An interview with digital nomad Luz
As this week we celebrate Women’s Day on March 8th, we interviewed a successful and independent modern woman to share her inspiring contemporary lifestyle.
Luz lives a Carpe Horam lifestyle, seizing every hour of her time. Her name? Luz. Her profession? A full time digital nomad travelling the world, part time fitness model and part time artist. She also somehow makes time to save the ocean, with her diving ocean clean up project in Barcelona ¨Better Ocean¨.
Originally from Holland, however Luz has been based in Barcelona for the last few years but travels throughout the year. We sat down with her to see how she manages to work from her laptop anywhere in the world, and what advice she can give to others who seek the digital nomad lifestyle
Can you explain what you do for a living?
I’m a remote freelancer running my own business Luzintheway Marketing. In that business, I launch and run digital marketing strategies for companies, acquire leads online or offline, write content and business articles and grow online reputations. Oh and on the side I love to paint boards!
Where are you based now?
Right now I am based in Barcelona, but I am leaving this Spring with my backpack and laptop to explore some countries I’ve never experienced.: Turkey, Greece, Chile… Who knows!
Do you have any plans to travel soon?
Absolutely, travel is at the core of why I work remote. This way I can leave for months at a time instead of waiting to take a rushed weeks vacation.
How easy is it to become a freelancer?
In Spain if you speak Spanish it is quite easy, but if you don’t you’re in trouble! The tax legislation is pretty confusing here though, and it’s surprisingly expensive (more so for me because all my clients have their companies registered outside of Spain). I wouldn’t recommend it until you have solid longterm clients.
Any tips for places to work as a digital nomad in Barcelona?
The nice coworking places are pretty pricey in Barcelona, so I prefer to work at home on my sunny terrace or in larger cafes with good WiFi where you are not hassled to leave after a few hours. Al sur cafés in Barcelona are nice to laptop workers! Always check the WiFi speed wherever you are before you order, by the way…
How easy is it to work remote when you are on the road?
My work is not very time zone restricted usually but when I’m posting on social media I just schedule it for the correct timezone of the target audience using sprout social or hootsuite. Scheduling is key! It also means I can be offline a few days (e.g when in transit) and not worry about lacking consistency.
Where have you been able to travel to while working?
In 2018 I travelled and worked in Bali, Australia, Thailand, Germany, Holland, Morocco, Tenerife and New York!
What´s the biggest reward from remote work?
Apart from the ability to travel when and where I please, it’s the confidence of feeling ‘your own boss’ where you make the rules, not vice verca. The lie-ins (I’m not a morning person!) and choosing how many hours you work per day is also incredible. I can prioritise sport and beach time during the day and then work in the evening when it’s dark anyway.
What´s the worst thing about remote work?
Filing your invoices and expenses with an Accountant every month, that’s a real pain in the ass. There’s a hell of a lot of paperwork that I never had as an employee, but hey it is worth it! Newbie freelancers often miss colleagues as well, but to be honest I have great friends in this city and actually like being alone when I work! Also that you never have a contract with a client, so they can theoretically drop you like a hot potato whenever they want.
How do you see the digital nomad sphere changing in the upcoming years?
It’s growing massively! I see a huge rise in remote Jobs being advertised online. That’s a great thing! I also think big companies are getting smarter and realising the value of remote workers as part of their team, whereas previously many big employers are sceptical of people who work in that way. They might think if people aren’t being watched they will slack off, but at least in my opinion successful remote workers are some of the hardest working and entrepreneurial people there are – simply because if you don’t show great results, your client can drop you in an instant – and nobody who goes remote wants to go back to the office job so we do our absolute best to impress.
Do you have a routine you keep even while on the road?
I try to keep fitness a priority when I can, just to keep my mind sharp. I always travel with gym clothes and my running shoes, and a bikini to swim when in hot places!
Where is the craziest / remotests place you’ve worked from?
Probably from the diving island Koh Tao in Thailand, I was staying in a tiny hut on a hill with not much more than a mattress, mosquito net and a hosepipe as a shower. In the morning I would open coconuts that had fallen down and watch this incredible sea view from my hammock, it was incredible! No WiFi up there… Haha
What tips / advice would you give someone who is considering going remote?
Be really hungry about learning. Craft your skills by staying up to date with industry news in your spare time, and watch those who are doing what you ultimately want to do. Make a killer LinkedIn profile (it’s where I do most of my business networking) and also, if you see a job posted that isn’t remote, there’s no harm in asking them if that’s a possibility. I’ve landed excellent remote jobs that way several times – the company never even thought about someone remote taking it but ultimately if you get the results they need that’s all that matters. Oh and invest in some good headphones!! Haha
Are there any special apps you use or technology while travelling?
Loads. Jiffy is a great free time tracking app where I meticulously log all my hours. Slack I use to communicate with my clients and their teams. Google drive is essential for storing my work in the cloud and for my clients to access and comment on it. Evernote for keeping notes that sync across devices. Hootsuite and Sprout Social are good schedulers.
What’s your favourite quote ?
The end of wisdom is to dream high enough not to lose the dream in the seeking of it. – William Faulkner
Thank you Luz and Happy Women´s Day to all the Women pushing the limit of what they can achieve, living every hour to the max! Seize the Hour, Carpe Horam!