Digital nomads are young professionals living location-independent lifestyles while working online and travelling internationally. (Reichenberger, 2018) According to the author, a full-time nomadic lifestyle is about having the freedom to work anywhere, while a part-time nomad has a home base and travels for several months. Then some live at home but can take their work with them while travelling for a couple of weeks or work in coffee shops or co-working spaces (but never make travel part of their everyday life). Digital lifestyles are increasing in popularity, and since COVID, many people are looking for ways to make it a reality.
We’re delighted to introduce someone who made this adjustment to being a full-time nomad more than a year ago. Meet Liz, a remarkable, courageous and outgoing young woman! When we met Liz in a Zoom interview a few weeks ago, she told us that she neither knows fear nor feels lonely. Imagine that!
Have you ever dreamed of travelling the world on your own in a camping bus and being employed while travelling? Imagine driving off into the blue and staying where you want without paying for accommodation. Liz has fulfilled this dream and is drifting through Europe with Otto, her self-converted VW tour bus. For quite a while, we have been following Liz, a young, vibey, fun, adventurer, and travel influencer (and don’t forget qualified pastry chef!), on her Instagram page more.or.liz.
Your Instagram page is called more.or.Liz. Why did you choose this name?
Liz has been my nickname since my school days, and I thought it was a fun play on words. You see more or less of my lifestyle and travel experiences on my page, but 100% of me… Liz.
What made you decide to follow a nomadic lifestyle?
Can you describe a typical day in your life?
I wake up when I wake up; without an alarm clock, but usually when the sun comes up which is pretty early in the summer). Then I brush my teeth, do some yoga and start work around 8 am. In the mid-afternoon, I am finished and prepare myself some breakfast. After that, I drive off (again ), look around the area, visit places, or chill. Around 7 pm, I make dinner; after that, I read, journal, or do other creative things like playing the ukulele.
Can you tell us more about #thevanlife? When did you buy your van, and who helped you convert it into a 'home'?
Who said I had help? 😂 Ok, without my dad, Otto wouldn’t look anywhere near what he does now. I will be forever grateful for his support. In May 2020, I bought Otto after losing my job due to COVID. It sounds more traumatic than what it actually was. At the time, I was anyway only working seasonally in Switzerland (as a pastry chef) and was nearing the end of the season. Long before the pandemic, I planned to upgrade my van during spring and travel with it during summer.
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How do you deal with being alone?
Oh, I’m not alone at all. I always have myself and Otto, of course 😂. Besides, I can always meet new people if you want. I am very content with my own company at the moment. I realised long ago that you don’t need to be surrounded by people to feel happy. One can be lonely among people, and it is up to everyone to find peace.
What does it feel like to live with people again after being isolated for a while?
It can get a bit overwhelming at times. If I need alone time, I drive to a quiet spot and park there for a while. That’s the advantage of having a house on wheels.
Is there a country you favour over others and one that you dislike?
I wouldn’t want to make an exception for one country because the experiences you have in a country depend a lot on your circumstances — for example, the people and the situations you find yourself in. I must admit, I didn’t feel comfortable in Bulgaria, although I still believe it is a beautiful country with incredible mountains, hot pools and lovely cities.
I love Turkey! There is nothing not to love. Then I also enjoyed my time in Macedonia and Greece. Greece has the most beautiful beaches where you can camp almost right on the sea.
You are in Poland right now. Why did you choose this country, and how do you like it so far?
I wanted to go to the Balkans again, and since I took the coastal route last year, I decided to take a different route this time, which included Poland 😀. I liked the coast and Masuria and the Tatra Mountains are gorgeous too! However, I feel uneasy here…it doesn’t feel like home.
You refer to your van as Otto. Is there any significance to the name?
Everyone expects a good story, but unfortunately, there isn’t one 🙈. When I bought my van, the name just popped into my head, and I didn’t actively search for a name, and I guess that’s how it is supposed to be.
You recently started a blog, and you have a successful Instagram page. What are your plans for these pages?
Oh, thank you for calling it successful 🙈. I started my Instagram page just for fun, as most people do (I guess?). As time passed, I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could make money with this hobby. I worked hard for it, and now I believe I have made it 🙂. I love writing, the combination of words and pictures; I enjoy sharing the small intricacies and big adventures of my life and inspiring people. The blog is a challenge in itself, though. The technical aspects of publishing a blog are the only things keeping me back from not releasing regular articles.