How to become a Digital Nomad with @sheisthelostgirl
If you’re anything like us, you spent most of the pandemic wishing you were out exploring the world instead of cooped up at home on endless Zoom calls. As soon as we were told not to travel, it was all we could think about – and nothing seemed more appealing than hopping in a van with a loved one and driving off into the sunset. Limitless freedom.
Beth Johnstone (aka @sheisthelostgirl) did just that. She’d already been wandering the world for nearly five years, but when air travel stopped, she refused to. In March 2020, she bought a cheap work van with her boyfriend Jake Davies, and together they converted it into a cosy home on wheels. “We aren’t ready to settle down just yet, we might never be. So being able to move our little home anywhere we like seemed like the next obvious step,” she says. “It took four months. We could have done it quicker but we were working online as well, and 60% of the time was just on research.”
So off they went in July 2020, and they’ve been voyaging, living and working in their mobile home ever since. The pair shares their travels and tips on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, covering everything from how to find free camp spots and the best ways to make money when travelling, to the things we all really want to know – like what it’s like to use a portapotty in an enclosed space with your boyfriend (big yikes)
Beth’s most-asked question, though, is how she can afford to travel non-stop. “A lot of people assume that I’ve had help but I really haven’t. I left school when I was 16 and I started working full time. After doing this for three years, I could afford a one-way ticket to New Zealand. I started working pretty much as soon as I got there and I’ve worked in every single country I’ve ever been to now,” explains the Dorset-born adventurer in a TikTok video. Jobs have included labouring on farms, being a bartender, and – currently – teaching English online and creating content. “This lifestyle is incredibly cheap and it’s meant that I don’t have to work that much, I can just use my time to explore, so I love it.”
And she’s explored a lot. Her social media is a patchwork of sunrise hikes in Vietnam, waterfalls in New Zealand (where she met Jake), and scooter rides in Thailand. Then there’s the lush landscapes of Scotland, glacial lakes in France and Roman ruins in southern Spain too.
“People always ask me, would you ever want a normal life? I’ve been travelling full-time for over six years… Even though my future is unstable and unorganised, I wouldn’t want it any other way,” says Beth.
Well, we don’t need any more convincing. *Immediately Googles ‘cheap vans for sale’*.
She gave all the details about her journey ...
How did you save up to start your travelling?
Basically, I left school at 15 years old and I started working full time, I am now 26 I have been working for 10 years and I have worked in every single country I’ve been too.
How do you financially support your nomadic lifestyle?
I was working around the world on farms bars and restaurant, whatever I could find. For the last few years, I have been working online which has been really really good.
What’s the best way to find a job in different countries?
So, this may sound really old fashioned but the best way to find jobs in different countries is just to walk around hand your resume out and just show your personality and just ask people and if you are kind to people, people will be kind back.
Do you always travel to new places, or do you revisit old faves?
I try to always visit a new place but sometimes you kind of need a bit of stability you know that there is somewhere you want to hang out and you feel kind of safe there and that’s why it’s nice to revisit old favourites but I love being in new places.
How do you find living and working with your BF in such a small space?
Living and working in a small place with my Boyfriend isn’t that bad because we are so used to it. We lived in a tiny car for ages in Australia and New Zealand, so this is like a palace to us!
What #VanLife hack do you wish you’d known from the start?
One Van Life hack that I wish I knew from the start was to have those little dehumidifiers, I make my own and put the humidifier beads in also having something on the windscreens that reflects the light, so it doesn’t get to hot and insulates all the windows, it’s very important.