In today’s interview, we were lucky to talk with Bistra and Nace from The Magic of Traveling. They’re living that nomadic lifestyle and really enjoying the life to the fullest.
We asked them some questions to get more details about their lifestyle, what they do, how they fund their trips and their mindset.
Here’s a short text from them that covers all about their lifestyle:
“What happens when you feel you have to take traveling to the next level – beyond vacation days off work, beyond having amazing experiences outside your yearly vacation allowance?
We felt we wanted to travel more than just jump to the other side of the world, only to stay there a week or two. That’s when we decided we wanted to turn traveling from a hobby and a passion into a lifestyle. The math is pretty simple: if you want to travel more, then you need to find ways to work while traveling.
So far we’ve been trying to practice jobs that are at least partially location-independent, so we can stay at a place for a longer time. Having a carrier in blogging, writing, IT makes this a relatively easier task. We do struggle to combine things we love doing that requires us to stay in one place, though.
For example, we are choreographers and teach dance and to be able to do that, we have to arrange bigger chunks of time when we are able to work with people, face to face, offline. We realize full nomadic lifestyle is a huge bite, so we try to slowly and gradually set up our lives into e semi-nomadic one.
That way we’re taking the best of both worlds – we can still travel and explore for longer periods of time, and we can still stay in one place and finish our arrangements locally, and be close with family and friends. “
Don’t want to go into more details here!
Continue reading if you’d like to know more about their journey and get inspired:
Q. Welcome Bistra! We did some collaborations now and I’m familiar with your amazing story, but for people who don’t know you, could you please tell a few sentences about yourself and your blog?
A. Thank you! We’re Bistra and Nace – a couple that has a passion for dancing, drinking wine and following the locals wherever we go. We’ve had our travel blog for almost six years now and our purpose is to inspire more people to travel as it best suits them, and into a direction that fits their personalities – around the world, to the nearest village or to their inner selves.
What happens when you feel you have to take traveling to the next level – beyond vacation days off work, beyond having amazing experiences outside your yearly vacation allowance?
We felt we wanted to travel more than just jump to the other side of the world, only to stay there a week or two. That’s when we decided we wanted to turn traveling from a hobby and a passion into a lifestyle. The math is pretty simple: if you want to travel more, you need to find ways to work while traveling.
So far we’ve been trying to practice jobs that are at least partially location-independent, so we can stay at a place for a longer time. Having a career in travel blogging, writing, IT makes this a relatively easier task. We do struggle to combine things we love doing that require us to stay in one place, though.
For example, we are choreographers and teach dance and to be able to do that, we have to arrange bigger chunks of time when we are able to work with people, face to face, offline. We realize full nomadic lifestyle is a huge bite, so we try to slowly and gradually set up our lives into a semi-nomadic one.
That way we’re taking the best of both worlds – we can still travel and explore for longer periods of time, and we can still stay in one place and finish our arrangements locally, and be close with family and friends.
Q. Where do you currently live and is there any place in the world you could say for yourself you’re local there?
A. We currently base ourselves in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia is definitely one of the places we can say we feel local to. The bustling capital has a lot to offer to all its visitors and guests and we recommend this place to any digital nomad.
Q. You have an amazing journey so far and we wish you great adventures in the future! Could you tell us how many countries you’ve visited and which one was the most special for you?
A. We’ve been to 67 countries so far, and in two weeks we’ll travel to country numbers 68 and 69. The more we travel, the more we feel the quantity of countries visited doesn’t matter, but the quality of the experience is what truly matters.
New Zealand is a very special place for us, as we longed for visiting it for a while. When that happened, it was more beautiful than any picture or movie, and all the people we met were so inspiring. We even got inspired to write our first book on Highway 1 in NZ.
Q. Many people give up the idea of traveling as they don’t believe they can spare enough money or fund their trips on the go. Please tell us how do you manage to fund your trips?
A. For us, there is one “golden” tip – work a bit while you travel. If your perception of traveling is to be on endless vacation, then it’s hard to fund your trips (unless you have enormous savings or rich relatives).
But if you realize you can combine leisure travel with some work on the go, you’ll start funding your trips while being on them. It requires discipline, hard work, struggling with the poor Internet at times, but at the end of the day, so many jobs can be location independent, so why don’t we do them remotely?
Q. When and how did you decide that you want to travel around the world and work on the road?
A. We discovered our passion for traveling as soon as we met each other. Short local trips turned to longer trips to more distant places. Vacation days were not enough, official holidays, too. We wanted to travel more and took unpaid leaves.
That also became not enough so we started considering options to shift our jobs to a semi-nomadic mode. That’s what we’re currently doing. Exercising parts of our jobs on the road, being semi-nomads.
Q. How people around you reacted when you decided to travel around the world and have an adventure of a lifetime?
A. Most of our close friends and relatives were and are very supportive of our lifestyle. They are already used to us being gone for a while and then being in one place for a while. We try to keep in touch with everybody online.
Most of our relationships with people we manage to keep alive and healthy all the time. Because distance can’t be an obstacle to friendship and love. That is our firm belief.
