Q&A with Erin: How this digital nomad slowed down and found her silver lining

Read about her pre-rona adventures around the world, how she learned to enjoy the now and what makes a new place feel like home.

February 11, 2021

Meet Erin

  • Currently lives in Gale, Portugal

  • Originally from Sydney, Australia

  • I'm a Content Writer

  • I started at The Remote Company in July 2019

  • Why I love my job: I’ve completely let go of the notion of “work/life balance” ever since I started. My life is cake and my work is brown butter; browning the butter means more washing up but it adds complex flavors making the cake taste a WHOLE lot better. [insert joke about having cake and eating it too] 🍰


Of the 115+ people at The Remote Company, you’re one of the few true nomads. Where have you lived the past few years? Favorites?

Yes! Pre-rona I had been moving every 1-5 months since the tail end of 2017. I’ve lived in Koh Phangan, Berlin, Lisbon, Seville, Mexico City, Playa Del Carmen, Bacalar and visited a patchwork of places in between.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. I value each place I’ve lived for different reasons. For example: Koh Phangan is the epicenter of my friendship group, and one of few places I don’t have to grind to build a community around myself. It’s also where I met my partner whom I’ve been traveling with ever since.

On the contrary, Berlin is somewhere I didn’t make a single friend but discovered true happiness living with my boyfriend in a shoebox studio in Mitte. 

However, I can tell you one thing with absolute certainty: Playa Del Carmen was my least favorite! Picture paved streets lined with selfie-sticks, waterproof phone holders and drunk, middle-aged lads on tour.

I guess I value Playa Del Carmen for teaching me that I don’t want to live in Playa Del Carmen.

How do you pick your next place to live? What do you research beforehand?

I used to just put my location with destination anywhere into Skyscanner and pick the cheapest flight! It’s a little bit different these days since we acquired a four-legged travel buddy who requires more pre-planning. 🐶

So now, my pre-trip research consists of googling “Dog-friendly [insert city]” and checking if there are any direct flights.

How do you settle into a new spot and make it feel like home?

Unpack. Unpack. Unpack. I won't lie, I’m still working on this… but if you’re gonna be there for more than 3 days you have to unpack. There is nothing homey about squatting over your suitcase in a towel digging for your moisturizer. 

Your partner travels with you 24/7. What are your best tips for successfully traveling together?

I wish I could say that there are three easy steps to seamlessly traveling with your partner but I think I just lucked out.

My partner, Blake, was working remotely before we met in 2017. He’s the organized one. He handles the logistics after I pitch a bold new idea. Having full faith in his organizational skills puts me into zen mode, which in turn keeps us both super chill while we’re traveling.

We still argue and grumble about things, like who’s turn it is to do the dishes or which one of us is more deserving of the last piece of chocolate. But when it comes to our lifestyle, we’ve always been on the same page.

The pandemic made us slow down and travel a lot less. How did you adjust your lifestyle? Did you find a silver lining?

I was on Koh Phangan in March 2020 when everything stopped. Soon after, the island met its first and last covid case leaving us on a covid-free tropical lifeboat.

We settled in for a longer-term stay, got a dog and sailed away into the sunset.

Not!

Well… we did do all of those things (sorry), but constantly worrying about our visa amnesty suddenly being revoked was physically taxing. On top of that, My grandad died and even if it had been possible to get home for the funeral, it wouldn’t have been safe to attend. I got painfully homesick and even fell victim to a few late-night panic attacks.

So, even though 2020 looked amazing on my grid, it was definitely still a challenge.

In spite of all that, I found countless silver linings in 2020 (the dog!) and even though we left Thailand and wound up in mega-locked-down Portugal, I’m still finding silver linings.

I like that in the next phase of our life we’ll be moving slower, as opposed to a new city every month. We’ll be focussing on dog-friendly outdoor activities instead of bar hopping and eating out every night.  Pre-2020 I was always looking for the next thing. Now I’m just enjoying the moment.

If you could create your own country, what things would you copy from different places?

I used to always say my ideal place would be Berlin by the sea because I adore living in a vibrant, international city (and Berliner Dom is even more incredible than the Taj Mahal IMO). But I also need to be near a warm ocean with year-round sunshine…

… except now I feel silly saying that because my hometown of Sydney essentially is a vibrant international city by the sea and that is the place I visit the least!

To break it down: I love still, warm, crystal clear and empty beaches, but I also like getting dressed up and going out for dinner or drinks with my friends while having every possible amenity available at the touch of a button.

I love wide open mountainscapes and narrow alleyways between skyscrapers dotted with hole-in-the-wall techno clubs.

Most of all I love that even if such a place is never to exist, I still won’t have to choose between one or the other.

Megan

I’m Megan, Content Writer at The Remote Company. You can find me in Berlin, NYC or somewhere escaping winter in Asia. I have helped many start-ups grow their online visibility. Blogging has always been my thing—from running artist fan pages as a teenager to now discovering upcoming talent on Sign This Kid.

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