Working abroad is something I’ve always wanted to do. Lucky for me, at MyCustomizer, we’re already set up for remote work, so when I needed to meet with a client in Lisbon, I took this opportunity to experience the digital nomad lifestyle. 50 days, 9 cities and 46 instagram posts later, here’s what I learned:
Keep it simple
I think the most important lesson I learned is to keep things as simple as possible. I’ve travelled a lot before, but this is different. You’ve got your job to think about, but also everything else that comes with travelling: How do I get to my airbnb? Where do I buy public transport tickets? Where is my co-working tomorrow? How will I get there? Where will I eat? Prepare to be tired! Your brain is always “on” since you’re completely out of your regular routines and habits.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it! The trick is to get organized. I travelled with 2 bags: 1 backpack for my clothes and 1 bag for my laptop and everything else I wanted to carry around during the day. I got this really cool travel safe bag with all sorts of anti-theft features. When I was working in a cafe and could secure my bag around the table, it was one less thing to worry about. Having only 2 bags makes it easier to manage when travelling between cities. You want to be able to take the subway to the airport without having to lug around more than 2 items. Plus, a backpack comes in pretty useful in the Paris metro, where there are virtually no escalators.
When choosing an AirBnb, I would filter using “Laptop friendly workspace”, so I would have a desk to work in case I didn’t find a café or coworking. Once I was settled in, I would plan a few days in advance and choose co-working spaces in neighbourhoods I wanted to visit or close to attractions I wanted to see. Sometimes I would do 2 different co-working places or cafés during the day, so I could move around and get to see more of the city.
Workfrom was my favorite tool to find places to work. What I liked about the website (and app) is that it lists a lot of places to work that are not officially co-working spaces, but are work friendly. This is how I ended up spending a day at “La gaîté lyrique” a mix of cultural space, library, museum and coffee shop in Paris:
Overall, Paris is a great place to be a digital nomad. It’s easy to get around, there are tons of places to work and the food is great! It’s a bit expensive but there are plenty of budget-friendly places, plus wine is really cheap ;) Here are a few of my favorite places to work in Paris:
And the stunning WeWork Paris:
Next up - I head to Portugal, where things are not as organized as Paris… stay tuned for Part 2