How to Stay in Touch with Friends as a Digital Nomad (+ Freebie Friends Tracker)

How to Stay in Touch with Friends as a Digital Nomad (+ Freebie Friends Tracker)

As digital nomad girls, we get to meet and make friends with amazing people from all over the world. It’s one of the biggest perks of this lifestyle and I love having friends spread across the globe.

But I’d also be lying if I said it’s not difficult to stay in touch with friends as a digital nomad, both new friends as well as old friends and family at home.

 

1. Take responsibility (even if it’s ‘unfair’)

I’m gonna start by dropping a little truth bomb. If you want to keep in touch with all your favourite people, you’ve gotta own it and take responsibility for it – particularly when it comes to stay in touch with the friends and family you ‘left behind’ at home.

I know what you’re thinking: “But it’s unfair, why do I have to be the one who makes the effort?” Sure, in a perfect world your friends would make just as much effort as you do, and some of them (the really special ones) will do exactly that.

 

stay in touch with friends friendship digital nomad girls mental health

 

But the truth is, you’re the one who left, so you’ll need to be the one that makes the effort. That old saying – out of sight, out of mind – is kinda true. Your friends have their own lives and are doing their own thing, just the same as you. That’s totally cool, but if you truly cherish these friendships, you gotta take responsibility for them.

What does that mean in real life? Well, don’t expect everyone to miraculously know when you’re home for a few weeks. Let them know.

And just how you don’t like it when people think you’re free for a coffee/chat/beer any time of the day just because you’re at home (hello, we are working actually), you can’t expect everyone to drop everything just because you’re in town. So let them know you’re visiting well in advance because they’ve got their own lives to fit you around too.

2. Prioritise (+ Grab Your Free Tracker)

Take a look at your Facebook friend count – you’ve probably plenty of friends. But as on Facebook, not all real-life friendships are created equal.

Whether you’re trying to spend more time with friends at home or with travel buddies on the road, you have got to prioritise. I know this might sound awful, but there’s only so much time in the day.

 

stay in touch with friends friendship digital nomad girls

 

I know so many people who’ve been roped into having 3-hour coffee breaks with an old work colleague from 10 years ago. Or breakfast with a family friend’s accountant’s second cousin just because they live in the city you’re visiting this weekend.

If you want to meet that old colleague or cousin, then great, go for it. But if you’re doing it just out of a sense of duty or guilt, then think about who you’re taking that time away from.

Could you be spending an extra afternoon with your mum or dad? Or maybe an afternoon more with your bestie?

Prioritise the friendships and relationships that mean the most to you.

If you’re struggling to keep in contact with all your favourite people around the globe, why not use our Keep-In-Touch tracker to help you nurture those most important relationships. You can download it here for free!

 

3. Make time

Often we have limited time to see our friends. Maybe you’re just home for a week or passing through your friend’s town for a long weekend. There’s a tendency to try to fit as many ‘meetings’ into one day as possible or to meet everyone at once.

I’d really recommend not to do that, even if it means you don’t get to see everyone every time you pass through.

Because otherwise you can end up darting between a quick coffee with one friend here, then a rushed lunch with another friend there, then a cup of tea with a third, a quick dinner, a drink …you get the idea. So instead of having a proper chinwag and deeper conversation, like you could if you met one or two close friends over a leisurely few bottles of wine, you’ll find that you’ve only scratched the surface.

 

stay in touch with friends friendship digital nomad girls

 

Equally, you might be tempted to get a group of 15 friends together for a night, but that can end up with you making small talk with 15 people and failing to catch up properly with anyone. You’ll probably also be answering the same questions 15 times over (where were you? How was it? Where are you going next? …you know the drill).

The same goes if you’re not physically in the same place. If you want to truly stay in touch with your besties, make some proper time. Instead of sending WhatsApp message 10 times a day, set a weekly or fortnightly Skype date. Schedule it into your calendar and treat it as you would any other important meeting.

4. Get creative

If you’re travelling for a long time and simply can’t meet up face-to-face for a long time, then make sure your virtual friendship dates are as fun as possible. There are some fun ways to stay in touch with friends as a digital nomad.

