With COVID-19 still affecting the way we engage with the world, it’s important to plan wisely and travel responsibly, both for your own safety and that of the places you visit. But as we reengage with the world, you're likely planning vacations not far from home. World Nomads can help by providing travel safety tips, inspiring content, and travel insurance designed to protect you while traveling.
Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.
00:28 Where is Kim?
01:10 The rise of the digital nomad
02:25 The challenges
04:28 Find a problem and create a solution
06:05 Catering for the adventurous nomad
07:17 How Nomads Stays works
09:03 Being a digital nomad in Montenegro
10:25 Shopping locally
11:24 Why Kim’s husband had reservations
13:16 The things we need to work
14:19 Next episode
“We have designed this company to be for people who are a lot more adventurous than the average digital nomad who would go to Berlin or London. But we want the people who are off the beaten track people who really would like to experience and explore the world more.” - Linda
Linda McCall is the co-founder of Nomads Stays. Together with her husband Mark and dog Dakar they went fully nomad in 2015 after packing up their home near Noosa, Australia. Selling most of their possessions and packing the van & motorbike for a trip around Australia.
“As digital nomads for over 5 years now our inspiration for Nomad Stays comes from the desire to overcome the constant hassles of finding affordable, comfortable, digital nomad-friendly places to stay. Somewhere we can stop for a while, enjoy, get some work done.
“Our mission became to make it easier for people to explore and discover more of the planet while building a career. To discover the forgotten, to uncover the unknown, to expect the unexpected. To meet new and interesting people from all walks of life.”
Oh, and we must not forget Nomad Stays other team member featured in the photo, Virtual Assistant & Chief Happiness Officer, Dakar an Australian rescue dog, and Nomad.
Since being saved by a dog rescue center in Gympie, Queensland Dakar has circumnavigated Australia (in chauffeured 4X4 luxury) and been to 10 other countries. Arguably the most traveled dingo on the planet. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @dakardingo
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Phil: Hey it’s Phil and Kim with you and Kim, you are still on the road, where are you recording from this time?
Kim: I am recording in Broken Hill near the South Australian border. It’s Australia’s first heritage-listed city and considered the gateway to the outback. A great place to be a digital nomad for a few weeks. Phil, take a guess - and these figures are from 2018 – how many digital nomads were working independently around the world at the time?
Kim: 4.8 million and how many aspire to be location independent?
Kim: A further 17 million! And digital nomad services are helping this sector increase because there is so much information to access.
Phil: Also, since COVID-19 companies have grown more comfortable with a remote workforce, no matter where the location.
Kim: Linda and her husband Mark are the co-founders of Nomad Stays, launched earlier this year in France, and due to COVID they are operating from France.
Phil: It’s a site that makes it easier for everyone to work while exploring the world. They have quickly grown to over 100 properties in over 35 countries.
Kim: As I said, their mission is to make it easier for people to explore and discover more of the planet while building a career. I reckon it was great timing for a business with everyone who has been working from home, realizing you can work from anywhere, and what timing…
Linda: Oh well, thank you very much. It's actually an idea... We've been on the road for five years so this is something that is the lifestyle that we've chosen. So we lived in Noosa, Queensland, and I said... We used to go camping all the time. And I said to Mark, "Wouldn't this be really cool if we can do this all the time, as full time?" And he said, "Yeah, yeah." And a year later, we sold everything up, and off we went. So we took a four-wheel drive, a motorbike, our dog and off we went. And as we traveled around Australia... Because as I've said, I've lived and worked in other countries before. And I said, "Before I leave the country again, I want to travel around my own country and see what's going on there," so we did that and connected with a lot of people. But on our travels, we found that we couldn't find a place to stay for longer stays, and that was difficult for us. So we are basically solving our own problem.
Kim: I love it, and you're playing right into the hands of the pandemic.
