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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Meet Digital Nomad Girl Natalie! UX/UI designer and model

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Natalie! UX/UI designer and model

In our monthly Digital Nomad Girls interview series we will feature interviews with Digital Nomad Girls from around the world with interesting location independent jobs.

This month we chatted to lovely Natalie Howard, UX/UI designer, and plus size model.

Natalie UX/UI designer

Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA but my family moved around a lot. I’ve lived in Texas, California, Washington, and Ohio. I’m 26, and living in Columbus, OH. I’m saving up some money before I go on my next big trip.

What is your location independent job or multiple jobs?

I am a freelance UX/UI Designer and professional plus size model. UX stands for User Experience, which means I plan out and architect apps & websites and make them better and more enjoyable for people to use. UI stands for User Interface which is the visual design side of things.

Natalie UX/UI designer

How did you become a UX/UI designer? How can others do the same?

I got my first two-year degree in Visual Communications in Los Angeles- which I deeply regretted after entering the very difficult job market in 2010. When I decided to go back to college for a bachelor’s degree- I wanted to make a more informed decision. I started researching companies that I really wanted to work at and seeing what jobs they were actually hiring for. I came across a position for “Information Architect”. I had no idea what it was, but the description sounded fun and interesting, so I began researching it. I decided to go back to school for Interactive Media Design, which included some elements of user experience design and information architecture. To get into UX, requires a lot of self-direction, research, and networking skills to snag an experienced mentor. I’m apart of a Beginner’s UX group on Facebook which has been really helpful for getting feedback on my portfolio and connecting with others in the same boat.

And how did you become a location independent model?

For modeling, my experience goes back to age 15. My parents sent me to a modeling school called Barbizon, and I signed with an agency shortly after. I did small local projects like fashion shows and modeling wedding dresses for editorials. I gave up professionally pursuing modeling while I was in college, but kept on doing time-for-trade shoots for fun with local photographers. I started posting my work on social media and my fan base grew larger and larger. Eventually, a fan suggested I try applying to some agencies again for plus size modeling. I reached out to one of the top plus size modeling agencies in the country and heard back within 10 minutes! I signed with them soon after and was able to get some projects with big retail clients and a national TV commercial. Since then, I’ve branched off and found more success being my own agent and boss, since I found the agency requirements to be too restricting.

To get into modeling, you either have to 1. Build up a large social media following (a lot of agencies won’t consider you unless you have at least 10k fans/followers) 2. Research industry requirements for height and measurements- make sure you fit them. Research modeling agency’s current rosters of models to see if you have a similar look to any of their talent.

Natalie UX/UI designer

How do you manage to juggle both jobs?

I always let my UX clients know about my modeling situation and that flexibility is really important to me in case I want to take on a job. Usually they’re pretty understanding about it. The way I work with clients is based on weekly rates with deadlines for deliverables, so as long as I get the work done by the time I say I will, they trust me.

You use Patreon for your model job. What would you recommend to others if they’d like to get started with that?

With Patreon, you want to already have an existing fanbase on other platforms- it’s not a good place to gain new fans. When I started out, I looked at what other models in similar industries were doing and took notes. Then kind of mixed and matched some of their ideas with new ones I came up with. It takes a lot of time investment up front to define goals and rewards, but it’s so worth it!

What made you pursue a life as a Digital Nomad?

A friend recommended a book to me called “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. That was a massive inspiration to me. When I was younger, I was homeschooled- so I was used to being self-directed and autonomous with my work. The 9-5 work schedule never worked for me. I’m happiest when I don’t feel confined to any space in particular.

Did your friends/family/colleagues think you’ve gone crazy? Were they supportive?

Nope, everyone has been really cool about it. I’ve had some confusion from people if working remotely is a totally foreign concept for them, but usually when I explain it they get excited too.

Natalie UX/UI designer

What is your favourite city/country/beach/mountain destination to work?

