How to Become a Digital Nomad and Travel the World

Episode Description

Traveling the world and still working and sustaining your financial needs with this lifestyle is a dream for a lot of us. However, for Annette, this is her reality – living life as a digital nomad. To define a digital nomad, these individuals travel regularly and do technology-based jobs through personal online business or virtually working for employers.

Annette is originally from Germany, and her first step to establishing this lifestyle as a digital nomad is to work in Australia with a working holiday visa. Time passed, and she had the opportunity to move to New Zealand, and from there, her adventure furthered.

When Annette reached her bank account’s extent, she went back to Germany, but another opportunity greeted her when she got a job as an online freelance life coach. After just a month in Germany, Annette successfully left her country again, and this time, she could freely go from one country to another without worrying about her career.

As a digital nomad, Annette still had battles of her own. She shared how as a digital nomad, finding a balance between work and traveling has left her confounded in the beginning because who wants to travel while working, right? Adjusting to a new place could be overwhelming; moreover, there are many distractions you can’t easily ignore. To Annette, leaving Germany was a breath of fresh air. What made her commit to a digital nomad lifestyle is her mindset that life is simple but must be lived to the fullest.

Things we mentioned in the episode

About Annette

Annette Karoline’s originally from Germany where she lived until the age of 30. From that day in March 2016 when she left everything behind, her life started to change rapidly. And she also had changed completely from the inside out. 

Today she’s living a nomadic lifestyle, working online as transformation coach. Her work is for everyone who wants to find out what the universe has in store for you and explore the endless possibilities that can become your reality. Annette Karoline helps you to raise your consciousness and to live your highest potential, your higher self.

“You can won a lot of things, you can own a lot of money even. But it doesn’t make you happy. It actullay makes you worry even more.”

Get in touch with Annette

Facebook - Instagram - YouTube - Website

Tips and key takeaways


Episode Transcript

Annette 0:01

So I tried two different ways different things to get online. And it wasn't easy in the first place because I came from offline world as a physiotherapist working in a hospital, you barely touch a computer. So it wasn't easy for me to get that online working mindset, you know?

Daniel De Biasi 0:31

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode number 52 of the Emigrant's Life Podcast where we share stories or people left that country to chase our better life. And through these stories, you can find ideas, resources, and motivation to do the same. I'm Daniel De Biasi and my guest this week, Annette, left Germany to become a digital nomad. If you're not familiar, a digital nomad is someone who earns a living using a computer, usually a laptop, and leaves a nomadic life. Since she became a digital normal five years ago, Annette lived in eight different countries. At the time of the interview, Annette was living in Sri Lanka, where she spent the last year and a half because of the travel restrictions. I don't know you but being able to work from anywhere in the world is something that is very appealing to me. So when a friend of mine put him in touch with an ad, I was pretty excited because I wanted to know how she managed to travel the world and still being able to work. In this episode, I asked her how she makes a living using just a laptop. And she also shares many tips and website for those of you who James doe living the same lifestyle. After all, who doesn't want to work on the white sandy beach by a crystal clear ocean drinking pina colada? Well, Annette talks about that too. But my job is not to show yopu dreams, it's to get you out of your country. And one of the many options to do so as to become a digital nomad. And the beauty of it is no matter where you are, you can still have an income, which is not usually the case when you move to a new country. So make yourself a nice drink, maybe a pina colada with a little umbrella. lay back and enjoy my conversation with the net. And to make your experience even better. We got some birds singing in the background. Enjoy. Hi, net. Thanks for being on the show. Hi, Dan. Thank you for having me here. Oh, no worries. I'm actually pretty excited to have you on the show because you are a digital nomad, which is something I'm really intrigued by. So I will ask you more about your how to become a digital nomad later because I want to start from your story. So where are you originally from?

Annette 2:32

Originally, I'm from Germany, and I lived there for the first 30 years of my life. And yeah, now I'm living anywhere in the world. Basically, I don't have a home anymore.

Daniel De Biasi 2:44

What are you right now?

Annette 2:46

Right now I'm in Sri Lanka. And here I'm a bit longer than we plan just because of the situation with a pandemic. So I'm here since almost one and a half years now.

Daniel De Biasi 2:59

Oh, wow, that was quite a bit. Is this the longest place you've been so far?

Annette 3:03

Yes, it is. Actually, it was planned to stay for one month. Just extended and extended like, yeah.

Daniel De Biasi 3:11

Oh, wow,

Annette 3:12

Things happen.

Daniel De Biasi 3:13

Yeah, what I mean when the COVID happened, it's just like an all of the plans went out of the window for many people, I guess.

Annette 3:18


Daniel De Biasi 3:20

So why did you decide to leave Germany?

