Georgiana Bularca is a location independent entrepreneur who runs a fully remote company while traveling the world. Georgiana took some time out to tell us about how she became a digital nomad, her favourite experience so far, staying healthy on the road and more!
Please can you give us some background on who you are, where you’re from and what you do as a digital nomad?
My name is Georgiana, I am 34, originally from Romania but moved from my home country 15 years ago. I lived in Italy for about 10 years, moved to Sweden for another 4 and have been travelling full time for a year now.
I began working as a freelancer in 2013 and started my company in 2014 as a natural solution to the work load. Since then, my team and I have been working with clients from Europe, USA and Asia. We focus on multilingual customer support (email, phone and chat) but we offer translations and copywriting services as well. All my team members work remotely, from the comfort of their homes, cafes or co-working spaces.
My typical day typically changes, depending on the country I am in and the various activities that the place has to offer. I do prioritise my work however and try to do most of it early in the morning alongside a healthy breakfast and good coffee. I then take a few hours off and go for a walk, wander, swim, bike ride and simply enjoy my surroundings. Late afternoon/evenings usually imply more work, reading, brainstorming and good conversations.
I am, however, available at least 12 hours per day, either for my team or my clients. I do not have the luxury to take holidays. Well, not in the traditional sense, that is. I do not mind, though, as I have built a life for myself, from which I do not need to take time off.
What pushed you to take the leap towards a nomadic lifestyle?
My love for travel and freedom. I do not like boundaries (whether they are geographical or mental).
What is the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place?
Check the internet and make sure that it works. I then reassess my location in relation to supermarkets, cafes and distance from the beach and/or city centre.
How has your lifestyle affected your relationships with people back ‘home’?
It was not easy in the beginning. People did not understand nor believed that this lifestyle could work long term. But I now have the support of all my friends and family. I couldn’t possibly be happy otherwise.
What does the word ‘home’ mean to you?
Home is where my heart feels good. When you travel full time, you learn to trust, compromise, accept your limits and be humble. You learn how to love yourself and the others, despite flaws and obstacles. You learn how to live to the fullest and try to always offer the best version of yourself as nothing
lasts and you often get one chance only. You fit the world and the world fits you. Home is a feeling, not a destination.
What is your most important advice for finding accommodation?
Communicate directly with guesthouses and apartment owners to get the best overall deals. You can really find great apartments at great prices for example if you contact Airbnb hosts and ask them for their best rate before booking their apartment.
You’ll find that many people are more than happy to offer better rates to fill up their apartment for extended periods of time. Of course, I also ask my friends and use social media / digital nomad platforms to see if anyone has contacts in the destination I’m headed to as that can make finding accommodation very easy!
Do you prefer to travel slowly or quickly and why?
I prefer to travel slowly as I love to get into a routine and feel the vibe of the place I go to, in my own rhythm. That said, traveling fast is a super full roller coaster ride. I am now writing from Mauritius and soon heading to my 7th country this year, already. Fast? Slow? Whatever works!
How do you think your attitude to life would have differed if you had never moved away?
Being stuck somewhere, or feeling that you don’t belong can make you quite bitter. You never really learn your true potential nor the deepest aspects of your personality if you don’t experience different cultures, realities and ways of dealing with life.
How does location independence make you more productive?
Location independence doesn’t make you productive. Happiness does.
How exactly do you track your time and how does it help you?
I have worked with a time tracker in the first years of my online career. I found it awful. Just as I find 9 to 5 obsolete. You cannot make people work more or better by tracking or forcing them to stay at the office. Self-motivation is the key. My team does not need a tracker, nor do I. We do what we have to do.
Can you tell us about one or more of your favourite moments as a nomad?
My first trip as a “digital nomad” was to Bali, Indonesia. One month of pure joy. I interacted with amazing and passionate location independent individuals from around the world, who confirmed that my dreams and aspirations were totally doable.
After that trip, I had no doubt on how my future should look like.
What have you found challenging about the digital nomad lifestyle?
Internet can be challenging at times and my number one source of frustration. I can deal with flying, riding, coming and going, and adapting, but crappy Wi-Fi will definitely ruin my day.
What are the main aspects of your personality that have allowed you to live as a digital nomad?
If someone had interviewed me on this topic, I wouldn’t have passed the test, I bet. I am half shy and half extroverted, half anxious yet half bold, half confident but half hesitant, hardly ever in the correct order.
Rejected on paper, but perfect for traveling as your weaknesses are usually your best assets. People will relate to them and respect you for overcoming your limits but staying genuine at the same time. And once you learn your real value…
What preconceptions do people from countries you travel to have when they first meet you and how do you find common ground?
I am Romanian. Most Europeans wrinkle their nose, before remembering how diplomatic and politically correct they are with all nations, including the ones in Eastern Europe. The rest of the world doesn’t really care.
The first thing people ask is where are you from and what do you do, instead of simply asking something meaningful like what do you love and who is your favourite person in the world and why. I tend to ask weird stuff, as such.
How do you stay healthy when you are on the move a lot?
I try to eat healthy and exercise (swimming, walking, SUP, yoga, biking, trekking, etc.) as often as I can. Being location independent feels like a daily celebration, however, so it can be challenging not to treat yourself with local desserts and spirits. One just needs to be aware and find the correct balance.
As someone who has studied languages, how do you approach learning some of the language when you visit a new place?
It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic expressions as a form of respect for the locals. As for really learning a language, it depends on your preferences. I have lived for 4 years in Sweden and I am quite ashamed to admit that I can barely articulate basic phrases. That said, I learned Italian in 3 months and got quite familiar with Spanish in my 2 months trip to Mexico.
What is an issue that you feel especially passionate about?
Being true to yourself. Whatever lifestyle, dreams or desires you have, if you are happy, you will manage to make others happy, be kind and generous to the world around you and sleep peacefully at night. This doesn’t imply always making the right choices or earning a medal for perfection.
A life worth living is one where you feel alive and passionate about your work, the people around you and whatever purpose you have chosen for yourself. It took me a while to understand this. I mean really understand it.
Thanks so much to Georgiana for taking the time to answer our questions. Please check out her personal blog in which she focuses on topics relating to her nomadic lifestyle. If you are looking for help with customer service and/or translation, please check out the services offered by Georgiana’s company – Geocare.