How I Finally Became a Digital Nomad (in Just 3 Months!)

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In 2016, I got to spend a few months living, teaching, and exploring in the beautiful country of New Zealand. My host family was amazing and made sure that every spare moment was filled with good food, photographs, and adventures. They reminded me that travel—and an intentional life, more importantly—is possible if you make room for the life you want.

But I was there to teach in a classroom… which I did, a few times. The school year was winding down around the time I arrived, so most of my time was spent in the back of the room with a borrowed laptop and boredom. I finally decided to see what that Squarespace thing was all about. I figured I could teach myself just enough to start a travel blog or something—so I could put all of those amazing pictures somewhere. So I could remember how holy certain stretches of Aotearoa wilderness felt beneath my feet.

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Over the course of those few months, I learned a lot about website design. And Pinterest management, and email marketing, and showing up authentically on Instagram. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was teaching myself everything I would later use when I started offering virtual assistance a few years later.

I talk more about the process of learning these skills and becoming a creative assistant in this podcast interview, if you want to check it out.

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It was during these months that I learned about digital nomads—an elusive type of entrepreneur, whose entire lives are based around working remotely and traveling as much or as far as they pleased. I was obsessed. I couldn’t imagine how it would work for a teacher, but I loved the idea of finding a job that I could do from wherever, or teaching myself the skills necessary to pick up freelance projects full-time.

A few years later, when I had a summer free, I finally took the leap and decided to try running an online business… and I’ve never looked back.

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Rooting For You Studio is run by Samantha Weiler, a Midwest-based website designer with a huge passion for plants, peppermint tea, and launching websites for business owners who want the freedom to work from anywhere. Sam loves exploring National Parks and watching reruns of Parks & Rec, but she spends most of her time building websites for adventure photographers and outdoor entrepreneurs. 


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