We often interview seasoned digital nomads, but in this interview, we chat with Lucy Fisher, a freelance event producer and marketer who just became a digital nomad and started traveling the world 3 months ago!
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Lucy, I am 29 and from the UK. I grew up in the countryside, close to a small city called Worcester but have lived in London, Bristol, and Edinburgh is now the place I call “home”.
I’m currently traveling through Asia and doing freelance work. So far on this trip, I’ve been hiking in Nepal to Annapurna Base Camp, discovered the beauty and food delights of Taiwan and am now exploring Laos.
Next up is Vietnam, Myanmar and The Philippines.
Travel is my absolute passion and it has been ever since I was taken on many adventure holidays by my parents. At 18, I went on my first backpacking trip on the classic “round-the-world” route and since then I’ve lived in Canada and Australia, been back to SE Asia, through Central America and some of South America.
I’m always planning my next long weekend, holiday or big trip, and it’s fair to say that all of my disposable income (since I started work at age 15) has gone to traveling! Maybe with the odd beer, wine or G&T, thrown in too.
I want to share my experience and help other people plan their trips too, so have just launched my own travel blog called FootLuce Adventures.
How long have you been living as a digital nomad?
I only started in February this year (2018)! So I am still getting into the rhythm of working on the road. Things like testing out where I get the most work done – cafes, my Airbnb or a shared office space, and when – usually I block out certain days or half days just to focus on work.
What do you do for work? What did you use to do before?
I am a freelance event producer and marketing consultant.
For my main client, I put together B2B conference programs and also run multichannel marketing campaigns for these events. I used to work full time for this company when I lived in London before I left to move to Australia, so they knew I was reliable and would get the job done.
I also work with smaller clients on their digital marketing strategy and implementation, including building websites, social media, PR and more.
Before starting freelance work, I was a marketing manager at an NHS charity in Bristol. I found working for the non-profit sector really rewarding, especially as I’m interested in healthcare.
I’ve also worked as an account/project manager for a communications agency and a marketing manager for an event company.
What made you decide to start traveling the world and work remotely as a digital nomad?
I started doing freelance work in the UK about a year ago and enjoyed the flexibility that it gave me. This was the stepping stone I needed to a become a digital nomad and start traveling the world.
I took a three month trip with a friend through Central America last year and realised that I wanted to carry on travelling and with the type of work I do, I can do it from anywhere.
After my trip, I went home for a couple of weeks, sorted out my first freelance contract as a digital nomad (thanks to my friend and old employer) – booked my next flight and haven’t looked back!
What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
Pros: Getting to see the world and everything it’s got to offer. There’s so many things that I love about traveling that it’s hard to define just one thing.
I love the sense of arriving at a new place and being excited to explore. I love the new experiences on offer and the sense of adventure it brings. I love meeting new people and learning about new cultures.
Seeing the beauty and diversity of the landscapes around the world. Sampling new food and drink (and I eat A LOT… ask anyone who knows me!). I love trying new activities, hiking to places that not many people get to see.
And I am so glad to have escaped the “normal” 9-5 routine. So there’s quite a lot of positives.
Cons: I’m really close with my friends and family at home, so sometimes it can be tough not being able to share my experiences with them and laugh about what has been happening.
Skype and Whatsapp have made it a lot easier to keep in touch though. I remember having always find a payphone or internet cafe when I first started traveling!
A lot of my friends are living all over the world so we keep in touch via Skype calls anyway, but chatting to people who know me really well helps keep me sane!
Most favorite city in the world (if you had to pick one) and why.
Edinburgh! I know it’s not some exotic destination but I just LOVE it! I visited the city a lot when I was younger and also studied at University there for three years. Now it’s my “home” again.
There’s just something so special about it – you can’t beat the view from the top of Arthur’s seat, or a walk along the Water of Leith, or the views of the castle on top of the volcanic rock. And it’s so easy to get into the hills for a hike or a ski if the snow is good!
Close behind are Perth in Australia and Vancouver, but even with Perth’s amazing weather and beaches, and Vancouver’s proximity to the ski slopes – Edinburgh wins! Small-ish cities that are close to outdoor activities are winners for me.
How do you stay safe on the road?
I just use my common-sense. I try not to walk alone at night and definitely not on quiet streets, I keep a close eye on my belongings and spread my money out.
Always keep some emergency cash on you in case you get caught out – US Dollars are probably best.
Keep it hidden away somewhere secret, but always remember if you’re taking a long bus or train journey to keep it on you or in your day pack – don’t leave it underneath the bus.
What do you wish non-digital nomads knew about your digital nomad lifestyle?
Being a digital nomad isn’t just all sun, sea and sand that you see on Instagram. It requires self-motivation and discipline to get your work done, as well as do everything that you want to.
These past few weeks have been busy with work, getting ready to launch my blog, moving from place to place, doing activities and seeing the sights, meeting new friends and then there’s the usual day-to-day stuff like exercise, washing, and life admin. So getting the balance right is important.
I’ve found the best way to be productive and do all the activities I want to is to stay in places a little longer and build some sort of daily habits.
What is one travel hack that you’ll recommend?
If you book accommodation ahead (tip: leaving it till the last minute or even the day you want to check in can often get you access to last minute price drops) then always use the loyalty programs.
I use sites such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Airbnb – it’s surprising how quickly you can build up points from free nights or referrals.
Be sure to always leave a review too, not only so you can help out fellow travellers, but this builds you more points and you can get access to secret deals. Who doesn’t love staying somewhere for half price or even free!
Get Your Travel Insurance
Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance whether you are a short term or long term traveler. Things can go bad suddenly and you don’t wanna get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. We recommend World Nomads.