Interview by Tal Bright
Nathan Wright is new to the digital nomad lifestyle, but he’s already set clear goals for himself and is enjoying the freedom and sense of control he gets from his new lifestyle.
What made you decide you wanted to be a digital nomad?
The freedom and independence and the adventure. To be able to travel and see places, to meet other people and collaborate with them.
There seems to be a lot of good energy and a lot of creativity going on in this space, and I really wanted to find my way into it so I could be a part of that.
How do you make a living working from anywhere?
Currently I teach geography online for a university and I am about to start teaching English online as well.
I’m in the process of building other projects. I want to have my own blog and an e-commerce project. I have a lot of other ideas, but currently it’s just teaching.
What made you choose to come to Bansko?
I listen to a lot of podcasts and there were some members who visited Bansko last summer and shared some good information. That got it on my radar so I started thinking about it. Obviously since I was going travelling with a bootstrapping budget, I thought this was the best spot.
I considered Thailand and other places that are similar, but I had studied abroad in Austria and always wanted to come back to Europe. I knew that the culture shock would be easier to handle, because I’m already comfortable with Western European way of life.
What do you like about Coworking Bansko?
First and foremost, the community. Everyone is very laid-back, but at the same time they’re all working on their projects, it’s very motivating and very inspiring.
I want to entrench myself in a community of like-minded, hungry passionate people with diverse skills.
I also like how active everything is here. People are always doing fun stuff — playing games, movie nights, trips to the hot springs… I really like that because we don’t just come here as digital nomads just to work more. You work smarter and play more.
The local culture is so different for most of us, like the language and alphabet, the people and the customs, but we’re like our own little family, which makes us a lot tighter as a group. People help each other and respect each other a lot more, as opposed to a coworking space in a bigger city.
What do you like about the town of Bansko?
Definitely the air quality and the nature. The pace of life is very calm, slow, quiet and easy…
Everything is very affordable, which is important as I’m starting my journey.
I really enjoy the food too, I get to try many Bulgarian dishes.
What do you wish you had known before you became a digital nomad?
The struggle of luggage. You have to be very, very mindful of how much you pack.
Bring the things that you really like and that make your life better, but don’t overpack.
What’s your favourite thing about this lifestyle?
Just knowing that you are working for yourself. Everything you do, for the most part, you’re in control of. It’s your own risk and your own investment.
When you work for someone else and get a salary or an hourly wage, you’re generally working to make someone else rich. That’s OK, in some regards, because you have a safety net, you get good benefits and a consistent paycheck.
But for me, it’s about knowing that I am in control. I really believe in myself, in my potential and my abilities. Now I can use them to the fullest, as opposed to being hindered by the structure of a single job for someone else.
Now I can do any job I want if I find a way to make it marketable. It’s a way to break out of the matrix.
How many hours a day do you work on average?
Currently I work about 5–6 hours a day. Most of that time I do my research about ecommerce and skills I need to build.
When I start teaching English, that would be about 4 hours more per day on top of the research.
How do you stay productive while you travel?
I try to stay organised with lists and priorities. Sometimes it gets a little messy. There are a lot of things I want to learn, so I just try to triage the list. Essentially, I focus on milestones.
I also do a lot of health and wellness and even spirituality rituals that help me stay centred and grounded. I plan things ahead, exercise, meditate, eat clean etc. I look at it as an investment, it builds momentum.
I’m all about optimising, biohacking, finding ways to get the best results you can get with the least effort. It applies to everything: Your budget, your time, exercise, learning…
What apps do you use and recommend for digital nomads or long term travellers?
- SkyScanner for cheap airfare.
- Travelling Mailbox, which lets you view your postal mail online wherever you travel.
- Blinkist, because nomads like to learn a lot. It’s a book summary app with thousands of non fiction titles.
- Insight timer — A meditation app with thousands of free meditations.
- Iris is a desktop app that filters the blue light on your laptop.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a few objectives:
I want to establish a full teaching schedule so I can make enough money and save some.
I want to update my geography course for the fall semester.
I also want to start ecommerce, so I’ve picked out a course I want to purchase and follow. I would like to have my first ecommerce store built and achieve my first sale.
I completed my Masters thesis last year and would like to condense it and have have it published this year.
I hope to have a blog and a podcast by the end of this year.
By the time my 90 days here in Bansko run out, I’m hoping to have fun, meet people, make connections, go to the mountains, get a good taste of Bansko .
I’m not sure exactly where my next destination would be, I think I want it to be in Europe but I want to talk to people and get ideas and do my research.
If I accomplish all of those goals, it will be an amazing summer.
About the author
Tal Bright was a Nomad in Residence at Coworking Bansko in May 2019. She’s been a digital nomad since 2009 and is currently sharing her knowledge on her travel blog, brightnomad.net, and works as a content creator.