This article is contributed by Marie Pottiez, the author and illustrator behind Miles of Happiness. Originally from France, she’s been traveling for a few years in Asia-Pacific, before finally settling down in Hong Kong, as a digital nomad.
This is it. My hands are shaking. My eyes are wet. I cannot stop smiling. So many contradictory emotions invade me. Fear. Impatience. Curiosity. Happiness. Happiness. My plane won’t wait. It’s time.
On January 2012, the 11th, I was starting my life. But I didn’t know it yet.
I didnt realize how important was the decision to leave everything behind me, to go on a six months solo trip. I’ve never thought I’d never come back. Sometimes, people quit everything and go traveling to change everything that doesn’t work in their life. I didn’t. To be honest, I thought I’d come back home two or three months later, missing ‘my real life’. I didn’t expect much from this trip. I just wanted some adventure.
Anyway, I took this plane for Auckland and spent six months there. I quickly realized that life wasn’t what I thought it was. I met great people, ultra positive minded with plenty of plans. Their life was led towards one simple goal : happiness. And no regrets.
After that, everything just went step by step. My boyfriend came and surprised me on the other side of the world. We came back in France and I started working as a Freelancer, working less and earning more money than when I was employee. He got a job in Indonesia, and after a few months, we were packing again. We lived in Jakarta for almost a year, to finally settle down in Hong Kong. I met more and more people during my trips, then my network naturally grew up.
When traveling solo, you’re on your own. Nobody to judge you, you can be yourself. You can learn to be egoist. And finally realize your dream projects. It took time, patience and sacrifices, and I know the journey is not over. But it’s truly worth it. Anyway, if it was easy, everybody would do it, right ?
Today my priority in life is not to work for the greatest company, to get the perfect CV or to prepare my future.
Today, my aim is simpler than ever : to be happy.
I’ve always been working in design and advertising, so I naturally became what we call today ‘a digital nomad’. My office is wherever I can get a good wifi connection and a good coffee.
The worst part of this situation is that, once you’ve tasted this lifestyle, you can’t go back. It’s pure freedom ! You can organize your time, do whatever you want wherever you want, travel off season… You’re privileged.
Of course, it’s not all white everyday. I never have doubts about my lifestyle, I know I can’t go back to the the 9 to 5 job in my home country, with a dog and a family car. But working as a digital nomad means to keep your clients, sometimes work during the holidays, the night or the weekend. You’re never sure how you’re gonna end the month. It can be extremely stressful. But I do know one thing : I’d change that for nothing in the world.
In the last three years, I’ve been working from a house in Jakarta, from a bamboo bar in Bali, from a Japanese ryokan in Tokyo or from a park in Hong Kong. I’ve collaborated with Indians, Americans, Indonesians, French, English & Chinese people. I’ve written, drawn, designed. Being a digital nomad opens lots of opportunities, and really open your life and business perspectives. There’s nothing impossible before you actually try it.
Here’s the deal : as a digital nomad, the life is pretty intense. In each side. It can be as terrible as it can be wonderful. It depends of your personality. I’d rather live very bad moments along with exceptional ones than to be bored all my life.
You should also check out my post about the 5 Steps to get the hell out of your comfort zone, and finally enjoy your life at its fullest !
If want to see more about traveling as a lifestyle and follow me in my next adventures, you can like my Facebook page which I update daily, follow my on Twitter & Instagram, get some inspiration with my Pinterest boards and, if you want to travel right now, check out my videos on Vimeo.