in On the road, on 07/06 by | 2 comments

Save on your flights: choose low-budget carriers

590002366_0dee41b326While we would definitely opt for a travel agency for the long-hauls, inland or even continental flights often are often cheaper on low-budget carriers.

In Belgium, we happen to have Brussels Airlines, with loads of promotions.
Ryanair and Sunjets also tend to offer crazy prices, going as low as €0.01 for a flight (without taxes).
There are some disadvantages, of course: no money back guarantees, extra charges for luggage, on-board food and drink is never free, lack of leg-space, and often the airports are not really ‘big hubs’, but rather small airports away from the center.

Yet, for short flights, low-budget carriers do the job; and they do it well.

Here’s a list of low-budget carriers we found worldwide:
Read more »

in DIY Nunomads Guide, on 12/05 by | 1 comment

Our presentation on BGGD29

As promised we’re posting our presentation on BrusselsGirlGeekDinner on this site.
Hope you enjoy it!

Find it on Slideshare or Issuu
If you like it, vote for it!

in Inspiration, on 21/04 by | write a comment

Inspiration Series – o1

For those of you who haven’t seen the ‘Last Lecture’, in the series ‘inspirational’, this one couldn’t be left out! If you haven’t seen the video yet, please try to do so. For the South African people amongst us — screw bandwidth! Just watch the video, it’ll give you something more essential than bandwidth in return — the feeling of being alive.

in Preps, on 14/04 by | 2 comments

What’s in the suitcase?

20100408120622-luggage-ID
Luggage spread around the room.

Ha! THE question on everyone’s lips: What do you take along?
How do you fit your life into three suitcases? I even thought of posting a thread on it, asking all kinds of people to show their suitcases… just out of curiosity. It’s one of those things you tend to forget about, and then in the end, just days before leaving, it’s there in front of you, and you’re thinking ‘Shit!’

In our case, things got even worse. We had four brand new bags, two easy rollers, one big bag, and one tiny weekend bag that might come in handy on shorter trips while abroad. But suddenly, just two days before we left, I noticed that ‘you’re allowed to take one big suitcase, and two pieces of hand luggage’

At that moment, we had two pieces of luggage each, one item of hand baggage, plus a camera bag.

A reason to start panicking…

We managed to get it all into three bags (one of them became hand-luggage) and squeeze the cameras and computers into two of these instead of one on its own.
But that’s another story.

Here’s a list of our stuff. Read more »

in It's a digital world, Nunomads, on 01/04 by | write a comment

Your Own Film Library. Anytime, Anywhere.

Screen shot 2010-03-30 at 15.29.16

Talking about the perfect internet project  for the lifestyle oriented nunomad.

Although still in beta (and struggling with some minor issues) it’s been ages since I’ve been so enthusiastic about anything.

The Auteurs is an online cinema/community for film lovers. Your own film library. Your own little cinema. Anytime. anywhere. Their strong focus on quality productions, combined with their sense of style, makes them unique in their field. In short, The Auteurs rule!

Read more »

in Lifehacking, On the road, on 29/03 by | write a comment

Meeting the locals

locals

There is no better way to discover a country than through the locals.
These days, luckily for us, this is facilitated by technology.
Rather than going to a bar to search out interesting characters, we are now able to find them on the web.
One of the wonderful things that I remember coming out of Photoblog*, was that people from all over the world were talking about one common interest (photography), sharing experiences, and very often also ending up meeting each other in real life on the other side of the world.

There are many sites you can visit when in search of people to meet; these are some which have worked well for us:

Couchsurfing : You can find locals that are willing to offer a couch/bed for a night. There are also plenty who are into ‘coffee’, who would be glad to have a drink with you and talk about the ‘ins and outs’ of their country.
Catherine is really into meeting these interesting characters, and we have already made some great friends this way.

Twitter : Whilst Twitter is a good place to follow (often geeky) friends you already know, if used well, you can also discover great new people there.
This is what I did. I opted to install Echofon (for its ease of use) but any twitter client will do – even the twitter site itself. You search on #hashtags (yes, those little #’s in front of keywords). It’s a bit like googling keywords but the ‘search results’ are always active twitters. From these, I check profiles to see who might be interesting to follow. After following, tweeting back and forth, and chit-chatting for a while, you might want to arrange to meet each other.
We searched for ‘#CapeTown’, followed a few people, acquired some followers of our own, and eventually met some of them. This resulted in some wonderful evenings and great stories.

Flickr : Although this site is primarily about ‘photography’, and nothing to do with ‘meeting people’ as such, very often these are the best places to find like-minded people from all over the globe. Just like on Photoblog, Flickr members comment on each others’ pictures, and quite apart from being simply a photo site, there is definitely a vast array of ‘micro-communities’ within the site.

In fact, any community site would probably work just as well. If you like wine, for instance, why not try to find like-minded locals on a wine-sharing site? In this day and age, each and every community has its own virtual, border-crossing counterpart online.

How do you, as location independents, manage to find your locals? Let us know by leaving a comment.

