Student takes the digital nomadic research route – Griffith News
Griffith University doctoral candidate Alejandra Ramirez Vidal will spend the next year traveling across Australia in a rigged van as part of her research into digital nomadism.
Alejandra is one of many who put aside the shackles of an office after the upheaval of the COVID pandemic, instead combining life on the road, work and school.
The former Queensland College of Art (QCA) student of Colombian descent was previously based in the Gold Coast, where she juggled sessional teaching at the QCA with a thriving graphic design company.
When she decided to pursue a Doctor of Visual Arts (DVA) degree at Griffith, she set out to study and work remotely, literally putting her research to the test.
“I combined all of my passions – tiny life, sustainability, travel and study.”
“My supervisors have supported me so much and we are in constant communication. I chose to do my transceiver at Griffith because it gave me incredible flexibility.
Since October 2020, Alejandra has been traveling the continent in a second-hand van, nicknamed ‘Mostaza’, armed with a smartphone, a professional camera and a drone.
Staying ahead of COVID lockdowns, an uneven internet, and learning to balance work and study has been a challenge, but Alejandra said she has the privilege of creating a new way of working, traveling and to study.
“It’s such a joy to wake up in the middle of nowhere, on the beach or in the mountains – even the best five-star hotel can’t compete with the view from my van,” she said.
“COVID has made people embrace the idea of working from home. This is my home now.
“To be able to live your research is incredible – I feel more inspired and I am convinced that this is the future.
“My doctorate will focus on the future of the creative industries and the independent economy.
“New technologies have created enormous potential for photographers, designers and filmmakers who wish to work all over the world.
“There is now a huge community of digital nomads around the world, and a lot of mutual help and support. “
Alejandra works on short-term design projects from the road, instead of commuting to the office.
So far she has traveled to the east coast of Australia and spent a month in Tasmania. The locations on its bucket list are Uluru and the West Coast.
“It’s a huge country and there is so much to explore – I hope I can inspire other people to take the leap and follow their dreams.”