A Digital Nomad Couple: Linda's Story

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Welcome to this Travel Lifestyle Interview Series where we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Linda from Indie Travel Podcast. Linda and her husband are true digital nomads, spending more than 12 years traveling together around the world. Check out our Q & A with her as she gives insight to her favorite places to visit around the world, various companies and opportunities that have developed over the years, and the importance of being social while traveling.

1. How and when did you discover the digital nomad lifestyle?

The event of graduation was the last thing Linda needed to become a full-time digital nomad.

It came upon us gradually! When we first started travelling full-time in 2006, we worked as teachers of English as a second language in various destinations. At the end of 2006, though, we started Indie Travel Podcast, which gradually grew from a hobby to a full-time job — but just for one person. I continued to teach while Craig worked on Indie Travel Podcast. 

As time went on, he learned more and more about web development, and other travel bloggers started to ask him for help. This part-time consulting work gradually grew, and in 2014 he launched Performance Foundry, a web development and hosting company. I was still teaching, and also went back to university (in Spaininfo-icon) to do a Master’s Degree. After graduating, I joined Performance Foundry and we became true digital nomads.

2. What about being a digital nomad made it preferred as opposed to a "traditional job"? Do you still use the same skills?

Freedom that comes with digital nomad lifestyle and love of travel has made the choice of this lifestyle logical for Linda and Craig.

Our love of travel has made the digital nomad lifestyle a logical choice. We want to be free to move around whenever we like, and no traditional job is going to allow that!

Since the job I’m doing is not one that I studied for, I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills, but these skills are certainly transferable — I’d definitely be able to use them in a traditional job. 

3. Can you share some tips on balancing work and life while traveling full-time? 

Work and life balancing can be tough, especially for digital nomads. Taking a weekend off is a great way to fill up your batteries for the next week!

To tell you the truth, it can be a challenge. We try to work relatively regular hours, and have at least one weekend day completely off. We also set up workspaces that are separate from living spaces, and always make sure to explore our destinations! We do a lot of housesitting, and spending time with our temporary pets helps with the work/life balance a lot.

4. What has been your favorite destination to visit and why?

Spain is their favorite destination; they absolutely love its culture and vibe.

Everywhere we go has its own charm, but we’re constantly drawn back to Spain. The traditional Spanish food is just amazing, there’s plenty of history and culture to immerse yourself in, and we feel at home there. We’ve probably spent about two years in Spain over our 12 years of travel, so it’s a fair percentage!

5. How do you decide your next destination to travel?

Linda and Craig come from the beutiful New Zealand.

We don’t tend to think about it too much, really, and often end up in places more or less on a whim.

We like to avoid winter, so that’s a major consideration. Over the past few years, we’ve tended to head back to our home country of New Zealandinfo-icon for the southern summer, and we often visit my sister in Melbourne and Craig’s parents in Christchurch before spending most of the summer in Auckland. 

Other destinations are chosen because one of us wants to go there (I wanted to do my master’s in Spain; Craig wanted to do a housesit in Panamainfo-icon) or because of opportunities that come up — such as friends inviting us to travel with them, or great housesitting gigs.

This year, we’re going to spend some time in Athens (because we found cheap flights from Melbourne), and then we’ll probably have a couple of months in Spain before heading to the UKinfo-icon for a housesit.

6. What is your reason for traveling?

New and unique experiences are the main reason for travel for Linda and Craig.

We both love to experience new things, and travelling gives us constant access to that! New food, new landscapes, new friendships, new experiences. Even coming home allows us to see new developments and to appreciate the city with fresh eyes — which we wouldn’t have if we’d never left.

7. Advice for people interested in being a digital nomad?

Make sure to network with people on the road - social contact is essential for a digital nomad.

One major thing I’ve realized is how important it is for me to have social contact — and if you’re an extrovert, you may be the same! 

Make sure to meet people in each destination through Couchsurfing, meetup events, sports, or friends of friends. You may find it helps to spend more time in each destination — three months in one place, for example. I originally thought that spending one month in each of twelve cities over a year would be great, but one month isn’t enough time to make connections. Three months is often enough to join a group of some kind (I often do yoga or pilates) or make a friend. If you’re learning a language, Conversation Exchange is a great way to meet people and practice your language and theirs.

Linda Martin is a New Zealander and full-time traveller who has been travelling around the world with her husband Craig since February 2006. In late 2006 they started the Indie Travel Podcast to share tips and stories about independent travel; they also run a website development and hosting business, Performance Foundry.

Check out their travel stories on their travel blog. If you need a help with your website design, check out their web consulting website.  You can also check out their adventures on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Bryan Shelmon a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
The best part about travelling is experiencing completely different ways of living that make you appreciate life even more.