A Dundee graduate’s plan to become a ‘digital nomad’
A Duncan of Jordanstone graduate from Fife and his partner plan to become ‘digital nomads’.
Alicia Storie and her Danish boyfriend Hasse Simonsen convert a minivan to a motorhome and plan to travel the country, working in some of Scotland’s most remote and picturesque places.
The couple met in London and have been together for five and a half years. After leaving London four years ago, they traveled the world, traveling to South America and Asia, where they discovered the Work far away app.
âIt allows you to sell your skills in exchange for things like accommodation and food,â says Alicia. âWe have used it in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Hasse worked as a teacher in Sri Lanka and I worked with an organization that creates jobs for women. I helped build an eco-hut that helped them bring their children to work with them.
Learn new skills
Alicia, 28, studied design at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee. She has since created her own interior design company, specializing in eco-refits.
âI designed the interior of an Airbnb in Ballater,â she says. âWhenever possible, I used salvaged, second-hand or recycled materials. All of my projects focus on sustainability and a low carbon footprint. “
Hasse, 32, works in digital marketing, focusing on search engine optimization and website design. He is currently working as a freelance but is in the process of starting his own business.
Since returning to Scotland, the couple have continued to use Workaway. They currently live in a small cottage in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, and are helping build eco-friendly cabins in Ballater.
Hasse explains: âWe have acquired a lot of skills such as furniture making, construction, gate making. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on this, but I do have the basics.
The couple bought a Citroen Relay and converted it into a motorhome. The skills they learned from Workaway helped them do much of the setup themselves. They isolate the van, install a fixed bed, a kitchen, a workspace and solar panels.
âI’m going to drill holes to insert the windows,â Hasse explains. “I never thought I would have the confidence or the ability to do it on my own.”
Ready to roam
Having left London, the couple have no plans to return to city life. âWe can’t imagine living in London again,â says Alicia. “We got so used to the space and the views we have here.”
The couple mainly use second-hand or salvaged materials for the conversion. Once the motorhome is ready, the couple plan to travel to Scotland, working from anywhere they can get a phone signal.
âWe have phone contracts with two different networks to maximize our chances of getting coverage,â says Alicia.
âWe have both explored a lot of the world, but the lockdown made us realize that there is so much Scotland that neither of us have seen.
âWe plan to explore the West Coast, the Highlands and the Islands in our van and the plan is to be able to work wherever we go. We want to be digital nomads. “
We want to talk to other people who have snubbed the modern world for a simpler life.
Have you traded in your house or apartment for a caravan or tent? Or have you decided to cut the electricity at home, or do away with televisions and gadgets?
Perhaps you have chosen to disconnect from the Internet or just get rid of your cell phone?
If you have taken any of the above actions and would like to talk about your experiences for a feature, please contact Stephen on [email protected] or call 07583122968.