Interview by Tal Bright
Katie Walker is an online teacher with many interests and pursuits, who’s recently started living her independent digital nomad lifestyle.
She came to Bansko Coworking in October 2018, enjoyed atmosphere and the community and returned the next spring.
What made you decide you wanted to be a digital nomad?
I was working in Oxford, finished a summer school position and realised that staying there would mean working a lot at a job I wasn’t passionate about to be able to afford the high cost of living.
I wanted to do other things. I’d already done online teaching before and thought maybe I’d try that, so I signed up with Trusted Housesitters.
I was housesitting while teaching English online, first in the UK and then in Krakow, Poland, and realised I could make a living that way.
I researched as I went along and looked at different options. As I have a UK visa for 5 years it’s a chance to explore Europe and get to know new cultures.
It’s your second time at Coworking Bansko. What do you like about it?
I like the fact that I can come in and out of this community. I’ve met some really great people here, I’ve been inspired by other people’s projects and I’m grateful for people’s offers of assistance with my own projects.
I love how Bansko is low key, even during the ski season. I appreciate a simple lifestyle here in Bansko.
I also love the spa trips — the water here is healing.
What do you wish you had known before you became a digital nomad?
I wish I would have started earlier trying to find different ways of generating an income. I realised that it takes time to develop streams of income.
What’s your favourite thing about this lifestyle?
The freedom and the independence. I also love the sense of community, meeting people who are also into finding more productive, effective and meaningful ways of working and living.
How many hours a week do you work on average?
It really varies, but I’d say about 30 hours a week on average.
Have you learnt any important lessons from living the digital nomad lifestyle?
Less is more! I still struggle with it, but we just don’t need a lot of stuff.
Also, it’s important to find other people who live a similar lifestyle. Finding a community of people who’ve made a different lifestyle choices can make life easier.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to shift out of teaching online and work on a few different projects, including volunteer work.
My goal is to work 100% on meaningful projects, such as workshops with vulnerable people and writing a novel.
I also want to write web based content about things I feel committed to, like feminist and social justice issues. I want to feature positive impact stories related to those areas, seeking, promoting and being a part of what works.
About the author
Tal Bright was a Nomad in Residence at Coworking Bansko in May 2019. She’s been a digital nomad since 2009 and is currently sharing her knowledge on her travel blog, brightnomad.net, and works as a content creator.