There’s no reason why you have to just sit face-to-face on Skype and just chat. Why not mix it up a little and organise a virtual pamper night with face masks and pizza, like you might at home? (In the Inner Circle, we have mixer parties where we just chat and hang out online!)

Sometimes I meet my friend for a glass of wine on Zoom. We both have a glass or two and catch up. Because it feels a little more like a real friend date, we get to have a more real conversation.

I even know a digital nomad couple who set board game dates with their friends at home. They meet virtually and play games together. A really fun one is Evil Apples, it’s like a rip off of Cards Against Humanity that you can play on your phone.

Think of little ways to make you virtual meetups more fun!

5. Make new memories

The above rule actually applies to in-person catch-ups too. Now that I’m in my 30s, I feel like meetups are getting a bit more boring, or at least predictable.

If you always do the same thing – brunch at the same place, dinner at the same friend’s house – it can get a little boring. It’s really important to make an effort and try to do something new together.

 

stay in touch with friends friendship digital nomad girls (1)

 

Organise a hiking trip, go to a new museum, take a cooking class together or simply catch up while going for a walk instead of meeting at a cafe.

Instead of reminiscing about the good old days, you’ll be making new memories together.

 

6. The little things count

I know you’re busy, and your friends and family are also busy. So it might not be feasible to plan hikes together or regular online wine and cheese nights.

But that doesn’t mean you should get lazy with your friendships.

If you know you’ve got a busy period with work or travel coming up, why not send your friend a little postcard in the meantime? Yes, those things still exist and you’d be surprised how much people love receiving them!

Or you could send them a little voice message or even video message via WhatsApp or messenger to keep them in the loop and show them you’re thinking of them, even if you’re busy.

Taking a couple of minutes to show up won’t eat into your schedule and can mean so much.

 

friendship digital nomad girls little things postcard writing

You can also use our Keep-In-Touch Tracker to make sure you don’t leave too long between catch ups!

7. Nothing beats meeting in-person

No matter how great you are at keeping in touch via Skype, if you organise virtual karaoke nights (hey, that’s a great idea actually!) and send your friends postcards and love notes regularly, nothing beats meeting in real life.

I know it’s super hard (almost impossible) to see all your friends regularly, especially if they’re as spread out over six continents as my friends, but it’s a matter of making sure your actions match your values.

I sat down this year and wrote down some of my personal values and I realised friendships are the most important things in life to me (right after noodle soup and freedom) so I should make spending time on them a bigger priority.

Hence, the summer of friendship was born! I challenged myself to be as open and available as possible. Instead of being lazy and hiding behind work, I made a commitment to meet up with one friend or family member every single day while I was home in Munich in July.

Ok, so I’m super extroverted and this actually gives me energy, but I understand this might not be for you. So think about ways you can really prioritise your friendships and meeting up in person.

 

stay in touch with friends friendship digital nomad girls wine pizza night

 

For my nomad friendships, that means that I’ve committed to attending more nomad events, like the amazing 7in7 conference. Since I attended last year in Barcelona, I knew that these were my people.

That’s why I flew halfway across the world from London to Colombia to make sure I get to spend quality time with them. And instead of staying for just a week during the conference, we’re staying for over a month. Again, that’s to make more time for what matters most.

In August this year, we stayed in Sofia, Bulgaria with a bunch of other friends. We all had our own place, but were there together because we wanted to spend some quality time. It was one of my favourite months this year.

Attending regular retreats, conferences and other nomad events is a goal of mine for the coming years, too.

We’re currently planning our next DNG retreats, too! If you want to meet like-minded digital nomad girls in person, sign up to the waiting list here!

So, next time you plan your trips, think about how you can organise them to maximise your in-person time with friends.

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Anna – Marketing & Communication Consultant

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Anna – Marketing & Communication Consultant

In this interview series we share the stories of real Digital Nomad Girls who’ve all created a life of travel and freedom. Nothing is as inspiring as meeting real people living the life that you’re dreaming of. Find out how they did it! 

This week we meet Digital Nomad Girl Anna, marketing & communication consultant & DNG Retreat Alumni from Reunion Island.

Introduce yourself!

Where are you from, how old are you (if we may ask 🙂 and where are you currently living?

Hi! I’m Anna, I’m from Reunion Island, a small tropical island near Madagascar, I just turned 27 and I live in Paris at the moment!

