The Danish couple Nicolaj Jensen and Malene Vinter are on the run. Not from war or persecution, but from the trivialities and stagnation of the everyday life. They are digital nomads; an increasingly popular phenomenon where people travel the world while working.
“We love staying on a small island. You can do meetings with customers in the morning, then go scuba diving, enjoy a beer afterwards and end the day with some more meetings,” Nicolaj said to ScandAsia, when we talked to him and Malene on Skype from Phuket.
Nicolaj (28 years old) works with online marketing and Malene (27) works with graphic design and text production. Both of their jobs do not require them to work at an exact location. Therefore they can work while they travel around the world – the definition of a digital nomad.
“We have a lot of ongoing projects, because we work from the premise that it should be fun,” Nicolaj said, “but our primary jobs that pay most of our bills are my consultant agency and a range of smaller picture-and text production assignments that Malene does.”
The choice of becoming a nomad stemmed from a divergence of interests. Malene likes to travel and has worked and studied abroad on several occasions. Nicolaj on the other hand wanted to become self-employed and create his own online marketing business.
“I have asked Nicolaj a couple of times if he wanted to go abroad and live for a longer period,” Malene said.
“So when I read about the digital nomad lifestyle online and suggested it to Malene, it all came together. Then we prepared for a year and took off,” Nicolaj continued.
Digital nomadism seems like the perfect mix for Nicolaj and Malene. However, this lifestyle does have some consequences. “Even though we like to be flexible, you sometimes need some structure as well,” Nicolaj said. “We for instance just visited Sri Lanka and could not really find comfort there. We needed some more structure,” Malene explained.
They both miss home, their family and friends – and of course the time difference and poor internet connection are annoying – but overall they are both very happy for their nomadic lifestyle.
“We do not believe that our wanderlust goes away. Also, our motivation to be self-employed and create something on our own have only been strengthened by travelling. So we think that we will live this kind of life for years to come,” said Nicolaj.
“But we have a dream of a little house with an herbal garden where we can settle down when we get old. But if it’s going to be in Denmark we don’t know yet,” Nicolaj replied when asked if they will ever return to Denmark.
“For now we just do whatever we like to do” Malene concluded.
You can follow Malene and Nicolaj on their blog justbrowsing.dk to see what places their nomadic lifestyle takes them, and for travel advice for the places they have lived so far.