Linda: Yes. And we are so lucky because... In the fact that we turned up in France at the beginning of COVID and we found this amazing little gîte that is one of our stays now because it's magnificent. The pandemic has actually caused a need. People were very comfortable before, but now it's caused a need for this longer stay because there are more remote workers and everybody's going, "You know what? I think I could go and I can run my business or I can start a new business from anywhere in the world." So it's becoming a bit of a... There's definitely a need for longer stays now, for sure. Everybody's realizing how easy it really can be done. And beforehand, five years ago, people would say, "These are nomads. Is that thing? Is that real?" We had a four-wheel drive and a rooftop tent because we love to camp. And we did that specifically so we were self-contained and we could go off the beaten track a lot.
Linda: With Nomad Stays, we have designed this company to be for people who are a lot more adventurous than the average digital nomad who would go to Berlin or London. But we want the people who are off the beaten track people who really would like to experience and explore the world more. And also, there are these awesome towns like [inaudible 00:03:01], which is very close to us, which is a regional town that has these amazing little stays and nobody knows about them. And the adventure... I mean, my goodness this place is just an adventure playground. There's kayaking, there's a hiking, there's climbing. This place is really well known for climbing and paragliding as well. So, it's an adventure playground. And most off the beaten track places, as in regional communities, are just waiting for adventure.
Kim: You said you solved your own problem as a digital nomad and you came up with Nomad Stays. How does it work? I know that you guarantee a 100% wifi, which is important if you're working. How does it work?
Linda: For the nomad, it's an instant booking. So if you go to Airbnb, you will sometimes have to wait for a confirmation whereas ours is instant bookings. We have personally chosen these stays that we have on our books for digital nomads because as we've been traveling, what we found is very important is community. And we like to put you in touch with the coworking spaces and the places who have community. And we also make sure that there's an adventure playground there. So it's basically longer stays, so the minimum stay is one week to three months if you want to, but it's usually a month at a time, just month by month. Yeah, it's instant booking so you don't have to wait for confirmation.
Linda: You don't have to do the negotiation because we've done the negotiation for you, and it's affordable stays as well. So most of the places that we were looking at were very, very expensive for a month and we would have to get to know the owner and do the negotiation and building relationships. So it took maybe three weeks, maybe sometimes even a month to say, "Hey, this is what we're doing," because it wasn't very normal when we first started I guess.
Kim: Looking at your site, and I don't have it up in front of me, but there was one place I was interested in it and it was 395 Euro as an example. What would I get for that?
Linda: It's for the whole month. So it may be... Yeah, I know. And so that is in maybe Bulgaria or Montenegro, which is one of the most amazing places.
Kim: It was Montenegro.
Linda: Montenegro, okay.
Kim: I said to Andrew, "This is where we're going."
Linda: Okay, yeah definitely because I can't wait to go there. I haven't been there myself, but we've built a lovely relationship with the owners. There are two stays there, but so what you would get is basically the accommodation. So your accommodation is sorted, all you have to do is get yourself there.
Kim: That's for your accommodation. All you have to do is pay for your flight?
Linda: Yep. So all you do... When you book on Nomad Stays, you'll only be charged a booking fee. And when you get to Montenegro to your stay, you pay them in whatever currency they'd like. If it's Bitcoin... He might want to be paid in local cash or he might want to be paid by credit card, whatever. So you choose with him so that he gets the full payment.
Kim: So your only other overheads would be your shopping and your wine.
Linda: That's the best part because when you go to these places, you find all the local markets and they are just stunning. The food is just incredible. In Bulgaria, you can get cow's milk straight from the cow at the markets. And it's just so raw and so beautiful. And teas from the mountains, like natural teas that are picked from the mountains that local people go out and they pick these beautiful teas, wild tea leaves, and they sell it at the market. It's just... And they make their own wine, like the most incredibly yummy wine. And you buy it in little containers. You couldn't do this in Australia, but you buy it in little plastic containers or Coke bottles or whatever, and it's magnificent. It's all homemade.
Kim: As you heard Phil, Linda has sold me! A link to Nomad Stays in show notes. And as an adventurous couple, Linda and Mark have a motorcycle in Bulgaria that was stuck in snow last year. So, once they know they’re okay to move again, they’ll head towards Bulgaria to get the motorbike and then probably go somewhere warmer.
Phil: You can get in touch and share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org … also a reminder to rate share and subscribe from wherever you get your favorite pods.
Kim: Next episode we revisit Peru who has just opened their borders again and we will tell you what you need to know.
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