The COVID-19 pandemic grounded most for us in recent months, but some adventurous souls are planning to take themselves off to new locations in 2021. 2020 was a year where many of us had to work remotely, so these travelers have shared their stories with us of how they plan to combine life in a new location with remote working.
Catarina Almeida is planning to move to Sri Lanka in 2021
Catarina has a passion for traveling, and her first experience of living abroad came when she moved to Budapest after graduating from college to do a marketing internship. She then relocated to London to progress her career for seven years, during which she spent all her free time traveling, including visiting Vietnam. She began working as a digital nomad in 2017 and flew to Thailand on a one-way ticket at the end of 2019.
Catarina returned home to Portugal as her mother became ill, but has thankfully recovered. She resumed traveling and while spending three weeks in Sri Lanka prior to traveling to India, met someone with whom she has fallen in love. She returned to Portugal when the pandemic struck, but aims to move abroad again in 2021. Having secured a remote job as digital marketing manager for a technology company in London, Catarina is planning to move to Sri Lanka when borders reopen in 2021.
"I'll rent a house and live with my boyfriend, whom I haven't seen in 10 months," she says. "My plan is to continue with my job while doing some freelance work at the same time then, once everything is back to "normal." I would like to continue traveling for a while to explore South East Asia, Oceania and South America, and to work as a freelancer during that time. Then, if all goes well, I would like to start some businesses in Sri Lanka, but I know by now not to make many plans."
Catarina hopes her travels will bring her the freedom to work and live anywhere. "I do not want to be a tourist, I want to immerse myself in the culture and traditions of every place I go," she says. "I want to meet the people and to understand how they live, what motivates them, what makes them happy and also how can I contribute to making life in general better."
Catarina is documenting her experiences on her Instagram page.
Jade Broadus is planning to explore the US by RV with her family
Jade is from Los Angeles and is currently living in Florida with her husband Bob, four-year-old daughter Augustine and beagle chihuahua mix, Romeo, to be near family. They are planning to hit the road in March or April 2021 and travel around the US by RV or repaired vintage VW van. As Jade and Bob already work remotely, the main challenge is finding reliable wi-fi when they need it. They take turns minding their daughter and doing their work and say it works out really well.
"We work remotely already so this will allow us to explore America by car and have amazing outdoor adventures with our daughter before she starts school," says Jade. "Although, depending on everything, we may homeschool while on the road. When we road-tripped this summer, we came up with a safe travel system where we really didn’t come in contact with others, respected local communities and stayed safe and healthy, and we will follow the same tips this time too."
Jade says that the family thrives outdoors and the challenge of attempting anything new together has always been fun and connects them on a deeper level. They hope to show Augustine more of the US in 2021 and let her see first-hand people's unique differences and commonalities.
"I love seeing each place through her eyes," Jade says. "I’m a firm believer in learning through experiences, so if we can teach fundamental things as we travel, how cool would that be? Professionally, my husband and I both work in industries hard hit by the pandemic, so I’m hoping this jumpstarts our creative engines so we have new ideas to bring to the table for all our professional endeavors.
Jazmin Harb plans to move to Ecuador in 2021
Jazmin lives in Raleigh, but says that the pandemic has made her realize that she needed to spend time with friends and family, as well as doing things she always wanted to do but never got the opportunity. She is hoping to move to her birthplace of Ecuador for at least six months in 2021.
Jazmin works as a freelancer for different companies providing digital media strategies, producing content and building websites. She has a travel website called Travel to Blank, where she shares walking guides, pet-friendly guides and romantic getaway itineraries. She is planning to move to Guayaquil during the summer of 2021.
"I want to travel more through Ecuador and discover the hidden gems my home country has to offer, as well as spending some time with family and friends, while keeping to all the biosecurity measures," she says. "When things get a little better and it is safer to travel, I will be renting a room in Guayaquil and working from there. I hope my travels will inspire more creativity in me as well as making me grow as a person and a professional."
As a freelancer and travel writer, Jazmin says that it is important to find the perfect balance between work and personal time on the road. "I normally work early in the morning and late at night to get everything done, and during the day I go out and explore the destination," she says. "A piece of advice that I follow is to stay twice as long in each place than I think I need, in order to have more time to explore and still do work."
Jazmin will document her trip on Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter and Youtube under the username @TraveltoBlank.
Ariane Henry is planning to travel to Costa Rica and other places in 2021
Ariane lives in Vancouver and is aiming to travel and work abroad in 2021 as a solo female traveler. "I’ve always wanted to work remotely and live a digital nomadic lifestyle, it was just never the 'right time'," she explains. "When I was furloughed this year in April as a travel agent and ultimately laid off in October, it gave me the chance to pivot to fulfil a dream of being self-employed, working and traveling full-time. They say some things fall apart just to fall into place, and I truly believe this was the situation for me."
Ariane plans to start 2021 off by heading to Costa Rica in January, and is working on plans to travel in Europe during the summer. From October 2021, she'll be traveling full-time and working remotely. Her current plans are to start in Hong Kong, and then on to Nepal, where she is booked to do the Everest Base Camp trek in November 2021. This will be followed by Singapore, Malaysia and Bali.
Ariane has booked long stays in hotels with good wi-fi connection and will adjust her working hours to coincide with her clients. "But the pay-off is that I could work for a few hours in the day, then explore new places, food and cultures," she says.
Ariane is hoping to meet others along the way who are also remote workers/digital nomads and is excited to visit new countries, experience new cultures and check off some bucket list destinations. "I’ve always wanted to trek to see Mount Everest, so this will be a huge dream fulfilled," she says. "My father passed away very suddenly 11 years ago, so I’m dedicating this trek to him. My interest in Everest began because of him, as he took me to an iMax film about it when I was quite young. Since then, it’s been a huge dream to see and stand in the presence of such a majestic mountain."