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One Way Nomad of the Week - Vanessa de Burgo, Virtual Assistant & Lead Generation Specialist

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Instagram: @bymagicsolutions

City of Origin: Lisbon, Portugal

First Digital Nomad City: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Current Digital City: Lagos, Portugal

Next Digital Nomad City: Hanoi, Vietnam

Current Job as a Digital Nomad: Virtual Assistant

Previous Non-Remote Job: Delegate Acquisition Executive

How long have you been a Digital Nomad? 1.5 years

What made you decide to become a digital nomad?

Freedom! I wanted to travel for so long, and many issues got in my way of actually pursuing this lifestyle. I wasn't happy in the corporate world and didn't understand why. I thought everyone was feeling the same thing - that’s how you're supposed to feel until you retire and die.

That's how it is. But I thought there had to be so much more to life than this. So I took the initiative and made it happen because I didn’t want to continue with that lifestyle.

Did any one person inspire you?

Yes, my friends Maria and Jodie. Initially, we went to the same networking event in Portugal. We bonded over our love of travel and more specifically, working remotely while travelling. They introduced me to the nomadic life. I didn’t even know that was possible. But they really did help a lot to make this transition happen.

What was your biggest fear of this transition?

Since I decided to become a freelancer, I was afraid of not being able to find clients and not being able to pay for my travel expenses. This can very very stressful because freelance work is sometimes unpredictable.

How did you make friends?

First, I made friends through my first digital nomad contact, Maria, and then I just went on quiz nights, meetups, and networking events, and from there, everything just opened up to new relationships. When I was living in Playa Del Carmen, I had the most amazing neighbours next door, and one week after meeting, I was going out with them. It just happens naturally.

What made you pick Playa Del Carmen as your first Digital Nomad City?

Well, I went to visit Maria while she was living in Playa Del Carmen, just for a short two-week holiday. And then I returned to Portugal, packed my bags, and in the same year said, ‘no, I'm leaving.’ I went back to Playa Del Carmen because I loved it. It was beautiful.

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

Fighting procrastination. I have a problem with postponing tasks the whole day, and I know that I have many things to do. Working from home can be very difficult.

I try going to coffee houses and coworking spaces to fight the urge to stay home on Netflix or do something else. I think coworking is the best option. A lot of people ask me why I pay for a co-working space when I just do 2 or 3 hours a day there, but I manage to get so much more done that way. I know that in those hours, I can accomplish all of my work that would normally have taken like 6 hours at home.

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

Clients come and go, and that's okay. I remember I had this client, I think we tried it for a month and a half to make it work - it didn’t. I was sad for a while when we had the termination conversation, but I was happy to have lost the client because I realized they were not the type of client that I want to work with.

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

I am still working on finding my work-life balance. I think you need to socialize and go out with people to feel normal. Sometimes it can be lonely and it helps to have a support group around you.

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

Oh, just start doing it as soon as possible. Just do it. Don't overthink it, it will take forever, just do it. I love it and for sure so will you!

Instagram: @bymagicsolutions

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