being-a-digital-nomd-family-from-germany

A Foreigner in Germany

Since I was little, I always knew that I wanted to live in another country one day, I have always had a foreign appearance in any country, what was already predicting my future as an adventurous traveler.

After a beautiful holiday in the Canary Islands I ended up living with the perfect german boyfriend in a beautiful house in Berlin, Germany.

But we were still in a city, bustling, magical and bubbly but it was still a city, and the same month after month, and my spirit cried out for newness and my desire for discovery grew more and more each day.

We realized that we would never be happy if we didn’t listen to our inner voice, so we decided to quit our jobs from 9 to 5 and become freelancers and have online clients so that we could work from anywhere.

When we had everything more or less organized, we realized that we could travel anywhere because we no longer had to be always in the same place.

And here we are, traveling everywhere!

We are Rainer, Maria and our little Jon, Nonconformists by nature.

From our childhood we decided to question ourselves and look for alternatives to everything that did not fit us.

Above all, we sought respect for the human being, for our biology and for our feelings.

Looking for alternatives we have been building our way: Many changes, and now … the world as a school.

The digital nomad adventure has been our family life since 2017, without a fixed home, working online and learning about what surrounds us.

To achieve freedom as a family you will have to create a job that adapts to your needs, respects your way of life and also likes and fulfills you.

More and more, acquaintances ask us what about our “lucky life” and our “lucky job.”  Here our experience and the truths.

Packing and Preparations

Traveling with children can be a challenge, throughout the process you will pass different tests, one of them will be to pack a suitcase for the little one.

If when we organize our own we fill it with “just in case”, when it comes to a child’s suitcase these are multiplied in an exaggerated way.  

No matter the duration of the trip or the activities to be carried out, the usual tendency is to take half a house to be covered for any unforeseen event.  And while it’s okay to be proactive, you need to find a balance.

The best way to pack a suitcase, both for adults and children, is to think if we really need each of the elements that we want to put in it, assess whether it is more worth buying it at the destination and establish a maximum number of “just in case”.  

In this way, we will be closer to making the perfect suitcase without falling into excess volume and weight.

There are many things and you don’t want to forget anything;  so we make a list and we complete it calmly.  Thus, we replace what we finish, or lose along the way.

We carry combinable garments

and enough, we know that children get a lot of stains and we don’t want to be doing laundry every day.

It is convenient to take into account the time of year in which we travel to choose clothes.

If your child has a favorite toy, this is guaranteed to be his place on the trip.  

Having something familiar on hand will help him feel good, confident and will also be the perfect entertainment during travel or possible waits.

Before loading with shampoos, soaps … we think if we can buy them at the destination.  In addition to saving weight, it makes things easier for us when traveling by plane and we do not want to check in the suitcase.

We carry the right provisions for the first days, until we can buy everything we need at the destination.

Depending on what our trip is going to be, we take a stroller or a carrying backpack.  If you are going to go to the city, the stroller will be better but if you plan excursions through nature, the backpack is more comfortable.  

If you opt for the first option, remember that you can get to the door of the plane with the cart and the staff will keep it for you in the hold.

We select the necessary medications in addition to those specific treatments that the child may need and the basic first-aid kit.

The key is to balance and reduce the “just in case” to the maximum.

digital-nomad-family-packing

Learning From Nature

Nomadic life opened our eyes to the idea that human beings learn by nature, that learning happens like growing up.  It is something innate.

The strange thing is that the human being does not learn, if he is allowed to do so, and this is something that only happens when there are psychological or physical problems of some kind.

It is only necessary to be accompanied by motivated adults willing to respect basic needs (sleep, food, physical activity …) and to be attentive to learning needs.  Perhaps providing, if necessary, experts and / or places to go further.  Thus, learning flows at the rhythm of each child.

And what better environment to learn than the world itself, what surrounds us?  We can naturally educate our children in our environment, going on excursions in the area, visiting museums, discovering local animals … the possibilities are endless.  The point is to leave home … to the world!.

Most hotels have a Babysitting service, although we always prefer to take turns caring for Jon.  It sounds sad but deep down … Can’t dad go to a musical after the day of sightseeing is over, while the children bathe and dine?  Isn’t it great that mom watches a jazz concert over a Pina Colada?

We opted for the last option.  Of course we would have liked to do all those things as a couple!  But it seems to us the best way to organize ourselves and that the child does not miss us.  We only separate for a couple of hours on two days, but it allows us to explore places that we would not have been able to know otherwise.

All the rest of the plans are always together.  We are not daunted by any situation and we are encouraged to do anything with him as long as the entry is allowed for him, of course.

In every country we visit we always try to find online groups of families that may have the same interests as us.

On numerous occasions during our travels we visited communities where children play freely in a safe environment.

It is proven that children absorb and learn everything faster, and as digital nomads, we will be putting in their hands great tools so that, in a future, they will be men and women, free, authentic, and above all, happy.  

They will have friends and homes to visit anywhere on the planet, they will be able to respond to any situation in whatever language, and they will have the ability to solve, even difficult situations that are going to arise.  Many of these things are not learned in school.

digital-nomad-family

Work-Family Balance

Children may see your work as an obstacle since this, according to their perspective, makes you separate from them.

