Digital Nomad Interviews: Carlo and Florence from Next Stop Who Knows

Working beside a beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand How to Travel and Make Money as a Digital Nomad

Florence and Carlo working online beside a beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand

So, you want to travel forever and make money on the road? After giving you ideas on how to travel for free and how to make money while traveling now I’m talking to people who are doing just that! Maybe they can inspire you to also make your dreams of a life of travel a reality?

How to Travel and Make Money as a Digital Nomad – Interview with Digital Nomad Couple Carlo and Florence.

Met Carlo and Florence – a fun loving digital nomad couple that have travelled to 38 counties together and document their adventures and the places they’ve explored on their travel and lifestyle blog www.nextstopwhoknows.com.

Carlo and Florence are from a small, charming town called Boyle, in the West of Ireland but have recently packed their bags again to hit the road, intending to spend 5 months in Chiang Mai in Thailand and afterward a few months exploring India and Nepal and they fund their travels working online on their freelance writing business.

Sounds exciting, so can you explain how you can travel and make money online?

We have a number of different ways in which we make money online. I’m going to talk about our freelance writing business, which is the business that makes us the bulk of our monthly income. We created the business two years ago in a hope to generate a full-time income that would allow us both to travel around the world and not have to dip into our savings to do it.

Two years on and we’ve managed to do just that. We now have a steady base of clients that we provide blog posts, web copy, social media management and a range of other content services to. When the business was in its early stages, we used to do all of the writing ourselves but as time passed and our confidence in the business grew, we worked hard to scale the company so that we now manage the flow of the business and no longer have to do any of the writing. Our team of writers that we now employ allow us to reduce our time writing giving us more time to focus on trying out other ventures online.

How to Travel and Make Money as a Digital Nomad

How to Travel and Make Money as a Digital Nomad

Wow, sounds excellent, what made you decide to work remotely like this and how did you make it happen?

We had been living what society refers to as a ‘normal’ life before we left home in July 2013. Previous to this time, we had regular jobs and travelled to different countries around the world whenever we got the chance. We decided to quench our thirst for travel by saving up and taking a 6-month backpacking trip around SE Asia and Australia. Unfortunately, due to Carlo getting a back injury, this trip ended suddenly and we were left feeling unsatisfied with itchy feet to get away again.

It was through this unfortunate situation and because of our unrelenting feeling of incompleteness that we made the decision to leave Ireland and travel for a longer period of time. With the need to travel and perhaps live abroad long-term came the need to make money, which is why we decided to create a content creation business and work hard at it to make it a success. To make it happen, we took action before we left and solely focused on learning all about the business itself along with gathering a steady flow of clients to get the ball rolling.

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What do you like the best about life as a freelance writer and digital nomad?

The single best thing about living this type of lifestyle is that we choose how our day pans out. We have the ability to decide how many hours we work per day and we choose where we want to live without having to take a boss or any kind of company into consideration. Getting to experience new cultures, live in tropical countries and meet really cool people while doing both of those is also pretty darn amazing.

And what has been the greatest challenge?

When it comes to our business, the greatest challenge that we’ve encountered, and still encounter, is maintaining a team of writers who are competent enough to create high quality content and reliable enough to meet deadlines.

Please describe your life in 3 words.

Carlo: Independent – Adventurous – Exciting
Florence: Pretty – fricking – cool!

Do you have one standout highlight, achievement or a favourite destination?

Carlo: My standout highlight and achievement was the moment in which we knew that we could make a sustainable income working online. It was something that I knew would happen eventually, but I didn’t expect us to get there in the short amount of time that we did. The feelings of achievement and complete elation were something I’ll never forget. If I had to pick a favourite destination it would have to be Thailand. As a whole I think it has everything and I love the fact that life out there is so relaxed and laidback in comparison to many other countries that we’ve lived in.

Florence: For me, my standout highlight is getting to spend 3 months in East Africa doing volunteer work in schools and orphanages. It was something that I’d always wanted to do and my time there really changed my outlook on life and I got to meet and spend time with some of the most amazing and kind-hearted kids that I’ve ever met.
As a girl who didn’t even own a laptop 5 years ago, my standout achievement has got to be creating my very first mobile App back in March of last year. I’m totally in agreement with Carlo about the whole Thailand thing. It’s got the food, it’s got the weather (most of the time!), the people are lovely and it’s got some of the best beaches in the world.

Florence volunteering in an Orphanage in Kampala, Uganda

But nothings perfect right? Are there any downsides?

Of course – there are downsides to everything! Working online means that, unlike people who work in a ‘regular’ job, we are not guaranteed to have a steady paycheque at the end of each week/month. It’s up to us to work hard and put in enough hours to ensure that we get paid and actually have money coming into our account at the end of the month. Another downside at the moment is that we rely heavily on the Internet to manage and run our businesses. So, that means we can’t stay disconnected for too long. But we’re slowly working on a solution for that.

What do you wish you had known before you started working remotely?

Doing the job that we’re doing and considering how important it is to be online to respond to clients, we wish we’d known how easy it is to get Wi-Fi rage! Our recent trip to South America saw us come down with this ‘condition’ a little too often, and as pretty calm people in normal circumstances we’ve learnt that having no Wi-Fi when it’s needed can be detrimental to ones sanity!

So, what about the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

We don’t plan that far ahead! But what we will say is that, sometime in the future, we hope to settle long-term in somewhere where the sun shines and we’re both happy with. Working online and being our own bosses, so to speak, is something that we will continue to do for as long as we possibly can and if this means continuing the freelance writing or generating an alternative source of income online, well so be it!

Carlo teaching in a small school in Arusha, Tanzania

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what tips would you give for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?

If you’re interested in making a living online – specifically in the content business, then you’ve got to be prepared to put in a ton of effort building up relationships with potential clients. For us, that was the key in allowing us to really scale our business. Regardless of what area that you’re looking to start making money online, the two traits that you need are endurance and determination. If you’re not prepared to work hard and put in long hours to get the ball rolling, then you’re going to be disappointed.

Thanks so much Carlo and Florence for a really inspiring interview. Enjoy your time in Thailand and best of luck with your business.

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