Annette 3:23

Well, in the first place, when I decided to leave, it was kind of the universe of my life was just pushing me to go because I still had that dream in my in the back of my mind that I want to travel. And I want to explore the world. But I wasn't really confident to do it. And I had like a job, I had a relationship, I had like, all these normal things that you do in your life, right? I had a car and a flat and everything. But then things started to like crumble, my relationship broke, and I didn't like the job I was in. I became very unhappy with my situation. And that was the point when I, for myself, I found my solution out of that,I want to say misery of my unhappy life, to go traveling, and to just do it. And so it was kind of easy for me to leave my life behind, because I had nothing that I was really happy about or I wanted to holding on to. And I was so excited to go and explore the world and what was helping me that I was reading a lot of blogs from people who are doing the same thing and I got so inspired by just reading their stories, reading other tips they gave and just seeing that that is possible, right? And that they can be independent, working from everywhere. I just decided tomorrow to fly to another place and just take their life with them. I just love that idea. And I had this like strong desire to do that. So two things came together my dream and my life that was just pushing me out of Germany.

Daniel De Biasi 5:13

So when you left, was just like, I'm gonna do this for a little bit and then come back to Germany or was like more like, I want to do this for the rest of my life. What was your plan when you definitely left?

Annette 5:23

So the idea was honestly just to travel open end, and to manage somehow to become that digital nomad, to be able to work from everywhere in the world. But if you would ask my parents, I told them, Mom, Dad, I'm gonna go working holiday to Australia for one year. So I told everyone, I will be gone for one year, but in the back of my mind and inside my heart, I knew, I just want to go open end and then see how far I can get.

Daniel De Biasi 5:56

And how long have you been doing this for now?

Annette 5:58

I left Germany in 2016. So this is now more than five years.

Daniel De Biasi 6:04

So your first step was going to Australia on a working holiday visa?

Annette 6:08

Correct? Yes, that was my ticket out of Germany going to Australia. And that's so easy. And so for me, it made sense to just learn the language, English. because I'm not a native speaker. So, and I wasn't really firm in English when I left Germany. So I wanted to learn English better and to yeah, explore a beautiful country like Australia. It's very big and it's very great infrastructure for backpackers, and you have a lot of other travelers that you can connect with. It's a great place to start. Yes.

Daniel De Biasi 6:46

No, I've never been to Australia, but I guess will be very similar to, at least from what I heard, it's very similar to New Zealand. And the working holiday visa thing is one of the best ways to start your journey abroad.

Annette 6:57


Daniel De Biasi 6:57

For you, was it easy to find a job when you go there? Or did you struggle?

Annette 7:02

I had some savings. So the first let's say half year, I didn't even look for jobs. Because I was I just want to travel, I just wanted to explore I bought a car, like a big four wheel drive. That was my dream. And I just went off road to amazing places. So it was more focused on traveling. And then I realized, okay, my money is getting low. And I started to look for jobs. And in the first moment, it wasn't that easy, because there were a lot of other people or backpackers looking for jobs as well. And somehow there weren't jobs available. But just over time, you get more connections, you get to know people, you have conversations, and then somehow it just I just managed to find a couple of different jobs. And when you are once in that like working environment, it's kind of easier to find another job as well because you meet other people who are working and they know about another job and then they know about another job and so on.

Daniel De Biasi 8:08

So even when you find a job, you were still like traveling so you're like working a little bit there and over there just moving around the country or it was just like a more like a goal more settle when you find a job?

Annette 8:17

I was still in the backpacking mode. So I was working on farms usually was maybe between two and four weeks that I was working in that job. And then I changed again, sometimes I change to another job. So I was moving to another place for a couple of weeks working there. Oh, I will I just quit the job, kept traveling until I found the next job in another place. So I was still like moving around, traveling around and just staying for a couple of weeks in one place just to do that farm work. And then when you do farm work, that's really your life, like you don't do anything else. You wake up in the morning, you go working into evening, and then you're so tired, you just sleep and you do that every single day. And then after two weeks or so, I was exhausted and just stopped and kept traveling.

Daniel De Biasi 9:12

You're able to make enough money in those two weeks to keep traveling or was like pretty limited the money that you will get from those two weeks?

Annette 9:20

It really depends on your lifestyle. I would say Australia is an easy country, because even the farm work which is the lowest wage is still good money. If you do it maybe a little bit longer. You can have a good standard. I didn't need much money because I was living a minimalistic lifestyle. So I didn't consume anything else than my food, water, maybe sometimes new clothes and have to do laundry you have to pay that, transportation, right? That's all. I didn't consume anything else and I was totally happy with that. So I didn't need much money. And in that sense, what I was earning on the farm, it was totally fine and enough for me. But if you have a lifestyle where you consume more, then yeah, you just got to work more. But even that is possible. I met other travelers who actually worked a lot. And they just left the country with more money than when they can. So it's really a good place to make money.

Daniel De Biasi 10:26

Yeah, I remember my cousin left Italy before me, he went to Australia for a year. So he was doing a job as a painter. I remember he told my aunt or his mom, hey mom, if I stay here, I'm gonna become rich, because he was making so much money. He wants to be like a painter, at least compared to what he make in Italy. That's I want to be clear. But compared to the money he was making in Italy, Mom like, if I'm gonna stay here, I'm gonna be rich. I think he worked for like a four months in the whole year was there and only worked for four months, and the rest was just traveling,

Annette 11:01


Daniel De Biasi 11:01

But he did, he bought a four wheel drive and drove around all around Australia.

