How do I live as a global nomad and how do I finance it?
How it all started.
I grew up in a small village in southern Denmark in a small fishing village in a typical working class family.
I had a very secure childhood and was destined to living a good secure middle class life with a wife, a couple of kids and a good job, if this was what I wanted, but I was longing for something else.
Since I was 4 years old I had become obsessed with foreign lands after having been to Spain with my parents and I kept asking my parents when we were going traveling again, so by the time I hit my teens I only had my mind set on this.
I actually skipped college and did not take any formal education, cause all I wanted to do was to travel the world and no one could stop me from becoming a global nomad.
I started with next to no money.
After a couple of trips abroad on my own at the age of 15 and 17, I stuck out my thumb just after turning 19 and hitch hiked to France with 65 dollars in my pocket and no ticket home.
I worked in the vineyards of southern France, picking grapes for some weeks before hitch hiking on to Greece, where I slept on the beaches, in the train stations, before finally using my last pennies on a one way ferry ticket to Haifa in Israel.
Arriving on a new continent without a single dollar in your pocket and no return ticket is a challenge, but when you are young you just sleep in the ditch and after a few days I found a job working on a melon farm in the desert and after 4 months I had saved up enough money to travel around Egypt for 6 weeks and then I headed back to Europe, knowing that everything was possible.
Part time tourism worker and backpacker.
In my 20’s I spend most of the time being a part time worker in tourism, mostly working as a hotel receptionist in a small hotel/hostel, as well as a few other trades for about half the year and as soon as I had saved money enough up for a longer trip, then I took off, mostly to South America, where I also started to do some work here and there in between the brazilian beach parties.
Then I moved abroad more permanently.
In 1997 I started to get tired of spending several months a year working in Denmark, so I started to work abroad.
I got a job in turkey working for a travel agency and spend some fantastic months in turkey, which is still a country I keep returning to, mostly because I know so many truly great people there.
In 1999 I made the decision to move to Portugal and work.
I soon found myself selling boat excursions in Lagos in southern Portugal and I ended up spending two summer seasons working there and this gave me a knowledge of the country that I am using to this day in my job and I also managed to polish up the portuguese language I had already learned while living in Brazil.
The internet was a revolution for my lifestyle as a global nomad.
I was first introduced to the internet in 1994 while staying at a hostel in Brussels, but did not pay so much attention to it as I saw it as a place where a few geeks were sending each other messages and not as a place for the masses, but when I was in France for the football world cup in 1998, I met a french girl who convinced me to get an e mail so that we could stay in touch and that was when I realized that the internet could revolutionize my life as I would not have to keep going back to Denmark in order to earn money.
It also gave me a chance to meet up with likeminded people, both online and in real life and I have used social media to socialize since 2002.
Living out of a laptop.
These days I am done with going back to Denmark to earn some money for the next trip.
I go back on short trips regular, but that is just to visit family and friends.
I open my laptop at least twice a day and deal with work mails right away and I answer any work mail within 24 hours, which in my opinion is crucial if you want to be taken serious as a digital nomad.
I work as a freelance tour leader, a public speaker and help travel agencies setting operations up in destinations that I am acquainted with.
Having more than 20 years of travel industry experience and having visited more than 70 countries is of course a part of why I get these jobs, but it’s also because I am not just answering requests whenever I feel like, but keep an e mail discipline where I answer work mails every single day.
When living this lifestyle, the key is to have as few expenses at home as possible and to earn your money, working for companies in countries with high wages and then spend the majority of the money in cheap countries, so that you can stretch your income as far as possible.
I find this to be very doable in these days where transporting yourself around the globe has never been cheaper.
Not like in the old days when I started traveling and i would hitch hike for 6 days and 5 nights in order to get from Copenhagen to Athens and sleep in the ditch along the way.
Now it’s just a 3 hour flight that costs me around 100€.