Living As A Black Digital Nomad: Psychic Medium Zya
By DeAnna Taylor
Zya aka Psychic Medium Zya hails from Harlem, New York. She’s a professional writer and full-time psychic medium who has mastered the task of being able to work from anywhere in the world. She’s currently in Southeast Asia, where she’ll set up for the summer.
We spoke with Zya about living the digital nomad life, and she offers tips to those looking to make the leap as well.
Travel Noire: What does being a digital nomad mean to you?
Zya: Being a Digital Nomad, to me, means having the means – technology, time, income – to live life by your own design. I think it’s fantastic that the Internet has allowed so many people to have a level playing field when it comes to both desired lifestyle and entrepreneurship like never before. We are living in an amazing golden age, that I think everyone should take advantage of.
TN: How long did it take you to figure out how to truly become a DN?
Zya: I left America back in January 2014 with a remote writing gig in hand. I have been self-employed since 2003 and working remotely for years while also hopping in and out of the field of corporate marketing, fashion blogging, and entertainment journalism while living in my hometown of New York City. So, the digital thing was “figured out” when I decided to take the leap and not just travel but move to Asia in the Fall of 2014. I was inspired to leave with my laptop in hand after reading the book “The 4 Hour Workweek.”
Transitioning to becoming a full-time psychic was the jump that was a bit hairier. Prior to leaving America in 2013, I had gone through a vivid spiritual awakening and was forced to get training for my psychic gifts so that I would be able to control them. However, I wasn’t interested in doing this work full time. My remote writing gig came to a close in August of 2015; at that point my small side hustle of doing readings became my full-time situation. As I was living in Bangkok, Thailand at the time – and only paying $300 a month in rent – I was able to build my business slowly while living in a cheap beautiful destination.
TN: What are the downfalls of being a DN?
Zya: I’m on my second passport in less than a decade and while I love traveling, I feel like (sometimes) I don’t have the same excitement that I used to have. I try to stay present and just ride whatever emotions come my way. Another struggle is the cost in time, money, and energy in constantly resetting up. In every country that I decide to park for a while, I have to find an apartment, a safe neighborhood, get my local SIM card, find my local cafe, grocery store, etc., and that’s through working through a language barrier. Then there’s the need to find new friends.
I think my biggest struggle with the DN lifestyle is getting lonely on the road. If I had a partner, I think this would be alleviated. Of course, I’d have to deal with said partner 24/7 but that’s the breaks. To combat some of the above, I tend to base myself in a low-cost beautiful space like Bali, Thailand or Vietnam. Or sometimes a high-cost place like London or NYC, and I’ll travel from there. That helps me build community while still traveling extensively and gives me time to work in a secure, clean environment when needed.
TN: What are the highlights?
Zya: Discovering new neighborhoods, meeting new people, and embracing new destinations are all very fun. I love that I can work with clients around the world via technology and my natural abilities, in any locale of my choice. Well, with good Internet!
TN: What tips can you offer to those wanting to become DNs?
Zya: Start working online ASAP. The DN scene has grown beautifully. When I started, there weren’t many resources like Facebook groups, blogs, sites, and e-books available to tell you how to do this. There are tons now. Start with Nomadlist.com to figure out where you want to go. Connect with other Black Digital Nomads through @blackdigitalnomads. Secure freelance remote work through Fiverr.com or UpWork.com. Read The 4 Hour Work Week and then read it again. If you really love this lifestyle and want to make a go of it and learn how to really build wealth along the way, then check out Nomadcapitalist.com or learn how to start your own company through Safely Leave The Rat Race: https://www.safelyleavetheratrace.me.
Going home, wherever that is, and then leaving again doesn’t discount your DN credits. Sometimes we have to restart to make a better comeback. I would also suggest getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Often times, I’m the only Black woman in a space or place for miles and miles. It’s ok. Connect with humans you like and keep it pushing.
TN: Where can we find you online?
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.