digital Nomadic life and working while traveling are currently very in. Many seem to have the dream of working where others vacation. But is this form of work really so heavenly and how can it work?

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The dream of location-independent work

The media thrive on making dreams come true sell. This is why emigrant programs about people who want to start a new life abroad are booming on German television. In “time” and on Spiegel Online appear Article about travel bloggers.

And even the more conservative media magazine reported on several pages at the time about the journalist Meike Winnemuth, who had won a considerable sum from Günther Jauch and then spent a year traveling the world.

Freedom with bad pay?

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So off to paradise and everything great - how to organize it, we know the latest since “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. Or?

A while ago I got a press release from a call center service provider that advertised that the low-paying job could be done from anywhere in the world Welt with maximum personal freedom - that is exactly the advantage of this form of work.

Disadvantages of location-independent work

Above all, I see disadvantages: In addition to the measly payment, with which one can only live well in cheap, usually non-European countries, this “free” work also blocks all network opportunities and opportunities for advancement. And the annoying call center work is the same even with a beautiful view.

Incidentally, this applies to many forms of location-independent work, which today promise eCommerce platforms such as eBay, Amazon and Co. Above all, such platforms benefit from the platforms, which in some cases have huge margins and whose conditions one must orientate themselves on.

Working in paradise - a reality check

In the Italian Emilia-Romagna, for example, I met Helga Schenk. Helga, qualified translator, has been living and working at Rimini for over 20 years. Italy was by no means her dream destination; love brought her here, she still had to learn the language. A big Problem for her it was to build up local networks, since Italian culture works very differently: "You don't just go out for a coffee," she says.

She managed to make contacts and make friends, as a singer in a choir. "Music and sport are areas in which socializing works completely independently of the social class," explains Helga.

Successful networking

It was also helpful that she didn't just rely on freelance work at first, but also looked for a part-time job - for example as a translator in court, in the hospital or for a facade construction company. “The permanent part-time jobs brought me regularity Money and good contacts,” says Helga, who fast realized that sending CVs was of little use in Italy: "You get the jobs by asking around about contacts," she reports.

But despite everything, Helga, who comes from Stuttgart, has the Contact to their Süddeutschen Never completely lost home. She regularly visits friends there and has regular visitors: “When we bought the house, I made sure to have space for guests,” explains the translator, who also values ​​the geographical proximity to Germany. In any case, one appointment per year is firmly booked: a visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair.

The whole world as a market thanks to Internet

The Internet, says Helga, made her work much easier: “We used to have to send translations by post or fax, but today everything is faster. I don't have to drive to work. I can order orders worldwide apply, and it's all about what I can do - my high quality Vocational Training it will benefit me”.

But for this to work, one condition must be met: “You have to stay connected to the world”. The Internet can only be a support here.

Conclusion: complete freedom remains a dream

I have met many expats over the years and listened to their stories. My conclusion: Working where other people go on vacation can work. But it is actually work.

Also, one is never completely independent, because one needs clients, customers or platforms on which to sell your work. Complete freedom – just open the computer and get started, as some people imagine – remains a dream.


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