2018 honestly flew by for me; it feels like just yesterday I launched the Inner Circle, but it’s actually been a full year since I first opened the doors back in December 2017! Isn’t that crazy? (By the way, the doors to the Inner Circle are open for joining again! YAY.)
Not only that, we are in the festive holiday season once again! Anybody else love the chilly winter evenings, cozied up on the couch with a warm cup of hot cocoa and fuzzy socks on? I’m spending Christmas this year in sunny Chiang Mai, Thailand so while part of me misses my winters in Germany, the other part of me is also so happy to be able to celebrate Christmas here with my boyfriend and friends in Southeast Asia.
Anyway, I don’t want to delay this blog post any further. I’m really excited about this article because I know gift-giving can be a stressful activity for many as you spend hours googling, researching and finding that perfect gift for a loved one.
So we’ve put together the perfect gift guide for digital nomad girls, physical and digital gifts included, to help you score the best gifts this holiday season. I hope this article helps you in your gifting adventures!
I’m so excited to share this gift with you ladies. This was created by one of my good friends, Alex from Travel Fashion Girl! The Compass Rose Travel Accessories Kit consists of some really awesome packing cubes (if you know me, you know I LOVE packing cubes).
The packing cubes even come with a color-coded system and numbers to label everything; the inner organization lover in me is so happy with these features! Not only that, it’s the only packing cube set on the market to be designed specifically to fit international carry-on suitcases, so if you’re a carry-on girl (I’m trying to be one!) then these are perfect for you.
What?! So awesome.
I know that as digital nomads, we may often times struggle with reducing our carbon footprint; I always aim to try to offset as much environmental damage as I can. That’s why I am obsessed with this small Bamboo Utensil To-Go Set from Farawild.
This Bamboo Set includes a bamboo fork, a bamboo spoon, bamboo chopsticks, a bamboo straw, a stainless steel cleaning brush and a linen pouch; everything that you could need for your traveling food adventures.
The bonus? The founder of Farawild is also a fellow Inner Circle member – Meredith! Yay!
This product was suggested by one of our Inner Circle members, Susannah, as something she never travels without!
Susannah says, “It’s a power strip but it’s circular and can be rolled up. You can plug multiple bulky chargers in at once and they won’t interfere! The adaptor in the center is a worldwide plug.”
As a traveller with multiple gadgets that needs to be able to work anywhere and everywhere, I’m always thinking about how to keep my laptop and phone alive – the Mogics Power Strips looks like it’d be super useful for traveling and keeping all your gadgets juiced up! Thanks Susannah!
Lush products are my saviors when I travel; I love all things LUSH because they’re eco friendly, use recycled pots (you can return yours to the store), don’t test on animals and are mainly vegan.
Charity pot is especially incredible because it’s a lovely body lotion that supports different causes with every sale. There’s even one that supports reforestation projects to offset your flight miles! It’s a win-win for you and for the environment.
Annnnnd they JUST came out with a solid version of Charity Pot, so say goodbye to worrying about liquid limitations from airlines!
Ahhhh – we’ve seen this dress absolutely everywhere and we’re obsessed. The Kosan Travel Dress was created by one of our own DNG members when she couldn’t find the perfect dress to take traveling. This dress has done splendidly on Kickstarter; they had a goal of CA$15,000 and raised CA$915,439! Congratulations Karyna!
This dress is wrinkle-resistant, odour-blocking, adjustable and packed with pockets (I loooove dresses with pockets!), and has 14 travel-friendly features that make it the must-pack travel essential.
The Get Dirty with Me products are made by one of our own Digital Nomad Girls Inner Circle members – Leah! These awesome clay-based powders help detox and repair your skin and hair, with healthy and pronounceable ingredients free from sulphates, parabens and polymers.
Good for you + Easy to travel with = Total winner in my books!
Another cool product carried by Farawild is the Asana Pillow. It’s a neck pillow AND a travel yoga mat in one. What more can a digital nomad girl ask for?
As someone who loves to do yoga on-the-go, finding a yoga mat that fits into my carry-on without displacing too much of my clothes or books is so, so hard. Plus, having an awesome neck pillow for those long-haul flights or bumpy bus rides can be a true lifesaver.
First of all – how cool does this Flight 001 4-in-1 adapter look?
It honestly looks an adaptor made out of legos or something – too cool. Second – name a digital nomad that wouldn’t love a good adaptor to accompany them on their travels.