*I was one of the founders of Photoblog.net. These days, it is a blog. Back then, it used to be a platform just like Flickr is now (though admittedly with less features :) ), but before Flickr even existed!

in DIY Nunomads Guide, on 24/03 by | 1 comment

How to find killer (design) accommodation in 5 days?

We have a beautifully designed house in Belgium; and being on the road doesn’t mean we wanted to settle for less. So finding affordable, beautiful temporary accommodation in Cape Town was at the top of our nunomad ‘wanted’ list.

‘Affordable’ being as important as ‘beautiful’, we set ourselves a monthly accommodation budget of  around €500.*

Since this was our first ‘stop’, we didn’t really have a plan of how to go about it. When you don’t have a plan, you usually have to rely on your gut feeling. Which must have been on top of it’s game on this occasion… since, only a few days later, we had these two killer apartments confirmed. And more or less within budget too. :)

* This is our Cape Town budget. Our budget varies depending on where we are.

20100319-155704-CVA-Cape Town 20100319-145606-CVA-Cape Town

When ‘gut feeling’ leads to ‘success’, it becomes ‘a good strategy’ :). So, time to share it.

Read more »

in Lifestyledesign, on 16/03 by | 4 comments

Being a geek is sexy, but in the end it’s all about the lifestyle you know.

20100228-160737-CVA-Krugerpark_o2

It’s true that so far we have featured a lot of technical posts. And it’s also true that without these digital solutions, our Location Independent Lifestyle would be simply impossible. But think again if you believe this journey is only about technology.

It is about LIFE, and how to design it; how to create a lifestyle that brings the most joy, happiness and content to life.

Because, hey! Open your eyes! Most of us are getting lost in what is known as “9 to 5”; in what is supposed to bring us happiness, but which in fact mostly only brings big corporate firms a lot of money. For most of us, it just boils down to a (good) paycheck. Trying to control others while others or the system try to control us. Being stuck in traffic jams in the morning. Being stuck in traffic jams in the evening. And in between, we buy a house, have a few children and watch a game of soccer from time to time.

And the strange thing is, we don’t even need soma to accept and believe this to be the picture perfect life. After all, shouldn’t we all be happy living in this Brave New World?

Read more »

in It's a digital world, On the road, on 09/03 by | 1 comment

Sony e-reader, perfect book for nu-nomads

sonyereader

When on the road and living out of one or two bags, minimizing what you take can be one of the biggest challenges.

We managed to get our stuff into three bags, although this was only achieved after rearranging our luggage at least twice…. One way is to throw stuff out, another is to find the best solution. No-one would think of bringing a portable CD player and CDs any more, whereas everyone would gladly take an iPod or mp3 player.

One way to limit your luggage is by tossing things out; another way is to think efficiently and look for the best possible solutions. After all, no one in their right mind will think of packing a portable cd-player and a selection of compact discs. Instead of that, it’s a no-brainer to reach for your iPod or mp3-player. And while it may not come to mind immediately, there is a similar solution when it comes to the books you want to read while traveling.

For books, an e-reader would seem to be a similar type of solution. I admit that taking the e-reader was Catherine’s idea; “We’ll save tons by taking this one device”. I wasn’t convinced; I like reading books – real books. But I had to admit that my ‘paper’ versions added a lot of weight and volume to the luggage, especially when you consider you’re only allowed to take one suitcase along.

So when our friends at Sony offered us one to test, Catherine jumped with joy, while I was secretly happy that I’d have the chance to test such a device. Now I’m totally convinced and I don’t miss the paper at all. “Convinced” as in ‘Catherine didn’t get the chance to read on the e-reader yet as it’s in my hands all the time’. Some forty-two books came along, and I have already devoured two of them.

I think of it as the iPod for books. (I know Apple is featuring the iPad for this, but I’m not convinced the iPad is really the best device for reading.) Sony offered us the Touch Reader. In fact we had to choose between the Pocket version and the Touch, and I chose the Touch because, being used to an iPhone, I was convinced I’d try to touch the screen all the time.

Read more »

in DIY Nunomads Guide, Nunomads, on 26/02 by | write a comment

Lifestyledesign: not the easy way.

Don’t let them fool you. Contrary to what some books and sites may tell you, lifestyle design isn’t an easy task – it’s not just about having the guts.
So let’s presume you do have the guts …… now comes the hard bit – making your dreams a reality. For us, that meant going Location Independent for (at least) a year.

“Cool !”, I hear you say. Yes, indeed – but think again. It also means renting out the house, selling the car and preparing clients. Somebody posted a comment in a previous post, “….isn’t ‘nomadic’ about just packing, leaving and coming back when you run out of money?”

Sometimes I wish it was. The lifestyle we’re opting for isn’t about that. In fact, our main objective is to come back with at least as much money as when we left – and preferably more. In particular, unlike when travelling, we’ll actually be living in a different place; renting an apartment, doing the shopping, cooking and working. This is quite different to a holiday.
Read more »