In our Digital Nomad Girls interview series we feature interviews with Digital Nomad Girls from around the world with interesting location independent jobs.
This month we talked to Aline Dahmen, founder of Nomad Soulmates
I’m Aline, 23 years old and founder of Nomad Soulmates. I’m currently living in Chiang Mai for the next 2 months.
What is your location independent job?
I’m in a transition at the moment. I started as a Virtual Assistant, which I’m still doing, but also offering network marketing and coaching for community building. I’m also running the largest facebook community and startup for single remote workers called Nomad Soulmates, which I absolutely love!
You started a community called Nomad Soulmates. Please tell us a bit about it.
Nomad Soulmates is online dating for remote workers, digital nomads and location independent people. It is a quick growing and really awesome community in the facebook group. Most are very much involved in the developing process, helping us to shape an app that suits their needs. Together we are launching our Indiegogo Campaign for this app on February 14th.
How did you get the idea? Is there a personal story behind it?
Absolutely. I totally understand what others struggle with. I had a boyfriend for 5 years back home, but our values changed over time – I wanted to travel, see the world, bootstrap my own business and live independently. That was something he was not into. Also, a long distance relationship just would not have worked out.
Love has its own rules, but in general I found it difficult to find someone who was willing to join me on a location independent adventure. I was not really searching for a nomadic partner after we broke up, but at a big nomad conference I realized that many other nomads had problems similar to mine.
My first thoughts was “is there is an easier way to bring nomadic singles together”. My excitement for this idea also comes from our community. It’s simply my tribe and I love working closely with them. A lot of people are supporting our mission, which has been a mindblowing experience.
Did your friends/family/colleagues think you’ve gone crazy or were they supportive?
Well, I didn’t study or have training back home after I finished school, which is why most were not really happy with my decision. They were scared that I had taken the ‘wrong’ path for my future, and for personal and financial security. My parents had a hard time with this, as I said no to all of those things and went to Asia with an 8kg backpack instead.
Over time I was able to support myself with the freelance work that I did, I learned everything myself and found a great passion in Nomad Soulmates, especially when it comes to marketing and building our community. It’s great to see that my parents now really believe in what I’m doing and are proud of what I’ve already accomplished.
My dad is an engineer and he would send me ideas how to market our crowdfunding campaign via whatsapp, which I find super lovely. And my mum is a pro in design and wording so she gave me her opinion on the app screens. I guess, little by little, they are understanding that this lifestyle makes me a very happy person.
What is your favourite city/country/beach/mountain destination to work?
Hmm, I have a lot of great spots, but maybe this simple treehouse in Ko Lanta, right in front of the beach, was one of my favorites. At the moment, I’m a huge fan of Chiang Mai’s coffee shop culture.
What do you struggle with most when you travel and work?
Saying goodbye so often to many great friends. I know with many that I’ll cross paths again, but still – it sucks. Also when it comes to working, the worst feeling is working long hours but not being productive – I struggle to just stop, get a fresh mind, and then finish work later. It’s something I want to work on.
How do you connect with and meet new people while travelling (apart from Nomad Soulmate)?
I’m a great fan of offline connections and I’m an extrovert at heart. So I love going to conferences, events, hangouts and more that are happening around me. Plus I love connecting with locals, so I’m making a great effort to actually make local friends and learn about their country and culture.
What item should every Digital Nomad Girl pack on her trips?
OMG, I’m so excited about my new bluetooth headphones! I can walk away from my laptop and still listen to my music – it is revolutionary to me, but not a new thing haha.
What advice would you give a girl friend who wanted to start out as a digital nomad?
Passion played such a big role in my mindset that made it actually happen – for me there was no plan B at all. Be passionate about it, always be open to learn and make it to one of your first priorities to earn your first dollar online. Everything else comes (almost) automatically. You feel a lot more confidence for sure! Also, be prepared for hard times – I had to face very difficult times (disagreement with my family in the beginning, a lack of money, extra work pressure, different time zones etc.).
What are your next travel plans?
That’s a good question. Burning season is arriving soon in Chiang Mai. I might flee to Vietnam as my sisters will be there on holiday. Would be really awesome to catch up with them. But to be honest, I have no idea yet where I actually want to go next.
And last: Do you have a favourite inspirational (or cheesy) quote you’d like to share?
I truly believe that whatever you wanna achieve in life, it’s will happen if you envisage your dreams and stick to them. But it’s not easy. Every single baby step I have taken so far was actually made so I could be here in Asia now, creating my own projects, AND enjoying life! I truly believe every journey is made by your own decisions. Choose wisely.