I love working on trains, especially through Europe. The amount of “flow” that happens for me is just incredible- they’re so peaceful. Really allows me to dig into a deep pool of creative ideas and problem solving. I worked on an app prototype while riding from Berlin to Prague earlier this year.

What do you struggle with most when you travel and work?

Staying disciplined and focused 😀 It’s tempting to want to go see all the attractions of an area. Can be very distracting.

How do you connect with and meet new people while travelling?

Recently, I’ve started chatting up people at restaurants or coffee shops who are sitting alone, because I often think…. nobody  (especially if they’re a traveler) came all this way to this new place to sit alone, they want to meet people too. So that’s been fun- and sometimes I meet people through mutual friends, networking events, Magpie, Digital Nomad FB groups, or even Tindr 😉

What item should every Digital Nomad Girl pack?

I have an expandable, waterproof hip belt I bought from Target that I love. I just put the bare minimum in there- credit cards, keys, etc. Was great for when I was riding a lot of scooters and easily hides under tshirts.

Natalie UX/UI designer

What advice would you give a girl friend who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?

Research! I think logistics are the scariest part- What am I going to do with my apartment? My stuff? How am I going to make money? There’s a lot of people asking the same questions in Digital Nomad communities, so it makes you feel more encouraged and less lonely to meet like minded people.

What are your future travel plans?

I would love to do 3 months in the countryside of France 🙂 Have a slow life by the pool, ride scooters, buy fresh produce and baked goods, drink wine, and seduce and be seduced by Frenchmen.

And last: Do you have a favourite inspirational (cheesy optional) quote you’d like to share?

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” -Tim Ferriss

You can find Natalie on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and her own website is coming very soon! Make sure to check it out: www.nhoward.com

Have you ever considered being a location independent UX/UI designer and/or model? Please share in the comments!

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.

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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.

So you wanna be a … Sailboat Captain?

So you wanna be a … Sailboat Captain?

In our brand new monthly interview series: “So, you wanna be a…”, we will feature a kickass Digital Nomad Girl with an interesting location independent job. We’ll find out how she got into the job, what she enjoys about it and how you can follow in her footsteps.

This month we chatted to sailboat captain Liz, a real life sailboat captain and travel blogger at Moxie & Epoxy.

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy on a boat

Who are you and how/when/why did you become a digital nomad?

Hi Ladies! First of all I want to say that I am a huge fan of the DNG group and the strength and support that comes from women of shared interests supporting one another. My name is Liz Gillooly and I am a US Coast Guard Licensed sailboat captain who is also a travel-obsessed blogger – a woman of many hats (some of them far less cute than others). When I was 18 and backpacking through Central America in 2009 I brought a video camera with me and made short videos about that experience. I became a sailboat captain two years ago and when I took my first job on a yacht sailing across the Atlantic I began sending long emails home describing my adventures and pairing them with videos I had thrown together. Somebody suggested that I turn all of this content into a blog and last year I did just that! It has been an incredible experience to begin sharing my journey with an extended audience.

What is your location independent job?

Being a sailboat captain means that I get paid to travel all over the world. I have worked on boats in the Virgin Islands, the Mediterranean and Hawaii. This summer I have my first job in NY (in my hometown) driving a sailboat with my boyfriend as crew. At this point, I have enough experience to choose any part of the world (with a sailing industry) and I can almost always find a job. The other great part about the sailing industry is that so much of the work is seasonal. I can choose a location, work one season which usually lasts only for a few months and then pick up and travel for the next six months to a year on the money I’ve saved – plus it gives me great content for the blog!

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy is a captain

How did you start out as a captain? How can others do the same?

