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Interview With Two Digital Nomads

<p><em>Who has not at some stage dreamed of working in a foreign country? If you are a freelancer or a self-employed worker, you might have already thought of spending a few months in another country and continuing working. Is it something possible? Yes! Momenteo met two digital nomads, Maude and Jennifer, to ask them a few questions on travel-work balance.</em></p> <p></p> <h3><strong>1-Tell us about yourself</strong></h3> <p><strong>Maude</strong>: My name is Maude Carrier, and I am a producer, production manager, researcher, web editor, and blogger on <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. I am also an ambassadorfor Village Monde and co-founder of Voyage num&eacute;riQC.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: Hello! My name is Jennifer Dor&eacute; Dallas. I am from the south shore of Montreal, and I am a travel blogger on <a href="">Moi, mes souliers</a>, a blog I started in 2010. I am also a freelance writer, an author and co-author of many travel guides and books (Lonely Planet, Ulysse, Parfum d&rsquo;encre), and the founder of Voyage num&eacute;riQC. I am also specialized in creating content and marketing for brands and travel destinations in the tourism industry. Recently, I also launched Chasing Poutine, a travel blog about Quebec.</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>2-What gave you the idea to become a digital nomad?</strong></h3> <p><strong>Maude</strong>: I never got a precise idea. I have always enjoyed it a lot to travel. And by becoming a self-employed worker years ago (I did not have enough holidays to explore as much I wanted), I realized that it was challenging to take some time off as a freelancer. Now, work follows me on the road, wherever I go.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: On the road to visiting my cherished province or wandering in a foreign country, I mainly like to meet passionate people who tell me their stories with a sparkle in their eyes. It gives me irresistible stories to write and the excitement of sharing. The rest came naturally; I wanted my daily life to provide me with the taste to wake up every morning.</p> <p>I was not even 30 yet, and I reached a significant position in the corporative world; a big salary and the perfect life we talk about so often. I did not see myself continuing; I woke up unhappy every morning. Since I have always loved traveling, I decided to leap and do a world tour in 2013 (a test financed by my savings). I never got back to the town center&rsquo;s skyscrapers. I was then a digital nomad, but the word did not exist at that time!</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>3-In which countries did you work? Which place was your favorite?</strong></h3> <p><strong>Maude</strong>: Over the last four years, I spent 6 weeks in Indonesia, three months in Mexico, and nearly three months in Colombia. To that, I can also add many weeks here and there in the province of Quebec during the summer. I loved all the places I worked; I do not have a favorite country. Every country had something special.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer</strong>:&nbsp; I always work when I am traveling; therefore, whether I leave for one week or three months, I work a few hours per day, at least. I then worked in Quebec, and other Canadian provinces, in Asia, Europe, Central America, South America, and Africa. From January to March 2022, I spent some time in Rodadero, Colombia. It was a perfect place for a digital nomad. Direct access to the beach, the jungle only 20 minutes away, the city of Santa Maria not too far&hellip; The pleasures of a foreign country with all the necessary commodities (Wifi, stable electricity, etc.)</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>4-What are the administrative steps to becoming a digital nomad?</strong></h3> <p><strong>Maude</strong>: You need to inform yourself about the available visas and make sure not to leave for more than 6 months if we want to keep the RAMQ here (if you are in Quebec). You also need to report your incomes according to our employers or clients (if they are abroad, for example).&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: In my case, I do not travel 100% of the time, so it is a bit different. I do not spend more than 50% outside of Quebec if we count the three weeks&#39; stays and more as asked by the RAMQ. I do not have to worry about my health insurance; however, I need to have a great house, health, and material insurance as a self-employed worker to protect my belongings when I am gone or on the road. I always respect the visa rules and the maximum time allowed, and since I bill everything in Quebec, I do not need to do my income tax report somewhere else.</p> <p>I must say that I need to be organized to have always everything I need with me&hellip; Much of what I do is done online since I cannot bring too much weight in my luggage. There is also the time difference when having meetings with clients, and the wifi does not always work perfectly. The hazards of digital life, indeed!</p> <p></p> <h3><strong>5-What tips would you give a freelancer or a self-employed worker who would like to try the experience of working abroad?</strong></h3> <p><strong>Maude</strong>: Do some searches! It can seem perfect to work on the beach, but the wifi is not always good! There are great lists of the best places to live when you are a digital nomad; take a look at them. Wifi is crucial, at least depending on your job. Without a good web connexion, it can give you a bad experience.</p> <p>My other tip would be to be disciplined because it is way more difficult than it seems to work in a city we want to visit or near a beach. It may feel less interesting to stay at home working in front of a computer for many hours.</p> <p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: Go for it! People will always say we are not doing the right thing the right way. I would not be here today if I had listened to those who tried to discourage me from leaving my six-figure salary and work conditions. I now earn almost the same pay, and I wake up loving what I do every morning. This is priceless!</p> <p>Does it mean it will be easy? No. People send this message too much about being a digital nomad. We must be aware that we might sometimes be in a dream place without having the opportunity to visit it as much as we would like because we need to work. Or things can become catastrophic because of a simple power cut that prevents us from contacting a client. It is a real job, whatever we do abroad. There are pros and cons; it is not a life made up of parties, beach time, and travels, but a representative and flexible life if we work hard.</p> <p></p>