Digital nomad: The whole world is her home office: For years, the designer has only been working on the go

When Katie Macleod goes to work, she doesn't drive to an office, she just turns on her computer wherever she is.

Digital nomad: The whole world is her home office: For years, the designer has only been working on the go

When Katie Macleod goes to work, she doesn't drive to an office, she just turns on her computer wherever she is. And that can be almost anywhere: The 28-year-old describes herself as a "digital nomad" who has been moving from place to place for years. It's not vacation, Macleod continues to work as a graphic designer. But in her life she combines the necessary with the pleasant.

So far she has traveled to and worked from 78 countries. Her goal: to hit the hundred mark. "I want to have visited a hundred countries before I'm 30," the Scot told the BBC. She's well on her way there. While others complain about the same routine, her life could hardly be more varied despite her job: she recently posted pictures from Iraq, Qatar or Poland on Instagram. Macleod works in an exciting environment and has time to explore the country after work.

Macleod has never been able to do much with the classic everyday working life. She studied graphic design in Edinburgh and worked for an agency in London, but wanted more, she told the BBC: "A typical day at work was always predetermined. I had very little time to devote to my personal dreams and goals." She has always had a passion for travel. But she didn't immediately understand that work and travel could work together. "My original plan was: save, save, save - then travel, travel, travel for as long as possible," she writes on her blog Katie Goes.

But then Macleod came across the stories of other digital nomads who don't live in a fixed place and make their living by traveling. She quit her job in London and began to implement this lifestyle more and more consistently. Her first stop was Singapore: "The residents speak English, the city is convenient, the internet is good and flights are cheap." Then Malaysia followed – and many, many other cities and countries.

That was already at the end of 2018, i.e. before the corona pandemic. While a lifestyle like hers before the pandemic was almost unimaginable for most, mobile working has now become a normal part of everyday work in many industries. In fact, there are more and more people who do not work from their place of residence, but from abroad. For Macleod himself, the pandemic was initially a setback, as it became much more difficult or even impossible to travel internationally. Her solution: she bought a van and explored her Scottish homeland instead. Settling down is unthinkable for them – at least for the moment.

Macleod advises other people who are also interested in such a flexible lifestyle to first gain experience with travel (e.g. backpacking) and to consider whether their job is even feasible in such a situation. As a graphic designer, she was also lucky in her choice of career, says the 28-year-old. It is also important to save money in advance - in case everything doesn't go as hoped from the start and the orders don't come.

Though her life sounds dreamy and enticing, Katie Macleod also speaks about the downsides. "I've slept on more airport floors than I can count," she admits. "I often had trouble finding a good internet connection to work, had to pay more money because I'm a foreigner, and had some food poisoning." Nevertheless, she never wants to go back to her old life with the nine-to-five job. Still, it was a good experience: "Looking back, I'm grateful to know that lifestyle. Now I know what the alternative is. I know what I'm fighting for when struggling with clients or with travel fatigue."

Sources: Katie Macleod on Instagram / "Katie goes" / BBC

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