I’ve been living the Digital Nomad backpack life for a couple years now.
As a Digital Nomad and fellow DigiTravelist enthusiast, I am proud to say that I can carry my life belongings in two backpacks.
Waking up at the same time everyday. Commuting the same route everyday. Seeing the same people everyday. That was the Canadian corporate life.. That was my past life.
In 2015, I decided to leave it all without any real plan but to figure out how to make money while being able to travel – and more importantly, not have to be shackled up in a cubicle or office.
I moved to Japan. Became a part time English instructor while seeking ways to make money online. Ebay and Amazon became my primary side hustles, then in 2017 I made the leap to full time digital nomad, remote worker, DigiTravelist.
My Digital Nomad Backpacks
Thailand seemed to attract many like-minded individuals so naturally I bought a ticket to South East Asia with one carry on and check in backpack.
I loved the freedom. I loved that I could carry all my belongings in two bags. It took some adjustments over the years to figure out how to optimally pack, but I eventually I got it down. However, my carry-on backpack has been getting heavier as I acquire more toys.
On that note, I never check in expensive stuff. My laptop is my main driver that allows me to do the work I need done while traveling. I use a Dell XPS 13 which is one of the lightest and thinnest computers on the market. I also carry an Asus Zenscreen around which I use as an additional monitor. Along with my other gadgets, I wanted a bag that had enough padding to ensure my technology was somewhat protected. I also wanted something that had some sort of water repellent material. More importantly, I had to be able to fit all my tech stuff into one carry on.
Thule Subterra Pack (34L)
After spending a couple of weeks browsing through different outdoor and sports stores, I settled on the Thule Subterra which marked off all my spots. There was plenty of space in the bag which was divided by a front, main and laptop pockets.
The Thule Subterra fits my laptop, additional monitor, backup mobile phone and more.
More importantly, the straps are comfortable and the backpack overall is stylish with a simplistic yet practical design.
However, I do have one complaint: the front pocket zipper goes all the way around. So if someone were to unzip this pocket and it was full of stuff, things could fall out.
Even though there are more thief deterring backpacks out there, I still chose the Thule as my main backpack.
I use this backpack as both my daily work bag and travel carryon. So far it’s done a pretty good job!
I use an Osprey 60L as my check-in baggage. All my clothes more or less go in there.
I have met a few content creators who carry a lot more tech than I typically do. They use carry-on luggage which is another way to optimize the cabin space.
Flying Busines Class as a Digital Nomad
One of the biggest perks of working remotely is the fact that I can collect flight reward points when I expense things for my business and daily spendings. Technically, you don’t need to be a remote worker to enjoy these perks, but having the flexibility to work wherever I want whenever I want allows me to enjoy the full potential of travel.
If you’re an American or Canadian citizen, you have a wide array of credit cards that may allow you to collect flight reward points which can further be used to book flights: both economy and business.
Since I’m a Canadian, I’ve been using Aeroplan focused credit cards. Over the last 3 years I’ve taken 4 business class flights for less than $500 each. Talk about savings (literally thousands of dollars!).
If you’re interested in learning more, I wrote more about this topic in the following article: Cheapest Way to Get Business Class Flights for Canadians
Final Thoughts as a Digital Nomad
I’m so grateful to be able to have this lifestyle. I think back to the days of the corporate grind and how depressing that life was. It really does make a difference when you start living your life and it truly feels right and in line. I’m also grateful that I have an opportunity to generate income online and that I can live my life from a couple backpacks, a laptop and an internet connection.