You can’t go wrong with a Kindle. Easy to pack, easy to travel with, and a true ride-or-die friend of any reader. I love my Kindle, and I take it everywhere with me: to the beach, on the plane, to cafes, and on all of my digital nomad adventures.
I had to give up the luxury of books and buying books when I became a digital nomad, but the Kindle has really stepped in to substitute for all the books I used to have. It’s just the best.
This one is just a little bit of stationery fun to be honest. If you have a little to-do list and travel lover on your gift list, this Packing List is the cutest present you can get them.
This little pad includes all the things that one would need for traveling including travel aids, funds, travel information, clothes and hygiene products. There are items on this list that even I want to add to my own travel packing list! Plus, you can use a fresh sheet for every trip.
The Burt and Bee’s Mini Travel Set is a cute little affordable gift for any traveler! I love Burt and Bee’s products because of their 100% natural and cruelty-free ingredients.
This kit comes with the cream cleanser, day lotion, deep cleansing cream, body lotion, foot cream and hand repair cream (aka. Anything and everything you could need to pack with you on a trip, especially to the colder weather countries.)
Did you know these were a thing? I only recently found out. The headphone splitter is SO fun if you travel with a significant other, friend or family member and you want to listen to the same music or watch the same movie or TV show but don’t want to do that whole one-headphone-in-one-ear-each awkward sharing thing. That’s no fun.
A headphone splitter is exactly what it sounds like – you can plug in two pairs of headphones to the same device and both be listening to the same audio but with the comfort of having your own headphones in!
One of our DNG members suggested adding this printer to her Christmas list this year because it looks like a super portable way to print photos while you’re traveling. And guess what? This Portable Ink-Free printer from Canon would be amazing for scrapbooking your travel adventures. Grab your scrapbook, get your phone and start printing your awesome pics out with this ink-free printer.
You can also make vision boards, collages or just send your pics back to your family and friends while you’re on the road. There’s something special about having a physical print-out of a picture rather than just having them all loaded in your phone!
I was just browsing Etsy, as one does, when I came upon this super cute compass travel necklace! I love the message that it comes with, because it is such a lovely gift to give to a friend or family member that is about to embark on a travel journey!
It’s small, light and easy to take with you as a reminder of home and the people you love. Plus it looks like it would go with just about any outfit! Too cute.
I love my Manduka Eko travel yoga mat! I’ve had it for 2.5 years already and it’s like new, despite traveling with me everywhere i go. It’s made from natural rubber so it’s eco-friendly and doesn’t smell like plastic like other yoga mats. It’s also super slip resistant, and I can roll it up or fold it and stick it in my suitcase.
Best Digital Gifts for a Digital Nomad Girl
When my Project Manager, Deya, sent me this website to check out – I did such a happy dance, because what an AMAZING idea for a digital gift!
Tinggly allows you to gift experiences to your friends, families, long-distance besties so, so easily! All you have to do is buy a gift card and the person you give it to is able to choose from 500+ experiences from over 100+ countries in the world. They also have 5 years to use the gift card!
Some examples of experiences include hot air balloon rides, whale watching in Canada, overnight boat experience in Thailand, Balinese spa experience, snorkeling adventure in Turks and Caicos, Hawaii coffee plantation and bee farm experience, Chichen Itza Full-Day Experience in Mexico, Harry Potter studio experience, and SO much more.
If Tinggly isn’t the PERFECT digital nomad gift, honestly I don’t know what is.
A gift that you can never go wrong with is a donation to a charity or cause that your loved one cares deeply about! This is also a fabulous gift for our minimalist and no-waste friends! Make a donation in their name, and give them the certificate or confirmation of donation!
Check out this blog post written by DNG Inner Circle member, Sophia, about best ways to offset your carbon footprint as a digital nomad. The organization that she mentions is called Cool Earth, and you can find them here.
Another cool organization you can support is a non-profit founded and run by one of our own Monisha, a Digital Nomad Girls Inner Circle Member. (BTW How awesome are our members? Seriously.) She runs Ruam Chuay, a non-profit that aims to stop gender-based violence by bringing sexual violence prevention programs to Thailand. Monisha offers amazing workshops at high schools all over Thailand to teach teenagers consent and healthy relationships. Check her out here!
