As you probably know, I write about all sorts of things on this blog. The main theme is ‘languages’, but I also focus quite a bit on translating (my job) and travelling (my favourite hobby!).
Up to now I’ve been working full time as a localisation coordinator. Kind of a cool-sounding way to say ‘translation project manager’, but there’s been a lot more to my job than just managing translations: I’ve also been recording voiceovers in dozens of languages, learning all about Chichewa language and culture and doing my small part towards bringing education to children worldwide. And I’ve had the amazing opportunity to travel to Malawi on two occasions.
So I’ve had a great three years in my current job. But as a trained translator, passionate language enthusiast and traveller with a nasty case of chronic wanderlust, I knew that sooner or later I’d have to make my way onto the next page of my journey. So, on 5th June I’ll be finishing my job, handing everything over to my more-than-capable replacement, and heading off on a journey.
As a translator I’ve always been aware that one of the massive advantages of this profession is its flexibility. To translate, all I really need is my laptop and internet access. And lots of tea. But fundamentally I can do it from anywhere. Anywhere could be my office or my bed. But it could also be a beach in Thailand, a cafe in Paris or a park in New York. So I’ve finally decided to make the leap and become a full-blown digital nomad. Otherwise known as one of those annoying lifestyle-blogger types who posts endless sausage-legs selfies from the sides of pools and sits with their iPad wearing sunglasses and sipping a cocktail. Or at least that’s the theory! A digital nomad, for those of you who don’t spend as much time Twitter-stalking travel bloggers as I do, is someone who lives abroad and/or travels indefinitely, funding themselves by working remotely via their laptop and a wifi connection. Some intrepid bloggers have made it all the way around the world, funded by their travel blogging, writing or other online work. In my case, I can keep working in my chosen career as a translator and still up sticks and see the world. Or, in my case, Eastern Europe.
The basic plan is to jump in the car and drive across Europe for a while: the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland; ultimately ending up in Lviv, Western Ukraine, where I plan to live for a while whilst I figure out how to make enough money translating, editing, writing and pretending to be a super-glamorous international blogger. It’s all about wearing expensive sunglasses and taking selfies, I’m assured.
So, why Ukraine, you might wonder, especially given the political situation there at the moment. Well, I wish I could give you a really great and well-thought out reason. But the simple fact is: it’s really cheap to live there right now! According to NomadList.com, you can live in Lviv on $400 a month. That’s around £250 – which is less than half of what I pay each month in rent here in London. Which is pretty appealing to someone who is trying to live as a digital nomad for the forseeable future. But taking advantage of 30p beers isn’t the only reason I’m excited to experience life in Eastern Europe. As a language geek, of course I can’t wait to try my hand at picking up Russian and bits of other local languages: Polish, Ukrainian and Czech sounds like a start! Not to mention finding out as much as I can about the culture, lifestyle and places of this amazing region.
So, I’ll be moving most of my ‘travel-blogger’ stuff from Wanderlust Languages over to my brand-new blog postcardsfromukraine.com – which is already in the top ten blogs about being a digital nomad in Ukraine written by a Brit and an Italian. I will keep writing this one too – but it will mainly be reserved for posts related to language-learning and translation, although some of my personal travel thoughts might end up here too. So, I hope you’ll keep following, and please feel free to check out Postcards from Ukraine for honest and unique insights into life on the road, Ukrainian and Eastern European sights, experiences, culture and lifestyle, and all the long-term travel tips and advice you could ever need. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Phew.
Ciao for now, and stay in touch!