Lost income, stuck, and tied down. The coronavirus disease has seriously impacted workers whose jobs require daily reporting to a field or office.
Things are different for some, though, who are fortunate to carry their jobs with them and bend their employment to their favor. They can shift their workspace from office to home, but with a thrill: why not make the home an exotic place?
Adventurous as they may be, and inspired by the work and vacation or “workstation” being hyped on social media, these digital nomads-wanna be packed up, applied for remote worker visa programs, drove off camper vans, and stayed in empty beach resorts in Bali.
Sounds fun and refreshing, but sorry, some good things come with a drawback.
Closed borders, failed plans
An entrepreneur David Malka from Los Angeles has been hearing the best work-abroad loves from his friends. Unbeknownst to what’s on the road, he planned to work from Amsterdam with his girlfriend.
The first stumble happened immediately in Cabo San Lucas. The two have realized that the European Union has not opened its borders to travelers from America. They settled to stay in Mexico longer and have lived the dreamed life of working on a laptop, in an empty and peaceful resort… but not for long.
After two weeks, the drawback has set in. The city beaches were closed so they have to stay in the resort. This has happened while their business suffers the impact of the pandemic.
“All we could do is sit by the pool or go to the gym,” Malka said, tired of the repetition, boredom, and isolation.
Finally, the two took a trip to Amsterdam where Malka turned away at customs. They retreated to London and he has been there since. “Cold, raining, depressing,” he said. “Those are the first three adjectives that come to mind,” he said.
Work without Internet or work and be judged because you are unplugging?
Katie Smith-Adair and her husband packed up their Volvo with a tend and an outdoor shower for a month-long camping road trip around the West. The two are running an event company in Los Angeles, the PlaceInvaders. Smith-Adair spends around 40 hours in manning the business but she was “wronged” when he brought his work to vacation.
“They make you feel bad because you’re not unplugging and getting into nature,” Smith-Adair said. “This is my job. I want to unplug, but I also have to get on that Zoom call real quick.”
Smith-Adair has turned a folding chair on the sidewalk into her office. Once, she was in an important call and a nearby man began roaring his motorcycle. Adair-Smith said he was going to ruin her career. He just brushed it off.
No place like home
Katie Jacobs Stanton, a venture capital investor in Los Altos, California decided to take a gap year, venture investments, and close deals while hitting the road.
She bought a Tesla, grabbed his golden retriever Taco, and started her pursuit to live a digital nomad life.
“I had this image of a glorious, beautiful American landscape and mom-and-pop, Main Street USA,” she said.
The stars seem to not align with her plans as a series of unfortunate events happened. First, someone stole her Tesla, which was fortunately recovered by the police. Her first stop, Reno, was unexpectedly a sad city. His pet Taco also became sick.
She rang hip-hop artist Kanye West for a possible music business venture. The artist mentioned her on Twitter, overwhelming her with messages. This has also triggered her children to call her and was informed that her daughter in college caught coronavirus.
Taco needs more surgery too. Apart from all these, Stanton has dealt with high levels of anxiety as people in the towns she visited aren’t fond of using face masks.
“I think I just want to go back home,” she said. “No more road trips for Katie Stanton,” she said, as she cut her gap year by October.