I grew up in Long Island sailing in the summertime. As a kid, I HATED IT! I do not have a competitive bone in my body and my instructors seemed to always push me toward racing which seemed to defeat the whole point of this relaxing, quiet activity I was so fond of. When I was 20 I was offered an unpaid position on an 80ft sailboat leaving Long Island heading down to the Virgin Islands. I put college on hold (again) and sailed away. When I arrived in the VI I fell in love with the peace and quiet and ended up staying for almost four years. I got a job on a local day charter sailboat taking tourists out for snorkeling adventures. I had an amazing all female team and after two years they encouraged me to pursue my captain’s license. My path was a little indirect, and it doesn’t always have to look like this. If you’re interested in getting started in the sailing industry, please check out my new guide: How to Get a Job on a Yacht: The “No Bullshit” Guide.

Did your friends/family/colleagues think you’re a little nuts? Were they supportive?

I went to a very competitive high school in NYC. The majority of my friends from school now have serious jobs in finance, real estate and other competitive industries. I have not talked to the majority of my friends from high school since graduation mostly because our lives are so different, but some of them show support on my blog. My family is INCREDIBLY supportive. I think that after I took a gap year at the age of 18 to travel through Central America (which was definitely not the norm for people around me) they had a feeling that my life was going to be a little different. The fact that I have a blog that allows them to live vicariously through me while keeping them updated makes my lifestyle a lot easier to understand and accept.

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy working on her laptop at the beach

What has been your favorite digital nomad moment so far, or what is your favourite place?

My favorite Digital Nomad moment was definitely my experience in Thailand last October – November. I flew to Thailand to attend a Travel Blogger conference and I was able to network with so many incredible people – in fact I met my boyfriend there! Even more significant than the conference itself was the fact that around 30 of us (all of whom I’d never met before) moved up to Chiang Mai for six weeks to form a little travel blogger community where we shared ideas, held workshops and helped one another bring our blogs from very basic to totally badass from all angles. Chiang Mai will always hold a special place in my heart for the sheer amount of personal growth that I achieved while living there!

Tell us about a time you struggled with the location independent lifestyle.

Last year I moved to Maui for six months to work on sailboats during the whale watching season and I had a lot of trouble making new friends. I was newly sober and living in what I saw as primarily a party town. It was definitely a struggle that I created for myself because there are plenty of clean living people in Maui, but I just didn’t find enough of them and after a while I gave up trying. I was very lonely and I compared the island so heavily with my little home in the Virgin Islands where I had already developed a strong network of friends. Leaving Maui I thought that maybe I was getting too old for travel, but less than a year and four countries later I can say that I was just stuck in my own unhealthy mindset and I feel more inspired to travel than ever!

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy overlooking a tropical bay

How do you connect with and meet new people while travelling?

Working on sailboats is an incredible way to connect with a lot of new people every day. When I’m not sailing, I love meeting new people at hostels. I find that carrying a deck of cards is one of the best ways to start a conversation and make new friends. I love organizing adventures and inviting people to join and I am not shy about walking up to people who look like they know their way around town and asking them for advice on things to do. One of the best parts of travel is being able to connect with people outside of your immediate network and travelers are generally really friendly people who share that value!

Do you travel solo or with a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/child/pet?

I wish I traveled with a pet – that sounds so fun! Up until 4 months ago I was a die-hard solo female traveler, and (GULP) now I travel with a boyfriend. I was pretty nervous about it at first but it turns out that we have really similar travel styles and we are good at giving space when needed. I honestly never thought that I would enjoy traveling with a partner but once you find someone special, it makes the whole experience even more epic!

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy enjoying the view

What one item should every Digital Nomad Girl pack?

A Lifestraw water bottle. This is not an item that people often think about but it is probably the item that I use most frequently. The Lifestraw bottle has a filter that allows me to drink tap water from virtually any country that I travel to (and puddles and streams when I’m on hikes). They recently went on sale from $35 down to $20 and one filter will last for up to 1,000 liters. This not only saves money while traveling, it helps to reduce the amount of waste that I produce.

What advice would you give a girl friend who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?

If you want to jump into the world of becoming a digital nomad then you are already different from most of the population. You are an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs do not thrive in typical 9-5s – they need to be challenged. If you want to become a digital nomad my advice is to start today. There will be thousands of hurdles in your way on the path to success, start jumping over a few right away.

