Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by Laila Oliveira
Is balancing work, life, and travel your New Year’s resolution? We’ve all been there. Digital Nomadism doesn’t raise eyebrows like it did before, but it sure does raise lots of questions about how people do it! With this digital nomad interview, we’re solving just that.
Join us in this interview series that explores the intricacies of making it possible for you. And there’s nothing like feeling inspired by real-life stories of digital nomads.
Viv Europe strives to present the most real picture you could get of living abroad as an expat or a temporary resident. We’ll start off by asking our interviewee how she made the decision to become a digital nomad in her 20s and all that follows!
We hope you love this interview as much as we did!
In this week’s episode, we have Katie Dillon, a digital marketer and businesswoman all the way from Ireland!
With professional qualifications in business, accounting, and marketing, Katie wanted to explore all the excitement life could throw at her. And with the desire to explore multicultural destinations and a passion for traveling the world, she now makes a living working remotely.
Let’s dive straight into why she made the decision to become a digital nomad and how you can make it possible to live your dream life!
How long have you been a digital nomad?
For the past 2 years!
It’s amazing to be able to move to new countries and cities, while being able to work on your business! It gives you the best of both worlds.
What motivated you to become a digital nomad?
After university, I started my career in the financial services industry, working in a Big 4 company. While that job was a great learning experience, I knew I wanted to explore a lifestyle with more freedom around location and time.
Deciding to become a digital nomad allowed me to do that! I started my own marketing agency in 2021 and haven’t looked back since!
What is your skill set and experience?
My University Degree was in Business, majoring in Accounting & Marketing. I spent the first years of my professional career working in the Accounting/Auditing field, which gave me various skills like numerical, attention to detail, and analytical, while also developing my professional communication skills.
Then, diving headfirst into marketing allowed me to use my creativity, team-building skills, and also organizational skills!
How many hours a day do you work on average?
It really varies depending on the time of year, but on average, I structure my day from 8 am to 6/7 pm! I like to structure my day in “work blocks” of 90 minutes without my phone nearby as it allows me to focus.
During the day, I also like to get a workout and a walk-in. This can be after my workday finishes, too, depending on deadlines and so on.
Do you prefer working from home or a coworking space?
I prefer to work from home!
I like to set my laptop somewhere bright and well-lit and with a comfy chair (that is KEY)!
What do you wish you had known before you became a digital nomad?
I think what most people don’t realize or what they misunderstand is that digital nomads still work hard.
Yes, we have freedom of location, but if you are self-employed or run your own business, you often work more hours than you would in a traditional 9-5 job.
But again, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
How did you choose where you wanted to travel to?
So, I like to read articles and watch YouTube videos to learn more about other people’s experiences!
I have now lived in both Malaga and Valencia in Spain, and I have just recently booked to go to Porto in the coming months! Using Viv Europe’s articles for Porto has been such a help!
It’s key for me when choosing where to go that it’s well connected from a transport point!
What was the planning process like?
Planning for me generally centers around finding a nice apartment in a central location so that I can walk. If it’s not in the center (like my apartment in Valencia), I made sure that the metro was very close!
Also, it’s important to plan if there are good places that you can work from because it’s nice to have a change of scenery and check if there are gyms and supermarkets nearby! They are the key things for me!
Let’s Move to Portugal
With Viv Europe your plans for Portugal will finally come to a reality
- Related Article: 10 Best Coworking Spaces in Portugal.
What was the biggest challenge you had to face?
When moving, it’s always a struggle at the beginning to figure out the best transport options. For example, if there is a specific travel card that you can use which saves you money.
Often, these things aren’t well advertised. Also, you can feel disconnected from the locals if you cannot speak the language fluently.
Going to the supermarket is also completely different than back in Ireland, so that takes some getting used to!
Are there any specific apps you recommend for digital nomads?
As a digital nomad in Spain, here are some platforms I used to make life easier:
- Meetup: Good for finding events;
- Facebook Groups: To read stories and connect with like-minded people locally;
- Duolingo/Babbel: For translations.
Where would you like to travel to next?
This is always an exciting thought!
But for now, I’ve booked a trip to Porto for the next few months, and then Barcelona – I can’t wait!
With that, we conclude our digital nomad interview with Katie Dillon. Before we dive into the details of how you can live an equally fulfilling life, we just wanted to thank Katie for being a part of this series. Stories like hers are living proof that you’re never too young or too old to achieve your dream lifestyle!
If you’re someone who works remotely in Portugal or Spain and would like to turn your story into a digital nomad interview, please feel free to contact our team.
No matter how old the concept is, Digital Nomadism always sounds like the ideal lifestyle. And with new trends in the corporate sector, companies are becoming increasingly aware that this keeps motivation at an all-time high!
How do you become a digital nomad in Portugal or Spain?
Let’s move on to the more practical part of this digital nomad interview!
All you need to do is start your Visa application, proving you’ve been working as a digital nomad.
Portugal and Spain have a very similar process to apply. First, you must have a valid bachelor’s or master’s degree or 3 years of experience. You must also prove that you have been working remotely for at least the last 3 months.
All self-employed individuals and freelancers are encouraged to apply. Of course, there are certain requirements you will have to meet. So, what do the Visa rules say, and what documents do you need to show as proof?
- Read Next: Portugal Digital Nomad Visa: D8 Visa Guide 2024!
Digital Nomad Visa for Portugal & Spain
As we just mentioned, the Visa requirements for both countries are very similar.
You will need the following documents:
- Valid Passport;
- Criminal Record Certificate;
- Tax-residency documents;
- Certification of working for at least 3 months for a foreign company (contract);
- Proof of income for the past three months;
- Proof of residence;
- Health Insurance.
The amount you will need to show in your bank statements differs a bit if you compare the requirements between each. For Spain, you must show a minimum of 200% of the Spanish minimum wage per month., which equals €2,280 per month. For Portugal, the value is higher, €3,280 per month.
Need help to sort out these requirements? Viv Europe can help you get your Digital Nomad Visa to Portugal or Spain; book a consultation here!
Do you need Visa assistance to become a Digital Nomad?
With that, our digital nomad interview officially comes to an end. We hope you learned something new along the way and are ready to take the next bold step!
Viv Europe understands that each case is different, and finding a solution can be tough. This is why we study each case thoroughly and offer customized solutions tailored to your needs. 2024 sounds like a good year to explore the digital nomad lifestyle and live life on your own terms. Book a consultation with experts to get started!
If you’re looking for more information before scheduling a meeting, join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats. Share your story, look for inspiration, and find exactly what you want. See you soon!
*All photos of our guests are used with permission for this interview only. Unauthorized use of these photos is strictly prohibited.