Traveling the world as gay digital nomads

(CNN) — Ignacio Nieto Carvajal and Miguel Piñas Rodríguez met by possibility in a homosexual bar in Madrid, not lengthy soon after Nieto Carvajal moved to the Spanish capital for perform.

Nieto Carvajal nearly failed to go out that night, but he claims he is so glad he did.

“With Miguel, it was enjoy at to start with sight, I knew it from the first time I noticed him,” Nieto Carvajal tells CNN Travel currently.

“At the commencing it was like this ridiculous factor with butterflies and every thing.”

Inside of a few months, Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez have been living jointly. Less than 5 several years afterwards, they ended up married.

A calendar year following their wedding ceremony, the few made the decision to up sticks and journey the globe jointly, performing remotely alongside the way.

Piñas Rodríguez stop his corporate 9-5 position and begun operating for himself in the net style/Seo arena. Nieto Carvajal was in the second 12 months of running his have developer company.

The two bought all their household furniture and most of their belongings in Spain and became fully-fledged digital nomads. Now in their 40s, they say they’ve by no means appeared again.

Touring the entire world

Miguel Piñas Rodríguez at the Pride Parade in Berlin in July 2016. Berlin was one of the couple's early trips.

Miguel Piñas Rodríguez at the Satisfaction Parade in Berlin in July 2016. Berlin was one of the couple’s early outings.

Courtesy Ignacio Nieto Carvajal and Miguel Piñas Rodríguez

The couple’s very first cease was Riga, the money of Latvia.

“We had been there before and we beloved the city it was reasonably priced, small and comfy,” states Nieto Carvajal. On previous visits, they’d also made connections at a co-functioning room known as TechHub, which designed settling in much easier.

Prior to very long, the few headed on to Berlin, and before long they were being hooked on the thrill of exploring a new spot, and what Nieto Carvajal phone calls the “independence” of not staying tied down.

“You might be checking out new cultures and new folks, and it is really so interesting,” he states.

The pair have considering that put in time in locations which includes Vietnam, Bali, Estonia and Malaysia.

Embracing new cultures

“Let us go there and see what takes place,” is how Nieto Carvajal describes the couple’s journey procedure.

Anytime they get there somewhere new, the two normally uncover an Airbnb “at minimum for a several days or weeks,” explains Piñas Rodríguez.

From there, they will commonly locate somewhere a little bit more permanent to make home for a while.

They get pleasure from finding to know other travelers, but specifically like meeting locals and obtaining their tips. The pair say the only draw back to their life style is declaring farewell to individuals and locations alongside the way.

“Every time we vacation from one nation to the other, I am very sad at the beginning, because I overlook the prior region, and I overlook the people,” says Piñas Rodríguez.

But before prolonged they are going to be embracing a new society and earning new friends — and for Piñas Rodríguez, all those connections generally arrive via food stuff.

“I’m a foodie person. You find out how to cook new recipes, amazing types,” he says, citing Thailand and Malaysia as two of his preferred food cultures he is embraced in excess of the years.

Touring while gay

Nieto Carvajal at an exhibition supporting the LGBTQ community on Lover's Bridge in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 2020.

Nieto Carvajal at an exhibition supporting the LGBTQ group on Lover’s Bridge in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 2020.

Courtesy Ignacio Nieto Carvajal and Miguel Piñas Rodríguez

Even though Piñas Rodríguez and Nieto Carvajal really like touring, they say there are problems that appear hand-in-hand with digital nomad living — from working with dodgy WiFi to arriving at holiday rentals that will not resemble the photographs on the net.

And on leading of these extra minimal ups and downs, the pair need to also navigate traveling safely and securely as gay guys.

“Some nations around the world are more welcoming than others to that,” says Nieto Carvajal, who clarifies that the couple were being significantly worried prior to heading to countries with minimal to no lawful safety for LGBTQ people today, these kinds of as Malaysia.

But Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez say locals they achieved in Malaysia had been really welcoming, and general their practical experience of currently being homosexual electronic nomads has been overwhelmingly constructive.

When browsing nations around the world identified for remaining much less accepting, Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez never normally introduce on their own as a pair.

Instead, they say they enable persons they fulfill come to that knowing independently.

“Individuals are extra accepting than you would feel,” says Nieto Carvajal. “They get to know you, and they get to this summary that these guys are together soon after a specified time.”

“All people will know,” adds Piñas Rodríguez .

