HDK Marketing has gone global! And by that we mean we’re still serving local Midlands businesses, but for the past few months our Social Media Manager, Amy Poulton, has been working remotely from the US and Mexico. Here, she reveals why she chose to take the leap and try out the digital nomad lifestyle:
Hey Amy, where are you now?
Hi! I’m currently in Oaxaca, Mexico! It’s a city in the south of the country famous for amazing food, friendly people and colourful ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations.
So, how did you end up working remotely as a ‘digital nomad’?
I was freelancing for HDK Marketing from the office in Sutton Coldfield and also doing other freelance marketing and copywriting work from home. Before that I was living and working in Hong Kong, so I’m used to living overseas and missed travelling and living abroad. I realised that all my work was online anyway, so I decided to give the ‘digital nomad lifestyle’ a go!
What exactly is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is someone who works online and is location-independent. That means you can work from home or from anywhere in the world. You can find out
What exactly do you do online that enables you to work remotely?
My title with HDK Marketing is officially Social Media Manager, but as Helen and the clients know, I’m a kind of Jane-of-all-trades! I manage the clients’ social media platforms, I run email campaigns, write blogs and other copy, as well as a little bit of basic graphic design.
Is it difficult transitioning from working at an office, or at home, to working online from overseas?
There are definitely unique challenges. The time difference can be difficult (there are six hours between the UK and Mexico), but I’m up early so that there are at least a few office hours that overlap. Last-minute changes in deadlines or sudden urgent tasks that come in can also be tricky, but mostly it’s been fine. This important thing is to communicate, be that through weekly phone calls, regular messages or emails.
However, the biggest challenge for me has been finding decent WiFi! I’ve mostly be staying in hostels and working in cafes, but I’ve learnt the hard way that not everywhere in Mexico has reliable WiFi. I now know to stick to the bigger cities and to scout out co-working spaces rather than use café or hostel WiFi.
Why did the digital nomad lifestyle appeal to you?
I really love to travel and so this opportunity gave me a chance to see more of the world. I also run my own travel blog about books and travel, so I’ve been working on that too. I’ve been able to learn some Spanish, to meet people from all over the world and the lovely weather has helped too!
Is the digital nomad lifestyle sustainable, do you think?
Personally, I’m only planning on trying out the digital nomad lifestyle until December, so I’ll be back in the office again just before Christmas. I believe being a digital nomad can definitely be a great permanent solution for many people, especially bloggers or entrepreneurs, who would like the flexibility that comes with location independence.
For me, it was more complicated because I was freelancing and working for several companies at once, which can be tricky to balance when you’re moving around. If I was to try it again in the future, I think I’d prefer to base myself in one place, rather than change city every few weeks.
Is being a digital nomad just a trend?
I think it’s actually on the increase. Almost every job these days involves working online in some form, and for some people (like me) literally everything I do is online. I think it’s a creative solution; instead of sitting at a desk staring at a screen all day, travelling and working at the same time means you are getting stimulation from somewhere else.
I think we’ll be seeing many more digital nomads in the workforce in the future!
Update: Amy is now back in our Sutton Coldfield office (with an envy-inducing tan) and we’re thrilled to have her back. To find out more about the rise in digital nomads, read our previous blog on remote work, here.