This won’t be another text on how to become a digital nomad. It’s also not going to be about pretty pictures in hats (although I do like hats a lot myself!), lattes on oats (I drink that too) and laptops under palm trees on the beach (which has never happened to me – why not? read on, I’m writing more about that). This will be a text about how we reconcile the life of digital nomads with travelling with children and our dog. I will show you what this looks like daily without wrapping it in silverware and pretty pictures taken for Instagram.
Ready? Then fasten your seatbelts, because it’s going to be a ride. No holds barred :).
O tym przeczytasz
- 1 Travelling with kids – we seriously love it!
- 2 We didn’t sell everything to be able to travel
- 3 What is life like for digital nomad parents on the move?
- 4 Mario’s work – economic analysis in the Polish time zone
- 5 My job – blog, podcast, social media
- 6 Work, childcare, home education
- 7 We have just 939 weekends
- 8 Could digital nomads’ lives have been better planned?
- 9 Stay with us for longer!
Travelling with kids – we seriously love it!
To start with, I’ll just add one important thing (evident to those who have been with us for a long time). We love travelling with children. Seriously, seriously! Ever since our eldest daughter Marian was born, and even while we were still pregnant with her, we have been flying around the world, taking these children of ours everywhere we could. Without travelling, we can’t imagine our lives. I have told you about this more than once.
We see how many good things happen to us, to our brains, when we travel. How children flourish, and open up to new things. Well, we even love passing on this awe of the world to our three children. And as we watch our children’s delight, we love to be reminded of the wonder of the world, how a fresh look at what we are already used to and seem to take for granted, allows us to stop and appreciate anew what we have. This is well known.
I have written about it on the blog many times. Today, however, I decided to describe the other side, the you know, dark side of the moon, of travelling with children when both parents have remote jobs that can’t be hung up on. Well, okay, sometimes it can, but not always. At least with us.
We didn’t sell everything to be able to travel
When we left for Thailand and decided to switch almost entirely to remote working, we didn’t have huge savings in our account. We also didn’t sell our flat in Warsaw, we didn’t put everything on one card. We rented a flat to pay off the loan. We spend the money we earn as digital nomads on living and travelling. We simply swapped our Warsaw life for life on a Thai island and trips around Asia.
During the school year, we travel mainly around the islands and Krabi province on the weekends (during the week the kids are in a Canadian-Thai school for 5 hours a day, we also have homeschooling and work more). In the breaks, we move on. We have spent the last 3.5 months constantly travelling around Indonesia and throughout Thailand.
What is life like for digital nomad parents on the move?
So, it depends. It depends on the day, on what we are doing at the moment, what we have planned. Every day is really different. It’s partly influenced by the nature of our work.
Sometimes our digital nomads’ lives look like this….
Much more often than not, however, this is the picture :)
Mario’s work – economic analysis in the Polish time zone
Mario works for a Polish company in Polish working time, which means minus five hours from Thai time. Mario is an economic expert – he writes reports, analyses, and comments on what the Polish government, the Monetary Policy Council, the Central Statistical Office or other such institutions announce. More or less from 14:00/15:00 to 22:00 our time, he has to be available: for the people at work and for journalists who arrange interviews several hours or… several minutes in advance.
If journalists want to get some extra ‘written’ commentary from him or her, specifically for a particular title, for the press or the internet, or to record an interview for the radio, this can usually be sensibly planned – get ready, open the laptop and quietly devote time to writing. However, it is often the case that journalists want to record a so-called set piece for the main edition of Facts or Events just before the 7 p.m. broadcast. It’s just the way things are, with topics popping in and out of the programme schedule at any time. Something happens on the political scene and the pre-planned schedule is suddenly modified just before broadcasting.
So it happened that we just happened to enter the hotel in the evening, Mario quickly changed his shirt (the shirt must always be prepared – properly laid out flat on top of the suitcase so that it can be quickly removed and put on without ironing + we must always have a stable connection to the net), looked for a suitable place (it’s nice that hotels have conference rooms!) and after a few minutes he was connected live to the Polish TV. Or, if the conference room wasn’t available, I’d take the kids and the dog for a walk, out into the corridor (anywhere in fact), and he’d connect from our hotel room.
Likewise with giving interviews over the phone or recording comments in mp4 form. Sometimes a journalist will catch Mario, for example, in a car park in front of a shop where there is a bustle, people are talking loudly or the car park gentleman is blowing his whistle. Recently Mario was filming at our 24:00 – the footage went live on the evening edition of Events.
And although we always try to plan our trips in such a way that on those days, when something important is happening in politics or economics in Poland, Europe or the world, Mario has comfortable working conditions, not everything can be predicted. Life :).
Fortunately, in this puzzle, my work is much more flexible and ‘compact’. On the one hand, it’s nice, because writing blog texts, doing research, and thinking creatively to create something of value on social media can be done at different hours. On the other hand, it requires me to be very flexible, changing my plans, and adjusting to Mario’s work and the plans of the whole family. So I often just sit up late or get up before everyone else so I can write something in peace.
This is a major asset and a huge cost at the same time.
The exception is the recording of the podcast – here I generally adapt to the Polish hours of my interviewees. So sometimes it’s my 2 p.m. and sometimes it’s 10 p.m. Then Mario takes over the kids, or…. if he happens to be working too, the kids have story time.
Often there’s a bit of a combination too. For example, if I’m having a dewlap and want to finish something quickly, and the kids are clamouring for attention, fighting, arguing, or someone just needs a cuddle or a one-on-one with me. There are moments of frustration, annoyance or discouragement, and I wonder if this is really how I imagined our whole life as digital nomads. Will I one day just have a bigger hourly slot to work, rather than 4 hours, and the comfort of finishing something when I’m at my best and have that flow, rather than when there’s a window?
But the thought immediately comes to mind that….
Work, childcare, home education
That’s right because it’s not just about travelling and juggling work, it’s about time spent with the children. and with each other, Thanks to this division of our work, we are simply able to look after our three children and spend a lot more time with them than if we were working various full-time jobs from 9 am to 5 pm and only seeing the children in the evenings and at weekends. We have time for homeschooling (if the topic is close to you, a couple of clicks on the homeschooling tab), celebrating this family life of ours or walking the dog 3 times a day.
Because I don’t know if you know, but….
We have just 939 weekends
So many Saturdays and Sundays we have with our child before she turns 18. That time passes faster than we think. And we firmly believe that the most valuable thing we can give our children is our time and our attention. That’s why our priority in life, when the kids are young, is to spend as much time with them as possible.
Despite the various inconveniences that come with it.
Could digital nomads’ lives have been better planned?
We probably did. We could have, for example, put more money aside so that we had peace of mind when we travelled and didn’t have to worry about a steady flow of cash. We could have. However, when we lived in Poland we also travelled a lot. So in order to set aside cash, we would have to hang up our travels and focus solely on saving for a while. We, however, believe that life is here and now and we don’t know what will happen in two or three years’ time. Whether our children will still want to travel with us, whether our health will allow us to do what we love most. We have been through too much to allow ourselves to put off our dreams.
That’s why, for this moment, we are choosing this way of life.
If you have any questions for us, or want to comment on something, go ahead! We are here for you!