Interview with Nellie, a DN and minimalist6 min read
Interview with Nellie, a DN and minimalist6 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Hi Nellie, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I grew up in Northern Germany but have been living nomadically (without a home base) for almost 3 years now. As a freelance Social Media Manager I can work remotely and communicate with my clients through WhatsApp, Zoom Calls and other sorts of online communication tools. In that sense my work doesn’t require me to travel, but I’ve learned to love the location-independent lifestyle with all its perks and challenges. It has also inspired me to start my own YouTube channel, which allows me to share my experiences and insights about the “life on the road” with others.
What is your current destination?
Due to the pandemic I am currently temporarily based in Hamburg, but my feet are really itching to move again once travel restrictions have eased out a bit. That being said, I know how important it is that we are even more cautious and responsible with travelling from now on and that will definitely affect my lifestyle.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
To be honest, my Social Media business has been booming since the start of the pandemic. I work primarily with German companies that are looking to move their marketing and communication into the online world to reach new markets – a transformation that has been popular for quite some time but that is absolutely inevitable now. However, I am always open for new collaborations, clients and partners and would love to expand my team soon.
Email or Instagram Private Messenger are the best ways to reach out to me of you were looking to collaborate ☺
What do you like the most about being a Digital Nomad?
As most Digital Nomads, I love the independence and sense of freedom that allows me to go (almost) wherever I want without having to quit a job or worry about leaving my house, family or pets for too long. Living in a foreign city is different than visiting a place as a tourist, because you get to know a country and its culture a bit better. For the first couple of months of being a Digital Nomad I was moving every other day or week, but quickly realised that being in one place for at least a month is not only more sustainable and better for your own health, but allows you to get to know a place from a more local perspective – and I absolutely love that. Last but not least I’ve been lucky to meet some incredible people though my lifestyle and I’m still in touch with most of them today.
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
Oh, there definitely are. Living a location-independent life can be stressful, especially if you have a more or less full-time job and clients who expect you to be available during normal office hours. The first thing I do when I arrive in a new place is to set up my laptop and check if the wifi connection is stable! Never staying in one place for longer than 3 months can also get quite lonely because even though meeting new people has always been easy for me, it’s almost impossible to connect with someone on a deeper level in such a short period of time.
Not to forget the complications around doctor’s appointments or serious injuries that need to be treated no matter where in the world you are. I’m spoiled to have grown up only knowing the German health care system, but now I know that good medical care is not something we should take for granted.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why? What’s on your to-travel-list?
I loved Japan, was fascinated by South Korea, really enjoyed Georgia (the country) and definitely want to go back to South Africa one day. High up on my list are South America – pretty much the entire continent – and most of the “Stans” : Kirgistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan…
Let´s talk about community. Is there a special place/city that you particularly liked because of people/community?
Lisbon was the most Digital Nomad friendly place I’ve worked from. There are tons of young entrepreneurs who have recently moved to Portugal and you will find a number of Coworking spaces, events and communities around location-independent working in the city.
Nellie, can you share with you a few tips on how to travel minimalisticly?
Think about which materialistic things you REALLY need in life and begin packing those items into your suitcase. If they don’t fit, don’t buy a bigger suitcase, but get rid of some items. I’ve been travelling carry-on only for the past 3 years and I hardly ever felt like I was missing clothes or other luxury products. Whenever I feel like I’m missing a pair of sandals, cosmetics or forgot my phone charger, I would just go buy them after settling into my new place.
Why do you think people pack the same amount of clothes when they go on a weekend trip as they do when they go on a 3-week’s vacation?
At the end of the day travelling lightly is bringing it down to the essentials and I’ve always loved that about my lifestyle.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
One day I want to own a house in southern Spain, a pool overlooking the ocean and just drink wine and eat tapas all day. I’m kidding – but the Spanish lifestyle is pretty close to perfect when I picture my ideal retirement life 😀 But with lots of hiking, biking, reading, learning and creating of course. I believe that mental stimulation, physical health and a handful of deep connections are the key to happiness.
In case you have a motto, could you share it with us?
I don’t really have one, but I recently read this quote and loved it: We can’t live our lives without aging, but we can age without living our lives.
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
Jodie Dewberry and Elli Quinn are good friends of mine and have both inspired me as female digital nomads and successful entrepreneurs.