I have been living as a digital nomad for around three years now after leaving my job last 2011. I focus mainly on writing on my travel blog and food blog, making various travel related niche sites, and writing for other online publications such as Yahoo Southeast Asia and other travel blogs. In the past few years that I have been doing this, I brought along some gadgets and electronics that I know will be able to help me achieve my goals as a digital nomad.
If you’re looking for a list of start-up gadgets that you might need when you switch to a digital nomad lifestyle, check out my list of gadgets, electronics and accessories (and other electrical equipment) that I brought along (and some bought along the way) with me:
Transit from Kaza to Leh
I actually started with an EMachine (Acer) Netbook which I bought for only P10K (or around $240) and then switched to another netbook with a bigger screen (Asus Eee PC). I’ve been using this laptop for a couple of years now and since I’m making (and maintaining) more websites now and do a lot of photo processing, I’m thinking of switching to a more powerful laptop (maybe using Intel i3 or up).
If you ask me which laptop I would recommend for you to bring, it will all boil down to only two things: your budget and what you need to do. If you’ll just do writing and won’t need to make a lot of websites and won’t do a lot of graphic design or photo processing then you can just opt for a Chromebook or Netbook. They’re smaller, cheaper and definitely lighter. Otherwise, if you’ll be doing a lot of graphics-heavy kind of work, then go for laptops using i3, i5 or i7 processors.
I bought a Canon 1100D a couple of years ago in Phnom Penh and a Tamron 18-200mm lens. 1100d is the entry level DSLR camera of Canon and it’s affordable (bought the body for $410) in comparison to higher end models. Although, it seems to be slower compare to Canon’s midrange and higher end models. But it still does the job quite fine. Although in the future I’m thinking of switching to micro four thirds camera to lessen the weight that I’m carrying.
Tamron 18-200mmm lens is a great versatile lens. I use it almost anywhere I go. The zoom is great especially when shooting wildlife. I’m fond of going to national parks and I’m quite contented with the range that this lens has. Although sometimes I wish I had a longer lens especially when the animals are quite far from where I’m standing, but then again it will require a different camera body, so for now I’m settling for this one. It’s also not that expensive, I think I just paid $200 for a brand new lens. The reviews are great as well in comparison to similar lenses made by Canon and Sigma.
I’m using an Alcatel One Touch 993d. It was great when it first came out lol! but of course there are better spec smart phones now which may also be cheaper due to the huge supply of smartphones around the world. Nevertheless, it does its job quite well. I was able to save a lot money too because of this phone because it helped me talk to my family and friends for free (voip calls) using a variety of free android app.
I mainly use this phone for calls and checking emails and of course games. Android has plenty of free apps that can also help you increase your productivity as a digital nomad. In my case, I downloaded apps for a variety of social media sites that I use, Adsense, Snapseed for editing photos taken by my phone and a lot of travel related apps of course such as XE Currency Converter, Agoda, Expedia, Momondo and more.
Portable Hard Drive
One of the most dreadful things that could happened to a digital nomad happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I lost all my files in one of my portable hard drive for some reason I didn’t understand. Luckily, I was able to retrieve it using some free online programs recommended by a friend of mine. Luck was on my side that time. But what if those recovery programs won’t work the next time it happens? So I bought another portable hard drive to act as a secondary backup.
All my files now are saved on my laptop and in two portable hard drives and all edited pictures are saved online via Flickr. I’m also thinking of saving some other files in free cloud storage but haven’t taken care of it yet.
So always make sure to have multiple backups to save you from worrying about losing files.
A tripod is every photo enthusiasts’s (with very shaky hands) best friend. It helps you take pictures clearer. There are many cheap and affordable tripods in the market but before you buy one check if it’s sturdy. A lot of very cheap tripods have very thin legs and might wobble when you use it so check it carefully. This one cost only $15 (around P600).
A lot of hostels that I have stayed in only have one electric outlet in their rooms (some don’t even have one). So my solution to make sure that all my gadgets are fully charge – an extension cord. Do you also carry one in your travels?
I also carry a few extra memory cards for my camera, an underwater camera, travel adapter, portable cooling fan for my laptop, power bank for my phone, padded sleeves and protective covers for some gadgets and cleaning kit for my camera and laptop.
I also bought an electric mosquito repellent and I bring it everywhere I go.
As for software I’m using Windows 7 OS, Lightroom, AVG and Hotspot Shield for online security.
If you also have blogged about the gadgets you bring in your travels, leave your link in the comment section below so I could check it out. Thanks!