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One Way Nomad of the Week - Jordana Abitbol, Founder of SEO Cafe & SEM Specialist

City of Origin: Sudbury, Ontario

Current Digital City: Sevilla, Spain

First Digital Nomad City: Mountain View, California

Current Job as a Digital Nomad: Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Previous Non-Remote Job: SEO Account Manager

How long have you been a Digital Nomad? 11 Months

What made you decide to become a digital nomad?

So I've always wanted to travel regularly. I always thought that the ‘two weeks vacation’ rule was absolute BS. So that's what kind of sparked my interest. I just like being free, not having to go into the office every day or having to be in a certain city. I'm just a very curious person. I like to learn about different cultures and new cities. I also love to be surrounded by different types of architecture and meet people from all over the world.

So that's what really sparked it - the taste of freedom and curiosity.

Did any one person inspire you?

I wouldn't say there's one specific person. I'd probably seen something on a TikTok or Instagram post about traveling full-time while working full-time.

So I thought, I want that! But without all of the posting.

What was your biggest fear of this transition?

I didn't know where I wanted to go, so I think it was just the unknown. Not knowing where was safe, especially since I am a solo female traveler not speaking the native language. How am I going to live solo in different countries and get by?

And also there's always the financial burden because I do have my own business. So if or when clients leave you, then you can be left with a dramatic hit to your income. So I think everything was scary at the start. But I think you have to accept the fear of the unknown to be okay with it. In the end, as long as you do your best work and trust yourself, the abundance flows.

How did you make friends?

I made my first friend in a cafe in California, there were always people working on their laptops. And then, I made the most amount of my friends in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It's a really good city for digital nomads. And I simply Googled places for digital nomads and that popped up.

It's very easy to meet people [in Playa Del Carmen] because there is so much happening. There are Facebook groups, in-person meetups, and much more. So you can create this big community there.

What made you pick The Bay Area as your first Digital Nomad City?

It was the easiest decision for me, and the safest way to get started. My sister had moved out there for work so I wanted to visit her and thought it would be a great place to start. The pandemic was also very present, so there were a lot of regulations about where you could go. So I was thinking, let me just visit my sister for one to two months. Then as I'm there, I'll pick where I should go next to start my real “solo” nomad journey.

What is the biggest struggle you currently have as a Digital Nomad?

Definitely searching for places to stay that don’t cost what you would pay for vacation homes. I know a lot of people who are really good at searching on Facebook groups and finding decent places, but I just don’t have time to do a lot of research. It stresses me out because I'm so busy with work, so I just go on Airbnb and get whatever is there. But it can be really expensive, so I'm just trying to think of ways to make it more realistic and financially sound.

What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you started nomading?

I would say the language barrier isn't something to be super fearful of because it is a struggle, but you can always learn and find at least one person that speaks your own native language. Or there's Google Translate. So I would say that if that's holding someone back, just go for it and do your best to learn because the locals appreciate it.

What characteristic is most important to managing work/life balance?

Definitely being organized and disciplined. Because you can get looped into everything going on - events, meetups, and just hanging out with friends. So you really have to know how to block enough time for work and also enjoy what you do at the same time. It’s also helpful to think of it as your clients are providing you with the ability to live your dream life so it’s really important to show up for them 110%.

Where is next for you?

Las Palma, Spain. I just want to be by the water and I want my next place to be tropical or by the water. But if not, maybe somewhere else, because I'm already here. So I want to do a bit more of Europe before I try somewhere new.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Digital Nomad?

Just do it. Yeah. I would say don't get sucked into all the details (at the same time definitely do some research to be smart about it) because there are so many things that you can do to prepare for being a nomad. If you act upon your impulses to go, then things will flow through. There are too many ‘should I do it?’ Can I do it? Then you're going to hold yourself back. Also, make sure you have a decent amount of savings because it's always more expensive than you think. And there are always expenses that come out of nowhere so you have to be okay to have many “sunk” costs throughout your travels. I would highly recommend building up your business or job so that you can live comfortably and have a decent amount of “wiggle” room so you feel financially sound. Basically, always try to be prepared but don’t let your fear hold you back from starting.

Jordana's Space

Instagram: @jordana_abitbol

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