1. Hey, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi there! My name is Núria and I am from a small village near Barcelona. I am a digital marketing freelancer and I offer my services to small businesses, entrepreneurs or freelancers while I travel. My main services are Web Design, SEO Writing, Copy Writing and Social Media Marketing.
At the moment I am in South America and who knows where in the future, when we are able to travel again.
In the past I studied Tourism Management and I worked many years in a tourist office in Spain. In that position I realised that I really enjoyed the marketing and promotion part so I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in marketing and post that, a Master’s Degree in Digital Marketing and Social Media 😃
2. What motivated you to choose remote working?
I would say everything I did in my life led me to remote working. I have always been a travel lover and I also like working with computers. I really didn’t think I would be able to work and travel at the same time but somehow I managed to get the opportunity.
I was living in Istanbul and I was offering my services as a Digital Marketing Specialist for a medical travel company. After a while, I decided to quit my job and life in that huge metropolis to travel around Asia. My biggest client at the moment didn’t want to lose me, so they offered me to keep working remotely. It worked out for both of us and then I decided to maintain this lifestyle as I was really enjoying it.
So, summarizing, I would say my passion for traveling made me choose remote working as I couldn’t think of a better way to discover the world, meet new people, learn from new cultures than working while wandering around!
3. What were your initial months like? Did it live up to your expectations?
The first few months were somehow difficult as it was a fresh start in a very different country. I started to work remotely while I was traveling around India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. I like to backpack and I travel local, so sometimes Internet connection was not that good or I got distracted exploring new places or doing some random stuff.
In the beginning, it was hard to have a healthy balance between work and travel. Furthermore, I was moving from place to place quite fast and this was exhausting. After a while I started listening to myself and there was a moment when I understood I had to stay longer in places to be able to visit, discover, learn from culture, feel comfortable and, at the same time, work.
I didn’t have any expectations as my initial goal was to discover those countries, not to be a digital nomad. But slowly, later on, I decided this was going to be my “modus vivendi” so I started focusing on working and finding more projects and gigs.
4. How did you find remote working roles?
Until today, I got gigs and clients from word-of-mouth. The story of how I got my first client is quite random: one day I went to translate for a hair transplant patient in Istanbul. One of the people working in the clinic saw my CV and he encouraged me to offer my services to medical travel companies as my profile in that city was quite unique. I decided to give it a try and I just contacted one company. It was an instant match and I started offering my services for them!
Once I started traveling in Asia I found more clients who were looking for services like mine and we started working together. On some occasions, an old client brought me a referral, especially those located in Spain (where I am from). I also get some gigs from freelancing platforms as well as Facebook, particularly during the Covid-19 crisis since I am not able to move as I used to before.
5. What have been the best, good and worst aspects of remote working for you?
To me, the best you get is FREEDOM. I love to work when I want to, with my own schedule and do things in my own way, without feeling the pressure of a boss overseeing me constantly. When I don’t get controlled by someone else I feel more productive and I also get the best of myself in my area of work.
Another good aspect is that you get to be more organized and responsible. In my case, I am a freelancer so I have to find clients, plan budgets, send invoices, pay taxes, all by myself 😪😎. So I do have to be responsible to do everything correctly in order to keep up my work and make a living.
One bad thing is instability. Being a freelancer means you don’t earn money if you don’t work on a project. But I take things positively and fortunately I haven’t had any really bad months. Also, I don’t worry a lot about that. If I can make ends meet in Istanbul, travel across Asia, Spain and South America somehow, I am confident I’ll be able to do it everywhere 💪
6. What tools do you swear by while working remotely?
Well, first of all my laptop. I bought a small and light laptop to be able to travel easily.
I use Google Drive for some projects; email softwares to manage all the email accounts I am using.
For my SEO gigs I use Mangools mostly. I also use softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign when I need to design banners or edit some photos when I design websites.
As I am a freelancer and for now I do not work with big teams, I do not usually schedule video calls as most of my communication is via e-mail or WhatsApp. For that, I decided to get a new phone number so I have two phones with me so I am able to separate my personal life from my professional life.
7. Your most exciting/ hilarious experience since you started working remotely.
Working remotely allowed me to travel and discover places I never imagined before. So I would say most of my exciting or hilarious experiences are related to travel rather than work.
For example, in India I went to a magic festival in Barodiya, a small village in Rajasthan, where people were eating glass or pretending they had swords pierced on their bellies. It was super creepy and fun at the same time.
I got to see a rhino in Nepal. I went to a reggae festival in Goa (India) where I met a famous french reggae singer. I helped a musician and a yoga teacher in India by designing their (free) websites in exchange for workshops and lessons. I got real Ayurveda treatments and stayed in an ashram in Puttaparthi (south India). I discovered meditation and its benefits in a retreat in Sri Lanka. I got to see one of the biggest glaciers in the world in Argentina. I saw penguins (my favourite animal) and I met my partner while traveling in the north of Spain and that’s one of the main reasons that nowadays I am located in South America. Life is crazy, isn’t it?
8. What is your golden advice to a new remote worker?
Follow your instincts, do not get discouraged and be patient.
If you are planning to freelance in the Digital Marketing field, it can be tough at times. But if you really believe in yourself and you work with love, passion and, most importantly, if you like what you do, things will work out.
Also, to be more practical: always write down everything in a contract or budget before starting a project so you make sure everything is understood from both sides. And do not agree via phone call, always send a written confirmation. If you ever have a disagreement with a client, this will be very helpful. Another small tip: ask for some % of the money in advance.
9. How do you see your career shaping up and your goals?
Some people would say it might be a mistake, but I don’t plan that much. My aim is to grow in my field and be able to outsource some tasks thus having more free time. I would like to keep traveling and freelancing in the digital marketing field, especially writing articles and designing websites, which is what I really enjoy doing.
Maybe in a few years there would be something more appealing to me and I’ll change my career .. who knows. I just go with the flow. Traveling helped me to not worry that much for the future. As someone rightly said: people who live in the future have anxiety; people who live in the past have depression.
10. How do you expect remote working to evolve in the future?
I feel a lot of people will be able to offer their services from anywhere in the world and at the same time, hire people located thousands of kilometers away.
I think younger people appreciate freedom and take advantage of the new tools that make remote working possible, so this will be more common in the near future. I do feel companies will be ready to offer remote working as an option to their employees soon and this will lead to a more trustable organization.
11. Where can we follow you on?
I write articles for my own website/blog: https://nuriaestruga.com.
I post quite a lot on instagram.