Dani and Luca
Marketer and Web Developer
October 28, 2019

Interview with Dani and Luca, digital nomads who have mastered work and travel

Dani and Luca have mastered the art of traveling while working—see their hacks & tips for thriving as digital nomads.

How did you get started with remote work?

We were already both contractors for clients that covered about 80 percent of our income. We were going to their office every day, but it was not essential to our work to be done.

We simply told them we wanted to switch to full remote, and after we guaranteed them our availability in their time zone, regardless of where in the world we’d be, and promised to keep up with the quality of our results, they agreed.

We put our home on rent and bought two tickets to Thailand. No remorse ever.

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What are you working on?

Daniela is a marketer, and Luca, a full stack web developer. We spend most of our time working on our biggest client's projects, and they help us have a sort of routine and also guarantee a secure income every month. Apart from that, we are also both doing freelance work.

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What's your typical work routine?

We start to work when it's about 9:00 am in Italy, and we work for about eight to ten hours a day, that means that this year we usually worked from the early afternoon till about midnight as we were in Asia almost all the time.

It's always been hard for us to get up in the morning so this time zone difference helped us to be way more productive!

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How has your routine changed over time?

The new routine is that there is no routine outside our working time.

Every day, we see and learn new things since the day we started traveling. You have to adapt to new places every week, but that's also why we love traveling as digital nomads.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

We always choose our accommodations based on good connectivity and a place with common areas with electrical outlets and at least a table with some chairs.

Dani's workspace

Dani's workspace

We found out that it's not really that fundamental to have the best WiFi because we can always hotspot with our local SIM. What we really can't work without is electricity, and it happened that we had serious issues with blackouts in places like Cambodia and Myanmar.

Luca's workspace

Luca's workspace

In cases like those, it is important to look for places that are equipped with generators. In Yangon, we found a hostel designed for people like us that had coworking inside it, but it's not so common, especially in Asia.

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How do you stay on task?

Well, we love our jobs, and we love to travel. We couldn't travel if we didn't have these kinds of jobs and we couldn't work in this cool way if we didn't travel.

Lucky for us, we don't feel the stress: our tasks are the first things we think about when we wake up, and we are happy to see them get done.

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What do you like about remote work?

We hated going to the office every day, and we felt that we were losing a lot of time commuting from one place to the other.

We were living for work, not the opposite, and that was killing us.

We came back home in the evening, and we kept calling the online food order and delivery service, Just Eat because we didn't even have the will to cook something on our own. Switching to remote made us feel alive again, and happy too!

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What do you not like about remote work?

Working remotely is awesome; believe us. We are lucky, though, because we are traveling as a couple. We have friends who are enjoying their remote life but are also feeling loneliness from time to time.

The good side of working from an office is that you can enjoy the company of the people you work with and you can make jokes and spend quality time with them.

A remote worker may have Slack, but it is clearly not the same thing.

While traveling, you get to know a lot of people, but they last only a few days.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

We schedule our work using Trello and ClickUp (which is a sort of a Trello with superpowers), but we also use GitLab.

The Pomodoro technique helps too to improve the time, making it easier for us to avoid distractions. And Spotify, of course, which has our favorite playlists that bring us into "the focus".

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Where are your favorite countries to work remotely?

You know what? There is no country that is better than another. What makes us like a country more are the people that live in it.

We loved places like Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia (Java and Bali), but it was primarily due to good environments, people, and food. At first, it was not easy to work from Asia, it gives you more challenges, and you need to adapt to them, but once you learn how to survive, it becomes straight forward.

There are a lot of people that prefer places like Chiang Mai in Thailand, and we like it too, but we don't consider it better than any other place where we worked from.

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Do you have any advice for remote workers?

Do whatever makes you happy, choose a job that you like, and you will never work a single day in your life.

It is a quote from Confucius that lived a long time ago, but it is true these days more than any time. Remote working is not for everyone, but it is awesome if you get it in the right way

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How do you decide priorities?

Work is always our priority. We discuss with our customers what needs to be done in a stand-up call that we do every day to decide what to work on, but we usually schedule in advance so that we are always on track with what our client needs.

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How do you know when to push yourself vs rest?

We are pretty good at making rest, fun, and work coexist. We don't feel tired as we used to when we were at home, and usually, we sleep till late in the morning so that when we work, we are more than relaxed. There might be a day that is tougher than others, but we deal with it with the least stress possible.

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Biography

Dani and Luca

We are Luca and Daniela, a web developer and a marketer that left their beloved Italy in January 2019 to live and work from everywhere as digital nomads. When we are not working we enjoy good food, amazing sunsets and Marvel movies.

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