From Office Life to Wanderlust - A Digital Nomad Story

Have you ever dreamed of a life filled with breathtaking photography, stunning fashion, and exploring the most beautiful locations? Recently, we had the opportunity to catch up with Amber Leeman, a digital nomad and content creator whose love for photography, fashion, and breathtaking destinations knows no bounds. In this blog, join us as we dive into her inspiring journey and discover the incredible stories she's captured along the way.

What inspired you to start this journey?

A few years ago, I had to go abroad for an internship as it was a mandatory requirement at our university (I studied Landscape Design). I chose Australia, which was on the other side of the world. I worked at a Landscape Architecture company for approximately three months. Once my internship ended, I decided to rent a campervan and travel along the east coast, covering a total distance of over 5000km.

During my time in Australia, I gained so many valuable experiences. I learned a new way of working, which was much more relaxed compared to what I was used to in the Netherlands. I also gained new perspectives on what truly matters in life and discovered the joy of constantly exploring new places. Additionally, I developed a passion for photography and thoroughly enjoyed capturing unique locations and moments. It became evident to me that working in an office environment was not fulfilling. I always found it challenging to work on projects in a dull office setting. This six-month trip provided me with the insight I needed to find a solution that allowed me to both work and enjoy my work. Consequently, I realized that I needed to formulate a plan to create a life where I could pursue my goal of becoming a full-time content creator.

Just before my graduation, the Covid pandemic began. Employment opportunities became scarce, but it presented a perfect opportunity for me to focus on acquiring new skills. I created an action plan outlining the skills I wanted to learn to be able to work remotely 100% of the time within a few years. I worked at two different companies in design, social media marketing, and photography. This experience provided a solid foundation for the direction I wanted to take in my career.

Then, I met my boyfriend Yannick, who shared his desire to live in Bali for a while. It was a dream I also had, but it wasn't feasible with my current job. So, I went to Canggu for a vacation and did some work during my stay. As soon as I arrived, I felt the same sense of happiness I had experienced in Australia. After a few weeks, I made the difficult but good decision to focus on working remotely full-time and sold all my belongings back home.

What is the most fun project you worked on?

It's honestly difficult to choose because the work I've done so far has been quite diverse. I've been involved in various projects, ranging from social media marketing to branding work and content creation in different forms. However, if I had to pick, my favorite would be creating content for lifestyle brands and hospitality businesses. I have a deep passion for fashion and beautiful locations, so producing content for these types of brands is something I genuinely enjoy. During my time in Bali, I had the incredible opportunity to stay at stunning locations like Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida, where I created a lot of professional content for brands and properties. Additionally, since being in Bali, I've also been approached for modeling assignments, such as the one for Lakor. I love doing this kind of work, given my love for fashion and, of course, photography. And it's interesting to learn new things and experience being on the other side of the camera.

What is your biggest challenge in your journey?

My current biggest challenge revolves around establishing a sustainable workflow. I used to engage in a wide range of tasks, all related to social media marketing, design, and content creation. However, by doing all kinds of work, I found that I wasn't accomplishing much. With a better focus on one thing, I could accomplish way more (which is also better because it creates more free time). Therefore, I needed to narrow down my focus and develop a solid system that would allow me to generate a reliable income.

Being creative, I'm constantly flooded with numerous ideas. Especially here in Bali, I draw inspiration from the people I meet and the things I do and see. The crucial aspect for me is making choices, as it's impossible to become an expert in everything. Reflecting on my initial motivations, I realized that my passion lies in combining travel and content creation. Hence, creating content for hotels, Airbnbs, and lifestyle brands is a perfect fit for me. So my challenge now is to concentrate on that particular area and temporarily put the other ideas on hold.

How do you balance work and personal life?

Since I work for myself, I have the freedom to choose when I work. Some people think that I'm always relaxing because of the beautiful places I show on Instagram, haha. I can understand why they think that way, but the reality is that I actually work much more than I did in my previous full-time jobs. As it is my own brand and I have my own goals, it can be difficult to detach from work. I'm constantly brainstorming new ideas, and even when I'm on a trip, I spend a significant amount of time creating content, which involves a lot of planning and coordination. The time difference with my home country, the Netherlands, also adds to the chaos of my schedule. I often find myself working in the evenings, especially when I have meetings. However, I don't mind it because it gives me the freedom to visit the beach in the morning, for instance. Overall, my personal life and work are intertwined. There are no distinct start and end times, but this way of working suits me well. Working in a creative field, I have always found it challenging to perform within set time frames.

To provide an example, a typical day for me looks like this:

  • I wake up around 6:30-7:00 am.
  • I make some tea and spend 30 minutes reading.
  • I begin my work, usually at a nice cafe with a friend or with my boyfriend Yannick.
  • We work until around 5:00 pm, taking breaks for lunch and having conversations over a cup of matcha latte. We also try to play a question card game or something, as we often forget to take breaks.
  • We go out to watch the sunset, or I do some grocery shopping
  • I return home, have dinner, and continue working for a few more hours, primarily on tasks such as photo editing or other less mentally demanding activities.
  • I conclude my day with a walk or by watching a series, and then it's time to sleep!

What is your favourite Lakor piece? And why?

I absolutely adore the Riviera set. I find myself wearing it all the time! It's perfect for both dinner outings and beach trips when paired with a bikini. The striped pattern exudes a sense of elegance while maintaining a casual vibe. I'm especially excited to wear it in Europe, particularly in Italy of course. Whenever I wear this outfit, I receive numerous compliments, and the fabric is incredibly soft.


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