10 Digital Nomad Girls share … their female role models

10 Digital Nomad Girls share … their female role models

A few days ago one of the girls in the Digital Nomad Girls Facebook Group, Linn, asked for inspirational input on female role-models and feminist heroines.

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Her shout out sparked a really interesting conversation and within half an hour she had received over a dozen responses. By the time I woke up the next morning, more than 50 girls had shared and discussed their role-models. So I thought it would be a shame to lose all this information and inspiration in the depths of our busy Facebook Group and decided to turn the info into a blog post that we can all read and learn from. Because going through 58 comments and counting is quite a lot of work I decided to pick 10 answers by 10 Digital Nomad Girls.

Here we go, 10 Digital Nomad Girls share their female role-models:

 

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Rachel Brathen/Yoga Girl

by Kris Oak – Health Coach

Rachel Brathen is the person that made me realise how important self-love & self-care are. Her book Yoga Girl was the 1st book I ever read in my life that reall touched me on a personal level. She made me see for the 1st time, that it’s ok to sometimes have shit days and cry, that you don’t always have to be strong and that no matter what past you had, you deserve to have a great future.

 

Lean In Book Cover

Sheryl Sandberg

by Katharina Kunze – University Admissions Consultant

My favourite role model is Sheryl Sandberg. She speaks to me in so many ways: 1) She is a (now single) mother with a high-powered job 2) She comes off as feminine and vulnerable, and not an “ass-hole”. She is someone I can identify with 3) The issues she raised in her book ‘Lean In’ really spoke to my heart and seemed well-reflected and balanced. She wrote a book that men also read, which I think is not so common among feminism books 4) She kick-started a conversation, at least for me, that had not been there in that form before 5) She manages to do all these things without, seemingly, alienating anyone. I am deeply impressed by her personally and that she comes across as so kind, personable and genuine as well. I also deeply respect Anne-Marie Slaughter and her husband, Andrew Moravcsik. Both have modelled a relationship where he is or was for a long time the “primary parent” taking care of their sons. They also spoke and wrote openly about the challenges they faced individually with that set up and as a family in The Atlantic. These were again incredibly enlightening and genuine-appearing articles.

 

J.K. Rowling

by Marta Ferreira – Graphic Designer

As nerd as this may sound, I have to say J.K. Rowling. Besides her amazing imaginative and creative mind, I absolutely admire the way she has fought for her work. She went through poverty and depression but transformed that into fuel for her writing and will to carry on. And after reaching gargantuan success, she kept her principles and generosity. Sher never forgot her past, never turned back from those who helped her, and keeps giving back. Awesome, even for a muggle.

 

Frida Kahlo

by Marina – Travel Blogger at My Dear Lola

Although experiencing lifelong health problems, what marred her for life was the traffic accident she suffered when she was 18 which made her be skewered by a metal handrail. Her injuries recovery isolated her from other people, and this influenced her works where symbolic portrayals of pain, physical and psychological wounds, skeletons and other grim images can be observed. Kahlo never gave up and kept painting form bed claiming; “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best”. She used to draw on personal experiences; her marriage, her miscarriages, and her numerous operations. She insisted, “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality” and being influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, which is apparent in her use of bright colours and dramatic symbolism. Frida lived her life to the fullest, despite immense pain, handicaps, and suffering. She had a gift for communicating her emotions to the world through painting.

 

Gabby Bernstein The Universe Has Your Back Book Cover

Gabby Bernstein

by Sian Peters – Strengths Coach and Blogger

This woman has changed my life. Really. No BS. No hyperbole. She has changed my life. I met Gabby when I was at a particularly low point. I don’t remember exactly how she came to me [I was a little fuzzy at the time] but my gosh am I glad she did. She has overcome some serious obstacles of her own to develop into an international morale booster and spiritual teacher. In her new book ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ she shares techniques to keep you sane, to keep you from straying off the path of happiness and into oncoming traffic. And it works. It all works. I’ve been recommending her book to my friends and they’re telling me that they’ve found peace and wisdom in her words. She is what I aspire to. In order to change the world you must start with yourself, overcome your own challenges and obstacles, and then inspire others to do the same. I’m firmly on that road, and while I have a long way to go, Gabby is helping me get there. The universe has my back!

