I’m a digital nomad. These 8 gadgets make laptop life easier

The travel bug bit me early in life. I was 10 years old when my mother sent my brother and me to Mombasa, Kenya. She is Kenyan and wanted us to experience our culture and meet family, but she couldn’t travel with us because of work, so my brother and I traveled from Milwaukee as unaccompanied minors. I was just old enough to be amazed by the experience of airports, passenger planes, and landing in a country where English wasn’t the primary language.

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Fast forward to 2013 and I had my first big business trip as an adult. I am a consultant who owns a software company and a company in Sydney hired me to come to their office and train their team.

kimanzi-sydney-opera-house kimanzi-sydney-opera-house

The author in Sydney in 2013.

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Flying to Sydney was a surreal experience. The client paid for Premium Economy seats on Virgin Atlantic and my hotel overlooked Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. It was during this trip that I realised how much I loved working abroad. The The digital nomad lifestyle, where you work remotely from different parts of the country or world, appealed to me.

But I couldn’t be a digital nomad yet

Three young children were waiting for me in the United States, where I had a house, cars, and everything that goes with a “normal” life. I continued to travel for my business, but they were shorter trips, which was enough to satisfy the travel bug in the meantime. From 2013 to 2016, I traveled to 38 countries for corporate consulting training contracts, including Tokyo, South Korea, London, Dublin, and Cairo, and learned what to pack in case of unexpected setbacks.

Later, when my children were older and living with their mother, I got serious about becoming a digital nomad. As the possibility of a nomadic life became more and more real, moments of excitement were quickly overshadowed by the sinking feeling that I was letting my children and family down.

Therapy helped me understand that two things can be true: I can live a nomadic lifestyle, and I can still be there for my children. My children supported my digital nomad lifestyle. In 2016, I sold all of my material possessions, sold my house, and moved to Medellin, Colombia to embrace digital nomadism full-time.

Since then I have lived and worked in Mexico City, the UK, Paris, Madrid, Nairobi, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town, Rome, Lisbon, Nice and Barcelona.

Thanks to digital nomadism, the author has been able to visit almost 90 countries.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Digital Nomad

My favorite thing about being a digital nomad is how liberating the lifestyle is. I enjoy having fewer material possessions and being able to travel anywhere, anytime. It’s also easy to get the American products I love shipped to me through sites like Amazon when I want things to feel a little more like home. I enjoy experiencing new cultures, history, and food from other countries. Consulting and digital nomadism have allowed me to travel to 88 countries and live in over a dozen. I’ve been able to build my business and be a tourist; I work Monday through Friday and then explore each country I’m in on the weekends.

The hard part about being a digital nomad is that I am far away from my family. Technology like FaceTime, Zoom, and social media allow me to connect, but it is not the same as hugging my children and being with them in person. Luckily, my nomadic lifestyle allows me to travel to them whenever I want.

8 Unusual Gadgets I Always Pack

As a digital nomad, technology is essential to both work and life. I need to be able to do everything I would do if I had an office, but in an Airbnb, hotel, or apartment. Some of my stuff is obvious, like my laptop (M3 MacBook Pro), smartphone (iPhone 15 Pro Max) and tracking tags (Air labels).

kimanzi gear kit kimanzi gear kit

The author’s working material for nomadic travel.

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Below you will find some of my favorite nomad gear.

Twelve South

This Bluetooth wireless audio transmitter/receiver works with AirPods or wireless headphones. You plug the gadget into the entertainment center of a plane or train, so you can pair your wireless device. It creates a Bluetooth connection anywhere there is a regular headphone jack.

King’s Spoils/CNET

I travel mainly with credit cards, but also with some cash, which is always handy in other countries. A good RFID wallet gives me peace of mind. The Kings Loot wallet has RFID protection, but is also slim and comfortable, and there is also a slot on the front to slide in an AirTag.


I travel a lot on planes and a laptop is not always convenient to use, especially not on local airlines in Europe. I travel with an iPad Air because I use it to work on the plane, watch movies and series and make video calls. Apple’s Magic Keyboard case is an iPad case, but I also use it for keyboard functionality in tight spaces.

Audio Technica/CNET

Because I have a business, I do a lot of media interviews. Good sound is essential, so I travel with an Audio Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. It is portable and has multiple ports, so I can connect it to my laptop or iPad.


Early in my life as a digital nomad, I learned that I can’t rely on airports, hotels, or other places for power. I travel with an Anker MagGo Power Bank to keep my gadgets powered when outlets aren’t available. I like this power bank (compared to others I’ve tried) because it has a usage indicator and 15x fast charging.


Battery life Suitable for up to 20 hoursNoise reduction Yes (ANC)Multiple point YesHeadphone type Wireless over-ear headphonesWater repellent No IP rating

I am a fan of Bose headphones and bought a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 a few years ago. I use these headphones to watch entertainment on flights and in places where I stay. The Bose headphones are more comfortable than AirPods.

Read our review of the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700.


Call me old fashioned, but I also like to carry a set of wired headphones in case something happens to my regular AirPods or I can’t get my Bluetooth devices to work. If you buy these, make sure you have the necessary dongles for both your phone and computer.


I have all the international adapters, but sometimes there can be a shortage of outlets where I stay, so I always travel with an extension cord; it’s an underrated item in my opinion. With this Anker power strip, I can use one international adapter with the extension cord and then plug in all my other cords. Surge protection is also important because each country regulates electricity differently.

Make your travel technology work for you

Whether you’re embarking on a long-distance remote work trip or exploring digital nomadism, the right gear can make the journey easier and more enjoyable. Experiment with your setup on your next work trip to find what works best for you.

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