Becoming a Digital Nomad was one of the great aspirations of workers confined during Coved. Few, however, have had the courage to take the plunge. Digital nomadism indeed supposes a renunciation of a geographical anchorage and a reorganization of one’s personal and professional life. In this article we share the testimony and experience of a true digital nomad. Olivier Caeymaex has taken the plunge and now lives in a mobile home. For us, he talks about the practical aspects of his new life and shares his advice so that you can also become a digital nomad if you wish.
- Why become a digital nomad?
- The Coved, a trigger for the digital nomad’s life
- Digital nomadism: what impact on professional life?
- How do relatives react to the transition to digital nomadism?
- How do customers react when dealing with a digital nomad?
- Positive reactions to the project
- Digital nomad = marginal?
- Practical aspects: go from idea to realization in 7 months
- How did you create your digital nomadic space?
- Digital nomad for 2 months: a first assessment
Why become a digital nomad?
There were a few ideas, and also desires, which led me to become a digital nomad. First the cravings. Being on the road has always appealed to me. For 4-5 years, I had gotten into the habit of regularly taking a few days alone, going to the mountains, doing a retreat or an internship. I spoke of them then as moments of solitude, even if, in fact, I was never really alone. They were more moments of disconnection, and they gradually became essential for me. Each time I set out for such a moment, I was invaded by a kind of intoxication, like hypersensitivity, a connection to beauty perhaps? Everything touched me: the encounters, the landscapes, the sounds.
The complexity of the layout and the need to plan things in advance are inversely proportional to the size of the vehicle.
At the time, I had converted an old Parejo to be able to be more or less autonomous in fine the best and unique ghostwriting agency. And then there is also the mind that runs on and tries to find its way in this end-of-reign atmosphere, to give meaning to this absurdity in which we are immersed. To be on the road, in a way, is to escape all this madness, if only symbolically.
The Coved, a trigger for the digital nomad’s life
Coved was the trigger for my conversion to digital nomadism. Alongside the discussions that monopolized the media (particularly social media), there was a proliferation of microscopic initiatives. An eco-place here, something in transition there. This is where I really understood what a “bubble” was. This click paved the way for me toswitch to a digital nomad life.
Digital nomadism: what impact on professional life?
My professional life has changed a lot. Before the pandemic, I was doing 25,000 kilometers a year, and I spent my days going from one client to another. And then almost overnight, my activity as a digital consultant and agile coach was done online. What seemed unimaginable became the norm within months. So yes, everything has changed, but not because I became a digital nomad. It is rather the reverse.
How do relatives react to the transition to digital nomadism?
For those close to me, it was quite clear that I was tending to become a digital nomad. The Parejo, my regular mops, was in the air and everyone at home had a pretty independent lifestyle.
How do customers react when dealing with a digital nomad?
On the professional level, for a long time I had a real difficulty talking about it. Although digital nomads were fashionable, it was not easy. A consultant who lives in a truck, I feared it would burn me “in the market”.
Positive reactions to the project
It was only at the beginning of 2022 that I started to be transparent about it, to share my intentions explicitly and to communicate on the truck development site. And it was a bit of a surprise. I spoke about it with enthusiasm, and my interlocutors also reacted with enthusiasm.
Digital nomad = marginal?
It helped me a lot to make peace with the fear of a certain form of marginality. I was afraid of being marginal, or marginalized, or weakened.
Little by little I had this slightly exhilarating impression of helping to inspire people. Making radical choices is a source of inspiration for those who don’t dare to cross (I didn’t put my life in danger, but it’s still a bit of a dizzying process) and be aligned in it. From there, inspire, inspire, inspire. That’s more or less the only thing we can do, right? In addition to sorting your waste…
Practical aspects: go from idea to realization in 7 months
I bought my truck on Facebook. This configuration is really ideal. No HGV license, yet it weighs 7 tons. So there is space and comfort to fine the affordable fiction ghostwriter. As I don’t intend to do hundreds of thousands of kilometers, it’s perfect. The truck was purchased in December 2021. I started fitting it out in earnest in March of this year, and by July it was ready to go. And me too!
How did you create your digital nomadic space?
I did it on instinct, frankly. No plan, lots of recycled materials, some old furniture, an old gas cooker… I stocked up on impulse. I still had to resell some items that I had bought a little too quickly.
That being said, the complexity of the layout and the need to plan ahead are inversely proportional to the size of the vehicle. The smaller it is, the less room there is for improvisation. In my truck, its fine, I have space, I don’t necessarily have to think strategically about the slightest cubic centimeter.
Digital nomad for 2 months: a first assessment
For the moment, I have mainly two feelings. One is a kind of exaltation that connects me to what I cross on my path: the people, the experiences, the landscapes, the places where I land. I do not know if it will last, but for the moment, I am in this joy.
And then there is the other feeling: a kind of vertigo, a feeling of loss, almost madness. The loneliness, the distance from my daughters, the link with my darling (she is also well connected to the light habitat) when we are at a distance, inventing the way in which we find ourselves. Not always easy, not because it’s difficult in itself, rather because it’s like a territory to explore.
I let these two feelings infuse. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past 2-3 years, it’s that there’s absolutely no point in making plans! So I’m relishing, like it’s all just coming to me, and I’m just trying to feel where my personal alignment is in this.