Ada Lovelace

by Nina Tomala – Writer and blogger

My unlikely heroine is 19th century lady-turned-mathematician Countess Ada Lovelace, daughter of Romantic author Lord Byron: She’s famous for being the first computer programmer in the world – a hundred years before modern pioneers of informatics, in a field nowadays dominated by men. She worked extensively on the Analytical Engine, the first Turing-complete mechanical computer proposed in 1837 by Charles Babbage. Her notes include the first algorithm tailored for implementation on a computer. Even though the Analytical Engine existed only on paper due to lack of funds to construct it, Countess Ada realized its potential to solve problems of any complexity beyond merely crunching numbers. She also anticipated the later distinction between hardware and software. A Lady, a visionary, and a geek!

Felicia Day

by Susannah Bruck – Freelance Writer

Felicia Day has become one of my biggest creative inspirations in the last few years. The mastermind behind the web series The Guild, she’s risen from obscurity to become a nerd icon for strong women everywhere. She’s honest, vulnerable, and relatable in her autobiography, showing that if you just go out and DO something, create something, you can make your dreams come true. She was also a home-schooler like me! We’re not just weirdos after all!

Miki Agrawal Book Cover

Miki Agrawal

by Jenny – Digital Nomad Girls

My latest role model is Miki Agrawal, serial social entrepreneur and founder of Thinx, the first period proof underwear. Through the Thinx pants she has started an open and honest discussion about the ‘taboo’ topic of menstruation. In the developing world, having your period can have serious consequences for women and girls. Often they are shunned by their families and community, girls aren’t allowed to attend school during their periods and only few women have access to safe and hygienic products. Miki Agrawal is a fierce feminist and recently wrote her first book ‘Do Cool S**t’ in which she teaches you to follow your passions and start your own meaningful company.

Alicia Silverstone

by Marta – Blogger at VeganBTravels

Beautiful inside and out, she’s been proving you can be your natural self and conquer the world. To me, she represents the ultimate icon of success: an accomplished, respected star who has kept her uniqueness all the way despite tough showbiz reality. Plus she uses her fame to advocate cruelty-free lifestyle – an earthly angel.

Brene Brown

by Janneke Dijkhuis – Adventurer

As a researcher and storyteller Brene Brown took on the topics vulnerability, shame and courage. How they affect us and how we can deal with these emotions and feelings. These topics are for many very sensitive subjects that we do not like to discuss publicly, but Brene does it anyway. And the woman is doing it in a way that you think she is talking about you. About the parts of you that you don’t want to expose because you think no one else has these struggles that trigger shame and make you feel vulnerable. In Brene’s talks and books, you’ll find self-mocking, jokes and funny anecdotes which make it clear that the struggle is not only real for you which made me feel empowered.

 

There you have it, 10 female role-models to inspire you and learn from. Who is your female role model? Please share in the comments!

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A Typical Day on Coboat

A Typical Day on Coboat

I’m sure most of you know those nights; it’s a balmy summer evening, you and your best friends have decided to party through the night, and after around 12 rum and cokes you come up with an incredible business idea. One that you absolutely must pursue, it’ll be incredible and change your lives. Like a selfie stick that’s also a walking stick… No?

Well, at least that’s how I imagine Karsten, co-founder and captain of Coboat, the first coworking catamaran, came up with his idea. It may sound crazy, but I am writing this while sitting on deck of Coboat, on a balmy summer night in the Agean Sea in Greece. How did I get here? Let me explain.

 

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What is Coboat?

 

Put simply, Coboat is a coworking space on a sailboat. But this description doesn’t do it justice, as the project incorporates so much more. Being a sailing ship, Coboat is in a unique position because it can travel around the world, connecting people and organisations from around the globe. Their ultimate mission is to bring people together, draw attention to the difficulties our oceans are facing and help to find solutions.

Digital Nomad Girls on Coboat

 

Coboat officially launched in June 2016 in the Mediterranean Sea where they’ll be sailing until November. The team invited a handful of influencers to spend some time on board to see for ourselves what it’s like to sail and cowork on the open seas. I was lucky enough to be picked, and within a week had packed up my bags in rainy England and travelled to Paros, Greece.

So, what is sailing on Coboat like? Can you really work there? And will you get seasick? To answer all these questions and more, I documented a typical day on Coboat:

 

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A bit blurry sadly, but I’m driving a boat!!

A Day in the Life of a Coboating Nomad Girl

 

8 am: “Early” wake up. Awake in a beautiful bay in the Agean Sea, somewhere between Paros, Siros and Athens. The sun is shining, there are no clouds to be found and you can start your day by jumping into the deep blue water.

