Ines Besbes shares her experience on how she became a digital nomad at the age of 23 during the most uncertain time. She is currently working for Happy Ali where she takes care of our digital marketing and strategy. Here, she talk s about how she has worked from France, Tunisia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Costa Rica over the last six months.
If you had asked me a year and a half ago how I would see myself, I would have probably said working in a multinational tech company in Sydney. I am now 23 and currently a digital nomad working in Latin America.
How I became a digital nomad during COVID?
Being half French and half Tunisian, born and living in Paris, I was always curious to discover what was beyond the walls of Paris. Finally, I had the opportunity to go abroad after high school. This is where my love for traveling started.
After leaving Paris for my studies, I lived for 3 years in the Netherlands to complete my bachelor degree. From what was supposed to be a temporary situation for my studies, I decided to make the most out of every opportunity that was available. I moved to Beijing for 6 months to study then I continued my journey by starting my career in the tech world in Hong Kong. At this time, I managed to find my first dream job in my dream city thanks to AIESEC, which I truly recommend for global jobs and internships, especially as a newly graduated student.
After a while, I decided to pursue my Masters in Sydney and was then offered a scholarship to study in California. However, when last year’s pandemic hit the world, I was trapped outside as the Australian borders were closed and my exchange program in California got suspended. I thought this working lifestyle would not be possible anymore due to the pandemic.
I returned to Paris and stayed in lockdown, the tougher it got in Paris, the more I was thinking of leaving the country again and escape the chaos. However, I decided that I should use this time to improve my skills and enlarge my network. I was selected to participate in international online events such as the Oxford Global Shapers hackathon. This allowed me to meet many inspirational people. Then, I directed myself towards my university network and Linkedin to find opportunities for my career in Australia, as I knew Australia was the place I saw myself in the long term. This is where I met Happy Ali editor Robyn Foyster, who quickly became my mentor and my boss.
In order to be fully focused on my professional and academic career, I needed to get away from the terrible situation in Paris. I decided to move to Tunisia for a few weeks until the situation improved which was a great alternative for any Europeans seeking an affordable and relaxing work environment. Yet, in January, Tunisia started to take more restrictive measures which had a terrible impact on the town where I was located.
On the other hand, France announced the 3rd lockdown. A friend of mine was currently working in Costa Rica as a digital nomad and encouraged me to do the same. This concept sounded like a great alternative to start my life as a digital nomad until I go back to Australia for the long term.
Since then, I met many people from business consultants, freelancers, video producers to entrepreneurs who used this COVID time to work, travel and network. Many of them have found success by being abroad during these tough times.