Life With Landing / Tales of a Digital Nomad

Why I Decided to Finally Embrace the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

By Jessica Goudreault | Jan 3, 2023
Landing member Jess and her pets travel to their new digital nomad destination in the car.

Some people dream of buying a house and settling down in one spot for their entire lives. They’ll travel once or twice a year and then be happy to return home at the end. 

But that’s not my dream. 

My dream is to see as much of this world as I can. I want to wake up in a new city, soak in everything it has to offer—friends, landmarks, food, and drinks—then move on to the next city to fill up my cup once again.

That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past years as I travel around the U.S. Here’s why I decided to finally embrace the digital nomad lifestyle and how I’ve been able to make it work: 

How I got here

I didn’t always love to travel. But once I started, I couldn’t stop.

After studying abroad in college, I landed a job that allowed me to travel often for work. I mostly went to Europe—I’ve been to 12 countries, to be exact—but I hadn’t seen very much of the U.S. I had spent a few days in California, Colorado, and several East Coast states, so I knew there was a lot more for me to explore.

I wanted to see more of America, and I wanted to live an ongoing adventure—to be able to live all over the country, without having to commit to one location for more than a few months at a time.

Finally, in 2021, everything fell into place. I was working as a freelancer, making my own hours and schedule. I had saved up enough money to have a safety net (just in case). I had recently left a long relationship, so I only had to worry about myself and my cat, Blink. 

That’s when I found Landing, an apartment company that would allow me and Blink to hop from city to city as we pleased.

I packed up everything I could fit in my car, and drove away from New Hampshire, the only state I had ever lived in. I didn’t have much of an agenda then, and I still don’t now. The way I see it is that every city or state has something unique to offer, you just have to find it. So, I’m taking my time driving all over the U.S., going wherever my gut leads me.

Where I’ve lived (so far)

Landing member Jess Goudreault lives as a digital nomad

In the past year, I’ve lived in five cities: Nashville, New Orleans, Austin, Denver, and Salt Lake City. There was something I loved in each of these cities, and I have plenty of reasons to visit them again in the future.

1. Nashville

Hands down, Nashville has the best live music of any city I’ve ever seen. No matter what time of day or what day of the week, there is always live music playing somewhere in this city. So, as a country music fan, I was in heaven here. 

2. New Orleans

I lived in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, which was one of the wildest experiences of my life. I learned all about the city’s fascinating (and haunted!) history while collecting beads and fun treats from the many Mardi Gras floats. And, since I lived there, I could go to as many parades and parties as I wanted and still have my own apartment to come back to.

3. Austin

Austin is a hot, busy city. And that’s not a bad thing! There was always something fun to do here, but my favorite thing was spending time out on the water. Whether I was at Lady Bird Lake or Lake Travis, I would cool down with good friends and good drinks. The Mexican food here is also unlike any I’d ever had, because it’s so close to the border. This is also where I adopted my dog, Bo, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

4. Denver

The most welcoming city I’ve lived in was Denver. I made so many wonderful friends from different walks of life, and we had so much fun drinking craft beer, hiking, going to concerts, and leaf-peeping. Denver’s close proximity to the mountains and smaller cities also meant I was constantly exploring. This was the hardest city for me to leave.

5. Salt Lake City

I just got to Salt Lake City, and the drive here from Denver was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. I was able to get a taste of Utah’s state and national parks, and I am so hungry for more. It’s a good thing this state is full of them!

In each of these cities, I’ve lived with Landing in a furnished, luxury apartment complex close to downtown. This has made it easy for me to enjoy the nightlife but also have a safe place to park my car. Each complex typically has a lounge area for tenants, making it easier for me to meet others and make friends, too.

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Why I’m living the digital nomad lifestyle

It feels kind of crazy to think that I’ve been living this lifestyle full-time for over a year, but I love it. I knew as soon as I started driving to Nashville that this is what I wanted. I felt the jolt of excitement and adventure, and I knew this lifestyle was for me. And I still feel that excitement every time I drive to a new city.

But don’t get me wrong—it can be hard to leave new friends and the comforts of a familiar space to jump into a whole new life in a new city. It’s like finally adjusting to cold ocean water. I’ve just got feeling back in my toes, and I’m comfortable diving under the water, and then a big wave comes and knocks me back to shore.

But for me, part of the joy of this lifestyle is exploring and getting to know a new city. I love going to a new place without knowing all the best things I should see and do. I wander downtown and talk with locals to find out where I can find the best happy hour deals, which breweries I need to visit, and which tourist destinations are overrated.

Some cities have been easier than others to adapt to and explore. But at this point, I’ve gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable. I used to be afraid to go out alone, whether it was to a bar or a concert. But now I see it as an opportunity to meet new people or just enjoy some time with myself.

As I meet new people along my journey, they’re always so fascinated by my travels. They often ask how I’m doing it, where my favorite cities have been, where I’m going next, and how they can do it too. I hope that I can inspire others to seek out adventures in their lives, whether it’s a six-month journey or a lifetime experience.

Landing makes everything easier

If it wasn’t for Landing, I wouldn’t be living this lifestyle. Instead, I’d have to make some sacrifices, such as committing to longer leases, having to furnish each apartment I live in from scratch, or even sneaking in my cat and dog. 

Landing allows me to live as a digital nomad on my own terms. They provide furnished, pet-friendly, luxury apartments that always make me feel at home. No matter where I want to go, I can find an apartment that’s right for me.

Jessica Goudreault

Jess is a freelance travel writer and digital marketing specialist who has been traveling the United States for over a year with her dog, cat, 10 house plants, and anything else she can fit in her Subaru. She specializes in writing about the best food, drinks, and outdoor activities she tries based on local recommendations. You can catch her hopping from city to city every three months, writing about her travels while sipping on a nice cold pint.