We sat down with one of our newest members, Sam Feder, who is a true digital nomad. He recently quit his 9-to-5 job, moved out of his apartment and sold all his belongings to 100% commit to the remote lifestyle.
Outsite: Tell us a bit about your decision to become a digital nomad?
Sam: I was born, raised and crafted in New York. Earlier this year following 27 years of living within an Uber ride from the hospital I was born in, it was time for a change. After being inspired throughout the years by travel experiences (Morocco, Brazil and camping trips throughout America), authors (Rolf Potts, James Altucher, and Tim Ferriss) and other successful software developers who blazed the path for sustainable remote work (Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson) I decided that it didn’t make financial sense nor did it seem like fun to have a single home base. It was then that I started working towards minimalism and nomadism.
What was the process like of selling all your possessions? What did you keep?
It was emotionally easier than I expected and logistically tougher than expected. I gave myself a month to sell all of my furniture thinking I’d be able to get a decent payout for some of it. I was wrong. After posting everything on Craigslist, LetGo, OfferUp, and any other app for I could find for a decent price, I ended up scrambling to find somebody to take most of it away for free. Aside from my bags and my laptop (and laptop accessories), all I ended up keeping was my GoPro gear, a frisbee, my trusty Brazuca soccer ball, two pairs of shoes and my best clothes that fit into a 13in x 13in x 3.5in eBags packing cube.
What has been the most challenging part so far?
Answering the question, “…so, where do you live?” The nomad lifestyle isn’t quite popular enough so that everyone understands it. when I try to explain myself at best I come off sounding unstable, at worst, homeless.
How does Outsite fit into your new lifestyle?
Outsite is perfect for what I’m trying to do. For me, the hardest part about leaving NYC was the thought that I wouldn't have a home-base in the city where most of my friends and family live. Now as an Outsite member, I do. There are Outsites in the cities where my freelance clients are based, Outsites in some of my favorite cities to travel, and Outsites in locations that I’ve always wanted to visit. Also, networking is an important part of a freelancer’s day-to-day. Staying at Outsite is living in a house with like-minded individuals that always seem eager to connect making it not just a great place to live and work, but an amazing opportunity to meet people.
Any advice for 9-to-5 workers looking to make the leap to nomadism?
If you’ve decided you’d like to be a nomad, make yourself as uncomfortable as possible as a non-nomad. Save up enough money to survive without a job for a few months and put in your two weeks notice. Nothing will drive you to figure out a way to thrive as a nomad like the ever-looming threat of needing to find another location-strict job. Or worse, come crawling back to your old one.
Sam has been writing about what it’s like to make the 9-5 to nomad switch in an attempt to help other (but specifically software developers) that may be interested in following suit. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram.