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How to Make Money While Travelling: Women Digital Nomads

· Nomad Interviews

Welcome to the 3rd edition of “How to Make Money While Travelling” which features successful nomadic teams and interviews with location independent entrepreneurs.

This week I interviewed Chrys Tan, the creator of "Women Digital Nomads", the "Lonely Planet” for women digital nomads and co-founder of MISO, a soon-to-launch health and fitness startup for travellers and digital nomads.

Women Digital Nomads

So, how do you make money while travelling?

I make some money from ads on Women Digital Nomads, as well as freelance social media management and digital marketing work.

What were you doing before Women Digital Nomads?

I worked at Singapore’s largest advertising agency for five years, and have worked with brands like Unilever and Procter and Gamble.

What are your reasons for becoming location independent?

I’ve been a long term backpacker since 2009, and would keep doing the whole “work for 2 years, travel for 1 year” routine. I kinda got tired of that, plus my goals in life changed as well.

When I decided to leave advertising to start my first startup, I started working out of cafes and coworking spaces in Singapore. I soon found myself traveling to different cities and establishing the same routine there that I would have in Singapore, but at a lower cost. :)

Do you face any challenges while both working and travelling?

The biggest problem is the change in routine. I am most productive when I have a pretty set routine to follow; for example I’ll be working on a project in the mornings, working out or sightseeing in the afternoons, and chilling out or working in the evenings.

Every time I move to a new city, I would need to spend some time finding a new place to work, a new place to exercise, new restaurants etc. Plus I get distracted with all the new things to do. Because of that, I prefer to stay in each city for at least a couple of weeks or longer.

How do you find work while travelling?

By being proactive about sending emails to companies to offer my services. I am still trying to build my client base for my social media management and marketing work at the moment, so I’ve been going around just letting everyone know that I am available for work.

Why do you think businesses should offer more remote working opportunities?

I just attended a conference where the founder of Jobbatical gave a talk about the future of work, in which she mentioned that employees of today are very different from employees of the past. We don’t see ourselves staying on with one employer for the rest of our lives; we want new challenges, a purpose, to “YOLO” or You Only Live Once. Which is why to attract talents and retain talents for as long as possible, companies need to embrace different types of working styles to suit different types of employees.

If you were to give advice to someone who wants to quit their desk job to become location independent, what would it be?

First, make sure you have an income stream coming in before you travel. If you already have a job, ask your manager if your role can be converted to a remote work role (you don’t have to tell them you’ll be traveling). If that is not a possibility, start looking for freelance work. Feel like you don’t have the “skills” needed to be a digital nomad? There are many jobs out there that don’t require a specific skill like programming or design, for example customer service jobs. Here are 23 job sites to help you find remote work.

What is your favourite travel quote?

“Just go.” - My ex colleague.

I kid. “Collect moments, not things”.

Do you have a mantra, slogan, or catchphrase?

“Can I get a discount?”

Thanks, Women Digital Nomads!

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