Working from anywhere while travelling is an amazing lifestyle choice.
In my series of interviews with digital nomads, I feature people who have an interesting story to tell about their nomadic life.
This time I spoke with Noa Yerushalmi. Noa’s digital nomad story is an inspiring one.
She grew up in Tel Aviv and in Bangkok, and was exposed to Asian cultures early on in life.
When she decided to become a digital nomad, South East Asia was the natural choice for her.
She had 25+ years of experience in her profession and found a way to work online, while also turning one of her passions into an extra source of income.
I interviewed Noa to hear more about her life story and her perspective on the digital nomad lifestyle.
How did you become a digital nomad?
Three years ago, I followed my heart’s calling to go out and travel in South East Asia, and spend time in Thailand, where I lived for six years in my youth.
My Journey started with a one-way ticket to Dharamsala, India, where I stayed for three months.
During these last three years I’ve been working and travelling, spending between one and a few months in each place.
The countries I’ve been visiting, travelling and living in include: India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.
Thailand, being my second home, is the base where I fly from and return to.
How do you make a living as a digital nomad?
I work with my clients through Skype and Messenger, providing psychotherapy, personal and business coaching and consultations.
My side job when I’m travelling is selling paintings online.
I paint in Acrylic, mostly very colourful abstract paintings.
I sell paintings for homes, offices and commercial spaces, shipping worldwide from my gallery in Israel.
What made you decide to become a digital nomad?
It was in 2015 when I felt a need to change my life, because my workload became too heavy and I needed balance.
It took me a year to prepare for this change and I had to process some fears in order to be able to do it.
As a name for my new project, I adopted the term sabbatical from the world of academia.
I felt it was the right time to do more of the things I enjoy doing, like writing, painting, photography, travelling and spending time in nature.
What’s your favourite thing about the digital nomad lifestyle?
This lifestyle includes quite a few things that I love doing:
I love travelling in different countries, and specifically in South East Asia, where I was raised.
And although some routines fly with you to your destination, it’s a thrilling adventure to stay in these places, enjoy the cultures, celebrate tasting the different kinds of foods, being in nature, meeting and connecting with new people, writing daily, taking photos, painting and having time to be with myself.
What are the best cities for digital nomads from your experience?
My experience is mainly in South East Asia.
I stayed in Dharamsala, India for three months and enjoyed hikes in the mountains, meeting people and the restaurants and cafes there.
The high energies of this place were definitely unique and deeply appreciated.
I also stayed in Yogyakarta, Java Indonesia for two months and met with wonderful people.
I loved dancing and singing with the locals and became curious about Javanese culture.
I fell in love with the beauty and the people of Bali. I loved the food and riding a motorbike into nature.
In all of the places mentioned there is good WiFi to be found and people are kind and friendly.
What advice would you give someone who’s starting out as a digital nomad?
Talk to other nomads and learn from them.
Find out what’s truly important to you.
Travelling lets you disconnect from “how you’re supposed to live” and you get an opportunity to be with yourself.
Choose those places that speak to your heart. Every place has its gifts for you.
What has been your biggest challenge?
For me, the biggest challenge was to actually do it.
There was a lot of fear involved in the decision to leave my life as I knew it.
There are always voices in your head giving you ‘reasons’ why not to do it now, or at least not yet, and maybe just go on a long vacation instead.
And it took courage to hear my heart’s calling and follow through… to the unknown.
I remember sharing my fear of change in the very first week in India. Every person I met that week got to hear about it…
But that was it. After that week the fears were gone, and the need to speak about them was no longer there.
What are your future plans?
Keep listening, be guided, stay loyal to what it is that I love to do.
Not planning was part of my journey in these last three years.