Annette 11:05

Yeah, exactly. That's what I did, too. And not only four wheel drive, but also in a camper van. That was a beautiful lifestyle as well to live in a camper van. It's really cheap. It's really low budget, but it's beautiful. Because you can go and stay in places, let's say on top of a cliff or just on the beach or in the jungle, in the fores, you cannot even pay for staying in this place. Because there's no accommodation. But it's just amazing. And I love that lifestyle 100%,

Daniel De Biasi 11:38

In the middle of a jungle in Australi?

Annette 11:41

Right in the Norse, there's there's rain forests, yeah, there's rain forests, and you just stay. There are campsites paid, but also free camps, where you can stay for free.

Daniel De Biasi 11:55

I don't know like it just to think of being in a jungle in Australia, I would pay to be in a hotel. Don't be like too afraid to like all the spiders and snakes. And I don't know all the other creature that can kill you in Australia.

Annette 12:09

Right, right. Yeah. And we have that perception. In my experience, I can tell you that they're more afraid of you than you of them.

Daniel De Biasi 12:21

So at that point, what was ypur plan was just like, I'm gonna keep traveling, and then I'm going to motorize country or other point, maybe you fall, I might even stay a little bit longer here?

Annette 12:31

No, I wanted to use that one year working holiday visa, and then go to the next country. And that's what I did. After that I went to New Zealand because it's just around the corner. Doing the same thing, one year working holiday. And then keep going. Like, not going forward.

Daniel De Biasi 12:54

And that's actually where we we met, we actually our road crossed at some point in life. We met together in Christchurch, where I used to live,

Annette 13:02


Daniel De Biasi 13:02

But you already told me don't remember me.

Annette 13:06

I'm so sorry.

Daniel De Biasi 13:09

You probably met like a bunch of other people in the world. And for me, like I was living there. So it was not many foreigners or maybe people that were doing that lifestyle I was chasing. So probably, that's why I remember you and your boyfriend as well.

Annette 13:21

Yeah, right. I was traveling with my boyfriend still today and to that day. And yeah, it's true. And you meet so many people. And it's hard to keep track, all of them. Mostly, I just don't remember who I met. But in that moment, it's just great to connect with so many people. And yeah, maybe you come together later and connect again. Like we don't know. That's the beautiful thing.

Daniel De Biasi 13:48

Absolutely, exactly. And so you went to New Zealand, you did the same thing on a working holiday visa again. And what was the next step? So you were like, doing like a working holiday visa? Is that how you managed to continue or how did you get the next visa?

Annette 14:04

No, that was the last working holiday visa. I didn't mention yet already in Australia, I started some ways to try to get into that digital nomad lifestyle to work online. And I started as a virtual assistant with an agency as a freelancer. But to be honest, I didn't do that very long because the money was really low for Australia. Like when I was working in a cafe and consuming a lunch that day and working on my hours. I had to pay more for that lunch than I earned on that day. So I realized that's not sustainable. I can't do it. And it's just taking my time and I also I didn't like much the tasks or the jobs because it was basically working with a Microsoft Office. Like Word or Excel, stuff like that. And I didn't enjoy that much. So I just stopped out again. And, yeah I kept going with the offline work. But I still tried to figure out also New Zealand how to do it online. So in New Zealand I went into because I'm a physiotherapist, I'm a meditation teacher, I'm a yoga teacher, and I also go in that way of, I want to say healing or just helping people to become better mentally and physically. So I started to teach yoga in New Zealand, to a community center, and also at the same time produce online yoga videos. Right? So I tried two different ways, different things to get online. And it wasn't easy in the first place. Because I came from an offline world as a physiotherapist working in a hospital, you barely touch a computer. So it wasn't easy for me to get that online working mindset. You know?

Daniel De Biasi 16:05

Yeah. If you're not used to it especially like people coming from older background, I guess, like, how do you make money online? That's usually the question. That's not something that people especially in the old days are used to. Right?

Annette 16:18


Daniel De Biasi 16:18

So for you, how did you become a digital nomad? What was the next step from you started trying to work as a freelancer as a virtual assistant, what was the next step? How did you manage to become a digital nomad?

Annette 16:31

Right. At that stage in my journey, I didn't manage to reach that goal. So we went traveling, or continue traveling to Pacific Islands, Fiji Island, Vanuatu, and so on. And then I just tried to continue this yoga thing, creating yoga videos. But honestly, I didn't even upload them. In the end. It wasn't the right thing, either. And then after that, traveling the Pacific Islands, it was about two years later since I left my country and my parents, but yeah, but pushing you to, they wanted to see me. So I came back to Germany. And I thought, Okay, I'm gonna work for a couple of months, let's say three months to just earn some money again, because I was quite broken at that time, and then continue traveling. And me and my boyfriend, we went to Germany and stayed in Berlin, and I was looking for jobs online. And somehow, I found this job as a life coach, as a freelancer again for another company. So I applied to that job, and I got it. And that was just the perfect opportunity, the perfect job for me, because it was fully online. 100% completely location independent. So when I got that job, I told my boyfriend, hey, I'm free. I don't need to look for offline job anymore, because I got this job. And it's good enough to sustain me. So let's continue traveling. So in the end, we stayed only one month, not three months, and we continue traveling to Egypt and other countries. And that was the moment when I actually made that jump into being a digital nomad.