My other advice is specific to those who want to start a blog:

  • Brainstorm your values:  Make sure that you have set of core values right at the beginning and run every single post through the list to make sure it is up to your standards. Never compromise your standards ESPECIALLY if there is money involved – your readers will see right through it!
  • Highlight what you are good at and what you enjoy: If you are a writer, don’t worry about making videos. If you are a photographer focus your attention on that. Find your strong suits and stick to them! If you HATE twitter but LOVE pinterest, focus your attention on that medium. Keep it real with your followers and they will keep it real with you!
  • Focus your attention on one thing at a time: The difference between people who get sh*t done and people who just talk about their ideas is action. The more focused your attention is, the more you can get done. Make a to do list with action items and tackle one thing at a time.

Liz from Moxie & Epoxy using a sextant on a boat

What’s next for you?

After 8 years of traveling all over I am so excited to be spending 3 months in Long Island close to family this summer. As I get older I value the time with my family more and more! The icing on the cake is that I will be driving a boat all summer (bigger than any boat I have previously captained) and making lots of money. Following the summer my boyfriend and I have talked about road tripping through Africa or potentially buying a sailboat of our own so big things are on the horizon!

And last: Do you have a favourite inspirational (possibly cheesy) quote you’d like to share?

Here’s one of my favorite quotes for aspiring bloggers:

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

 

Liz writes about her epic sea and land based adventures on her blog Moxie & Epoxy. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

What about you? Would you love to be a sailboat captain? Please share in the comments!

 

Destination of the Month: Dahab for Digital Nomad Girls

Destination of the Month: Dahab for Digital Nomad Girls

In this series we will discover new destinations for digital nomad girls every month. We’ll feature our favourite nomad destinations as well as upcoming new hotspots.

This week our guest blogger Mira Arnold, from the CoworkInn Dahab, talks about Dahab, Egypt as a new nomad location and answers an important question for digital nomad girls: is Egypt safe for female solo travellers?

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Dahab – an unusual digital nomad destination

Egypt has always been a place for nomads: bedouins, hippies and now digital nomads. It’s true, so far Egypt is not exactly known to be a digital nomad hotspot but it has a lot going for it. Only about a five hour flight away from Europe, the country offers fantastic weather conditions, cheap living costs and nomad-friendly visa policies. Most nationalities are given a 30-day visa on arrival, which can be extended to three months easily. It’s also easy to buy SIM cards that give you affordable data packages with which you can work.

Free and reliable wifi on the other hand is limited – which might be one of the biggest obstacles for becoming a digital nomad country. However, big cities like Cairo, Sharm-El-Sheikh and Dahab offer a choice of places to work. Cairo also has a big start up scene that focuses around the Greek campus and The District the first coworking space in Egypt.

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Women traveling alone – how safe is Egypt?

Being a Muslim country that made some headlines with terrorist activity in the past, Egypt struggles with the conception of many travellers, especially women, that the country is unsafe. While this might be true for some parts of North Sinai and some neighbourhoods in Cairo, big city problems, like almost any other mega city on this planet, most of the country is very safe to travel.

Outside of Dahab or other tourist areas you will want to keep your knees and shoulders covered walking the streets. The biggest challenge for you will be language problems as it can be hard to find people who speak English outside the tourist areas. It might come as a surprise that visa offices, for example in Mogamma, the biggest one in Cairo, are no exception for this. So if you want to extend your visa, bring an Arabic speaking friend or ask a local to help you translate. It also helps to have a little vocabulary on hand that allows you to ask for and understand directions. Good neighbourhoods for Western travellers in Cairo are Maadi and Zamalek, while Dahab and other Red Sea towns like Hurghada and Marsa Alam are also easy to visit. Mark important landmarks, your hotel and places you want to explore on Google Maps and you will be able to wander around just fine.

