Hi Rose, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I’m a solo female traveller trying to show others that it’s possible to see the world on a budget. After many years of backpacking and coming home broke, I decided to focus on my passion of travel writing and go remote. I had several years’ experience as a copywriter so I used freelance writing to financially support myself as I built up and monetised my blog, Where Goes Rose? Now I try to spend a few months getting to know a place properly while getting work done, then I move on for a bit of backpacking and adventure.
What is your current destination?
Currently I’m at home in the UK due to COVID-19. I had been living in Mexico City for the last six months but I decided to come home for safety reasons. However I hope to get back there soon as I love living in Mexico. The food is amazing, everyone is friendly and the weather is always good, plus Mexico City is really cool with lots of hipster areas and things to do. It makes a good base for travelling around the country because there are endless places to see around Mexico.
Can you tell us a bit about the projects you are currently working on? Are you currently looking for some new projects and clients?
Currently I am spending a lot of time working on my blog, editing old blogs and writing a backlog of new blogs from places I’ve travelled to in the last year or two. I find when I’m moving around rapidly it’s hard to get everything done so the only upside of not being able to travel is that I’m catching up and growing my blog.
I’ve always offered my services as a freelance writer and blogger, but due to the social media and SEO skills I’ve learnt from growing my blog, I’ve recently started offering my digital marketing services to small brands which is a new income stream for me. I have a few clients already but I’m on the lookout for more!
What do you like the most about being a Digital Nomad?
So many things! Setting my own working hours is great. I also love being able to pick and choose the projects I work on. But probably the best bit is being able to base anywhere in the world and travel so much more than a 9-5 would allow. That’s why I decided to do it, really – I didn’t want to choose between travel and career.
And what are the downsides of it (in case there are any)?
Loneliness. For solo digital nomads, it can be tricky to feel you’re part of a community especially if you’re moving on fast and don’t know people in your location. For me, I combat this by staying places longer and using nomad Facebook groups to meet people.
Probably another downside is health and diet. Not all hostels have kitchens and if I’m moving on fast, there’s not time to do supermarket shops and prepare healthy meals like you would at home. When it’s too hot to go for a run, you have to be creative to get your exercise in. Often I just don’t exercise as much as I would at home and eat a lot of stodge on the go which leaves me feeling gross.
What is a place/country you liked the most while travelling and why? What’s on your to-travel-list?
I can tell this is going to be a long answer! I always fall in love with places. But my love for Vietnam has stood the test of time and I have been four times in five years. I particularly love Hanoi Old Quarter which is hectic and charming with colourful buildings, scooters flying everywhere, and a street where the shops haven’t changed what they sell for 1,000 years. It’s hectic but traditional with lots of character so I can’t compare to anywhere else.
Cape Town is also a favourite for me as I spent 2 months there in 2017. I loved the outdoorsy feel with lots of hikes and beaches as well as it being a very cosmopolitan city. Taiwan is another recent favourite because it’s so underrated by international tourists. The hiking is incredible, all the cities are cool and quirky and the food is insanely cheap. Plus, bubble tea!
My to-travel list is also lengthy. My plan after a few more months in Mexico was to head south and make it through Central and South America by land. Hopefully I can still do this at some point. I’ve heard great things about Colombia and the nomad community there. Then after that, I’d love to get to the Middle East. I don’t want much, do I?
How often do you use coworking spaces? Is there one that you’d like to recommend to other nomads?
In Mexico City there are a few like Blend Station with good Wi-Fi and individual chargers at each workstation. They’re clearly made with remote workers in mind and the food and drink is really good.
Let´s talk about community. Is there a special place/city that you particularly liked because of people/community?
Mexico City has been great and I love my social group there. I’ve met other digital nomads and expats as well as locals. I also had a great time in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Hoi An, Vietnam meeting other bloggers and digital workers.
In terms of a more local community, I loved helping an ethical company set up homestays in Bali. I always think back to exploring untouched parts of Bali with locals my age on the back of their scooter. It was totally different to hanging out with other international nomads but that’s the best part of travel for me, the variety!
Rose, I can see that you are passionate about street art. Can you share with us what are the best places/cities I should go, if I want to see great street art?
Yes, so many! Even though it’s close to home, I love Shoreditch in East London. Glasgow in Scotland was awesome, too. Cape Town in South Africa was one of the first places I ‘discovered’ street art and knew I liked it. Then, Taiwan and Malaysia are just fantastic. South Korea also started the trend of ‘mural villages’ to bring tourism to undervisited areas so it was interesting to visit them.
I wasn’t expecting to see street art in Mexico but I was very pleasantly surprised in Mexico City and Oaxaca. And of course, Wynwood Walls in Miami is iconic! I actually only went to Miami because of Wynwood. Stopping there was the same price as flying to Mexico directly so I thought I’d go see the art.
Can you tell us what is your biggest dream?
I’d love to have a travel business some day. I’m really passionate about local food and having more off-the-beaten-path cultural experiences so I’d love to be a tour guide or perhaps open a hostel. EIther way, I’d want to employ local staff and support local communities. I’m not sure what country I’d want it to be in so this dream needs a lot more thought!
Could you share with us the names of two inspiring digital nomads that you are following?
Efia from Effy Shows Life is a really inspiring person to follow for all things solo travel and creative remote work. She’s currently based in Australia and has recently written an e-book all about solo travel. My other favourite is Cassie from Cassie the Hag. She’s one of the few solo travellers who writes about mental health and travelling as an introvert. She’s recently spent time in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.
Is there something that you would like to add?
I haven’t talked much about food yet and I honestly think about 70% of the reason I travel is to satisfy my stomach! Being from England, I don’t have the greatest choice when it comes to national dishes so, apart from something indulgent like fish ‘n’ chips, I usually eat international food at home. Some of my favourite dishes from travelling are bun cha in Vietnam, panang curry in Thailand and mole (chili and chocolate sauce) in Mexico. I love how food brings communities together in many countries and huge groups of people dine together outside. I also love the tradition of it with many grandmas passing down their recipes and restaurants to the family. We just don’t have that at home.
Written by: Kristina Lukacova, a DN that enjoys good food, good wine and good vibes. If you would like to know more about Rose, you can have a look at her blog.