Daniel De Biasi 18:25

Okay, so being digital nomad doesn't mean you have to start your own business, you can always work for somebody else then, having the freedom to work from anywhere you want, right?

Annette 18:34

Correct. Yes. Many people do they start their own thing, and it's beautiful. But it's also very hard. I want to say it's quite difficult and requires a lot of effort and time and that time you don't have available to travel and to see the world. And traveling can be quite destructive, I have to say that I also still want to start my own thing or kind of push it forward. But traveling can be very distracting. So to work for another company as a freelancer gives you also more freedom in that sense that you don't have to do the marketing. You don't have to chase clients, they just give you the clients. And yeah, you get maybe less money than you would doing your own thing. But you also have more time available for traveling, for see places, explore the world. And for me, that's a great balance at the moment.

Daniel De Biasi 19:32

That's amazing. Honestly, I'm pretty jealous of your lifestyle. I wish I could do that. Especially right now, like after two years of not being able to go anywhere. And do you remember like can you share how did you find a job? It was like a specific website that you use, how did you find this job?

Annette 19:49

I don't remember exactly which one was it but it was one of the big job websites maybe monster, maybe-

Daniel De Biasi 19:56

Oh, like Indeed, like a normal website. It's not like a website specific for online jobs?

Annette 20:01

No, they're just the nominal job websites because I was looking for a job as a physiotherapist, right? And that was one of the keywords within this ad of life coach. So they were looking for psychotherapists, physiotherapists and all kinds of therapists. But honestly, now when I when you say, you're asking for specific websites for jobs for digital nomads in Germany, there's the DNX, Digital Nomad X, which stands for conference. I don't know if you've heard about them. But they have a job platform where anyone can offer job for digital nomad, and anyone can apply for that job.

Daniel De Biasi 20:48

But it's only in Germany, or is an international website, as far as you know?

Annette 20:53

I think they have expanded internationally, but I'm not 100% sure about that. They started in Germany, but they are digital nomads since like, one of the first ones. And they definitely come in contact with international people, right? So they always have they do conferences in different countries. I think Germany, Greece, Brazil, Portugal, maybe not sure. So they have international speakers as well. Sometimes the German location is, was German speaking, but the other locations are English speaking. So I think they do international and probably that job platform is also International, but I'm not quite sure about that.

Daniel De Biasi 21:41

No, I will look into it. And I will add it to the show notes. The listeners that are interested they can look at it. So my question now is okay, you got a job, and now you have the freedom you can go anywhere you want, but how do you stay in the country? Because to stay in the country you need a visa, right? And sometimes like a tourist visa is only for a few months. How do you manage to stay in the country for longer than that? Or how do you manage to move around, what kind of visa do you usually apply for?

Annette 22:08

Yes, that's a good point. Because the visa many times is a pain, pain in the ass. And what do we do most of the time, what I do is just stay as long as the tourist visa allows me to stay. So many times that's just one month or three months. If I want to stay longer, or I have to like now, there are always ways to extend the tourist visa. Many countries and also I'm happy to be privileged traveling with a German passport, of course that is different for every country. But many countries allow to extend the visa maybe once, twice, three times. But otherwise, if my visa expires, I just leave and go to the next country. Or you usually do like visa runs you go out and come back. So that's always a hustle. And the visa, you have to be informed you have to research how long you can stay? What do you need? Do you have to apply for a visa in advance? Or can you do it on arrival? How much will it cost? How long is it? How can I extend it? Yeah, you have to answer all these questions for yourself before you travel to a new country.

Daniel De Biasi 23:27

And my other question will be are you technically allowed to work even though you're- you're probably you're still working for a German company, right?

Annette 23:34


Daniel De Biasi 23:35

But are you allowed to work in the country on a visitor visa, on a Travel Visa?

Annette 23:39

I think this is something the rules are not really clear about because technically, I'm not working a job in the country,ight?

Daniel De Biasi 23:50


Annette 23:51

I'm not employed in that country where I'm located. So I'm kind of in that bubble, just sitting on my computer, and nobody really knows that I'm working with so. But yeah, it's kind of a gray zone thing. It's not really clear how the rules are.

Daniel De Biasi 24:09

Okay, I don't want to get in trouble with immigration or anything. So, if we find out we can always edit, edit it out.

Annette 24:17

No, really not.

Daniel De Biasi 24:18

I'm really curious about because this is something I like to do maybe next year and then in future years, that's something I want to do. And that's why I was I kind of like I'm pretty interesting and to see the technicality of how to move abroad and how do you work in different country and what kind of visa need to apply for and probably even the listeners, some of the listeners are probably interested in the same thing

Annette 24:37

For sure. I mean, it's an important point. But to be honest, I never thought too much about it because I never had any trouble. Even when I say I work online to local people. They are just, oh, okay. So nobody's really like asking more questions or is kind of skeptical about that. And I just don't have any issues with that. So I don't think further about it. But I'm sure there's not a clear rule. If there's one, I don't know about it.