What is your location independent job?

I run a Marketing & Communications Consulting business ☺

We met at the first DNG Retreat in Javea, yay! What made you join the retreat?

I can’t believe it’s been a year! I heard about the retreat over the summer (I think it was via Instagram!) and I instantly got really excited about it. I was going through a weird phase at that time. I felt very lonely, even amongst my friends who didn’t really get what I was doing for a living, and meeting a bunch of like-minded girls in a beautiful location (Sun and Co is such an amazing place!) sounded like the perfect thing to do.

What did you get out of the retreat? What was your favourite part?

Wow, so many different things! I think the most powerful thing I got out of the retreat was the result of our mastermind sessions. I started the retreat unsure of my strengths (I couldn’t even make a list of what I was good at…) and constantly questioning my legitimacy as a consultant. Being able to help other people, hearing things like “wow that’s a great point!” made me gain more self-confidence and that’s such an incredible feeling!

Who would benefit from joining a DNG retreat?

Literally everyone!! Whether you’re not a digital nomad but are interested in this lifestyle, or you’ve been location independent for a while… I honestly think that only great things can result from a DNG retreat. Whether it is getting to know amazing people, making work connections, opening up your horizons…

What has happened since the retreat?

So many amazing things! I built a collective of like-minded freelancers (most of them who I actually met at the retreat) in order to help our clients’ work on their branding initiatives. I also started a coaching business on the side, to help and support women who would like to become entrepreneurs and start their own business.

On a more personal note, some of the girls I’ve met at the retreat have become some of my best friends. I still can’t believe how much the DNG retreat changed my life, no exaggeration!

How did you get started with your location independent job/business? How can others do the same?

I don’t know if I’m really location-independent, since I have a base in Paris and even though I’m thinking about a change of scenery, I think I’ll keep a base in France in any case. I love having a home! But I do travel quite a lot, whether it is to visit my clients, or just to discover a new country…!

I started this business 18 months ago when I quit my previous job as a Marketing Manager for a German start-up, I didn’t feel like working for a company again, and I thought about freelancing for a while, just as a transition. Looks like the transition is going to be a bit longer than expected 😉

To start a business in general, I think you need to be ready to commit, work hard, and be fully dedicated to your goals. Now to start your location independent business, I think you need all of the above, but you really have to make sure to listen to your own body, and build a (very) strong support network around you. Being on the road and working at the same time has its very specific challenges and to me, being mindful of your own rhythm is the right was to go.

What made you pursue a life as a Digital Nomad?

As I said before, when I quit my previous job almost 2 years ago, I was emotionally drained and all I wanted was to be independent and feel free. I didn’t feel comfortable in a big (or even smaller) organization, I didn’t understand why we all had to be in the subway at 8.30am, when that same train was completely empty 40 minutes later. “Climbing the corporate ladder” didn’t excite me at all.

I felt very different from a lot of my family and friends and my craving for travel and new adventures was obviously stronger than ever. I wrote and dreamed about creating the life I wanted to live, and it became a reality when I came across the Digital Nomad Girls Community. I finally met like-minded girls! I wasn’t alone anymore!

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

I think some of my friends/family/colleagues still think I’m always on vacation. I stopped counting how many times I’ve heard “You’re living the dream!”. It’s true, I am, but I also built this reality, from scratch, it’s not easy every day, like any adventure.

I try to be very honest about my everyday life, so that from the outside it doesn’t look like my bank account is being filled up while I’m having cocktails on a beach in Bali… Because that would be so far from my reality! The type of reaction I get from people is generally positive though, which makes me happy!

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

Finding the right balance! It’s really hard for me to sense when it’s time to stop working, to stop moving around, to switch off, breathe and go take a walk. I still struggle with that guilty feeling I have when it’s 3pm on a Thursday and for some reason I’m not working. Even though I worked for 14 hours straight the day before.

I should feel completely okay with going to the movies in the middle of the day but for some reason…I still don’t. It has everything to do with what I was mentioning before, knowing yourself, listening to your own rhythm. When you travel and work, I think it’s also hard to find balance between working, socializing and wanderlusting. It’s so hard to get rid of FOMO!

