Say hello to Nata Kostenko, a Ukrainian digital nomad. She had a great job in human relations in an IT company, but wanted more hands-on work and to see the beautiful places the world has to offer. After realizing she wanted to help clients by creating and designing presentation material, she did something about it. Now she’s reaping the benefits of her efforts, and living a life with more opportunities and fun. This lady is definitely worth listening to!
If you realize you want to try something different, do it. There are so many ways people earn money in the world…
How do you make money as a digital nomad?
I do presentation design. I help people to structure their ideas and efficiently visualize them in presentations. This includes assisting with pitch decks, sales and marketing presentations, webinars, trainings, etc.
So do you help your clients with the actual live presentation as well?
No, I don’t present in person, I work remotely. However, I help with everything from making the idea clear to structuring the information to creating visuals to designing the slides. I prefer clients to write their own content and present it themselves in the way they feel is the best. The decks are the support they have during the presentation process.
What are some typical tasks you have during a workday?
Ask the right questions to the client, create a story for the presentation, draw a storyboard, create the samples, design the slides.
What’s your story? How did you end up where you are today? What motivated you to live this lifestyle?
I used to work as an HR in an IT company. The IT sphere in Ukraine is well-developed, so this was considered to be a great job. However, I felt I wanted to do something hands-on, and I wanted to see beautiful places once I turned off my laptop. It took me 6+ months to realize I would like to be a designer and what kind of designer I wanted to be.
Find something you actually like doing. In a long-term perspective, being location independent and earning good money aren’t enough.
What are the best sides of living a digital nomad lifestyle?
Your Universe suddenly becomes bigger, you see more opportunities and tend to grab them more often. This leads to meeting new people, seeing more places and discovering yourself in a way you have never thought is possible.
And the less glamorous ones?
There are no more excuses. You manage your own time, your workload, your geographical position. You are responsible for all your decisions. Every time.
Japan appeared to be an ideal travel destination, diverse and beautiful.
What’s your top tips for people that want to earn place independent income?
Find something you actually like doing. In a long-term perspective, being location independent and earning good money aren’t enough. If you realize you want to try something different, do it. There are so many ways people earn money in the world… I’m sure you’ll find the best fit for yourself.
Do you have any tips for resources (web pages, books, courses etc.) for aspiring digital nomads?
I have recently been on a workation with Unsettled on Bali. It was a wonderful month spent connecting with interesting people, searching for answers and developing my business. I would definitely recommend this experience to aspiring digital nomads as a way to understand where you want to go and how to get there.
Please mention some amazing places you’ve discovered lately that you definitely want to go back to.
Japan. All of it. Before coming there, I have never idealized it. However, it appeared an ideal travel destination, diverse and beautiful. I can’t say I would live in Japan. However, I will definitely come back. I suggest you spend at least 2 weeks there, but the more – the better. As of April 20th 2017, I have been to 34 countries. Japan is #1 as it is so different from the rest and so amazing!
Do you think this type of work and lifestyle is possible in the long run? How do you balance it with having a family?
I have no idea. I’ve been doing this for about a year and it works for me so far. I think it’s important to have a settling down period after some time of active travelling. To recharge your batteries and get ready for the new adventures.
I believe it’s better if your family understands why you are doing this and supports you. That’s why I took some time to explain my digital nomad plans to the family. It worked out well!