Here are all the ways I failed during my first month as a full-time digital nomad

A mural on a blue wall. The mural depicts a sugar skull — a female-appearing skeleton covered in flowers and hearts. She is smoking a cigarette and grinning. Her unibrow suggests that she is Frida Khalo, or at least an homage to her.

A month ago, my boyfriend and I sold everything and moved down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

First of all, I recognize that this is a privileged position to be in. I am not rich by any means. However, I am from one of the wealthiest countries in the world, which means that my dollar does stretch far when I’m frugal.

My partner and I decided to take advantage of that while we’re relatively young and travel the world while working online full-time. We had traveled the United States extensively. So post-vaccination we figured, “Hey, why not? Now’s the time, right?”

MSRs could be the future of energy if we could reign in our fear.

In 2019, I was about as deep into sustainability nerd-dom as you could get. I spent my days pursuing a degree in Sustainable Ecology, thinking I knew it all and having quite a few opinions on lofty ideas like energy policy, wildlife conservation, and world agriculture.

Then much to my own shock, I wrote a policy brief on Thorium-fueled Nuclear as an option for cheap and clean energy. After slaving over this bad boy for a month or so, I shamefully discarded it. No self-respecting environmentalist endorses nuclear power…right?

What follows here is that policy brief, edited. Any of you…

Don’t make the same mistakes I did

6 months into being completely independent and I hit a wall. Sitting in my Mexico City apartment, crying, the dreaded truth that I failed loomed over me: I was failing as a digital nomad.

2020 saw me finally fulfill my biggest dream: becoming completely location independent. Like many Millennials and Gen Z’ers in the workforce, I wanted to have it all. If you’re anything like me and hundreds of others, you also dream of being location-independent.

Travel the world full time? Check.

Make a paycheck I could finally live on comfortably? Check.

Start saving for retirement for the first time…

— the key takeaways I learned from two similar performing articles that earned vastly different amounts of money.

If you’re reading this then you, like me, are hungry to know what the hell it takes to make it on Medium. Right? At the very least you want to make some dough.

You troll all the writer pubs and probably have a whole ass list of How-To Articles waiting to be read on a rainy day.

Well, shockingly I don’t have all the answers for you. I don’t think anyone does. I don’t know any crazy secrets, either.

What I do have is two articles published to Medium that got a similar number of views yet earned vastly different…

Does this mean I’m a masochist?

To get the most idyllic photo of Barrio Chino’s massive red and gold archway, you run the serious risk of getting run down by a Mexico City driver.

But who lets that stop them? Psh, no one.

The Chinese Archway in question frames the street leading to Mexico City’s Chinatown. Although plenty of tourists stop to snap a shot in the middle of the crowded blacktop, the street isn’t actually a pedestrian walkway.

Regardless, one day in April, I posed and preened under the Archway like many an Instagram model before me. I almost got hit by a motorcycle. Most…

I’m so generous — I did all these things so you don’t have to!

I travel full time, living out of my adorable pink suitcase in Mexico and sticking it to the man daily. Typical life? I never heard of her!

I carefully curate my social media feeds to ensure that my life looks like an absolute dream. The masses must think I’m a shining example of when everything is beautiful, and nothing hurts. Nothing ever goes wrong for me (uh, except when I’m in Mexico).

For those of you 970 million worldwide who also have mental health and substance abuse issues, you might be wondering: Wow, your life looks glamorous! …

Seasonal living isn’t for everyone, but it can turn the travel dream into a reality

I’ve been traveling full-time since 2015. The majority of that time, I was not anything remotely close to a digital nomad.

I have traveled the United States, going far off the beaten path. I spent years learning new skills, making new friends, and seeing a vast and wondrous country in its own right.

I’ve been a bartender, firefighter, disaster response worker, wine stewardess, and conservation team leader. I’ve rented apartments in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. …

Riot police called over housing eviction riots in Tulum — meanwhile, the party rages on for the young and wealthy.

“There are riots down there. I’m supposed to go to the Ruins, but it’s not a good idea, I don’t think.”

The young woman at the counter paused her phone conversation to order a drink from the bar, not bothering to attempt Spanish with the young man behind the till, “A vanilla latte. Do you take dollars?”.

I rolled the grassy taste of matcha around my tongue and stared out the window at the road in question. A pioneering white couple on a scooter weaved in and out of the bumper-to-bumper traffic, eventually deciding to mount the sidewalk and drive…

Travel. Mexico. Travel Tips.

After five months, it’s more of a misadventure, really.

Perhaps it was a deep-seated naivety, but when I finally became a digital nomad and left my home country, I truly thought that most of my problems would disappear.

I know, I know. Estupido.

I had this beautiful dream of traveling the world full-time, working in beautiful exotic locales, and finally possessing financial freedom. I absolutely didn’t expect the emotional, cultural, physical, and financial blunders I seemed to make at every turn.

I mean, if you can name it, my dumbass probably did it, and it hasn’t even been a year on the road for me.

Since human beings love…

This isn’t a sad song — it’s a revelation.

The airport in Puerto Vallarta isn’t massive, which allowed me to watch his shining blonde head all the way through security long after we had said goodbye.

I forced myself to stand there, silent in the center of the walkway while he turned the corner out of sight. On his way to another country and another adventure. Alone.

Crying in the terminal, the truth wrapped around me: no amount of my love — or relaxing in paradise — gave this man what he truly needed. He had to find that for himself.

We had paid my Airbnb through the end…

Brittany Kathleen

Frequently broke, hardly glamorous. Find me eating (and hiking) my way around the world.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store