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

The DNG Community is obviously a great resource. I usually go to cafés and coworking/coliving spaces and try to socialize there. I also always try to live with other people (in –nice- hostels, or in “communal” living type of spaces), instead of renting a place by myself for example. It’s always easier to meet people that way!

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

Jen Sincero said “On the other side of your fear is your freedom.” I completely agree with her. Oh and also, you are a badass! So go forth and make awesomeness!

Quick fire round:

When I feel lonely, I…

text my friend Maya who lives in Williamsburg, VA (USA). Unless it’s 3am over there, I almost always get an answer right away, and she always knows how to make me smile!

My favourite digital nomad location is…

Sun and Co, Javea, Spain!! Perfect location, amazing energy, fascinating people ☺

The one item I always pack is…

my set of Stabilo point 88 pen (and my notebook, obviously) 😀

In 5 years time I want to be…

financially free and working more on my passion projects!

My favourite digital nomad tool/app/resource is…

maps.me for their amazing and very practical offline maps accessible from anywhere.

My all-time favourite quote is….

“Oftentimes your authenticity is your activism and being as true to yourself as possible is the first step toward revolution”. Amandla Stenberg

And my 2nd favorite one is “Figure out what you need to do to be the heroine of your own story.” –Ava Duvernay

If you’d like to find out more about Anna you can check out her website here and connect with her on Instagram.

And if you’d like to join our retreat in September, there are still a few spots left. Find all the info here.

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Sign up banner slim

 

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Nives – Food Blogger and Online Entrepreneur

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Nives – Food Blogger and Online Entrepreneur

In this interview series we share the stories of real Digital Nomad Girls who’ve all created a life of travel and freedom and who have joined the Digital Nomad Girls Retreats. Nothing is as inspiring as meeting real people living the life that you’re dreaming of. Find out how they did it!

This week we meet Digital Nomad Girl Nives, a food blogger and online entrepreneur from Austria.

1. Introduce yourself! Where are you from, how old are you (if we may ask 🙂 and where are you currently living?

I am Nives, 33 years old, originally from Austria and currently living in the city of Hamburg, Germany.

2. What is your location independent job?

I am a food blogger and online entrepreneur. I work on multiple projects I am passionate about, which are all related to my food blog. At the moment, I am focused on my paleo online course for women. Further, I am also building a business, where I am helping other bloggers to monetize their blog and existing content.

3. We met at the DNG Retreat in Las Palmas, yay! What made you join the retreat?

I was just starting out with my new passion project and curious about finding like-minded women to learn from each other and get inspired. Additionally, it was taking place in Gran Canaria which I wanted to visit anyway. The Canary Islands are one of my favourite places in the world so far!

4. What did you get out of the retreat? What was your favourite part?

Honestly I didn’t know what to expect at all. There were even times when I was a little nervous about what to expect in these ten very intense days. After all you are not only working with each other, you are also living with each other. At this point I did not know any of the other women. But the schedule was so well balanced that I always had “my own me time” if I had wished so.

Jenny made it really easy for everyone to get to know each other. She (together with some helping hands) arranged a super nice Welcome Party where we all had Sangria and snacks and could chat a little bit. After that we went to a nice tapas place together, where we could talk even more. And on the next day we already had our first hike together and spent the whole day in the most beautiful surrounding without any pressure and workload. That really helped a lot to adjust.

What I liked most, regarding the content, was the Mastermind sessions. Everybody got their own 30 Minutes of concentrated know-how and expertise of everyone. Every single Mastermind was very helpful for my own progress, too.

That leads me to the thing I benefited most from: the diversity of the group. Not only the different ages (from 23 to 49), nationalities(from Sweden to the US) and occupations: but the different stages of their lives and businesses, some of them still in a full time 9-5, others full time travellers and digital business experts, other ones working remotely in a full time job and some, like me, just started out with their full time self-employment. That was so refreshing and inspiring, also to see that we all have the same fears and passions, some of us already went through that exact stage that somebody else is experiencing right now. And even the oldest could learn something from the youngest, and even the long time business women could learn something from the “newbies”.

I believe that everybody learned so much in those ten days, for me I could not be more thankful to everything I experienced in this retreat. At the end, my brain really hurt, because I got so much input. I needed some time to process all of that. I am glad that I used that kind of vibe and motivation for my own purpose. So I just kept going after coming home and executed everything we discussed before. That way I could not fall into the trap of overthinking again. I just did it. That was the kick in the ass I really needed at that moment.

