view of mountain tops and rooftops in Bansko
Lifestyle,  Travel

Unleashing Boundless Horizons: Roaming Europe While Earning as a Digital Nomad in 2024

I woke up this morning with an avalanche of thoughts running through my head. My sleep has been anxious and interrupted for the last couple of nights. I’m not resting well and probably more stressed than I want to admit. 

Deciding to leave Romania took a lot of internal work and introspection. It was predictable; I worked hard to make it happen, but it was nothing but easy. But then again, I wished to live this experience for too long not to give it a shot.

The beginning of a new chapter

These past weeks have been complicated. Not knowing what to expect, I made a massive list with everything I believed I needed to take with me, losing myself in all the details. Planning always helped me deal with my anxiety when facing the unknown.

I’ve also decided to take my life into my own hands and not renew my physical therapy subscription. After 3 years of constantly going there week after week to get better, I ended up at a point where even though my body was in its best shape given the conditions, I was still not feeling healthy. So I turned towards a classical gym, taking all the knowledge and exercises I’ve been practicing these years with me. 

I know what I can and cannot do to keep my body in good shape. And my physical therapist is always just a message away if I have questions. His availability and professionalism gave me the courage to take this next step. 

I also decided to get weekly therapeutic massages. Being such a tense period for me, with my freelancing projects, moving to another country, and the bad sleep, the massage helped me relax. At least in theory, because my back was so full of contractures that trying to relax was more painful than I expected. But now, after a few weeks, its effects started to emerge, and I finally feel my muscles less tense. 

So, why leave after all?

I wanted to do this for a long time, but I needed to figure out the exact context that would be right for me. After my surgery in 2020, I almost could not imagine how to travel again. But then, I met Razvan, and we started having this dream together despite or maybe because we shared the same condition: he also had lumbar spine hernia issues. He also liked the idea of us two traveling the world for a while and finding a new place to transform into our home base outside Romania.  

The truth is that we both like novelty and diversity. And we both felt that a few weeks a year would not satisfy our immense curiosity about the world. How can you get to know an entire culture or country in one or two weeks? We decided to slowly explore one destination at a time by traveling by car and staying a few months in each place. Getting to know locals, surrounding areas, food, customs, and working remotely at the same time. I guess we are slowmads, beautifully blending slow travel and work and hopefully making the most out of every destination. 

These destinations’ must-haves are digital nomad communities, co-working spaces, and beautiful nature. This is because we are simply tired of working from home, and we are both sociable and need a community around us. We’re curious to know as many digital nomads as possible and discover their stories. And share some of them here on the blog for you to read and get inspired.  

What is the first destination?

My boyfriend and I decided on our first stop: Bansko, Bulgaria. Bansko will be our home for the next 4 months until the end of March. Precisely in the winter high season, the most crowded period of the year. 

street veiw in winter in Bansko Bulgaria

We searched and found a 1 bedroom apartment next to the center of the town. It’s a large one with a fireplace, a duplex on 2 floors, having an interior staircase, 2 bathrooms, and a balcony. It has pretty much everything we wanted in a cozy temporary home. And the monthly price is excellent, less than we paid for our small, packed, one-bedroom apartment in Bucharest.

This is the closest we have ever been to living in a countryside town. Will it be challenging to travel with our chronic condition? Probably. But we are ready for it and have everything to keep our bodies and minds in good shape. 

2023 is indeed the end of a life chapter and the beginning of a new one. 

Now, we plan to get all our stuff out of our current apartment and store it in different places in Bucharest with our friends and relatives. The plan is to hand over the current rented apartment by the end of November and then hit the road on December 1st. 

2 feet with thick socks getting warm in front of the fireplace

Wish us luck, and watch the blog for updates on our adventure. If you have any questions about anything about our trip, leave them in the comments section. 🙂

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