I don't want realism, I want magic: how I became a digital nomad

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It all started in August 2013, I was on the plane flying to the States for my semester abroad at the University of Miami. I just wanted to leave for a few months, come back to Italy, graduate, get a job and have a calm adult life in Milan. Like everybody else. But there was this feeling. Watching out of the window I told myself it was the last time I was seeing Italy with the same eyes.  I somehow knew the same Anna would never come back because this experience would make me a completely new person.

“I don’t want realism, I want magic”

And this is exactly what happened. A few days at an American university, and I opened my eyes. I started meeting people from all over the world, with completely different backgrounds from mine. And I felt so at home with them in such an environment.

On my way to school I passed by a construction site every day. On its fence there was written “I don’t want realism, I want magic”. It might sound very naive but I thought that sentence promoted a positive attitude I really liked and reflected what I was living at the time.

It didn’t take me too long to decide that after the semester abroad I would do an internship in New York. So, counting on my own strengths and little network, I got what I wanted and extended my stay.

Big city girl

New York is the capital of the world to me and my favorite city of all. It plays a very important role in my story because it is where I really felt I belonged. Its energy, vibes and the friendly people who would approach me on the street, on the train, in a restaurant just to chat for a while caught me immediately. I loved it! When I first arrived there I knew very few people and started to go out alone, even at night. I met people and made many amazing friends. Again, they were coming from everywhere and I absolutely adored it.

Being in New York and walking in New York are among  my favorite feelings in the world. When I was there for the internship I thought I found my home. So, after I got back to Italy for a few months to graduate, I left for the Big Apple again. This time I was on a mission: get a visa sponsorship to fulfill my dream to live there. I got it after a few weeks and I was really happy to start a training in a leading art pr agency in January 2015.

Life does not always happen as we expect and, after 9 months in this position, I realized it would have been very hard for me to find a sponsorship for a work visa. I had to take the hardest decision of my life: find a job elsewhere. The day I accepted a position in another top art pr agency in London I had to buy a one way ticket from New York to Europe. It took me 1 hour and many many tears. I just couldn’t leave.

I left a part of me in the Big Apple and I still love it beyond anything else. But I went on and started a new life in London. Any city after New York would have been hard and incomparable to me. I wasn’t satisfied with my life, my job and the place I was living in.

But life surprised me again and, this time, for the best. After almost a year in London, a friend of mine  asked if I wanted to join her in Chile, where her startup got into an acceleration program called StartUp Chile. I didn’t hesitate for a minute, quit my job and embarked on this life-changing experience.

My time in Chile or the world is my home

Working in a startup in Santiago de Chile was something new, and so exciting. I absolutely loved it. I was in a community of creative, smart and international people and felt so welcome. For once, everybody was living around the world, fulfilling their intrepreneurial dream. I wasn’t the crazy one, I was like the majority.

The startup mentality and environment were also really appealing. I was mainly doing digital marketing, putting into practice what I learnt in a very interesting online course I started during my time in London. I also felt a sort of entrepreneurial need myself.

It’s in my time in Santiago that I became acquainted with the “digital nomads” and everything made sense. I found myself there, with those likeminded people. It was a sort of epiphany: I realized I was becoming a digital nomad but didn’t know it before.

A digital nomad

Life circumstances made me come back to Italy after almost 6 months in Santiago. I felt a little lost in my hometown after almost 4 years around the world. What I missed the most was my international community. If you live far away, you’ll naturally lose some of your friends at home and the ones who stay do obviously have their busy lives.

After the first hard weeks, I got my life back together and started working on my goal to live as a digital nomad. I got my first digital marketing clients and begun to work for them. I knew my time in Italy was limited and decided that at the end of summer I would go to Bali. What attracts me are the digital nomad community and the yoga scene, because spirituality is also a very important component of how I live my life.

And here I am, about to embark on this new adventure…

Wish me luck!

 

Music is one of the global languages we all understand and relate to. We all have songs that remind us of certain times and situations. So I decided to add a song that makes sense to me to every post. For this first post I choose Wake Me Up by Avicii, first of all because it was popular during my semester abroad, and because the lyrics somehow reflect my life.

Listen to it! Doesn’t it talk about the digital nomads?

 

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