Q. What’s the project you’re currently working on? How did you find it?
A. We usually work on multiple projects at a time. Most of the time, people and companies find us online or through recommendation. Word of mouth is a very important thing in any business. We’re working on a couple of IT-related projects, and we’re also writing another book. And of course, we work with a couple of dance students in Sofia.
Q. What aspect of your job you like the most and what aspect you dislike the most?
A. Well, we definitely like it when you have the flexibility to work from the opposite part of the globe. It’s so empowering. Sometimes we dislike the fact that working in a totally different place where you barely know any people can be a bit desocializing.
Q. We heard a lot of discussion on work-life balance. Some people think it’s crucial to have a balance between work and life, while others believe that if you love what you do, then you don’t need to balance between work and play. What’s your stance on this one and could you share your routine?
A. We haven’t fully figured that out yet, unfortunately. Recently we’re more like to agree with the those who say if you’re working your passion, then you don’t need to balance between work and life as there is just one thing for you.
But people also say “Work hard, play harder”, so we need to let go all serious work stuff every once in a while and just have some fun!
Q. How’s your regular working day looks like?
A. Here’s an example of a regular working day (yesterday): We woke up and prepared some morning fruit smoothies. We’ve had lots of emails to answer, quick tasks to tick off, plans to make before lunch.
We cooked a quick lunch at home and spent the afternoon in online meetings and even one offline. We had to come up with a presentation and we finalized it. In the evening, we went out to give a dance lesson. Afterward, we grabbed a bite out with friends and returned home to watch an episode of our favorite series.
It wasn’t too late so we finished the day with a few pages of a book.
Q. We bet you had many amazing stories from the road so far! Could you tell us the most positive and the most negative or scary story you had during your travels?
A. We’ve had so many memorable stories, it’s hard to pick just one. But here’s one positive trend: we often get lost and usually random people help us find the place we’re looking for, sometimes leaving their activities behind.
In Japan, for example, we struggled reading the hieroglyphs so people were doing their best to help us navigate. An old lady in a small town ditched her gardening activities to take our hands and lead us to the temple we had been looking for. And we instantly became friends, even without speaking the same language.
Scary stories we have few, they’re usually connected with nature acting as the master of this world (it actually is) or some tiny-minded people trying to take advantage of foreigners. But they don’t deserve our attention, anyway.
Q. Have your experiences from the road changed your perspectives on money, opportunities, relationships and the world in general? Let’s talk a bit on this!
A. Our experiences on the road have changed and are still changing the way we see the world, the people and ourselves in the whole picture. When we travel, we learn we’re not the only special ones, the most important or alone.
We can’t do whatever we want to, our problems are not so big at all. The more your travel, the more you find interesting ideas and stories, the more you get inspired. We discover all the people are so similar and in general, nice. We shouldn’t look for ways to differentiate from each other, we should look for ways to be more united and find common grounds.
This is the way we can’t survive for a longer time and not ruin our beautiful home, the Earth.
Q. For how long do you plan to travel around the world and stick to this lifestyle? What’s your travel preference – do you like to spend more time in one place or you rather prefer moving constantly around the places?
A. We don’t have plans to end our travels anytime soon. We’ll do it until we love it and it makes us feel complete. Sometimes we feel tempted to travel, moving constantly, sometimes we need to be more relaxed and spend more time in a place. Both styles are cool when you can mix them into your own cup of tea.
Q. Do you find it hard to form lasting relationships with people as you’re traveling and maybe you will never see the people you meet in some place again?
A. We don’t think it’s hard to form a strong lasting relationship while traveling. There’s nothing that can replace meeting a person face to face, but distance can’t remove the fact you care about each other. We have friends from distant places, we know we’ll probably won’t see them again, but we’re friends for years now, chatting whenever we can, supporting each other.
Q. If you could live anywhere in the world, which place would you choose and why?
A. New Zealand is such a magnetic place for us, that probably we’ll live there sometime in the future. Or somewhere in South America, or somewhere in Africa, who knows…
Q. Could you give a genuine advice to people who’d like to start with digital nomad lifestyle?
A. Our first advice would be to figure out if that lifestyle is the right thing for them, indeed. As we’re also not super sure if this is our thing, we started with smaller steps: longer, but slow travel periods, trying to complete small tasks on the road, then trying to finish bigger.
Trying to plan in time and space how your activities will go, how you’ll succeed in your job, or what other opportunities you have – these are all small but important steps to a (semi-)nomadic lifestyle, and you can easily figure if that’s your cup of tea or you should take a step back and pivot.
Q. Last but not least, what are your plans for the future?
A. One of our dreams is to visit Antarctica. That might be a long-term plan, but we really long for this. We also want to expand our dance school and conduct international workshops, show dances of the world and help more people be happy and dance. And a very short-term dream – finish our second book soon and reach many readers, and inspire them to travel!
Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story with us! We really believe it could motivate an individual and change some lives!
Wish you all the best in your future travels and many amazing experiences on the way! Cheers! 🙂