You’d see him walking out of work with a hupple dupple dance, giving around some high fives, and throwing a kid or two in the air. His wife, you’d hear her laughing from far, then see her appearing with chocolate-avocado ice cream to share with everyone. Then they’d go retreating again in front of the computer to continue their marketing work. They’re serbians, digital nomads, great cooks, and happy like little kids. Meet Vlada and Ana!
“We both worked in a debt collecting company in Serbia. All day long you’d hear stories about cancer, family dramas, people living in the worst conditions. 300 stories a day.. You have no choice but to switch off emotionally. Very heavy, but it was a job.” Vlada was the first to quit, and started trying out other paths. “I wanted to get away from the serbian market, where respect and good working situations yet have to get invented, and pay is very low. Serbia suffered a lot with violence, which made the entire middle class prefer to emigrate for simple jobs in western europe, so it’s basically the poor struggling with 300$ a month [similar to Ecuador] and a class of scumbags and criminals who get rich by taking advantage of the situation.”
“First I tried out website design, then I rolled into a sort of virtual assistant, freelancing as customer support for a casino in the US. It was a rough start, everything was new -including english. But I’m a quick self-learner, and during my next freelancing jobs I could invest also in some great online courses.” Vlada grew more and more competent in digital marketing, and the clients kept coming. “Different industries, long & short gigs, clients with a mental breakdown, clients who smoke weed with me -I’ve done it all”, he laughs. Vlada is a self-made person: confident and intelligent, he’d try and work hard till he gets it right. Some years later, he cleared the way for Ana as well and coached her in digital marketing. Now they work full time together as social media strategists -facebook ads and these things [www.vladana.com]. Vlado doesn’t take a leave before his mouth. “We got really good at it”, he states as it simply is :).
“Freed of our regular jobs and working location independent, we started trying out traveling. Sweden, Macedonia, Italy.. Finally we dropped our stuff with grandma and headed for South America :). We go with the flow, maybe we find a place to settle a while.. no idea how long we’ll be travelling. But while nomading, we save. That’s something we never managed to do living home in Serbia. Money flow is so different while nomading.”
“When we saved enough and our hearts are crying too much for home, we’ll return to Serbia. To our small village, crafting some beer, making some kids, building our own sustainable place -independent of the corrupt serbian government.”
Vlada and Ana are working 40+ hours here at Punta La Barca, getting up at 5am to start work. But they still find the time to enjoy. No day passes without an enthusiastic saludo and a hit on the back from Vlada, and a story told in eternal laughter from Ana. They are gente alegre, happy people, the locals say. And their enthusiasm spreads. Leaving Punta La Barca after nearly two months, Loco [adopted child at Punta La Barca] stays behind triste. “But porque do you leave?”, he keeps asking.. confused. The answer is short and assuring. “We’ll be back :)”.