For a long time, digital nomadism was just this new hippie thing for the younger generations that didn’t want to settle down just yet. People who wanted to travel the world, but didn’t really have the savings to do so for a very long period of time. The internet created opportunities, and especially in the ICT sector, it became quite easy to find a job that didn’t require you to come to an office every day. Programmers and web designers can perfectly do their thing from home. Wherever that may be.
But the travel bloggers really boosted “digital nomadism”. They traveled the world as nomads, wrote about their experiences and the places they visited on a website, and got paid to do so. It’s like what we do with Naked Wanderings. We were probably among the first naked digital nomads, but we’re pretty sure that we won’t be the last.
Everybody digital (nomads)
Because of COVID, many jobs suddenly became purely digital. Remote working became the trend. People got the opportunity and the infrastructure to work from home, in order to reduce the risk of getting infected. But what defines “home”? We got a message the other day from a German reader who landed a new job that’s completely remote. Which we believe will become the standard for many jobs in the future. He asked for tips about working from a naturist environment.
We never really thought this through, we always somehow considered that you needed a lifestyle like ours (continuously on the road) to become a digital nomad. But that’s not the case at all today. Why would you spend 3 months working from home and then have a week of vacation at a naturist resort, while you could just work 3 months and one week remotely from a naturist resort, spend your mornings skinny dipping and your evenings in the sauna and just work your hours under the Spanish/Tuscan/Caribbean sun?
Wifi is your best friend
The best tip we gave him was to avoid French campsites as remote-working locations. France has failed to roll out fiber internet and many campsites are so far from the inhabited world that you’ll have to be lucky when the free wifi service is a shared 4G connection. Most of the time it won’t be free, nor will it ever reach 4G. Even if you use your personal mobile data, getting a good connection at a naturist resort can be a huge headache. Last year (that was 2020), we’ve seen for the first time ever 2G appear on our smartphones. We didn’t know that this even existed.
If you really need to do some work and be available for Zoom meetings, wifi will be the most important aspect when choosing your remote naked location. In Europe, we advise naturist guesthouses that are close to cities or the so-called naturist villages like Leucate in France or Vera Playa in Spain. In any case, this is just something that you can ask. When we visit new places, we always enquire about the strength of their internet connection. Not because we would otherwise avoid them, we love places so far away from the city that even cellphone connection doesn’t come there. But we just need to know if we’ll be able to do any work or not.
Cost of living
You’ve probably already been on a naturist vacation and you know that they are not cheap. To start with, there’s the accommodation. Then there’s the food, the beers, the entrance fees to the places that you want to visit. How can you financially manage to spend months in a naturist resort with the same paycheck? You could ask your boss for a raise, because “this whole homeworking thing is pretty expensive”. But there is another way.
You shouldn’t consider remote working as a vacation. Basically, it’s life as you’ve always known it before, except that you can be naked and that your office looks much nicer. At home, you also don’t go to the bar and the restaurant every day (we presume). Being a digital nomad means that you’re living a normal life, except in many different places. Many resorts have accommodations where you can cook your own food and keep your own beers cold. Take advantage of that.
The accommodation cost is something that’s difficult to avoid though, and it adds up after a while. But if you’re spending several weeks or months at the same place, you can probably negotiate a discount. Or if you have some free hours left, you could talk about volunteer work in exchange for accommodation. If you really take becoming a nomad seriously, you could even look into buying a van or camper.
The last important monetary aspect is that the cost of living differs a lot from country to country. In Spain, we spend about half as much as we do in Belgium. Portugal is even cheaper. If you can calculate your cost of living in a different country, chances are that you can easily rent that cabin next to the lake and still be better off than at home.
Naked Wanderings only exists for 4 years, but along the way, we’ve seen many naturist bloggers come and go. They all start like we did, with the tips and tricks, the taboo, the body confidence, the link with sex, and then their inspiration is gone. Especially if you have a creative job, inspiration is extremely important. We get our inspiration from new people and new places. During COVID times, meeting new people is pretty hard, and also visiting new naturist resorts became difficult. But even though we’ve spent about 6 months in the same region in Spain, we kept moving to different cities and villages.
A new place opens our eyes, helps us live in “the now”, and gives us inspiration. Even if you don’t really need inspiration for your job, changing places or being in a place where constantly new people come and go, will keep you focused. When the only people you can talk to are your husband, Bob the neighbor, and aunt Betty, it’s easy to get bored with life. Movement makes things a lot more interesting.
A disadvantage of working from a naturist resort is that these are places where most people come for a holiday. Meaning that they have no strict schedule nor have to wake up at 8 o’clock for meetings or deadlines. It takes some mental strength to live and work in such an environment. Believe us, we’ve been doing this for a while and we’re easily distracted.
The key is to organize your days. Plan your work and stick to that planning. No matter what happens. That’s the only way how we can get things done. There will always be that guy trying to convince you to have another drink because it’s his last day at the resort. Remember: It’s his last day, you’re staying here for quite a while to come.
Another important thing to organize is Zoom meetings. This is a naturist resort, there are naked people walking around who don’t know that you’re having a video chat with your boss. If you have rental accommodation, the best thing is to do these meetings inside. If not, most of the time, you can talk with the owners about a private space that you can use. And important: Don’t forget to put on a shirt and a tie.
The legal aspect
The last thing you want to consider, especially if you’re planning to stay in the same place for quite a while, is whether you are legally allowed to. As Europeans, we can spend up to 90 days in a row in the USA on a tourist visa. But that’s every 180 days. So if we stay 90 days, we then can’t enter the country anymore for the next 90 days. The same thing applies to foreigners coming to Europe. In Mexico, we can stay 180 days in a row. Afterward, we just need to take a day trip to Belize or Guatemala or whatever other country, and then we can come back for another 180 days.
It’s similar in Asia. Thailand only allows you to stay 30 days, but you basically just need to cross the border, get a beer, come back and get another 30 days. These things are important to know if you don’t want to get in trouble. Even more important is insurance. Are you insured as a digital nomad? What happens if you get sick or crash a car? Our Belgian medical insurance covers up to 90 days in a foreign country. Meaning that we need additional travel insurance.
Just try it
It would be weird if we would not tell you that being a digital nomad is great. And that being a naked digital nomad is even better. We’ve been doing this for 4 years and counting. It helps you see different parts of the world, meet lots of people, gain different perspectives, and discover lots of naturist places without ever really being on vacation.
People sometimes say that our life is one big holiday. That’s not true, we have a business to run. Honestly, we work more now than we ever did in an office in Belgium. But the cool thing is that, as soon as we close the laptop, we are in a holiday destination. So technically, we also have much more vacation than we ever had in Belgium.
We’re not going to lie to you, being a digital nomad is not for everybody. But just like naturism, it’s not very hard to try it out. Especially during these COVID times when you’re not really expected to be in the office anyway. If you’re in doubt, just give it a try. Book yourself a month at a naturist resort (with good wifi) and work from there. Maybe it’ll stink and you’ll be happy to go back home. Or maybe we’ll find you sitting next to us one day, while we’re writing blog posts and you’re doing whatever it is that you do.
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