Silvia Puchovska is the writer behind the Unboxing Traveller, where she writes about her adventures living and traveling abroad. We recently checked in with the self-described digital nomad to get her thoughts on full-time travel and what she looks for in the ideal rental property. Here's what she had to say:
How did you become so passionate about traveling?
I loved traveling since I was a child. My father used to live in the south of Spain and I used to go there to visit him with my mother. I fell in love with the sea and with exploring this beautiful planet.
How were you able to realize your dream of becoming a digital nomad?
The dream of becoming a digital nomad was realized thanks to my passions for traveling and surfing. They are my motivation behind the current lifestyle. I understood it pretty quickly: To continue surfing and living in different places with waves, I had to make money because I ran out of savings. So I combined my skills and experience in digital marketing and I started to freelance and offer my services online.
What have been your favorite destinations? Places you would recommend other travelers visit at least once in a lifetime?
My favorite destinations are in Latin and South America. I would recommend to visit Mexico because it's such a diverse country and the food is delicious. I would recommend to visit Guatemala for its beautiful nature and Lake Atitlan. Colombia was one of the friendliest countries I've ever visited. Finally, I would like to recommend to visit Patagonia in Argentina and Chile because it's an amazing part of the world.
What are the biggest challenges to traveling full time?
Full-time travel brings many challenges, and the hardest ones for me are being away from my family and friends and getting tired of moving from a place to place and packing my stuff.
What are the biggest lessons you've learned as a nomad?
The biggest lesson learned is that although we are all human beings who have similar dreams and fears, we are all very much influenced by the way we grew up and the type of culture in which we were raised. I also learned that if I believe in good people, I will meet them anywhere. The thing that I learned specifically as a digital nomad is that it can really ruin your trip or a project if the internet connection is unstable, or your equipment fails and you can't focus well and deliver the best results.
How do you approach finding places to stay when you travel?
I look for places via different travel or accommodation online communities, I ask in my network, or I simply arrive at a new destination and I go from place to place, see it with my own eyes and I decide on the conditions directly on the spot.
What do you look for in a vacation rental?
When I look for a vacation rental, I am interested in the location of the house, in the neighborhood, the costs of a monthly rental, cleanness of the area and if it's also suitable for working from home.
What do you avoid?
I avoid locations that are unsafe and where there is a higher chance of somebody breaking into the house. I also avoid noisy streets with many cars and scooters.
How can property owners make their vacation rentals more appealing to travelers like yourself?
I believe that although many digital nomads work from co-working spaces or cafes, we still care about having a great internet connection at home and a suitable working environment, e.g. having a working table and daylight for working. Personally, I also appreciate if there is an indoor or outdoor space for my yoga practice.
What are the benefits to property owners of renting to full-time travelers?
Full-time travelers tend to stay in places for longer periods of time and have the ability to adapt quickly. While a tourist may not care about the apartment or house, a full-time traveler typically wants to feel more at home.