In a world where more and more people are changing or being forced to switch to online jobs and work from home, being a digital nomad is a new way of life. With its relatively low cost of living, Turkey is becoming an increasingly popular destination for them.
Now based in Turkey, Samantha Brown, 46, is a freelance marketing consultant from the UK. Before embracing this new lifestyle in 2019, she worked for the National Health Service. âMy dad passed away from cancer in 2019, and it got me thinking about my life,â she said. âI realized that I wanted to have a little more freedom. I no longer wanted to work in an office. I felt it was time for me to go freelance and to be able to live in different countries and work from my laptop, âshe told Anadolu (AA) agency in a Zoom interview. ‘Izmir, a province on the Aegean coast of Turkey.
Since then, Brown has moved and lived in 15 countries. She traveled first to Bali, Indonesia, then Thailand, and later India, where she was staying when COVID-19 began to spread around the world.
Brown returned home during the first wave of the coronavirus and then drove to France in his motorhome, believing it would be safer during the pandemic. “I have been in Turkey for a month,” she said, adding that she was planning a flight to Sri Lanka. Besides Izmir, she also visited the seaside resorts of Marmaris and DatÃ§a. Brown said she was happy with her stay in Turkey. , found the transportation and accommodation convenient, and felt “very” safe.
Likewise, Antony Minkowski, a 34-year-old tech entrepreneur from Moscow, has been on the move since February. He left Turkey and visited 12 countries in 10 months. He is currently focusing on his new startup, Remotecamp, to bring together digital nomads or remote workers, including entrepreneurs and IT people. He has organized a series of bootcamps in countries like Turkey, Portugal and Brazil. âBasically we bring digital nomads together so they don’t need to travel alone,â he told AA in a Zoom interview from an apartment in Floiranopolis, Brazil. âThey can even save money because we make it cheaper. Because you rent an apartment or a villa together.â
He said the camp also helps freelancers learn from each other, collaborate and exchange knowledge. They recently held camps in KaÅ Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, Floiranopolis and Madeira, Portugal – countries considered to be the most popular among digital nomads.
At least 36 countries around the world, including Portugal, Greece and Mexico, are currently offering digital nomadic visas to attract these modern day vagrants to their countries. Minkowski, however, said most nomads have little incentive to apply for this type of visa as it is a “long and complicated process”. âYou don’t need a digital nomad visa, if you only travel every two months or every three months,â he said. “I only know a few people who applied for a digital nomad visa, and two of them were already residents of the country,” he added.
When asked about the pros and cons of being a digital nomad, Brown said the main benefit is âflexibilityâ. âYou feel very free. You have experiences that you will never have when you are in an office, âshe said. Although she encountered some difficulties during her travels, she said it all made her a “stronger person”. The downside, she says, is “being careful to take care of your emotional and social needs.” If you are alone it can be very isolating, âshe said. âI make sure to make phone calls to my family and friends every week so I always feel connected to them. And I’m really taking care of my health,â she explained.
For Minkowski, being a digital nomad has âdefinitely changed his lifeâ. He said that since choosing the nomadic life in February, he had met around 6,000 people from different countries. âI don’t just explore the country, but I explore the people around me. It also brings about really significant changes in my life.â He now spends less time shopping for new clothes or a smartphone and is trying to ‘Avoid’ toxic ‘people. “When you travel a lot, you don’t have time to come and keep that relationship … you meet more interesting and meaningful people,” he said. But, the biggest challenge with nomadic life, he said, is âloneliness.â âI just arrived in Brazil, I didn’t know anyone here. No one has met me or expecting me here. So you are completely alone. “