Many nomads got stuck due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID19. Some had a flight home just before their guest countries went on lockdown, but most of us decided to ride out the storm in the country where we were at.
For me that was Mexico. While my lockdown started on March 23, I had just received my approval for visa extension for another 3 years. But the plastic card can take up to 8 months due to falling behind in workload and COVID19 restrictions. So I am stuck in Playa del Carmen. Which is actually a nice place when all the tourists are gone. Shame all the restaurants and beaches were closed also, otherwise, I would have really enjoyed my little escapes from my 25m2 apartment in the middle of downtown.
Working while in lockdown
I guess, most digital nomads, like me, worked hard during the lockdown. For it is a matter of survival, especially when your services involve travel and immigration like mine. I saw visitors numbers drop drastically on my websites, so I had to work twice as hard to promote my websites on social media and be creative about the things I posted for there was not much excitement in my solitary life.
When you have other services as a digital nomad you may have noticed that small projects disappeared fast from project websites, for everyone was saving pennies and a lot of smaller companies are struggling to survive economically. So there is little budget for outsourcing.
Working hard in a time where you cannot spend much money since you mostly live at home, might have saved you some extra cash for days to come. You can either chose to slow down after reopening of the new normal and work a little less enjoying your hard labour during the lockdown or buy that ticket to that destination you dreamed of for so long.
I don’t know about you but my monthly expenses dropped drastically for about 3 months. I was happy with that, for now, my budget will last longer.
Can we travel as before?
With travel being limited our nationality for once might not work in our preference. When you are a nomad, travelling with a well-accepted passport normally, now you may find some countries closed for you. That will be a new experience. Although you might not have been in your home country for ages and have multiple visa stamps to proof that, you may not be allowed to fly to your chosen destination.
Some countries have opened borders but limited countries that were very sick from arriving or getting entry visas. Or you might face a long quarantine upon arrival.
Now, with the world re-opening, you have to choose wisely even more than before, did we check before for visa requirements, cost of living and internet reliability, now we also have to check the COVID19 entry rules and regulations for our stay.
Doing so we might find out that our next destination is still closed.
I for me, I am limited in Mexico since all 32 states have different rules and I cannot easily travel the way I want to, I have to proof my destination and reason for arriving in a state, in some states. But with my ID card still processing I cannot register a motorcycle, nor get my drivers license, so I am stuck here anyway for at least another 6-8 months.
Curses from COVID19 for me
the limitation of my freedom, I felt like a captured wild horse pulling my reigns in the first few weeks
the closure of beaches, I name that specific, for walking the beach was part of my workflow, it inspired me, calmed me down, helped me to get perspective and relax, I had to find new ways to reach those states of mind
COVID19 has been a turning point for many people, now more than ever it is time to follow your dreams. Or maybe you worked from home and you really liked it. Then now may be a good time to talk to your boss about more flexibility in time in the office. You do not always have to travel the world to be a digital nomad, you can also be a flexible co-worker.
I offer a unique opportunity for people who want to explore a new working style, to talk to me about the pros and cons of such a new lifestyle and workstyle.
We can (video)chat on messenger or Whatsapp at a time that both suits us. We set an appointment as soon as you have purchased the product.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.