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What is there to do in Dahab & Egypt?

Egypt has long been one of the most popular travel destinations in the Middle East, and for good reason. Dahab has one of the best diving and snorkelling scenes in the world, centred around the Red Sea. Beginners and pro divers will find amazing dive spots with hundreds of tropical fish an colourful coral reefs, something that is getting harder and harder to find nowadays.

The desert is also an incredible place to explore, whether on camel-back, by foot or by jeep safari. Try to spend at least one night under the stars; the experience is breathtaking.

Egypt’s amazing cultural heritage (pyramids anyone?), kind-hearted people, beautiful weather and excellent food make it a great spot to spend some time.

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Coworking: Dahab for Digital Nomad Girls

The CoworkInn Dahab is Dahab’s first coworking space. It offers its guests a beautiful sitting area right at the sea as well as some more private desks and a meeting room. There is plenty of space to get in touch with other co-workers and discuss your newest project. During dinner with bedouins under the starry sky of the desert coworkers quickly become friends. Water sport lovers have been visiting Dahab for a long time and it’s a great place to discover new hobbies like kite surfing or scuba diving.

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It’s all about community

But just offering a nice place to work and a couple of trips isn’t enough; following the nomad tradition the focus lies on hospitality and building a community. This makes Dahab a perfect destination for solo traveling digital nomads.

Mira Arnold still holds a long list of ideas for her co-working space, from workations to special offers for families and team building events for companies. You can get in touch with her through her website or Facebook.

Have you been to Dahab? What is your favourite nomad destination? Please let us know in the comments below!

So, you wanna be a…social media manager

So, you wanna be a…social media manager

In our monthly “So, you wanna be a…” series we will feature an interview with a Digital Nomad Girl with an interesting location independent job.

This month we chatted to the lovely Carolin, a social media marketing manager, web designer and blogger.

Caro visiting the Great-ocean-road

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am Carolin, originally from Germany and 26 years old.., well young 😉 I currently call the beaches of Bali my backyard but I have changed my location every few months over the past 1,5 years of being a digital nomad and called Chiang Mai, Sydney and Barcelona home for a considerable amount of that time with small trips to other destinations in-between. Soon I will yet again trade Bali for beautiful Australia.

What is your location independent job (or what are you working towards)?

I have a professional background in marketing so for me it made sense to start out with the skills I already have and just build upon them. After my work contract ended I just went. With no clients and no specific plan I slowly started as a freelancer building up a client portfolio and today focus mainly on social media marketing management. Additionally, I do some travel writing which is very fun and I design the odd website from time to time. I also write a travel blog called breathingtravel.com which has brought some amazing people and contacts into my life. Sometimes I even strike up some cool partnerships and collaborations. If someone told me this was possible 2 years ago I would’ve left right there!

Caro working on her balcony in spain

How did you get into this line of work? How can others do the same?

I really quite liked my former normal office job working with marketing campaigns and social media across an international team and I sure had a great product to promote and was very passionate about it. However, I was missing the travel aspect in my life. I could already do many things remote back then and often worked from home. It only made sense to finally take the plunge and combine travel and work. I upgraded my skills with a web design course and build my blog breathingtravel.com as a first project where I still share my travel and digital nomad lifestyle experiences to date.

I think first and foremost you have to believe in yourself! Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will for sure help too. Work hard on building your business and have specific goals! I think anyone can become a digital nomad, your success is a simple combination of some skills and even more MINDSET! Revamp those skills if you don’t have them yet: read, sign up for an online course, watch Youtube tutorials.., the options are endless. And then everything else is your attitude and determination.

What made you pursue a life as a Digital Nomad?

I have always been pretty travellous, I went on a high school exchange year in 11th grade, took a gap year after I graduated and travelled a lot during my university studies as well as completing two study abroad semester. Haha kinda funny reading my words there, it sounds just so obvious that I am destined to travel! I love being on the road and meeting new people, and I don’t want to be limited to doing that in the few weeks of holidays of a conventional job. Sometimes it’s not even about travelling all the time, but about having the flexibility and freedom to just stay in a different country for a few months or move on whenever I want to.

