‘I’ve visited 100 countries working from my laptop – I don’t want a mortgage’

Many Brits dream of leaving their stuffy office behind and travelling the world, but sadly need to bring in a wage.

However, a new wave of young workers have discovered the benefit of working on the move and becoming “digital nomads”.

They get to flit from exotic beaches to bustling cities and back all while working from their laptops.

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One such innovator is Katie Macleod, 28, who claims she knew from a very young age that being tied to a mortgage and an office job wasn’t for her.

So, she saved up during her holidays from university to go travelling and afterwards got a job as a graphic designer in London.

Katie noted that the job was “fast-paced, high-intensity and very demanding”.

She hated the 7am starts, battling through her commute and the monotony of going to work each day.

Katie sacked it off in 2018 after saving £10,000 and now works while travelling the world.

Katie is currently in Muscat Oman, but has also visited Iraq and Syria, Bosnia and Serbia.

She says she’s often caught splashing out on takeaway coffees and new clothes, but says “financial freedom” isn’t about having stacks of cash in the bank.

Katie, from Inverness, said: "It is not the high pay, but the small expenses that make you able to afford a life of travel.

"You don't need a Starbucks coffee every day, a new outfit for every occasion, cancel your subscriptions and relieve yourself from any outgoings.

"It's likely that most of them are not necessary at all.

"Financial freedom isn't about being rich, it's about learning to live without counting on the next paycheck."

She added: "Once you're in control of your finances, you'll find that you have more headspace to be in the moment on this planet.

“I slowly found clients online [and]I realised that I could have an income, albeit small, to fund my travels so I could enjoy them for much longer.

"A life of full-time travel is much cheaper than being static with a mortgage, insurance, debts and a car."

Katie has also worked from the Himalayas in India, had Zoom calls during sandstorms on the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco and finished a day of work to then climbed an active volcano in Guatemala.

She also finds herself adding to projects at many an airport.

Katie said: "I love staying in hostels as they are the cheapest and best ways to meet fellow travellers.

"They are also becoming better and better at tailoring their living spaces to those who work remotely.

"In the past, I used to find it a little challenging working from such places as people could not understand why I would be working on my laptop whilst they were enjoying a holiday.

"Nowadays, it's much easier to explain that this is my lifestyle and that I need to work to be able to afford the next flight ticket.”

Now, Katie loves her life as a digital nomad, but does find it hard to work without a routine.

She noted: "Digital nomads have to be very strong-minded and determined to maintain any kind of workout routine, sleeping pattern or eating habits.

"If this isn't done right, it can easily result in burnout.

"People seem to believe that digital nomads look as if they are always on one big holiday, but the reality is constant travelling can be exhausting."

The young traveller claims countries like Malta and Bali are great starting points for those wanting to escape the rat-race.

She’s now visited over 100 places around the world.

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As a remote worker she’s journeyed to: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Egypt, Morocco, Portugal, Ireland, USA, Canada, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, India, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania, Latvia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, San Marino, Italy, UAE, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Jordan, Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Greece, Andorra, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Poland and Oman.

While as a holidaymaker she’s gone to: Mongolia, the Galapagos, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Bahamas, Cuba, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Qatar.

Katie shares her journey on her blog: www.katiegoes.com.


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