Luminita Bitca, a 23-year-old fresh graduate with a bachelor’s degree in International Business Economics, decided to hop on the digital nomad lifestyle a year ago and unexpectedly finds this dream of hers more than what she expected it to be.
Why do you like travelling? What does travel mean to you personally?
Yes, you can learn a lot from travelling, and you can meet a lot of people. I also know myself better by getting through uncomfortable situations. I love discovering places and cultures, and I really think this is the best way to learn things because you cannot learn as much from books or courses.
When did you decide to be a digital nomad? Was there something that inspired you?
To be honest, the pandemic inspired and moved me in a way. I was working online during the pandemic, everything was closed, but when things started to open up, I decided it was time to work and travel simultaneously.
The fact that I was living in Hungary, which is in the heart of Europe, also allowed me to travel freely. In one hour I can be in Austria and in half an hour I can be in Slovakia, so travel to other places accessibility is excellent. This is also an important factor that inspired me to be a digital nomad.
How did you become a digital nomad?
I was already working remotely in Hungary. I started looking for companies and started thinking of doing freelance work, but it takes more time. So I started job hunting on Linkedin and found a job in the United States, which sells New York furniture.
My boyfriend is also a remote worker, so we travel together. We would plan our workdays to coincide with our vacation days. As a team, we are able to work while travelling. Even though we aren’t completely free, we are able to go wherever we want whenever we have the time.
How is working remotely different from face-to-face? Would you prefer one over another?
I prefer hybrid working because face-to-face can be quite tiring, sometimes you don’t want to go to the office every time you work and want to have some time to yourself. I think everything is evolving, and full-time face-to-face working won’t exist in 5-10 years.
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Yet, working remotely is really hard because you don’t have the same interaction, you don’t get to meet people, to have this connection with the team…Teamwork is really important when it comes to being productive, so I think meeting like once a month will be sufficient and better.
Where have you been and by far which place is your favourite?
I’ve been to 20 countries but to be honest, I have mostly been travelling in Europe. I really want to visit other continents like Asia or America, or somewhere else. From the countries I’ve been to, I don’t know if I have a favourite one because each of them has something that I love. For example, I really love the nature in Spain and Georgia, and the food in Italy and Belgium. It really depends on what you want to see if you have to pick your favourite place.
What have you learnt from being a digital nomad?
I’ve learnt how to find cheap tickets (laughs). I became more organised, I would say. Also, I learnt so much from travelling and living somewhere else. I used to be travelling on holidays, which is completely different from living with other people and trying to integrate into another culture. I learnt about every culture I was in, which was really challenging because it took time to do it.
The most difficult situations I had were having vaccinations but still doing tests. This is a cost that you should calculate for yourself when you’re travelling. But also with covid, all these social places may be closed so you cannot go to the city centre and meet people who’re also travelling. It can also be challenging when train tickets are different on websites than from reality, so they could be cancelled or changed, which is something to consider beforehand.
As a fresh graduate, do you have any advice for those who are graduating and would love to become a digital nomad like you?
I would advise having courage even when finding workplaces, because fresh graduates usually don’t have enough confidence in themselves and consider themselves as inexperienced, thinking they should have years and years of experience to do something. This is not true.
You can start working in a serious company, in a serious role, even if you’re a fresh graduate, because everything depends on yourself, your confidence, how you believe in yourself, and how you position yourself in an interview.
I would also advise fresh graduates to have patience. To have the patience to find the role you want to have. I had two or three interviews every day until I found my job, which is something that I wanted. Also, to continue learning and finding something you like. It’s really important to never stop learning even after university.
Do you think becoming digital nomads is going to be a new trend in the future?
I think it already is because, you know, almost everyone thinks being a digital nomad is a dream life. I was thinking the same before, but actually, you will later understand this is not for everyone. People should know this is not a dream life, it is different from the internet, so I think everyone should be aware of this first before becoming digital nomads.
Check out Digital Nomad Luminita on Instagram @luminita.bitca!