To avoid this, we build stories around the effort we make to be with him and also that we explain all the benefits that work can bring him.

We build a story around our effort, because what you do not communicate to children they will not value, it will seem normal to them, you have to help them assess to what degree you are trying and take costs to be able to be with them.

It is much easier to explain the facts with stories, these, of course, will depend on how old they are.  It is not that you have to invent a story, but rather that you tell them the whole web of actions that you have to carry out to work and be a parent.

At the same time, you have to show them that work is precisely an element that allows them to be together and have pleasant times.  

For example, while we explain to our child that we are going to be busy due to work pending for several weeks, we tell him that after that heavy period we are going to bring back a wonderful trip to his favorite place.

Work should be something that the child also values ​​because it also has a kind of benefit for him.  It is to tell them ‘look at everything that thanks to our work we can bring home for you’

We hope that now when you ask yourself how you can travel and work at the same time, you can have some more accurate answers at hand, but above all that you know it is possible, that it is not a dream, that it happens more and more.  But yes, always knowing that you really want to do it, that it is not out of fashion, that you do it out of conviction and to add a good experience to your life.

Cost of living

Traveling is absolutely wonderful, yes.  But not everything is rosy and you have to be very aware of that, so that you don’t get quickly disappointed if something goes wrong along the way and things don’t go as planned.

Be honest with yourself and know your limits: you don’t have to force yourself to go places that you don’t feel safe, just because a lot of people go;  you don’t have to go far if you don’t feel comfortable.  It’s about your journey, your possibilities, what you want to achieve.  And each trip is a unique experience for each one.

It is important to establish a spending budget.  We cannot spend more than we are capable of generating and less if we are traveling, in constant movement.  You have to be honest and set a spending limit so that the route does not surprise you and because, although we always go out in good spirits, you never know what might happen.

Controlling daily spending helps us control our annual budget.

We think it is one of the best habits we have adopted in our life: To absolutely control every penny that comes out of our pocket.  In this way, we can know every day how we are doing financially and we can meet our monthly budget.

In fact, before controlling our spending, the opposite of what you can imagine happened to us: we spent less than we could afford.  In fear of overspending, we reduced our expenses.  And we ended up depriving ourselves of things.

From the moment we started recording our expenses, we live much better, we don’t worry about overspending, and we indulge ourselves from time to time without having a pang of conscience.

Traveling makes us more flexible people, we learn not to spend on unnecessary things, we develop material detachment and that is why, when it comes time to indulge yourself, you enjoy three times as much.  Because that will always be a good reward.

The good thing about all this is that the journey teaches us along the way.  If one is wrong, readjust the route, learn and continue.

Obstacles & Challenges

From everything you read on the internet, don’t believe anything, What do we mean by that?

The experience as a digital nomad will depend on each one, the type of business they have, the countries they visit, the time they spend in each destination, the way they travel, the people they meet, and a thousand other factors.

How long will be spent at each destination is key, and is related to work, rest, and the way to know a destination.

It is impossible, at least from our experience, to have a successful company, which grows month after month, if we do not have a fixed place to work from.

Do we mean by this that it is impossible to travel and work at the same time?  No, we mean that, at least, we must spend at least 2 weeks in each destination, ideally 1 month.

Being 1 month makes things much easier for us like Discounts for long-term rental accommodation.

At least 28 days of the month, on work, and not on the planes ,trains or cars.

We have tried traveling every week to a new destination, and also, from month to month, and it has no point of comparison.

In addition, we assume that we do not travel only to be working in each destination, but also to visit and experience it.

If we are only one week in each destination and we want to know it well, in detail, we will have to be 6/7 afternoons or mornings, doing tourism, which only leaves us 30 hours in a week to work.

Is it necessary to work so hard being a digital nomad?  This is another topic to talk about, it depends on a thousand other factors.  If you want to create a successful international business we assure you that yes.

The main thing, and it seems obvious, but not many times we make sure of it, is that the internet must be fast as a greyhound.  There are destinations like India, that even if you go to a 5 star hotel it is possible that the internet works so slow that you want to throw your laptop into the pool.

We recommend you work wherever there is a comfortable / ergonomic chair, be it in a cafe, community or at home.

This part, as you will see, does not depend so much on the business, but on happiness, although it affects the first.

This aspect is key.  Money does not bring happiness, but it helps make almost everything easier, and sometimes happier.  What do we mean by that?

It is not the same, traveling for example, by bus, than by train, it is not the same after a long trip, taking a bus from the airport and then another bus, than taking a taxi directly to the house, or more importantly,  It is not the same, living in a condominium with a gym, swimming pool, lounge, of 5 star quality and 2 minutes from the beach, then living in a studio with a fan and noise from the neighbor or sharing a bed in a hostel.

Happiness for us is not found when we reach the goal, it is found on the way to the goal.

How did the experience impact you & your family?

Our child’s education was one of the reasons this journey began.

During the trip we had the opportunity to live with disadvantaged communities, and from there arose the possibility of being able to give them a hand.

