My ‘Digital Nomad’ Experience, Part 1

Jess in Mexico

Buenos Dias from sunny Playa del Carmen, Mexico! It’s true, I escaped winter in Wisconsin this year. . . it feels kind of naughty, but I’m ok with that. My husband & I have been here a little over 2 weeks, and already the sun, laid-back culture, good food, and outdoor activities are having a huge impact on my mood and general equilibrium.

I’ve been following the “digital nomad” trend for years now-  a growing group of people who work remotely, or are self-employed, and live in different places all over the world.  This trend has exploded recently, with so many people working remotely for the first time because of COVID. More and more countries are welcoming digital nomads and expats, and offering new types of visas for those who want to stay more than a few months. Mainly, digital nomads can be found in beautiful, inexpensive (compared to the US, Western Europe, Canada & Australia) places. . . So not surprisingly, this part of Mexico has become a hot-spot. That’s not really why I chose this place, though. My sister, Sam, happens to live here in Playa full-time. So the main perk is being close to her (we hadn’t lived in the same city for almost 20 years!). But also the sun and cost of living!  🙂

So what’s it like working remotely, getting by in a new country where I don’t speak (much of) the language? Especially in the time of COVID? Well, there have been some challenges. . . but after being such a homebody for all of 2020, I welcome these challenges!

The very first (unfortunate) thing that happened– my computer died. Like totally dead, no hope of resuscitation. In the above photo, I am literally just using it as a prop! It felt like an eerie sign at first– I mean, what are the odds? I finally leave home to live abroad for a few months and the ONE thing I need for my work breaks suddenly, in the first couple days?! Since my 2021 mantra is “go with the flow“, though, I’m not going to let it bother me. Luckily, all my important files were safely rescued and I have a really solid loaner computer until my new one arrives.

There have also been other minor inconveniences, like wifi sometimes not being as predictably strong as I’m used to, and constantly trying to avoid the throngs of tourists downtown & on the beach (many of them are not wearing masks or social distancing). But the positive definitely outweighs the negative. Since the weather is great, there are so many more activities that I can participate in ‘safely’. . . Including meeting new people! Like I said before, this area is hugely popular with expats and digital nomads, many of whom are online entrepreneurs. I’ve already met so many interesting people, including a small group of women who meet monthly to talk about finances & investing!

I feel so blessed to be able to have this kind of freedom + flexibility in my job, and LOVE helping others achieve the same by starting online businesses! If you want to schedule a session to figure out how to get more freedom + flexibility in your life, send me a message

Other resources for Digital Nomads (and aspiring ones!):

Traveling with Kristin podcast (she also has a great blog, youtube channel, and online course on becoming a DN!)

Madatdor Network (cool general travel website, with a lot of info for DNs)

Unsettled (I’ve mentioned this awesome community before- I’ve met a lot of DNs here)

Our Freedom Years (technically, these ladies aren’t DMs because they retired early, but I love following their slow-travel adventures!)

Outsite (I haven’t been to any of their spaces but they sound amazing! Live with other DMs in beautiful locales!)