The girls who lived with each other in the same house obviously spent a lot of time together. For that reason we bonded very quickly. After the 10 days I really had the feeling I knew everybody quite well and found some real lasting friendships.

Digital Nomad Girl Nives 2

5. Who would benefit from joining a DNG retreat?

Everyone who wants to become a digital worker, remote worker, entrepreneur, full time traveller or digital nomad and of course, all “free spirits” who’d like to experience something new and want to make new friends.

6. What has happened since the retreat?

I made the crucial steps to monetize my food blog. After the retreat I promoted my online course and set it up during the process. Now we are already in the second round and you can enroll into my five-day free paleo hero course again here.

I think I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do that before the retreat, but I saw that other people have done the same successfully. And I learned exactly what and how I was supposed to do it. I finally achieved momentum to get things going instead of overthinking everything. For example, I’ve had a business idea for two years now and I finally made some steps towards it. Also, I am participating in digital masterminds with the women from the last retreats on a weekly base so we are accountable for each other and get even more inspiration and expertise and different point of views.

7. How did you get started with your location independent job/business? How can others do the same?

I used to work full time as an IT project manager what was already a job in the digital business. Besides that I tried to grow my food blog in the evenings. It worked out quite well in the beginning, but turned out not to be very sustainable in the long run. When I recognised that I could not manage to do both of it besides each other, I quit my job and went for the “risky” but free life I have now.

Digital Nomad Girl Nives 4

8. What made you pursue a life as a Digital Nomad?

I was always a traveller and a free spirit. When I started corporate life I recognised very soon that this is not for me. I was always feeling on missing out on something, chained to that office desk. I felt squeezed in that 9 to 5 daily business. But I felt that I have to do that, have to live that life everybody tells you that “this is the way” doing it.

After two years at my first job I quit and did a world trip (this was already my second one). At this time I had already heard about the term ‘digital nomad’ and wanted to start my blog while travelling. That plan didn’t work out at all, as my boyfriend and I changed destinations every other day. Half a year later we settled in Hamburg and I decided to give it another try in the corporate world. I also needed money after the world trip, as you can imagine. So I started over again in Germany this time, thinking I would like it better in a start up company. For one year I could manage to build my blog in the evenings, after work. But working in a start up company means not having much time for yourself so this didn’t last very long. After a year I was so tired in the evenings that I could not do anything besides watching TV and going to bed early. That was definitely not the life I had imagined for myself. My boyfriend convinced me to go for at least two full years in the company what I did. Eventually I quit my job on the very last day of these two years (again) and started my own business.

I would not consider myself as a “real” digital nomad, since I still have a homebase here in Hamburg and in Austria. But it gives me that kind of freedom that I could go anywhere anytime without having to get another job. I just love the freedom of taking my work with me, even if I am in Gran Canaria for a couple of weeks.

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

With most people I don’t like to talk about it, because I can feel their lack of understanding. Especially older people mostly don’t really get it. That’s why I couldn’t even tell my grandmother that I quit my job. She would be so concerned.

But even people in my age couldn’t believe that I quit a safe, good paying job “for nothing”. I guess they don’t take me very seriously. That was another reason why I loved the retreat so much. Finally, I was with people who were as “crazy” as I am.

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

Real work and real travelling at the same time is not possible in my current state as I am building something from scratch. I guess it is getting easier as soon as I can automate stuff. At the moment, I have real difficulties getting in to my daily routines again as soon as I am changing my destination. The longer I am staying at one place, the more productive I am.

Digital Nomad Girl Nives 1

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

If it is a destination where other digital nomads are based, it is really easy. You just check in to a co-working space and that’s it. I love how open digital nomads are so everybody can meet and connect to new people very soon. Especially if it is a place like Restation, where several events are hosted each week.

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

I believe it is crucial to surround yourself with like-minded people and people who already live the life, you desire to live. The rest just follows. Mindset is one thing, but nothing will come from sitting at home alone.

Quick round:

When I feel lonely, I…

skype with someone I love.

My favourite digital nomad location is…

Gran Canaria.