For children, the experience is very enriching because they can experience realities of boys and girls that they had never imagined, where in many cases basic elements were lacking to carry out the educational task.

Children have fascinating adaptability, but at the same time they need to see their parents located.  Returning home and to routines is one of the most difficult moments, contrary to what you might think.  And it is not so much because of the return to the routine, but because of the feeling of not being in the right place, of not belonging despite knowing for sure that they are your roots, your friends and your acquaintances.  You discover that your soul has changed, it has been nourished by a thousand experiences and needs time to re-savor with the same intensity those little moments of the day to day that really connect you with life.  Then, and only then, does the family regain its balance.

The world is in the hands of those who make their dreams come true.  We ourselves are the ones who hinder ourselves, without letting ourselves live in the present, projecting ourselves into an uncertain future and making any possible reality impossible.

Recommendations

On many occasions, when we have been away from home for months, we have thought:  The only thing we need to be 100% happy is to have my family and friends from Valencia and Berlin traveling with us.  But you can’t have everything in life!  This, today, is practically impossible for anyone, to be able to take your most loved ones with you.  If you are only 100% happy, being with your loved ones, you can be a digital nomad for weeks, not months.  

We might remind you that happiness is only inside oneself, and it should not depend on anything or anyone,  If so, you will never be happy because it will depend on external factors that you do not control.

If you meet people in each destination or in some destinations, the trip will be more fun.  In recent months we have been, among other destinations, in Chiang Mai, Phuket, Seoul and Osaka.  We are fortunate to have acquaintances / friends in each of these sites, some of them digital nomads.  This allows you, not only to help better discover the destination, but also to give you company, advice, afternoons of fun, etc …

Objectives and priorities change. Our goal in recent years has always been to travel as much as possible, meet amazing people, surround ourselves with them, and assist in the best cultural events in the world.

But there are changing priorities, as well as goals.  After traveling for 12 months, it is normal that we want to rest, and take a vacation, and want to spend some months with our family, in our city.

We must ask ourselves every day: what makes us happy, what do we want to work on, what can we add value to, and continue to tirelessly learn about business, life, relationships, etc … It is the only way to be the best version from ourselves.  

Best Family Memory

How to summarize so many incredible sensations and experiences in each country of our last adventure …

Imagine the contrast when leaving Germany in winter temperatures and arriving in Bangkok with 35 degrees.  Thailand seemed to us a very complete country, from the busy Bangkok, the famous Chiang Mai, the contrast of the deep Thailand that we met in the north and the paradisiacal islands of the south.  In addition, if we have to highlight Thailand as its food, we still remember the taste of delicious snacks from street markets.

Traveling from north to south to Malaysia where we were surprised by the contrast with respect to Thailand, different religions and customs.  Again from north to south through Penang, the jungle and the tea fields to finish in Kuala Lumpur where we spend Christmas, bathing in an infinity swimming pool at Christmas is priceless.

On our way south, Singapore caught us on the way and it is a great point to go to the Philippines.  Despite being an expensive country and staying for a few days, we were surprised by how well designed and how modern the country is.  It does not look like Southeast Asia but it seems that you have entered another world.  It is a destination that has a privileged luxurious airport where it is very convenient to make a stopover.

Singapore seemed incredible at night, it is totally worth spending at least one night in the center and walking and enjoying the illumination of the city and its huge buildings.

Following our route we arrived in the Philippines which is like going back to Thailand, same customs and chaos with a different religion.  It is very striking to see the Spanish footprint in the country, we passed through several islands and we were able to enjoy paradisiacal beaches, undoubtedly the best of the trip.

Our featured experience: Diving in turquoise waters.  We snorkelled many times, but the best thing was the experience of enjoying a spectacular day of diving in Bohol.  A round day shared with another travelling family that ended with a delicious local meal and colorful tropical fruits.

Australia

Change of continent to go to Australia, the idea of ​​doing the Australian east coast with a motorhome.  Upon arrival a strong experience: snorkeling in the great barrier reef, the best snorkeling of our lives (and it was difficult to beat some areas of the Philippines).  From the north coast we went down to Sydney, endless roads in a sublime experience when going by motorhome.

Australian wildlife.  The unique animals of that country make the trip very worthwhile.  Of course, if we have to choose we found the Kangaroos and Koalas, the most endearing animals we have seen on our trip.

New Zealand

We consider ourselves very lucky because it was the country we wanted to see at all costs on the trip.

Very difficult to highlight just one thing about the south island of New Zealand, from magic blue lakes, to forrest, fjords, landscapes, walks….  All this with a common link, the first motorhome trip that gives you the freedom to do what you want every day, enjoy unique corners and wake up in incredible places.

We would advise who wish to undertake the nomadic adventure to learn to launch themselves, to be guided by their hearts, following their dreams and projecting them with the same energy of everything that really makes them vibrate and feel alive, otherwise we would live  being asleep waiting for a future that will probably not happen because we are denying it ourselves.

We would tell families to jump in, because the waters of the lake that awaits them are full of the colors with which they have built their dreams.

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