Daniel De Biasi 25:11

Okay, you know, well, I'm probably gonna ask some immigration advisor and I will keep you posted.

Annette 25:17

Good. Yes.

Daniel De Biasi 25:18

And also, for the listener, I'm probably gonna post something I don't know, probably do an episode with an immigration adviser and ask all these questions. I'll let you know.

Annette 25:29

Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, that would be interesting.

Daniel De Biasi 25:33

No, exactly. Because you don't want to be in trouble. And especially in some countries that if you be on the get on the blacklist, then you're not allowed to go into other countries, especially in the Commonwealth countries, right?

Annette 25:43

Yeah, that could be. But normally, what brings you on the blacklist is probably like, when you work offline, or when you overstay your visa, stuff like that.

Daniel De Biasi 25:54

Yeah, probably. And so far, how many country you lived in?

Annette 26:00

When you asked you lived in, that implies to have like, a longer stay and kind of a daily routine?

Daniel De Biasi 26:10

I guess. I mean, if you because for me, like if you go to a place or country for a couple of weeks, that doesn't really- it's more like a holiday. It doesn't really count, right?

Annette 26:19

Yes. So I can count. So apart from Germany, of course, I've lived in Australia, and New Zealand, I have lived in India, I have lived here or still living in Sri Lanka. It's difficult because the routine is it's changing all the time. So I have spent quite a lot of time in Fiji and in Vanuatu, as well, like half year each. Tuvalu, I was moving around a lot. So but I would count them I've lived there. So maybe it's about six, seven countries, or and I've lived in Chile. So yeah, maybe eight countries in five years.

Daniel De Biasi 27:02

That's pretty good.

Annette 27:04

But many countries I've traveled and just move through it without having that daily routine. Although I'm still working, but I'm just working in another place every day, right?

Daniel De Biasi 27:16

Yeah, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think when you stay in a place for like, a couple of weeks, you don't really try to get into the culture, you don't try to figure out how the things work, because you only go through and not really into that much. That's why I was asking, like, how many places you actually lived in because that's a little bit different.

Annette 27:33

I totally agree. There's living and there's traveling country. And you're right, the longer you stay, or closer, you come to the local people, maybe you make friends with them, you you spend time with them. This is such a different way to know a country and get to know the culture and what's going on behind the scenes and away from that tourist trap. That's such a different experience. And yeah, that's when you can say I've lived in the country because I've lived like the locals. I have been part of the culture. I've experienced the country's issues and the beauty and everything.

Daniel De Biasi 28:15

Yeah, exactly. And what's the next step? What's the next country? Do you ever have the plan or not really?

Annette 28:22

Well, nowadays, it's a little bit hard to plan anything, although I never make really strong plans that I will follow through. Usually I have some ideas what I want to do next, and then see how it goes. And also I go with the flow a lot, because that has proven to be such a great way that just doors open and opportunities popping up and such a beautiful way to be. But now, in that time of pandemic, as I already mentioned, I'm staying in Sri Lanka way, way longer than I was supposed to stay. And so far, there's no plan to leave, maybe actually even settling a little bit, not forever, but for that time of insecurity and not knowing how the situation will be how it's gonna be hard or easy to travel. So honestly, I'm thinking a little bit to settle and to just focus on my coaching business then doing doing my own thing besides freelance coaching. So kind of getting after five years, you know, getting a little bit like really slowing down and connecting to a place is also a great experience I'm having now that I didn't have over the last five years.

Daniel De Biasi 29:51

Yeah, it's different now because you know, you kind of like, you probably automatically feel more settled because you kind of had to stay in the country so you find a way to feel more settled, I guess, right?

Annette 30:01

Yeah, absolutely correct. Yeah, I'm kind of forced to stay, not really forced, because I have friends who move to other countries. But then you're there. It's not like you go from country to country to country anymore. It's just like, Okay, I'm just, I'm staying here, or I move maybe to Turkey or to Mexico, like those countries that are still easy to go to. And I was thinking about doing that. But then, after that year of staying here, we met so amazing people and make great connections. And a lot of projects are going on, a lot of plans that we have for the future. Working with these people here, and that's so exciting for me right now that I don't really have the urge to go to the next country. For sure, I will, in maybe in two or three years, who knows. But at the moment, I'm quite happy to just settle a little bit. And as I mentioned, like traveling can be so distracting that you don't really managed to focus on one thing that you want to do, and put all your energy in that. And I feel like for me, the time is now to collect my energy and put it in, in my work in my passion.

Daniel De Biasi 31:20

What do you think was like the thing that made you change your mind when you like decided like, okay, I want to stay here for a little bit longer. Was the community or something about the country that you will find like, I can see, this place for like my own home for the next couple of years?

