Forgive me, as am not one for brevity. Like so many, I’ve been thinking a lot about being a digital nomad, and find myself in a good position to go for it (better position than most who are considering it, I think), but am still not sure… how/where to start.
Background: In July 2013 I left my home country for long-term travel for the first time. I found out, though I was already 35 at the time, that I was still eligible for a working holiday visa for a handful of countries. I was accepted to New Zealand. So, I quit my job, gave up my apartment, sold or gave away what I could, and have some stuff stored with family. I spent three months in SE Asia then 13 months in New Zealand. Though my background is communications, in NZ I worked in tourism/hospitality which was a fun and refreshing—if low-paying—change of scenery.
Now I’m in Cambodia working in communications for an NGO for six months. I only receive a small monthly stipend but I’d always been curious about NGO work and with the low cost of living here plus some savings built up I thought, why not?
Not content to watch my nest egg slowly drain, I’ve been looking into some freelance work on the side, mostly in writing which seems to be the most common freelance work available based on my background/experience. I also thought now would be an ideal testing ground for freelance work due to my savings plus low overhead
My NGO gig ends in June and I’d love to stay in Cambodia longer, but not overly keen on the 9-to-5 and would love an alternative (either as a telecommuting employee, freelancing, or a mix of both). Even though I made the hardest choice in 2013 with quitting my job and all that and I’m now based somewhere where I can live off a low income for awhile, I don’t know how or where to start.
Due to the “sabbatical” (ie. travel then time in NZ) and in my last few jobs not doing much writing outside of social media content, my writing portfolio is quite dated, which is not helping prove my writing abilities. Also, being in-house so long, I don’t have many contacts that could become potential clients. I actually prefer editing, but the consensus out there seems to be that if the writing is good, then an editor is not needed so there’s less editing work as far as I can tell.
Oh, I should add my comms experience has been in the not-for-profit sector predominantly, so no experience writing marketing- or sales-type copy designed to sell products or services (though certainly willing to try). And one last thing: I’m not an overly confident person, so selling myself does not come easy which is certainly not helping in trying to get work. Some days I feel defeated and that this concept of being a digital nomad is just not attainable for someone like me.
If you read all that, thanks! Tips / advice / suggestions / thoughts / slap upside the head?