Digital nomad in California 1

Digital nomad in California

I’m writing this blog from the balcony of a WeWork space in Santa Monica. It’s 30 degrees and they’ve got a beautifully decorated outdoor area. It’s lovely. A few months ago, I asked the Rise team if I could spend a few months working remotely in the US. They said go for it. I was so happy, I felt unstoppable.

Working remotely can get you out of a rut, it lets you experience the world and life with a degree of freedom that’s hard to obtain otherwise. Whether you use that flexibility to spend time with your kids, travel the world or pursue a side-project, it’s up to you. In my case, since I was a kid, I always wanted to spend time in the US, it seemed so different from my life back in Portugal.

I booked my flights a few weeks before embarking on my adventure. I tend to limit my research before heading to a new place in order to leave room for opportunities that arise. All I knew was that I wanted to be surrounded by people who were chasing their dreams, and be inspired on a daily basis by the free way of life that California seems to offer.

Here’s how I made my US experience and working remotely become a reality:

Preparation – I rented my room out in Manly Beach and made sure my car was with someone I trusted. I looked for the cheapest and fastest flight on Skyscanner and activated my travel insurance through my credit card. I booked a hostel in Santa Monica for the first weekend only and made a budget to ensure I didn’t spend all my savings.

Remote work For me the most productive way I can work remotely is implementing a daily routine. I’m still working on it but I tend to wake up, go for a walk at the beach, jump on an electric scooter and find a workspace to do work until 5pm. I have regular meetings with my team via Zoom and WhatsApp to check-in and prioritise my workflow, plus we use Slack to communicate with the wider team. It’s working quite well. When I hit a wall I make sure I take a break; I practice mindful breathing and exercise.

Make the most of where you are – Go out to museums, markets, book Airbnb experiences. Do that workshop you’ve always wanted to do, learn a new skill or simply go for a walk and explore. Work from co-working spaces, libraries, cafes, quirky stores, botanic gardens that have WiFi, you name it. Talk to your Uber driver, learn from their story or share yours.

Enjoy the journey – ‘Even if you go for it and it doesn’t work out, you still win. You still had the guts to head straight into something that frightened you. That type of bravery will take you places’ – The better man project

I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to go to the US whilst keeping my job. With technology and flexible work arrangements like being able to work remotely, my dreams have become a reality and I’ve found greater meaning at work.

Author: Diana Matos Alves


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