A Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad

An Honest Day in the Life of a Digital Nomad
[Staithes is such a pretty English beach town]
So I never ever thought I’d make it to this point? Like being a ‘digital nomad’ has always been a kind of crazy dream of mine, but here we are (#living and #thriving, bby) and only having about one mental breakdown per day!!!!

Lol just kidding, although not gonna lie, anytime you go against the grain I think mental breakdowns are inevitable. Actually, I also had them when I was working a normal 9-5…so maybe that’s just #life?

Robin Hood's Bay in England
[Robin Hood’s Bay – a cool day trip from my current town] 
But ANYWAYS. Curious about what being a traveling house sitter/online english teacher/rainbow unicorn is all about? Here’s what I do to keep busy every day (and FYI, it’s not sitting at the beach drinking margaritas all day and pretending to work, although I am currently house sitting at a place by the beach but it’s England so it’s too cold anyway…)

Every day is different obviously (that’s kinda why I chose this life? I get bored real quick) but here’s a kind of typical hodgepodge type day:

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VIP Kid 6 Month Update (Tips, Tricks, & What I Wish I Knew)

Traveling VIP Kid Teacher 6 Month Update & Tips, Tricks, & What I Wish I Knew

So, I’ve been with VIP Kid for about 6 months now, and I’m really enjoying it! It’s a really fun job, I love working with kids (although I’ve found that slightly older kids are what I enjoy the most – you can have actual conversations with them, and you don’t have to be as high energy to hold their attention as you do with the younger ones), and I LOVE that I get to set my own schedule. Here’s my thoughts and what I’ve learned:

VIP Kid Teacher
[This is a clip from my profile video! Yes, you have to make a short video about yourself to encourage parents to book you]
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Why You Should Visit Hamburg (Like, Now)

View from St. Michael's Church (Michel) in Hamburg, Germany
[The view from St. Michael’s Church should not be missed]
Over the course of our 3 months in Europe, my friend Stephanie and I ended up spending the bulk of our time in Hamburg. This was a total accident! But a very happy one.

I honestly wasn’t even really that excited to go to Hamburg in the first place – I really only went because we found a house sit there and it was for 2.5 weeks which I was stoked about (since we’d been traveling everywhere for about 1 week and I was ready to camp out in one spot for a hot minute), and because my friend really realllllly (like reallllly) wanted to go to Germany.

Canoeing along the Alster River
[Loved all the pretty garden houses/sheds that people had on the banks of the Alster River]
I was more like NORWAY! SWITZERLAND! AMSTERDAM! And I guess Hamburg? Since it exists?

(And I honestly prefer it to Berlin, too, for similar reasons that I preferred Lyon to Paris. But shhhh I didn’t say that…)

Dockland Office Building in Hamburg, Germany at sunset
[Check out that gorgeous sunset!! This is at the Dockland Office Building, and those are all a ton of stairs. I went for a run over there in the evening and it was so nice!]
But in the end, I feel like Hamburg is super underrated and it actually ended up coming on top as one of my favorite places! Here’s why:

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Packing List for 3 Months in Europe in Winter (Carry On Only!!)

Female packing list for 3 months in Europe in winter with only a carry on suitcase!

My friend Stephanie and I traveled through Europe from the end of January to the end of April. We went to Scotland, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Prague, Norway, and Germany. I am the WORST packer so I read post after post and watched a million videos about what to pack for winter.

What to pack in Europe for a 3 month trip in winter & spring with only a carry on suitcase
[Here’s a photo of everything I took with me! However, my friend took a checked bag and kindly brought my razor blades and full-size contact solution with her]
I’m also from California where it really doesn’t get THAT cold, so I wasn’t 100% sure what I’d be needing on a daily basis. I’m actually pretty damn proud of how I packed to be honest – only a few items that I regret bringing, and I fit everything into a carry on suitcase and small backpack because I am insane! MAJOR WIN for me, the girl who used to bring a suitcase to a sleepover.

