When one hears the term “digital nomad”, people immediately think of travel bloggers / vloggers and writers. That may be the case several years ago, but now, current network systems and technologies have allowed many industries the option to work from home or work on remote locations.
My living status summed up in 8 words is: “Not a full-time nomad but not completely anchored.” Back in the day (read: when I was younger and more nimble), I had a more vagabond-ish lifestyle that the present me may no longer be able to cope with.
Here are a few of my ‘life hacks’ that help me find that sweet and delicate balance of travelling (95% of the time for work), while maintaining a semi-normal lifestyle.
1.) Eat Healthy at Home
While being on the road can be exciting, most of the time it means eating unhealthily. So this is why whenever I’m home I make a conscious effort to cook my own meals using fresh produce and ingredients. However, it’s incredibly easy to fall into the habit of cooking the same dishes all the time, which can get boring and take away your love of food and trying new things.
As someone who loves to travel, I really see the appeal in not only trying new cuisines, but also learning how to cook them. One of my favourite meals to eat at the moment is Chargrilled Vegetables and Haloumi Stack. Whenever I make this dish, I serve it with a side of home-made chips; the combination of oven roasted chips, fresh vegetables and the tartness of haloumi is a treat to the taste buds. This meal is perfect for time-poor people, like me, as it is so easy to prepare and only takes about 30 minutes.
2. Workout Apps
Joining a gym or having a regular weekly workout schedule has become an elusive thing of the past when you’re not even sure where you will be in 2-3 weeks’ time. Thank goodness for the advent of workout apps – anyone can workout anywhere in the world, in any given time zone.
If apps are not your thing, there are thousands of workout videos online and on YouTube. This is perfect when doing workouts in your hotel room or apartment. The advantage of apps is that you can use the services of an online trainer who guides and tracks your progress in real time. There are plenty of workout apps available but one that I like to use when I run outdoors (or even on treadmill) is the Nike plus app.
3.) Have a Travel-version Skin Care Routine
As the years pass, I’ve paid more attention to skin care rather than makeup. Travel-wise this works well because it meant packing very minimal cosmetics. But at the same time, packing 5-7 bottles, tubes, and tubs for skin care.
My current skincare routine is roughly inspired by the world-famous 10-step Korean skincare routine. I have whittled mine to 7 steps ( I did say it was just inspired), and whenever I travel, I cut this further down into just 5 steps. I then decant products into travel-sized bottles and tubes. I religiously do this whenever I travel. And why devote so much time on skincare? My pet peeve is breaking out whenever I travel. Whether it is due to the change in whether or the usual adverse reaction to lack of sleep and wearing prolonged makeup (however light it may be), my skin always took a toll when I’m travelling.
The key is to replicate your skincare regime as much as you can when you travel. Your skin will be glowing when it thanks you.
4.) Consider a Year-Round Travel Insurance
As a travel blogger, I could possibly be digging my own grave when I confess this: during one of my travels, I was already at the airport ready for check-in when I realised that I have not signed up for travel insurance.
Since then, I have taken on a year-round travel insurance for the next 2-3 years. Travel insurance may seem like a no-brainer but believe me, when you find yourself often in the middle of packing and unpacking, you’re very likely to think that you have already signed up for travel insurance, when you in fact, haven’t.
Needless to say, the more you travel, the more a year-round travel insurance becomes worth it as the cost per insured day gets less expensive.
*On a slightly different note but still about insurance, it’s also worth signing up for a comprehensive house insurance. Most especially if you travel often and have to leave your apartment/ residence without a tenant. This just adds to your peace of mind when you are away.
5.) Make Sure Your Wheels are OK
If you own a vehicle and you will be gone for more than 2 weeks, it might be best to leave your keys with a trusted friend, neighbour or relative so they can check up on your car from time to time.
But apart from car wheels – it’s also best to check up on your luggage wheels. They are the part of our luggage that gets the most abuse. Not only from airport handlers as they toss luggage about, but also because a luggage’s weight rests on the wheels, and these wheels also carry them from one location to another.
Here’s a little tip: If you see your original luggage wheel needing to be replaced, try in-line skating wheels made of polyutherane, a resilient flexible plastic that’s considered to be the most hardwearing and durable wheels on the market today.