Since I get asked a lot of questions (and often the similar ones) about my lifestyle, here is my answers to the most frequently ones asked. If you have more questions, simply comment in this post.
Are you following me on instagram yet? I share a lot about my lifestyle but also honest moments in my stories and posts. If not, follow me here.
1. What do you actually do?
I make my living by working as a remote freelance graphic designer. Most of my clients are from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Wake Up Stoked is becoming a bigger part in my business but freelancing is still mainly paying my bills. I am also working as a freelancing writer for some kitesurf magazines and an outdoor platform occasionally.
When I was injured in December 2020 I couldn’t walk/workout/kitesurf for 3.5 months. I had a lot of extra time on my hand and invested it in learning all kinds of new stuff online and experimenting. One experiment that completely struck me was a breathwork session, I felt a kind of happiness I would usually only get from kitesurfing. This is why I did a training as a breathwork facilitator and am now facilitating breathwork sessions since June 2021 as well to share this amazing tool that has blown my mind. You can find more about it here on my instagram Spark Your Fire or in this article “Breathwork: get high on your own supply” on how I found breathwork, why I love it so much and work now as a breathwork facilitator.
2. It looks like you’re on holiday and kitesurfing 24/7. Seems so easy, how can I get that?
People love to pick out the cherries on top of the pies called life. Most people who meet me – knowing me from instagram – think that my life is one big holiday. Guess what: it’s not!
The reality about the lifestyle
I work more than I used to when I was employed (do you know this joke “I left my 9 to 5 so that I could be my own boss so now I am working 24/7), I sometimes struggle to switch my thoughts „off“ at night, I struggle to balance my freelance work as a graphic designer while still finding some time for Wake Up Stoked (when „normal“ people just have freetime, I work for Wake Up Stoked) and a lot of people don’t get the lifestyle. If I get asked one more time how my holiday was (I was working dammit!!!) or why I work during my holiday (because holidays are my new normal working space) I might just not answer at all.
On working location independently
Don’t get me wrong: I love what I’m doing. I love what I chose. I love how I do it. I’m growing every day. But if you think that becoming a location independent worker/digital nomad solves all your problems in life – think again. It might just double or triple your problems.
What lifestyle offers the most advantages to you?
Every lifestyle has it’s advantages and it’s downsides. EVERY LIFESTYLE! The trick lies in choosing downsides that you can handle well and at the same time having a life that fulfills you enough to live with those downsides. And I’m pretty sure that this means something different for each and every one of us.
Design your own life with your own rules
Make your own rules, design your own lifestyle to the extent that is possible for you and do yourself one big favor: stop comparing yourself to others! Or to what you think others have/own/live. All that counts is to make yourself happy and only you know what that is and how to do it.
3. How do you get new projects?
To be honest, I’m very lazy and lucky enough that my previous clients recommend me to my new clients. So I’m very “untraditional” when it comes to it 😉 However the first 2 years I didn’t have enough own clients so I was freelancing a lot for agencies in Munich.
4. How many hours do you work per week?
Depending on the client, project and my travel schedule it can be anything from 25 – 60 hours a week. I sometimes work 7 days a week for months and sometimes have phases where I’m actually enjoying having weekends off. But usually my schedule is adapting to the wind if possible 😉
5. How easy was it to go to freelancing and change your life like that?
It was a process for me (which I describe pretty much in this article) but once I had a vision of it, it was super easy to take the decision.
Implementing it in my life was freaking hard at times, definitely a rollercoaster and I’m thankful for being so naive and enthusiastic for taking the decision in the first place. It took me two years to make it work, I doubted a lot at times but my drive to live this lifestyle was huge and I’d never want to go back.
6. How does your typical day look like?
I have a pretty standard morning routine, when I’m at a spot and am not traveling.
- meditate 10 min (I love to use the app calm which is free)
- morning workout (go for a run, do a workout with a youtube video, swim, yoga, whatever is available to me – check out my article on no-equipment surf workouts)
- drink my organic jasmine green tea which I take with me anywhere 😉
- work either from my airbnb / the caravan or a cafe which I checked out beforehand which is coworking-friendly
- in the afternoon/early evening I’ll kite if there’s wind or take a short break from work for a walk/swim
- keep on working or meet with friends, go for a walk, cook dinner
You can find more infos on how I create my perfect kitesurf work balance here.
7. How are you imagining your life with your own family later? Do you even want kids?
I have no idea right now if I want kids but if I do and if I want to keep living this lifestyle, there are a lot of inspiring moms/families out there who are living this lifestyle with kids 🙂 Like Janina, the Sundance family or the nomad yoga family.
8. Which kite spots do you still want to travel to?
Ahmmm that’s an endless list that is always growing 😉 There are so many that it’s hard to count them all but up on my list is: Western Australia, Grenadines, Peru, all the other spots in Brazil I haven’t seen yet and Bali (even if it’s not for kitesurfing).
9. How do I make a living of kitesurfing?
Just my personal opinion: it can be much harder making a living of kitesurfing than making a living and having lots of time to kitesurf.
How to make money when working in the kitesurf industry
Just to give few examples: To make a living of kitesurfing you could teach kitesurfing, work in a kite school as a manager, in the shop/rental, open your own kite school, do kite camps, be a kite travel agency, work at a kite brand etc.
Out of my personal experience it’s pretty tough to make money this way and sometimes it might be easier to rather focus on making decent money and still having the time to kitesurf since you actually have time (or can schedule your work hours yourself and go kite when it’s windy) and since you’re living close to a kite spot or you can travel there easily/quickly.
Try things that set your soul on fire
I think it’s really important to just try things out! When I started kitesurfing I thought being a kite teacher was the solution to having more kite time myself. Actually the opposite was true: I was teaching 5-6 hrs daily and often too tired too enjoy my sessions afterwards, when the best wind is up you have to teach, I was broke most of the time because I only got payed per hour so if there was no wind I got no money, I was dead tired from spending so much time in the sun.
What stories are made of…
Still it was the best experience ever and I enjoyed it for a year and I’m happy I tried! I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I’m know if I hadn’t tried it because I met so many great people during that time and my whole perspective on work life changed.
As always: see what suits your personal lifestyle best and if you’re in doubt, just give it a try!
Side note on teaching kitesurfing to make a living
Side note: There are lots of different payment systems out there for kite teachers of course so you might find much better deals. And I know a lot of people who absolutely love teaching kitesurfing and are doing it happily since years, having enough money to live from it.
10. What does happiness mean to you?
Being in the present and enjoying what that present moment offers – no matter what and where that is. Spending time with people that matter to me, doing things I love. Move and sweat every day and nourish my body with yummy stuff. Living my emotions.
More Resources for Digital Nomads and Location Independent Remote Workers
- Why I became a Digital Nomad
- Digital Nomad Essentials: Must have’s for location-independent remote workers
- Why being a Digital Nomad and Kitesurfer is the perfect combination
- How to find a good work-kite-balance
- Favorite gadgets, apps and tools I use for my kitesurfing, travelling and digital nomad lifestyle
Favorite locations to kitesurf and work online
Join the Facebook Group Kitesurf Digital Nomads
Join the facebook group for Kitesurf Nomads which I created for (digital) nomads who kitesurf around the world – to network, exchange infos and maybe even meet up at spots.