After a morning swim we sometimes do yoga, it helps that we have our very own yoga instructor on board, guest Lilou from France.

9 am: Brekky time. Our ship chef Jacob has already prepared a fresh breakfast for us. Sometimes it’s fresh fruit with muesli and delicious Greek yoghurt, sometimes avocado, bread and eggs. It’s always lovely and you’ll be super hungry from your morning swim already.

10-12 am: Work hard. We’re not just here for fun, but also to get some serious work done. Chill out on deck or in the cabin while you get client work and other business done. The speed and reliability of the wifi really surprised me, I could connect every time I tried. Here’s a speed test I took one evening.

 

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Before lunch: Time for a workshop, an idea incubator or another dip in the sea (or all!). Every Coboater gets the opportunity to present a project, goal or challenge they are working on and will get feedback from the other nomads on board. The projects we discussed ranged from turning a handmade flower-crown business into a social enterprise, to ocean protection programs for local islands in Greece and, of course, Digital Nomad Girls. A special shout out to Becky, the incredible Coboat community manager, who not only organised and structured our days, but also ran and supported all our idea incubators and did a tremendous job of connecting people.

Around 1:30/2:00 Time for lunch (see breakfast), yum.

 

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Lunchtime on the high seas

 

Afternoon: It always depends on the wind and weather conditions, but in general we tended to set sail in the afternoons to make our way to another bay or island. This is the part that I was a bit worried about as I tend to get seasick. Our first day was quite choppy and I did end up being seasick, but it passed quickly and after swim I was as good as new. You’re not very likely to get much work done while sailing (unless it’s a very smooth sea, which we also experienced), so take care of your work in the mornings and evening. Sailing time is also prime tanning time, don’t forget sunscreen!

 

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Relaxing and tanning time 🙂

 

Evening: Upon arrival at the next island we drop anchor, and have a good splash around in the sea, read a book and just relax.

Before dinner, we usually fit in another idea incubator or workshop on deck while watching the sunset over the islands.

Dinner time: Most days we had dinner on board, but we also went ashore a few times to have a nice Greek meal and some drinks. It’s great to be able to explore the islands and cute towns a little bit. I wish I’d had more time/money for shopping.

 

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Fun time: we either had a few drinks, just chatted or went out to a restaurant, but we also developed a nasty TV habit on board. Below Deck is a great new trashy reality TV show about a crew working on a superyacht. The first episode took place in the same spot we were moored, so naturally we became obsessed.

Time for bed: I often finished a few bits and bobs of work before bed (like writing this post). The cabins are super comfy and after such a long day of fun, coworking, networking and masterminding, I slept like a baby.

Next day, rinse (in the sea) and repeat.

Doesn’t sound too horrible, eh?

Overall, my experience on Coboat was brilliant, but I also want to include some challenges we faced during our time on board, to give you the full picture.

 

Rule No. 1 on Coboat: The plan can change.

And it will. You have to be really flexible and a bit adventurous, too. If you’re planning on doing a full 50 hour work week, you’re in the wrong place. I am lucky enough that I could prepare a lot of my social media client work ahead of time, and that cleared my schedule a bit during my time on board.

If you’re working on a business idea, new project or goal, however, then Coboat is perfect for you. I literally felt #ideaslapped after my incubator session and know the others did too.

 

Rule No. 2 on Coboat:  It depends on the wind

That’s a sentence you will become familiar with, after all, you’re out in nature and need to plan your trip around the wind and waves. Our captain always tried to keep sailing times and rockiness to a minimum (I like to think he did that so I wouldn’t have to hang over the railing at the back of the ship too much) and planned the route accordingly. Every morning Becky updated us and we arranged our plans to fit in with the sailing schedule.

Tips for Nomad Girls onboard Coboat:

A stay on Coboat is adventurous and can be unpredictable, but doesn’t come without its ‘luxuries’. All cabins have their own bathrooms including hot showers and toilet. If you happen to have your period while on board there are certain rules that have to be followed. Actually, there’s only one rule: do NOT throw anything down the toilet! And that includes tampons and any other sanitary products. Not only is this terrible for the ocean, but it also blocks the ship’s toilets, and then the poor crew will have to deal with the mess. If you want to avoid the wrath of the crew as well as a lot of toilet talk, then stick to this rule.

I would totally recommend using a menstrual cup like Moon Cup, which is environmentally friendly, easy to use and pack, and healthier too.