One final recommendation is Girls Get Equal from Plan International – we love what they do and how they do it!
Guess what? The Inner Circle doors are officially opened once again! I’m SO excited about this. If you have a digital nomad girl in your life or an aspiring digital nomad girl, gift them a membership to the amazing Digital Nomad Girls Inner Circle! Or better yet – gift yourself the membership. 😉
We have weekly coworking sessions, accountability buddies, fun events like book club, mixer parties and holiday parties, and our own private social media platform – we’re your family on the road.
Check out all the information on the Inner Circle here – we’d LOVE to have you or your loved one. If you want to gift a subscription, feel free to email my team and we’ll set it up for you as well!
4. Digital Books
Who doesn’t love a good digital book for their Kindle or as an audiobook? Here are my top book obsessions right now:
These are all available on digital and physical formats, so take your pick! 🙂
Gift cards are not the most personal gift, but they can be if you give something practical and useful that’s perfect for a loved one.
Some digital nomad and travel favorites would be an Airbnb gift card or an Uber gift card – you know that these gift cards would never go to waste!
- Airbnb giftcards can be found here.
- Uber giftcards can be found here.
If you want to check out more gift card options, here are all the gift cards you can find on Amazon – I’m surprised that there’s such a huge variety, actually. So go forth and find something that’s the perfect fit for the person you’re gifting!
Have a friend that lives halfway across the world but still want to get her something special? What about gifting them an audiobook subscription? They can pick out whatever books they want to listen to all thanks to you!
Also, what a fabulous on-the-go gift for traveling on busses, airplanes, trains, boats or in cars! You don’t even need wifi – that’s wild.
Who doesn’t love some good tunes? Grab someone a Spotify membership so that they can enjoy Spotify completely ad-free in 2019. You can pick up a Spotify gift card in your local store and just send the pin code on the card with the gift receiver!
Happy jammin’ to them!
I’ve been seeing this website everywhere nowadays; they offer online classes from Annie Leibovitz, Gordon Ramsay, Serena Williams, R.L. Stine and every other celebrity you can really think of. This looks like it’d be a cool little gift you could get someone if they were a big fan of one of these celebrities and would be interested in learning their skill from them!
Carole, one of our Inner Circle members, was given a Masterpass from Masterclass last year and loved it! She says it was the perfect nomad gift. You can gift a loved one a Masterpass or just single course that you know they would love.
We hope you loved these gifts and will get them for your nomad girl friends! Happy Holidays!
In our Member’s Spotlight series we feature interviews with the lovely girls in our community! This week we talked to Amanda, Novelist!
Hi Amanda! Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m from Australia, but yearly vacations didn’t suffice so I set off on a two-year adventure around the world. I’ve visited over 50 countries, lived in Bali for six months and now I’m hoping to call New York City my home.
What is your location independent job?
I’m a freelance journalist, copywriter, creative writer and soon-to-be self-published author. I write conversational, humanised content for a variety of PR, marketing and advertising agencies, as well as editorials and feature stories for magazines, news platforms, websites, and blogs.
I’ve had the honour to work with over 120 clients in Australia and globally. Some of my clients include News Corp, Google, TedX, South Australian Tourism Commission, Royal Caribbean, and Japan Tourism.
How did you get into this line of work? How can others do the same?
Yes, I’ve always worked in communications. I studied public relations, then returned to university to complete my masters in journalism.
What motivated you to pursue a life as a travel writer?
I love travel because it’s the best way I learn – about myself, other people, and the world. I wanted my writing to be a platform to convey my worldview (and encourage others to understand theirs).
I’ve always had an affinity for people and places. Writing became a way for me to make sense of the world. I’ve travelled extensively, so fusing my passions, travel and writing, was a natural progression for me.
I’m not just a travel columnist for News Corp (among other brands), I’m also an essayist for Loco Travel Magazine – a platform I launched to satisfy my truth-seeking thirst for human-centred depictions of travel.
Can you go into a little more detail about this ‘truth-seeking’ part of you?
We travel-loving ladies are all guilty of scrolling through Instagram and getting FOMO for a place we haven’t been. But how often do we see photos that capture the come-down effect of travel?
Well, for starters, there’s nothing exciting about being delayed and waiting hours in an airport, draped across the departures floor.
Because of this, we tend to form a skewed idea of what travel is. And more importantly, how it changes us on a deeper level. I wanted to use these lessons to empower my stories.
