk. I had to sit on the couch and write at the coffee table. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but I managed very well. I sat at the table and wrote every day for two months.
The final desk I used in 2018 was in Chisinau, Moldova. It wasn’t in the best condition but it was good enough for me.
Some Thoughts on the Digital Nomad Way of Life
If you’ve read this far and looked at the pictures, you will see my “place of work” varied a lot in 2018. The digital nomad way of life is great, but my desks are not the only thing that changes when I travel. I often have to do without some of my favourite foods like Marmite and Brinta. Sometimes I find new favourite foods and then never get the chance to eat them again. Other times I hate the food. I meet people, make new friends and acquaintances, then I’m gone. That’s okay for me. I’ve always been a lone wolf and I’m fiercely independent.
If you are reading this because you are trying to find out more about life as a digital nomad, the thing to remember is you need to be comfortable with change. Different beds, desks, people, languages and food. Different everything. It’s a different way of life. A lot of people think they want a life of travel, but thinking and doing are two different things.
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