A little over two years ago I stumbled into a job that lets me work from home. No, not one of those jobs you see on flashing banner ads all over questionable websites. A real job at a real company that just so happens to not have a real office. And this has been my ticket to becoming a digital nomad.
Before this position, I had never planned to work from home, much less become a digital nomad. The idea of working outside of a traditional office had never even crossed my mind.
When I came out of college I started looking for any job in the IT field – startup, corporate, whatever. Luckily I landed a position in a cool little company in Buckhead an Operations Engineer. I learned a lot in this position and got to know some great people. I got pretty good at Linux, I managed all sorts of enterprise software, and I worked side by side with some brilliant software engineers and managers. Most of all, I learned something about myself. I realized I couldn’t think of any price tag that would tempt me away from this place into a corporate job. I now knew I would always need to work somewhere with a good company culture.
I wasn’t really looking for a new job but one found me. While attending an information security conference I saw a talk on exploiting Java frameworks that made me wonder if my company’s software may be vulnerable. Problem is, the talk was pretty technical and I hadn’t understood much of it. Afterwards, I approached the speaker to tell him about the software my company made and ask if the slides for the presentation would be available online. A few days later I still wasn’t seeing the slides anywhere so I hit him up on Twitter to ask again. This started a direct message conversation that led to us meeting up for coffee to talk about a potential position under him at a local information security consulting company. The next few weeks were a blur with talking to him, doing a quick mock penetration test and report, showing him sample writings, and finally meeting the CEO. Before long I was giving my two weeks notice at my current job and starting a new position as a security consultant.
When I first accepted this job I didn’t even realize it was completely work from home. I saw an address on their website and just assumed that’s where I’d be working from. When I found out I would be working remotely I was just excited that I wouldn’t have to commute or change out of my PJs every day. So for about a year and a half I worked this job from the comfort of my home office, couch, and our co-working location.
During this time, my wife and I traveled when we could but it was still only an occasional thing we did with our vacation days. On one road trip back from New York City by way of Lancaster Pennsylvania, Sarah and I were talking about how much we liked traveling and how we wished we could do it more often. I suggested that once we buy a house we also get a little RV to take on weekend trips. Sarah wasn’t crazy about the idea of spending weekends in a tiny RV that might lack many of the comforts of home so she suggested getting a bigger one. I protested saying we wouldn’t be able to both buy a house and a larger RV. She replied, jokingly or only half serious, “Well, let’s just live in it!”
From that moment on I became obsessed with the idea of living and traveling in an RV while we both worked full-time. I couldn’t wait to get home and start researching this lifestyle. We soon set a goal to buy an RV and set out on our adventure late summer of the next year. In that time, we let our lease expire and moved out of our apartment into our new-to-us class A RV.
And now for the last year and a half, Sarah and I have been traveling in our RV while keeping our full-time jobs. We haven’t ventured as far as we world have liked but have had a blast. So far we’ve been into the Smokies; up into Pennsylvania a few times; back down to Mobile and New Orleans for Marti Gras; into Texas to visit Galveston, San Antonio, and Dallas; and now I’m writing this from Hot Springs, Arkansas. And we’re just getting started.
RV life is exactly where we wanted to be but not the end. To find out what’s next in our digital nomad adventure, and for tips, ticks, and hacks we’ve learned along the way, be sure to add Thinking Liberty to your RSS feed and sign up to get emails below.