For years I used to work as a regular employee in startup companies(and one huge corporation R.I.P.).

In Israel, there is this trend of going on long trips right after the military mandatory service. Unfortunately, I skipped that and dived right into the IT industry with believing that I’ll redeem this dream of traveling around one day. At least when I’ll feel comfortable enough in my field.

Basing a dream on a general feeling secure in the software industry is really hard. No matter how tech edgy I felt like; there was always more.

Last year I decided I want to live abroad at least for a while and travel around Europe.

Just so happen to be, a small company in Israel looked for a Python backend developer with DevOps capabilities, They contact me and I felt like I hit the lottery.

Both my girlfriend and I packed our stuff, had a sad farewell from family and friends, and moved to Budapest as a start point.

Being an expat in a foreign country is kind of a verdict for a lonely life.

I tried to mingle around, went to shared working spaces for freelancers like me, I even participate to a Django girls meetup just to mingle around.

But it was’nt the same as working in a company as an employee.

In those shared spaces it felt like an expensive library with no books (but all you can drink coffee!); I even tried to engage a conversation with other developers around me, but the conversation never evolved just because no one is working on the same project, therefore, we don’t have a shared goal.

Though I have to admit, In my travels around Europe, I manage to work from all sort of weird locations.

I worked in several airport lounge, during flight(not recommended especially in low-cost planes!), in trains, while waiting in the bank, coffee places and even from the street (when there’s a shared wifi nearby).

Eventually, both my girlfriend and I decided to settle down in The Netherlands. And after a year and a half of working remotely, next month I’m going back to a regular employee life.

Found a job as a Fullstack, and I’m genuinely excited to get back to a more conventional work environment.

Don’t get me wrong, this year and a half of working remotely taught me a lot. I learn how to master several frameworks by myself. And I was lucky enough to have a great company that was flexible enough to actually be open for alternative technologies and communication channels. I do have some pieces of advice in case of want\gonna be a digital nomad:

  1. Be prepared to be alone for most of your working hours. I know it sounds really trivial, But actually, I didn’t take it into consideration back then.
  2. You have to be the one that pushes yourself to use and learn new technologies, nobody gonna do it for you, so just be aware of tech trends.
  3. No matter where you are, every place can become a working environment. just get yourself a good pair of headphones that will block all background noise (preferably with active noise cancellation).
  4. Be flexible with your working hours! – you don’t have to work 9 hours straight. Don’t forget that you can work in night time (great if you’re in an airport), or during the weekend. another trivial thing that again we tend to forget (especially after coming from a regular employment).
  5. Use the fact that you can get a tax refund on work-related purchases (from Macbook to Pycharm, every service, software and hardware your using!).
  6. Get a good accountant!

Though I’m exciting, I’m gonna miss this sense of freedom and flexibility that only can be obtained to this level as a Freelance. But as everything in life, this amazing chapter came to an end; and I’m okay with that 🙂