Although Radhika Basuthakur has been a true Digital Nomad only since September 2013, she’s already been around the world: India, Dubai, Spain, and Colombia (Ecuador, Peru and Brazil are next on her list).
Radhika has always had the “travel bug”—she’s wanted to see the world for as long as she can remember. But for many, including herself, traveling can be difficult.
“Life gets in the way, so you don’t travel as much,” Radhika reflected.
“Life” for Radhika consisted of college in India, a Master’s in Australia, then a full-time job, where she worked her way up the corporate ladder to become the in-house marketing and communications guru for Cupid Media, one of the largest online dating networks in the world.
Radhika found that working with a set schedule made it difficult to see the world or pursue adventure—but she knew alternatives to the cubicle were within reach. She had freelanced as far back as 2005, focusing on writing and social media. She worked on and off in the evenings, building her portfolio and her confidence.
In 2010, she met her boyfriend—a man who had also been bitten by the travel bug. Knowing that they could travel and earn money by freelancing, they talked and planned. In 2013, they decided to sell everything to travel the world together.
“It’s still a bit overwhelming. Completely giving up security is scary,” said Radhika, who now works with clients around the world as a freelance writer. “But at the same time very exciting.”
Sometimes, it’s all about the food
Now, Radhika’s days are colorful and varied, especially when it comes to food. “Food is the biggest part of any trip,” enthused Radhika, who currently lives with her boyfriend in an apartment in Colombia.
“Colombia has really interesting food—most things are deep fried, but there’s a variety of natural foods, fruits and vegetables,” she explained.
“Every day, I go down to the market and pick a fruit, and I’ll have no idea what it tastes like. But I’ll experiment with it at home.”
Radhika has also fallen in love with tapas and the strong, sugary Colombian coffee known as “tinto.”
Radhika says that both her and her boyfriend are really happy—and healthier. “We’re cooking more healthy meals and experimenting with the local food.” That contrasts with her time in Australia, when she says there simply wasn’t time to think about grocery shopping or what to cook in the evening.
Exercise and being active had always been a huge part of their lifestyle, but with the freedom to do things on their own schedule, physical activity has become more than just the gym routine. “We hike, jog around the city and sightsee. We just have much more time to be active and healthy in our daily lives.”
Advice for aspiring Nomads
Radhika knows that her own transition from office to Nomad sounds seamless, but she cautions others not to “jump into being a Digital Nomad.” Before making any decisions, she has three simple suggestions:
- Have savings as a security net
- Plan where you want to go in advance
- Be sure you’ll have reliable access to the Internet wherever you are
“My boyfriend and I planned and researched for over a year—that’s how we’ve been so successful in our Nomadic lifestyle,” she said.
What’s her favorite part of traveling so far? Empanadas: fried, flaky pastries often stuffed with chicken or vegetables and served throughout Latin America. “We don’t have anything like that back in Australia,” she joked.
Her next adventure: finding out what the locals eat in Ecuador—and whether anything there can top the empanada.