Meet Dstny’s digital nomad – Damian Semler

The concept of being a digital nomad has gained significant traction over the last years and we have our very own digital nomad at Dstny; Damian Semler. Let’s get to know him better and learn more about his nomadic lifestyle.

But first of all, what does it mean to be a digital nomad, and why has it gained such popularity amongst both companies and employees?


What is a digital nomad?

A digital nomad is someone who uses telecommunications technologies to do their job remotely, that way they can live their life in a nomadic manner. They often work remotely and relies on cloud technology to perform many of their job duties from anywhere in the world, as long as it has a stable internet connection. A digital nomad is not tied to a specific location or office, allowing them the freedom to travel and explore while maintaining their professional responsibilities.


Why embrace a remote way of working?

So why should a company hire a digital nomad? Isn’t it better to employ people that lives close to the office, ready to show up bright and early each day?

Well.. actually that isn’t always the case. Countless of studies show that the new trend of hybrid or fully remote workforces have many benefits, both for the employees and for the companies they work for.

If you’re interested in reading up on some facts about it, you can visit one of our earlier blogs here.

In short, when companies accept a hybrid or remote workforce, they get access to a larger talent pool and can also save money on costly offices. Many managers still seem to think that people who are working remotely are more likely to slack off, but according to many studies and surveys, the result often is the opposite. Studies show that they get a more productive workforce that actually works more hours in total. So the benefits for company owners can be great.

Of course there are ample of benefits for the employees as well. Saving time on commuting, a better work-life balance and more flexibility are just three major perks.

And for our digital nomads, a remote approach will enable a world of opportunities.



Meet Damian, a Digital nomad working at Dstny

Damian Semler - A digital nomad

Name: Damian Semler
From: Netherlands
Age: 27
Role: Lead Product Designer at Dstny for Service Providers
Years at Dstny: 1, 5 years


Four quick questions

Snow or sand? - Sand
Figma or Adobe XD? - Figma
Coffee or tea? - Coffee
Chat or phone call? - Chat


“I’m not much of an office person”

Damian is joining our Teams meeting from Dubai, showing swaying palm trees in the background. He is a Lead Product Designer at Dstny for Service Providers, being an important part of improving the look and feel, as well as user friendliness of our Dstny products. He has been a Digital Nomad for about five years, the last one and a half of them working for Dstny.


Tell us about your travels

I haven’t been to as many countries as I would have like to, right now I’m in Dubai.

Last year, I went from Amsterdam to Bangkok and were there for a month. After that I went to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh-city. Then I went to South Korea, Seoul. From there I went to Tokyo. By that time, I’d been away for about 3 months, so I went back to the Netherlands for a couple of months. Then I went to Dubai. I’ve worked in the UK as well, London is my “home away from home”.

Now I’m back in Dubai again and planning on redoing a bit of the trip I did last year. I want to do more cities in Japan and also do a couple of months in Australia as well. I’m hoping to do one or two months in Melbourne and a month in Sydney.


What is the hardest part of being a digital nomad?

For me, the hardest thing about traveling alone fulltime is to maintain friendships or a relationship. I mean, I love having a constant change of scenery, but sometimes I miss having a set group of friends when I’m on the move. But traveling the world helps me to push myself to meet new people, although I do like alone time as well.

I thought it would be easier to connect with the locals, but people tend to keep to themselves, especially in Asian countries. But then you can always find people like me, the nomads, that are usually very open to meeting new people.

When it comes to the technical part, luckily the world is quite adjusted to accommodate digital nomads. When it comes to data and calling plans, you can easily get an E-sim in every new country. I use an app called AirAlo and when I arrive at a new country, I go on the airport Wi-Fi, get an E-sim installed on my phone, and right away I have data and a calling plan. It takes like 10 minutes. Hotels and cafés usually provide good Wi-Fi so I can work effectively on my computer.


Can you describe a typical day in your life as a digital nomad?

I like to work “normal” working hours in the country I’m at, but I usually try to work about two hours that is at the same time as my colleagues, so I can collaborate with my team.

Many digital nomads like to work during the evenings so they can explore during the day, but I like having a normal work schedule. Of course, it has happened that I needed to join a meeting during the evening or night, but that doesn’t happen very often. And my team has been really accommodating and understanding.

I don’t like working in my hotel room, I bring my laptop and usually go to a nice café or a beach bar.


What would you recommend for someone who plans to become a digital nomad?

I always look up good cafés to work at beforehand, knowing I’ll have somewhere nice to work at, with good Wi-Fi, good food and of course good coffee.

If you want to make a lot of new friends, that is usually easier in hostels, where you can find other people that are traveling alone.


How do you stay productive and focused?

For me it’s not too difficult, I perfer to work in more busy envoironment. I’m not much of an office person. I would probably be less effective if I had to work in the same office or at home all the time.

Of course, having a well-planned calander is important, so I have a clear view of what I need to do during the day.


What tools do you rely on to stay connected while on the go?

Having good cloud communications tools to stay connected to colleagues is really important. Also, I work with other tools like Teams, Miro and Figma Jam to collaborate with my team. And I rely on apps, like AirAlo for example, that I mentioned before, and a time zone app, Clocker, that I use to be able to keep track of other time zones.

I’m actually really bad at emails though, maybe something that is good to note if someone from my team reads this.


What’s your favourite spot?

It depends on what you’re looking for. Last year I went to Kho Samoi, which is very beautiful and chill, if you’re looking for a “beachy place”.

But I’m a city boy, I prefer some hustle and bustle. Tokyo is one of my favourite places, it’s big but not overwhelming. One street can be super busy and two streets away it can be very calm and feel more like a village. The food is amazing and it’s very clean.


What’s it like to be a digital nomad at Dstny?

It’s been super flexible to have Dstny as an employer while traveling like I do. And my colleagues have been excited and encouraging, often asking me where I am at the moment and asking about my travels. I would love to get more digital nomads as colleges, it would be really cool to meet up and collaborate with Destinians around the world.


Do you ever get homesick?

I do, sometimes. It’s been about five years, moving around quite alot. I tend to think that once I stop nomading, I can never go back to traveling, which of course is not the case. So I might move back to London next year.




Are your company ready to embrace a remote workforce and digital nomads? Make sure you have the right communication tools in place to give your company the advantage it needs to stay competitive in a global work environment.

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