If you’re ready for the coworking adventure of a lifetime and are willing to be flexible, then you’ll have a brilliant time on board the world’s first floating coworking space!

I had such an amazing time that we ended up planning a Digital Nomad Girls Coboat takeover!

If you want to join us for a week of adventure, sailing from Spain to Morocco in October, find out more here!

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Digital Nomad Girls join Coboat

Digital Nomad Girls join Coboat

Digital Nomad Girls go Sailing!

A lot has been happening behind the scenes at Digital Nomad Girls recently and we’re very excited to announce many new projects over the next few weeks and months, including our very first Digital Nomad Girls Retreat.

The community is steadily growing and to celebrate our 3000th member in the Digital Nomad Girls Facebook group we have teamed up with Coboat on their inaugural trip! Digital Nomad Girls get €100 off your week’s sailing trip with Coboat!

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’ve probably heard of the world’s first coworking catamaran, Coboat. While their own boat is being refitted in Thailand, they went into Pirate Beta mode.

Pirate, you say? Yep, they simply chartered a beautiful 50 feet catamaran (a Lagoon 500 called Maranthounta) and turned it into another co-working boat, as you do!

The catamaran is equipped with fast WiFi and will be sailing around the Mediterranean Sea from June to November. Can you imagine a more idyllic place to wake up every day than the turquoise coves and picturesque ports of Greece, Spain or Portugal? No, we didn’t think so.

And to celebrate with us, the lovely sailing nomads have created an exclusive offer for all Digital Nomad Girl members. When booking a full price week on Coboat, (from calendar week 27 onward) you can use our exclusive code to get €100 off. Simply join our Facebook group or sign up here to receive the code:

You will need to fill in the application form on their website and once you’ve been approved as a worthy co-pirate, you will be able to add your discount code.

greece coboat zakynthos island sailing with digital nomad girls

So where will they sail? In June and July Coboat will be exploring the turquoise seas of Greece, from Lemnos to Paros and beyond. After that, the sky (uh, sea) is the limit, but rumour has it the trip will lead to Italy, Croatia and Spain.

The days at sea will be spent co-working on your projects, networking, snorkelling, swimming, practicing yoga, scuba diving, kayaking, playing board games and more, you definitely won’t get bored. And you’ll be sharing this incredible experience with other digital nomads from around the world.

Worried you’ll get seasick or anything else you’d like to find out? Then check out their detailed FAQs here.

Now, what are you waiting for? Grab your discount code and sunscreen and sail away!

Please share in the comments if you’d love to become a digital pirate!

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Please note that the code is only valid from calendar week 27 onwards until the end of 2016 (might be extended).

Terms and conditions apply and can be found on Coboat’s website.

Digital Nomad Girls cannot assume any liability, please refer to Coboat’s Terms and Conditions and Liability Waiver.

Digital Nomad Girls Meetups: Saigon Social Edition

Digital Nomad Girls Meetups: Saigon Social Edition

What happens when you put twelve talented women together in a beautifully designed space with delicious food and common interests? Under the directive of The Digital Nomad Girls Community, I set out to find the answer to that question.  Thus, the first ever “Saigon Social” was born.

With only two days to organize the event, I quickly splashed an announcement on every related facebook group inviting female digital nomads living in the Ho Chi Minh City area to a local meetup. For fear of becoming too rowdy, I capped the attendees at 14 people max. I didn’t expect even half the number to show since it was so last minute, but within a few hours I already had eight girls confirm their appearance. It seemed that the women of Saigon were more than willing to get together!

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The venue of choice was none other than the L’Usine Cafeteria on Le Loi Street. L’Usine is a popular lifestyle brand in Saigon that touts itself as “the go-to café and restaurant for both hip locals and savvy global travellers.” With its whitewashed brick walls and rustic style interior design, I could not think of a more fitting environment to set the tone for a casual and fun get-together. They also have a great selection of Western breakfast items, like plates of pancakes with real maple syrup and inventive takes on potato hash and parfaits.

With the support of fellow Digital Nomad Girls Facebook Group member, Karina, we got to work setting up the space. Every girl was given an illustrated postcard of Saigon that acted as her name card and also became a keepsake of the event. Since it was also International Women’s Day this past Tuesday, I gave every girl a Korean face mask to take home and pamper themselves with. Almost all the girls turned up right on time at 11am and immediately began to talk among themselves. Everyone seemed to be chatting away like they had been friends for ages.

