Hello, February! Welcome to another series of Digital Nomad Interviews by Travelwifi. In this month’s series, we sat down with Steven Yalo, a full-time traveler and digital nomad galloping around the world for work and play!
What was your life like before being a digital nomad?
Before being a digital nomad I was living in Orlando, Florida. I studied advertising at the University of Central Florida and was pursuing a career in marketing. During my senior year at UCF I found an internship opportunity for an influencer marketing company which eventually led to a full-time job. At this time, something really interesting happened that changed my perspective about the way I was living my life.
This was back in 2016 and as I mentioned, I was in my last year of college. I heard about this crazy travel challenge hosted by Red Bull called “Can You Make It?” where they send teams of college students to travel across Europe for one week with NO MONEY. I applied for this challenge by making a video with two friends and it went to a voting process so we worked our butts off trying to secure our team a spot in the competition.
Eventually, our hard work paid off and we were selected to participate. They flew us to Florence, Italy and we had one week to make it to Paris with no money. We traveled through six countries in seven days relying on the kindness of strangers to help us reach checkpoints along the way. It was the most difficult yet most rewarding experience of my life. We made it all the way to Paris without spending any money. It was insane!
After this travel challenge, I returned to Florida where the company I was interning for offered me a full-time job. Everything was going great for me! But after a few months of working in the same office every day, I was craving more adventure. I just traveled across Europe with no money, so I had this new mindset that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. So, I set my sights on a new goal.
I love making videos and I really wanted to travel more, so I decided to leave my job, sell most of my stuff, and I bought a one-way ticket to Thailand. I saved up enough money to travel with no income for about one year. I figured within that year I could learn how to sustain a digital nomad lifestyle, and I was right.
Now, I travel full-time and make money online in a few different ways. Life is what you make it. Why not make it exciting, right?