“Inevitably they comprehend that these two guys doing work alongside one another, traveling alongside one another, jointly all the time — they are a couple,” claims Nieto Carvajal.

The pair are also careful about public displays of passion in certain countries. But even though they adapt their behavior in selected situations, the few say they are pretty mindful of the great importance of remaining legitimate to them selves on their travels.

Nieto Carvajal’s tips to other LGBTQ vacationers is to be conscious of your surroundings and experienced about the culture and context, but “will not check out to cover yourselves possibly.”

Piñas Rodríguez echoes this: “Be purely natural, and don’t disguise.”

Digital nomads in a pandemic

Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez in Lubljana, Slovenia in January 2020.

Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez in Lubljana, Slovenia in January 2020.

Courtesy Ignacio Nieto Carvajal and Miguel Piñas Rodríguez

At the commencing of 2020, Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez had been in Croatia. Inside a couple of weeks, they’d moved on to Serbia.

They had been hoping to vacation to Canada that spring, and then head as a result of the US and on to South The united states.

Then Covid-19 strike Europe.

“When we were being in Serbia, all the things variety of begun to explode,” remembers Nieto Carvajal.

The couple moved to Bulgaria in late February, all-around the time Italy experienced grow to be the European epicenter for coronavirus. They remember officers at Bulgarian customs assuming they have been Italian, and originally refusing to enable them in, prior to learning they were Spanish and ushering them by means of.

A week after they arrived in Bulgaria, quite a few European nations around the world shut their borders and went into lockdown. Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez finished up in Bulgaria for virtually a year.

“We determined to wait around right up until at least we have been vaccinated and every little thing was much more steady,” says Nieto Carvajal.

He adds that the pandemic underlined a consequence of the digital nomad way of life they’d been hitherto unaware of: As they weren’t long term inhabitants in Bulgaria, they couldn’t get vaccinated proper absent.

But by spring 2021, they had their photographs and headed to Turkey, then Spain for a prolonged-awaited reunion with their family members and on to Estonia for the next leg of their journey.

Operating remotely

Pre-pandemic, “digital nomad” was already turning out to be a bit of a buzzword.

And now — what with numerous men and women spending a great deal of the past 18 months doing the job remotely — much more personnel may well be asking yourself if they can log in remotely in the future.

Piñas Rodríguez and Nieto Carvajal’s best suggestion for would-be electronic nomads is to know how you’re heading to make income in advance of you hit the street.

The pair also caution in opposition to assuming social media or blogging will be a resource of money. In simple fact, to some degree unusually for digital nomads, Piñas Rodríguez and Nieto Carvajal mostly eschew social media — Piñas Rodríguez sticks to changing his Facebook position when he moves countries and uploading the occasional photo to Instagram.

Nieto Carvajal will not use social media applications at all, but does continue to keep up a perform web site.

Today, Nieto Carvajal and Piñas Rodríguez both equally function for the very same organization, Your Enterprise in Estonia. Nieto Carvajal is the CEO and Piñas Rodríguez is the CMO.

“We have experienced different businesses in the previous, but this widespread job truly took off the floor so we focused on it and closed our previous companies,” claims Nieto Carvajal.

Nieto Carvajal claims the company can help business people operate on the web businesses primarily based out of Estonia, using care of tax, accounting and compliance.

Even though the few advocate obtaining your get the job done affairs in buy right before you commence traveling whole-time, they also acknowledge that at times you have obtained to just take a plunge into the unknown.

Don’t believe you happen to be also old, or that it is too late, they urge.

“The worst enemy of oneself is most likely your personal fears,” states Nieto Carvajal. “Do not be so afraid of trying.”

Long term designs

Some digital nomads may possibly look at their travels as more of a limited-expression hiatus, relatively than a extended-term existence option, but Piñas Rodríguez and Nieto Carvajal say they have got no designs to cease traveling.

They’re hoping to make it to Canada and Latin The us just one day, and they have also bought Ga and South Africa on their very long-time period to-pay a visit to checklist.

They from time to time meet previous digital nomads who fell in appreciate with a particular place and selected to make their stay there everlasting.

Piñas Rodríguez reckons he could have stayed in Bali, even though Nieto Carvajal enjoys Estonia.

But for now the couple really don’t have any intentions to set down roots.

“Maybe when we are 60 or anything,” claims Nieto Carvajal.

“It is thrilling to be capable to share this collectively and we are grateful of each moment we spend collectively and just about every new put we learn hand in hand.”