1. Who are you, what you do and when did you know that freelancing is the life for
I’m Niels, a social worker from Belgium who relocated to Spain 3 years ago to teach English. On the side, I started doing a bit of freelancing on Upwork and over the past two years I’ve built out a full-time job on Upwork translating English into Dutch for various clients worldwide.
2. What is your work setup?
Simple. Just my laptop, headphones, music, water bottle and some organizational apps such as Asana, Toggle, and Pomodoro.
3. What are the tools of your trade?
A stable internet connection, my language skills (in my case English and Dutch), and dedicate a few hours a day to work on my projects. It could be a seven days a week/job if I choose to do just a few hours a day, but I could easily do 8 hours a day for 3 days and then have the rest of the week off. It’s flexible and all up to your own motivation or plans. But finding the right balance is still something I’m trying figure out.
4. What are the ups and downs of freelancing?
Ups: It’s the ultimate freedom and at the same time you have your own one-man business you can do from anywhere in the world. There’s no fixed working hours, no annoying boss or supervisor. It’s a significant improvement in the quality of life since you choose the work/life balance that suits you best.
Downs: You have to be highly motivated to get your stuff done and create sort of an own schedule. If you’re used to having people around at work and can’t stand solitude, then it’s not for you. Then again, you can always find coworking spaces to work with other freelancers, which is what I’m doing.
5. What is the setup that keeps you healthy and sane?
Separating home from work. Occasionally home is ok to work a few hours here and there, but going out of the house to work (coworking space, cafe, friend’s house, etc.) is necessary if you don’t wanna go absolutely berserk.
6. What are your biggest frustrations?
Getting out of bed late, which makes me start my work day late and makes me finish late. If I could manage to get up earlier and do all of my work immediately, I could have all afternoon and evening off. But still working on that…!
7. What book(s) are you currently reading?
Sapiens (well, I bought it two years ago and still reading it)
8. What should you start now that will have a positive effect on your life 5 years from now?
Organize a better work schedule + fully separate home and work and do more sports.
9. What thing from today would you like your 10-years- from-now self to remember?
That I’m on the right way and can only get better if I keep doing what I’m doing and improve the things I can work on. I think it’ll be totally worth it in 10 years.
10. Let people know where they can connect with you.
For translations or texts regarding English/Dutch hire me here: https://www.upwork.com/freelancers/~011c7f58a1363ba024
Get in touch on LinkedIn
People can find me on my website: www.tasteyourdream.com.
Be it digital nomading with full time travel or location independence with a home base and travel, what we have at the end of the day is a lifestyle of freedom and feeling at peace. Surely this lifestyle will change and evolve over time, but for progress to happen inspiration is crucial. For most of us it all comes down to getting over fear and attachment to comfort. And this happens when we share knowledge, experiences and ideas that turn the unknown into opportunities to learn, grow and feel alive.
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