Who hasn’t dreamt of dropping it all and hitting the road with a loose plan and no firm return date? It’s become one of the great Australian dreams, a year long (or longer) road-trip across this big, beautiful wide brown land of ours.
In the past living this dream meant years of saving or picking up odd (with the emphasis on the word ‘odd’) jobs along the way. With Telstra’s network now reaching some of the most remote corners of the country it’s now possible to live and work as a true digital nomad.
Kieron Brown has lived the digital nomad lifestyle. Looking to check off his bucket-list dream of travelling Australia he unshackled himself from his desk and managed to turn the whole of Australia into his office. Here’s his story along with some tips for aspiring digital nomads everywhere.
Tell us about how your great Australian trip came about?
“I was living in Brisbane in 2014 and had been there in my job with a marketing agency called Marketing Results for a few years. I actually met up with one of my clients who is a real go-getter. He was telling me about a goal he had been working towards for the last five years which was to taking his family to France for a year and working abroad. That got me thinking what I was working towards and what was important for me. Travel was one of those things.”
How did your work take the news?
“I put it to work that I wanted a ‘gap year’ and also mentioned that I could potentially stay on in a different role, behind-the-scenes. To my surprise they went for it.”
Where did you go?
We travelled over 12,000 kms all up. Started in Brisbane went down the coast and then we went across to Adelaide to Alice Springs, Perth and then retraced our steps.
How did you work on the road?
I was already with Telstra at the time and they asked me if I’d considered just tethering from my phone. I just used my existing plan.
It changed over time. Originally everything got to me. The lighting wasn’t right, the desk wasn’t right etc. I originally had a separate tent I’d use as an office. I’d get up a 5.30am, check the tasks that had come in from the team and do two or three hours of work per day. By the time we came back I would wake up, crawl down to the end of the van, crack the laptop open and work a couple of hours.
Any tips for working remotely you’d like to give?
We used an app called WikiCamps. It’s an app you can contribute to and note the type of reception you get at each place. They actually have a dedicated Telstra icon to show you where you get Telstra reception. It was very rare that we had no internet because we were planning ahead and making sure that anywhere we stopped had coverage.
Lastly, make us jealous… What were the highlights?
There were so many… It was really just the everyday things like seeing the amazing beaches, bushwalks everyday. We somehow managed to line up our timings to see the Dalai Lama at Uluru. We went to lots of the breweries and wineries along the way.