I was even able to squeeze most of it into my carry on for a couple of the Easy Jet flights we took (they don’t allow a personal item). The trick is having a giant coat with lots of pockets and a giant scarf to hide your DSLR camera with. 😉

Here’s what I took (dragged) with me:

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My Thoughts & Reflections After 3 Months of Travel

Reflections after 3 months of travel in Europe
[Kriebstein Castle is a great place to reflect]
Fair warning, this is going to be kind of a rambly post…Lots of thoughts bouncing around in my brain. I feel a little scrambled eggs-esque about having been in Europe for the last 3 months and now heading home. There’s just A LOT to process and I’m also going through major chocolate withdrawals (I WAY overdid it on German chocolate and I’m trying to cut out sugar for a bit – wish me luck) so excuse my brain at the moment.

Here’s where I’m at, and how I’ve changed, after 3 months of travel!

I ACTUALLY (KIND OF) MISS HAVING A HOME BASE

Hamburg buildings
[Not gonna lie, I really enjoyed staying in Hamburg for almost 2 months and getting to know the city]
Our three months of travel was a little busier than I would have liked – we spent 2 days in London, then a week in Glasgow, a few days in Amsterdam, a week in Switzerland, a week in Prague, 2 weeks in Norway, and then the rest of our time in Germany (but we moved around pretty frequently while there).

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18 Things That Surprised Me About Germany

18 Things that Surprised Me About Germany
[Wernigerode, near the Harz Mountains, is a really pretty town]
When I first set out on my 3 month digital nomad/travel excursion we had just planned on staying in Germany for about 3 weeks, but that turned into 2 months! Whoops. And during that time I really fell in love with Germany – it’s such a lovely country!

Lübeck in northern Germany from St Peter's Church
[Lübeck is a beautiful town in northern Germany, and an easy day trip from Hamburg; this view is from St. Peter’s Church]
I’d been before – to Berlin for a couple of days and then Starnberg and Munich for Oktoberfest. But this visit was the first time I’d really spent an extended amount of time in one country, and in one city no less!

We were in Hamburg the bulk of the time and Berlin for 10 days, but I was also able to squeeze in some day trips and visit the Saxony region for a weekend, too. Here’s what surprised me most about the country itself:

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5 Winter Day Trips from Basel, Switzerland

5 Winter Day Trips from Basel, Switzerland
[Our day trip to Colmar, France – this is “La Petit Venis”, or Little Venice, that is a popular place for photos]
We LOVED Switzerland. Like, I would go back there in a heartbeat. Except for the stupid stupid expensive sad prices 🙁

But everything else – the nature, the beautiful cities, the food (aka cheese)…We loved (and ate) it all.

Tiled rooftops in Basel, Switzerland in February
[Pretty rooftops in Basel]
We had our original itinerary written out, and then our AirBnb hosts were like, nahhh we have MUCH BETTER IDEAS FOR YOU. So, here’s what they suggested we do (keep in mind this is a winter, like beginning of February itinerary – not sure if it would be different if we visited in summer!).

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My Favorite Vegetarian European Food Dishes & Desserts

[The array of Stroopwafels at van Wonderen Stroopwafels in Amsterdam]
Like pretty much every other human out there, I LOVE FOOD. And when I’m in a new country the first thing I want to do is, well, try ALL of it (the vegetarian options, that is).

Because I don’t have a bottomless pit for a stomach, I haven’t had EVERY veggie option out there, but these are the things I’ve tried and liked and felt compelled to share. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share! I’m always looking for new things to stuff into my stomach.

[Stuffing my face with Swiss Alpine Macaroni]
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8 Reasons I’ll Miss Living in the Bay Area

Why I'll Miss Living in the Bay Area
[Views of the Bay from an airplane]
So contrary to what you may believe from my last post about why I WON’T miss living in the Bay Area, there are actually plenty of things I love about the Bay, too. I lived there for about 23 years in total, so of course there are things I really appreciate about the Bay!

Here’s what I’ll miss the most:

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8 Reasons I Won’t Miss Living in the Bay Area

Why I Won't Miss Living in the Bay Area
[Even though there’s a lot I don’t like about the Bay, parts of it sure are pretty!]
Ahh the Bay Area – land of start ups, the word “hella”, giant tech companies, the best burritos (yeah I said it), the Golden Gate, and so much more that I could never fit it all into one sentence without violating all kinds of grammar rules. It’s a wonderful melting pot of a place.

I grew up in San Jose and was living in Fremont the past 2 years. I will always love the Bay (and there are plenty of reasons I’ll miss it, too), but I’m also very ready to leave. It was a good run, but here’s why I’m not looking to return:

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