Annette 31:33

I would say it was the universe again. Because it's not particularly that country, Sri Lanka, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite country. Actually, it's not. But there are some things I really liked, which is the tropical weather, all the beautiful fruits and plants here and just the birds in the background, the ocean, there's so much nice beach, there's mountains, the landscape is beautiful. The culture is also not particularly something that I want to adopt for myself. I mean, I respect their culture, I think it's beautiful, but it's not how I want to be integrated and cultured, you know, I will be like kind of in my own bubble. But let's say it's a cheap country, it's very easy to live a good standard here, even in times of pandemic and difficult times in general. And we have beautiful connections with people who have great visions for the future, who want to create beautiful places also connected to yoga, to health, healing, awareness, maybe being self sustainable, living off grid, living, and growing your own food, living close to nature, building with natural materials, you know, come back to live in harmony with nature, that's something I really want to go for, especially now that I feel like this times that we have to change the way we're living and how we relate to nature and our environment. And to heal that planet to don't go down that track and destroy everything, but to actually to turn around and try to do your best to just heal or restore or protect our environment and the place we're living. So and the people here, there are some that are very aware of this, and we connect with them. And we want to do some projects and get into that, too.

Daniel De Biasi 33:42

And so, are those people like locals or are they digital nomads?

Annette 33:46

All kinds of people. For sure local people, but also travelers, not necessarily digital nomads, but there are travelers who work, let's say a yoga teacher who works in resorts, they travel and they work offline wherever they go. They find some job and also some digital nomads, yeah. But not that many actually.

Daniel De Biasi 34:10

Okay, that's pretty cool. The thing that project that you guys trying to do. That's amazing.

Annette 34:15

Yeah, I love that too. It's very exciting. And although now everything is kind of stopped and frozen, it's not really going forward. But that's just because the country's in lockdown since three weeks, but after that, I'm sure we'll go forward and work on this project.

Daniel De Biasi 34:33

Yeah, I wish you all the best and keep me posted.

Annette 34:36


Daniel De Biasi 34:36

I mean, you probably post it on your social media right so I can probably see on your social media.

Annette 34:41

Yes, my social media my Instagram is very private pictures. I don't post too much there. And usually I post more about my work, my coaching, my my passion. The other thing is more like a hobby experiments. I don't post much about that, but maybe I should.

Daniel De Biasi 35:01

Yeah, you should. I mean, just to keep like people like me updated with your project.

Annette 35:07

Right. Right. Yeah. That's a good point.

Daniel De Biasi 35:12

And going back to your story, I still have a few questions like, what was the main challenge for you leaving Germany and become a digital nomad and becoming, living the lifestyle living now?

Annette 35:23

Yeah, the main challenge, one thing I want to say, before I mentioned, my challenge is that people said, I'm so brave to do that. They would be scared or they wouldn't have the courage to do it. And it's funny because I didn't feel that brave, or I didn't feel like I need a lot of courage because I was in that dark place in my life where I just wanted to run away from. And it was kind of easy for me to do that. And to just adopt that minimalistic lifestyle because we are so attached to things, to things that we own, or people that are in our lives. And it was kind of easy I was, I have read a book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman, and she's talking about this attachment to things. And what was what gave me a good insight was when she wrote, you are not owning things, but things own you. Because you have to worry about it, you have to maintain things, you have to pay a monthly fee or whatever, to keep these things, yeah, to, to pay for these things. And they own you, because you're just working to pay for these things. So that never made sense to me, in my mind, since teenager, I didn't really understand, like, why we're spending all our lives in a building in an office, or wherever you're working, just to pay, the things that you don't even have time to use. And that book was really giving me that insight, and the strengths and the push to let go of all these things. So I just sold all my stuff, I sold my car, I sold my all my well, I gave my clothes away, I gave all my books away on my CDs, anything that was physical in nature. And I just gave away or sold it. So that also gave me money that I have for traveling. The only thing I kept is like three boxes with some certifications, some papers that you cannot throw away. So that might be a big challenge for people to let go of this attachment to things, and then also to people. Although I think nowadays, it's very easy to stay connected. I mean, we're all connected through social media, we can talk to each other every day, no matter where you are, no matter how far away you are. So that makes it easier to stay connected. In that sense, yeah, it was easy for me to leave everything behind. But then the challenge was for sure to get into that balance of working and travel. Really what I mentioned before is that being distracted through traveling, through everyday seeing something new, meeting new people, hearing new stories, everything is so interesting and fun and exciting. So you kind of don't have time or you don't take that time to get into your work. Because you are just in a new country and you want to see the place, right? You want to explore that country, you want to take your time for traveling because that's why you're there and to find that balance, between work and exploring, that was my biggest challenge, I can say that.

Daniel De Biasi 39:15

Okay, I have a couple of questions on the follow up for that, but can you repeat the title of the book for the listeners?

Annette 39:21

Of course, it's the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Daniel De Biasi 39:29

Okay, sweet, even then it's going to be in the show notes. Another follow up I want to do for the thing that you said that people say that you were brave to leave the country because that's something that people tells to me as well when I left Italy, which now doing this podcast, I even shared this in an episode with Jadranka that now that I do this podcast and listen to what people have to go through to leave their country and I realized like my life was so easy compared to other people, but still like for me, like the change that you said like for you was easy to leave your country because that's was easier to leave the country than actually stay in the country and that reminds me of one of the quote that I really like. The quote is, "Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change."