Caro on the Easter Islands with the statues

Did your friends/family/colleagues think you’ve gone crazy? Were they supportive?

My family is very supportive, I think they are happy to see that I am happy and I guess also, that what I do pays the bills. They understand that travel is a great part of my life, and even though I miss them and they miss me, they still let me embark on a new trip with all their blessings every time. My friends are mostly supportive, some still don’t understand what I do, it’s hard to wrap your mind around when you only know a regular job. It’s okay though, I don’t think this lifestyle is for everyone either.

What is your favourite city/country/beach/mountain destination to work?

Right now I am in Canggu, Bali. I love that the beach is just right at my doorstep, I can go for a surf or talk a walk along the beach whenever, I live comfortably, have stable wifi and some cool cafés and restaurants around, everything I need really. I do love Thailand though, Chiang Mai is incredible, the food, the infrastructure (super fast wifi!), hard to beat for the small prices you pay up there! And I still have a love affair with Australia, one of the places that have a special place in my heart, despite it being quite expensive and internet speeds we still know from the last decade…

A laptop with a beach view on Koh Samui

What do you struggle with most when you travel and work?

Balance. Between work and life. It’s easier when you told to come into the office at 9 and leave at 5, nobody gives you these rules as a freelancer working with several clients while running your own projects. Many days I still struggle to balance my work with life. I bet many entrepreneurs struggle with this and it’s not exclusively nomads. There are also many distractions when travelling, people to chat with, things to see and do. Everyone has to find their own schedule to stay focused and productive and even after many months of living like that I still feel not fully balanced. But I am positive over time it will come!

How do you connect with and meet new people while travelling?

I have made some wonderful connections in my very first destination as a nomad, Chiang Mai and somehow keep meeting those wonderful people again and again in different places. After all, the digital nomad world is still small. I often aim for destinations where I know there is some sort of nomad or entrepreneurial community as that makes new connections already easier, may it be in a local café, coworking space or at an event. In Chiang Mai it was often super obvious that all those people with their laptops in the many cafés are doing some sort of remote work so it was easy to start a conversation. I also made some cool contacts over Instagram as people found me over specific nomad-related hashtags.

Caro at machu picchu

Do you travel solo or with a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/child/pet?

I started my digital nomad journey solo but then met my boyfriend on the road and we started travelling together. I still sometimes travel parts of the journey solo or with friends.

What item should every Digital Nomad Girl pack?

An open mind! You know about all the tech stuff, apps and clothes already, but I think if you come to a new country with an open, curious mind you will of course have a good time and succeed in whatever you have planned.

What advice would you give a girl friend who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?

You can do almost any job online with a few exceptions okay, but the variety is so great! The skills you already have are most likely in some way or the other transferrable to many jobs and projects, it’s simply up to you what you make out of it. Have some savings in order to start out and plan a bit ahead. And always have a Plan B and C. If you can, experiment with going on a workation before you quit your job or start freelancing on the side to build a portfolio and referrals. Lastly, always remember you are not alone, there are many girls out there with similar dreams!

Caro DNG interview garden-office

What are your future travel plans?

I am about to go back to Australia for a bit and also do another house sit down there. For 2016 I will definitely be back to Bali, planning on going to the Philippines and Portugal. I would be stoked to visit some more of Europe in summer too but I have no fixed plans so far.

Do you have a favourite inspirational (cheesy optional) quote you’d like to share with us?

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.- I think it’s so very true as most people live in their comfort zones and are afraid to change or step out of the running system, afraid of the unknown so they stay where they are. Anyone who takes a step outside and embraces change will know that there are no boundaries.

Carolin writes on her travel blog Breathing Travel, you can find her amazing snapshots of her nomad life on Instagram, tweet her or pin with her.

 

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