What challenges have you faced as a traveller? (How did you overcome them?)
Interestingly, of all the journeys I’ve been on, both creatively and in my travels, it was the emotional process of ‘coming home’ that was most challenging, and, as I later discovered, the most rewarding. What began as a cathartic travel debrief to help understand my emotions upon returning home, turned into a book, The Inner Fire.
It’s an exploration of what I call the “phoenix cycle” experienced by all travellers: New experiences growing into great joy then fading, followed by absence and grief, and then back into something new.
Western society teaches us that loss equates to grief. Travelling teaches us that the Little Grief is everywhere; that this grief isn’t about experiencing a death of some part of us.
I explore the question of ‘what if this is just the spark of something new?’, and answer it through my two years living in the “phoenix cycle.” Peppered with the lives and experiences of others who have experienced life-changing shifts, this book takes you on a journey: An emotional ride through some of life’s deepest, sometimes unexpected, feelings.
Culture shock is a well-used term and something that, as a society, we know to prepare for. But what about the opposite – reverse culture shock? Whether you’re a leisure traveller, volunteer, a digital nomad or expat, the psychological journey of ‘coming home’ is a topic that doesn’t get spoken about enough.
Although it’s not fully understood, almost every traveller experiences it in some part.
Travelling is so much more than sightseeing. It’s an unpeeling of layers, as I like to call it – a removing of the lens. All experiences we have accumulate and change our identity.
Often, we don’t realise how much we’ve grown until we return. We come back with an evolved character, yet we’re expected to slip back into our old environment, like nothing has changed.
Tell us a bit about your book:
I use personal anecdotes to colour this part-narrative, part self-help book, which weaves through themes such as home, place, loneliness, identity construction, memories, addictions, and psyche. I introduce the voice of both travellers and non-travellers, because we all go through major identity shifts in life – something that I wanted to draw comparisons between.
The Inner Fire provides readers with frameworks and suggestions on how to overcome detachment in an empowering way, using real-world examples and psychological input.
For example, one theory I explore is the W-Curve Hypothesis Mode, which details the four phases to leaving and coming home: The honeymoon, crisis, recovery and adjustment.
Upon returning ‘home’, the traveller experiences a honeymoon period where they are the centre of attention, for a short time, reconnecting with old friends and spending time with family.
Everything is still new, something that the traveller has become accustomed to while being away. Yet cultural differences and the stresses of re-entry soon replace the honeymoon period. This can happen quickly and plunge them into severe, reverse culture shock.
Readers will learn about psychological adaptation and can use my findings to help their own journey.
The Inner Fire will be released early next year.
What advice would you give long-term travellers who struggle with this reverse culture shock?
We all go through it. Whether you returned from a two-week trip or have relocated and are visiting family, the emotional journey of ‘coming home’ is a process every traveller experiences. So, just remember that you’re not alone in this, and it doesn’t mean that you won’t reconnect with your culture. Sometimes, it just takes time.
And what advice would you give a girlfriend who wanted to start out as a traveller?
Go for it girl! It’ll give you gifts that you never would have imagined. But, try to avoid going in with an idealised view of the lifestyle. Like everything, it has its downsides too.
Make sure to follow my character-driven travel essays on my travel platform: https://www.locotravelmagazine.com.
For business enquiries, contact me via my creative writing business: http://www.amandasmithwriter.com.au.
Quick Fire Round:
When I feel lonely, I… remind myself that there’s a difference between loneliness and being alone. Usually, I’m not lonely, I’m just physically alone.
My favourite location for travelling workers is … I fell in love with Lisbon, Portugal, last year.
The one item I always pack is… my MacBook.
My favourite tool/app/resource is… to be honest, I love checking out local Facebook groups whenever I get to a new city or country.
In 5 years time I want to … be speaking on a TedX stage as a thought-leader on the topic of reverse culture shock and how movement affects our identities.
My all-time favourite quote is …
love the life you live, live the life you love.
Thank you SO much Amanda for sharing your story with us! If you want to find out more about Amanda you can connect with her on Travel Platform or Website.
Thank you so much, Amanda, for sponsoring this blog interview ahead of your upcoming book launch! We wish you all the best with your launch. It’s also coming at a great time because I think as digital nomads, a lot of us are familiar with the struggle of reverse culture shock when returning to our home countries.