Annette 40:16


Daniel De Biasi 40:17

So for me, that was the thing, like living and staying in Italy was harder to actually leave.

Annette 40:23

Yeah, I can totally agree with that. Because that was for me the same thing. I can take that quote, and just put it on me as well.

Daniel De Biasi 40:35

Going back to find the balance between traveling and living your life and working, did you manage to find the balance? or How did you find the balance?

Annette 40:43

To find that balance, I think it took the time of yeah, having all these years, two or three years of very exciting time in my life. And kind of satisfying that urge of seeing new things, and experiencing new situations, new countries, new cultures. So that was kind of satisfied, so I could slow down. And that is the key for me is to find that balance, to really slow down and stay longer in places so that I can have a routine that I can come into that daily rhythm where I know the places that say I know the supermarket where I can buy my stuff. I know any other places where I go maybe a few times. And I don't have to figure out everything, again, like new, right? Because this is something that takes time to figure out, Hey, where do I go to buy my veggies, daily stuff?

Daniel De Biasi 41:52

It's a work. It's a full-time job.

Annette 41:54

Yeah, it's like every time when you move, it changes. And when you stay longer in the place, you don't have to think about that anymore. So you can have that daily routine of yeah, maybe go somewhere exploring and another day or for a week or two weeks, you just stay and work. And the beauty is you can stay in wonderful places. Although I want to say working at the beach, in the in the heat, in the middle of the day, that's an illusion, that doesn't work, at least for me. It's really this picture of digital nomads to work on the beach. Yeah, it didn't work for me. And I think for most of the people it doesn't. So you still need an environment where you're not distracted, where you can focus, and where it's not extremely hot or windy or, or soiled waters in the air and actually destroys your technical equipment, right?

Daniel De Biasi 42:55

Yeah. Or even just like a power plug to charge your laptop.

Annette 43:00

Right, right. Or, yeah, have a plan to have a good internet or decent internet connection, all these things you have to care about when you're moving and you don't know the place. So yeah, that's why finding that balance honestly, is for me, it's to slow down, stay in a place, find a good place where I can be productive, where I can have my focus and not being distracted. And then do that work for how long it it might take, and then maybe move to the next place. That's I think the best way and I know some other people, they do it that way.

Daniel De Biasi 43:40

Okay, the next question, I probably know the answer. But I'll ask you anyway, because that's the question I ask to all my guests. Do you have any regrets about leaving your country, leaving Germany?

Annette 43:50

No. That's a clear answer. No, I'm very happy to be out of my country. Because when I came back, it didn't take long time. That energy of the country and the people and the mindset there, kind of is dragging me back to where I was before I left the country. And I don't want to say like everyone is like this, but people are very unhappy. People are very stressed. They're not satisfied with what they have. Although when I travel third world countries, small islands, people live so simple. They have nothing in compared to a person in Germany. They sleep on the floor. They just build their houses with some trees. And they have a small solar panel or maybe an urban watch island. So it's like that. They don't have the power. They don't have running water. They collect rainwater, they have a tiny solar panel just to charge their phone and they live in nature. But still people In Germany have so much and still not satisfied, or they cannot be grateful for what they have. So this was so eye opening for me and mind blowing to realize how privileged I am and how much I have. And to get into that mindset of being grateful for what is there, what I have, and there's nothing that I don't, that I'm lacking, you know, it's like, the life is so abundant in that sense. And I love to be in that state of gratitude. It makes me feel good, it makes me happy, it brings even more good things into my life. But when I go back to my country, it's kind of dragging me or sucking me back into that mindset and energy of being stressed out and unhappy and complaining about things. And this is not good. And that is no good, being focused on the negative. So I'm very, very grateful and happy to not be in my country. And I don't regret that for sure.

Daniel De Biasi 46:13

Yeah, I think the I even listen, or even like found some research that says that people with deliver, like a minimalistic lifestyle, they are happier. There's some studies that prove that having a minimalistic lifestyle actually makes people happier.

Annette 46:27

True, it is. And it has to do with what I mentioned before. Not being attached to stuff. Because ultimately, you can own a lot of things, you can own a lot of money even. But it doesn't make you happy. It actually makes you worry more even there. There are studies about that, that the more money you have, the more problems you have to buy, the more stuff you own, the more issues you have with that stuff. That's why minimalistic lifestyle gives you freedom and gives you peace of mind and just decluttering your environment also means decluttering your mind, we just have to think less about things. And that gives you space in your mind to maybe explore your inner world, maybe work with your emotions, maybe just to hear childhood, inner child wounding. So that was at least my journey. And I'm very happy that I went on that journey. And I have changed as a person. And my lifestyle has changed completely around 180 degrees, different directions, different mindset, different state of mind, different state of being, how I feel, how I think, everything has changed.

Daniel De Biasi 47:56

Oh yeah, my bad. Just like in the country you lived in, just the traveling have opened up to your, your mind so much and yeah.

Annette 48:03

So much.

Daniel De Biasi 48:04

And now like are you been living abroad for a few years and you're a digital nomad. With that experience, is there anything that you would have done differently?