Digital Nomad Girls Meetup Saigon Social

While people were conversing and eating, I asked them to write down a brief message about themselves and to offer some advice to digital nomads around the world. Below, you’ll see a compilation of some of these messages. They will definitely put a smile on your face! We also did round-table style introductions and found out we had ladies from all walks of life among us – EFL teachers, storytellers, human trafficking fighters, wellness gurus, moms, and even wives-to-be!  There were also two Saigonese women present, which made me all the more excited about creating dialogue between expats, locals, and nomads alike. There were 8 countries represented in total at our table out of a group of 12. The diversity present was inspiring!

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In the end, we unanimously decided to continue scheduling meetups in the future with more structure, such as inviting guest speakers to the events and having our events be hosted in different spaces. We will also open up the gathering to any female with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to live by her own rules, hopefully gaining new attendees in the meetups to come. I have taken charge of organizing and am aiming to launch the next Saigon Social in May. Please keep a lookout for the next announcement on Digital Nomad Girls or on my blog!

Do you want to organise a social in your city too? Please leave a comment below or get in touch on our Meetup page!

Thank you Izzy for this great write up of the first Digital Nomad Girls meetup in Saigon! We love the photos and the post card idea!

You can read more about Izzy on her blog The Next Somewhere or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day

Although for most of us here at Digital Nomad Girls it’s Women’s Day every day (woop!), on March 8th every year, the world comes together to celebrate women and to raise awareness of women’s rights issues that are still prevalent in every single country.

Did you know that INW is over 150 years old and started in New York City as a protest by garment workers? The women took to the streets to demonstrate against inhumane treatment and unfair wages. While the protest was broken up by the police (booo!) the movement went on to become the first women’s labour union in the States. Pretty impressive.

150 years later sadly there is still need to raise awareness about a multitude of issues; from women rights, to education, equal pay, human trafficking, maternity leave and so on. However, let’s not forget that INW is also about celebrating women world wide. The mothers and sister, daughters and wives, girlfriends, aunts, nieces, bosses and colleagues.

That’s why we’ve put together 5 fun ways for Digital Nomad Girls to celebrate International Women’s Day, no matter if you’re at home or on the road.

 

1. Take the Day Off and Treat Yoself!

 

A bunch of girl friends enjoying brunch together

What better way to celebrate than taking a (half-)day off and getting together with your girlfriends. If you live in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia, you won’t even have to take a vacation day as IWD is a national holiday.

Meet up for brunch, ideally at a local place run by women (did you know less than 10% of top chefs in the US are women?) or a social enterprise that supports women in local communities, these can be found all over the world, like the Daughter of Cambodia project in Phnom Penh.

 

2. Support a women’s charity

There are many ways you can support either a local or global charity that empowers and helps women. If you have time you can volunteer at a local women’s shelter, although often they prefer to receive donations instead. Hold a fundraiser with a few friends and raise some money for the cause. You could also donate to one of the awesome organisations that supports women and girls in tech. Did you know that only around 20% (depending on country) of coders are women? There are many kickass projects to support, like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code or Girls in Tech.

 

3. Hold a Film Night

Invite your friends over, cook up some popcorn and watch a movie marathon of your favourite kickass women films. As much as we love Hollywood movies, you might want to steer clear of your regular chick flicks and instead watch a documentary about feminist issues. A great choice is “Miss Representation”, a documentary that exposes the role that mainstream media has in the portrayal of women and how this supports the underrepresentation of women in positions of power.

Watch the trailer here:

Or if you want something more light-hearted, Fried Green Tomatoes is one of our all time favourite films about the power of female friendships.

 

4. Start a feminist book club

 

A girl reading a book, deep in concentration

Whether alone or with your friends, why not start a book club of feminist literature and books written by women. If you need a bit of inspiration check out Good Reads Feminista’s 100 Great 20th Century English-language Works of Fiction by Women. Pick one to start and set a date a few weeks from now to meet up with your friends and chat about it.

 

5. Raise your voice

No matter if you’re volunteering, fundraising, celebrating or marching: share what you’re doing with the world. Tweet about it, post on Facebook, make a video and share it on YouTube or post a pic on Instagram. Talk about why International Women’s Day still matters and what change you would love to see in the world. For those of your friends (male and female) who don’t think there’s a need to raise awareness, show them this little video and watch their expression.

Let us know how you will celebrate in the comments!

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