Annette 48:12

Not really, I believe everything has had to happen as it was. But, maybe if I would say something I would say being more pushy in the beginning to get into that working routine. Because I want to become a digital nomad. But it's so exciting everything I just want to travel I want to see all the places so I kind of forgot a little bit in the beginning to push myself and get into that online work. And that's why it took me so long, I think to actually figure out and find my my way into that digital nomad lifestyle. I think you can do it faster if you are more pushy and more disciplined, maybe, not consequent with yourself. But in the end, maybe I just needed that experience of being free and travel and don't worry about job and money and stuff like that.

Daniel De Biasi 49:11

I agree unless you lived some experiences.

Annette 49:14


Daniel De Biasi 49:15

Do you have any more advice for the listeners maybewho wants to become a digital nomad wants to live the same kind of lifestyle that you have that wants to travel around the world?

Annette 49:23

Yes, I think the biggest advice that I can give is, don't hold yourself back because of fear. Don't hold yourself back because other people are telling you you cannot do it, or it would be risky, or whatever reason they put on you because that's only their own reasons why they cannot do it. Or maybe they don't want to do it and that's fine too. But don't come from a place of fear. And then don't do it and don't wait to do it maybe in five or 10 years or when you're retired or just like procrastinating it right? Now is the time. And I know now, Okay, I have to say in the pandemic, it is more difficult, but it's still possible.

Daniel De Biasi 50:13


Annette 50:14

Yeah, it is. Yeah, it is. So don't let fear hold you back. That's my advice.

Daniel De Biasi 50:21

Absolutely. I believe that fear is your best friend. I think when you have a fear of doing something, I think that's the right direction you have to take. It's something that- that's usually my my compass. When something scares me, I know that something that I have to do.

Annette 50:34

Absolutely. Yeah. That's a very good way of looking at it. Like if you have a fear, that's the way to go, yes.

Daniel De Biasi 50:42

Yeah. I discuss like this quote. This is I think is my favorite quote with my previous guest, that everything you want is outside of your comfort zone. And when you have to go outside your comfort zone, and that's where the fear comes into play. And if you're scared to get that zone but, that's where the magic happens.

Annette 50:59


Daniel De Biasi 51:00

So I think fear is your best friend.

Annette 51:03

It is.

Daniel De Biasi 51:04

Don't be like a fool like, don't just sell everything and just go without any plan or no visa at all. Just add some plans. No, don't be a fool. But at the same time, like don't let fear stop you from achieving your dreams or choosing your goals.

Annette 51:19

Correct. Yes, of course, planning and being prepared. I I was preparing myself at least half year, saving money and as much money as I could selling stuff, which also gave me more money and reading a lot. Yeah, prepare yourself for what you want to do. True, but then really, like, punch fear in the face. I like that quote. I think it's from Sean Connell. And it's really like that, yeah, just jump over your own shadow and do it.

Daniel De Biasi 51:55

Yeah, I agree. 100%. And last question, where people can find you? If somebody wants to get in touch with you, know more about your project, and you said you would post on social media, where people can find you?

Annette 52:09

Yes, so I use Instagram, and my name there is Travelgram of a Nomad. But as I mentioned, it's kind of a private account where I post some pictures, memories. And I should definitely post more, maybe I'm going to go into that. Apart from this, of course, for my work, I have a website, I have Facebook, Instagram and a YouTube channel. Although that is in German. So for other German listeners, you'd find me as Annette Karoline in YouTube and Facebook, and also an annettekarolinecom is my website.

Daniel De Biasi 52:52

Sweet. Everything, as usual will be in the show notes. Thank you, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story and give me some advice on how to become a digital nomad and give it to the listeners. But I was curious as well. So thank you so much for doing that.

Annette 53:07

Awesome. Thank you so much that you share these with the world, with the people who are interested to do that lifestyle. And I think it's it's a way of the future. We already see people working in home office, people working only online. So if you're sitting in office, home office, or if you're sitting in a resort in your room, it doesn't really matter for the job. It just matters for you. Your environment can change. And that's the beautiful thing. I think it's the way of the future. And thank you for doing that work and you're passionate about it. I think we need people like you. Thank you for that.

Daniel De Biasi 53:49

Awesome, thank you. And sounds like the universe was on your side again, because the bird stop singing. This is the moment we start recording.

Annette 53:59

I'm happy about that.

Daniel De Biasi 54:05

Okay, thank you so much Annette. I really, really, really appreciate it.

Annette 54:09

Awesome. Thank you, Daniel.

Daniel De Biasi 54:11

Thanks. Bye bye.

Thank you so much for tuning in this week. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Annette. And if you did share this episode with your friends. And if you want to be awesome and help this podcast growing you can leave us a review on Apple Podcast or pod chaser. And as usual, you can find the show notes with links and everything we discussed and more at a 52. If you want to stay in touch with us on social media, you can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Emigrant's Life and Facebook at Emigrant's Life Podcast. One more thing if you want to move to a new country you need up feel free to reach out to me either via email at or through our website, I love to help you out so please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. If you have any questions or need directions, I'm here to help. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you next one. Ciao!