The one item I always pack is…

my iPhone.

In 5 years time I want to be…

a successful online business owner and a mother, living on the Canary islands (at least during winter) and be financially free.

My favourite digital nomad tool/app/resource is…

iCloud where I have all my files on every device every time.

My all-time favourite quote is…

“Your mind is your instrument, learn to be its master and not its slave.” Remez Sasson

Thank you for sharing your story with us! You can connect with Nives on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and find her on her website NivesKocht.de

If you’re curious about joining our next retreat in Javea this September, you can find out all the details and apply here.

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Sign up banner slim

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Melissa – Brand Strategist

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Melissa – Brand Strategist

In this interview series we share the stories of real Digital Nomad Girls who’ve all created a life of travel and freedom and who have joined the Digital Nomad Girls Retreats. Nothing is as inspiring as meeting real people living the life that you’re dreaming of. Find out how they did it!

This week we meet Digital Nomad Girl Melissa, a branding and marketing consultant from Australia.

Melissa is 33 years old from Brisbane, Australia where she is based again at the moment for the first time in 4 years, after travelling around the world with her husband over the last year.

1. What is your location independent job?

I’m a brand strategist and marketing consultant. I help start-ups and small businesses build strong, cohesive brands, because a brand doesn’t begin with a logo – it begins with strategic thinking.

2. We met at the DNG Retreat in Javea, yay! What made you join the retreat?

I was about 4 months into my digital nomad journey at that stage and while I was hanging out in Chiang Mai, Thailand with loads of other Digital Nomads, I was lacking that authentic connection. So my main motivation for joining the retreat was to meet other serious female Digital Nomads – I wanted to find women who aspire to genuinely support other women, to get inspired and feel a part of something bigger.

Digital Nomad Girl Melissa 1

At the DNG Retreat in Javea, September 2016.

3. What did you get out of the retreat? What was your favourite part?

I got so much out of the retreat, and without wanting to sound cliché, it really changed my life. It opened my eyes to what life could be like and I was so inspired by the girls I met (and continue to be inspired by them today).

It’s hard to pinpoint my favourite part, but I’d say, heading out and exploring beautiful Javea (now my favourite city in the world!) together with the group after a day of masterminding and workshopping was just the best.

4. Who would benefit from joining a DNG retreat?

Oh my gosh, every DNG should go!! I’d say someone who’s thinking about starting out can learn a lot from others who’ve been working and travelling for a while, and those who have been doing it for a while get an injection of inspiration and new ideas.

Jenny, you’re so careful in choosing a great mix of girls with the right intentions to come along and make for an interesting and valuable exchange of ideas and skills. And there’s a perfect balance of work and play J

Digital Nomad Girl Melissa 2

5. What has happened since the retreat?

I have caught up with 6 of the girls in person in their respective home cities and elsewhere around the world on my travels. We have ongoing mastermind groups on Skype which is great for motivation and accountability. I’ve since settled back in my home town (for now!) but I would definitely say if it weren’t for DNG and the amazing friends I’ve made at the retreat, I wouldn’t have believed I could continue working for myself even while back home.

6. How did you get started with your location independent job/business? How can others do the same?

I come from having managed brands in large multi-national food businesses, so I have an existing skill set that I saw was an opportunity to help online businesses. It can be overwhelming when you dive into the online world, because there’s a lot to learn and it can feel like if you’ve not already been blogging since forever that it’s hard to get in and offer anything new. The reality is this is the perfect time to get in, and you probably have loads of skills that you actually undervalue and that people really need and would pay for.

7. What made you pursue a life as a Digital Nomad? 

Ultimately, I wasn’t happy with corporate life and I knew there had to be something that was more fulfilling and would allow me to spread my wings creatively. I was living in Sydney, had been working for big companies for over a decade and needed a change, so when I joined the DNG Facebook group and saw so many women making it happen, I wanted to be a part of that.

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

My husband and I had both come to the same conclusion about wanting to ‘run away’ so I had someone to face the ‘craziness’ with right from the start. For the most part our friends and family were really supportive. I think a lot of them saw what we were doing as a backpacking holiday. The opportunities online for genuine work are still a bit far out to a lot of people though!

Digital Nomad Girl Melissa 4

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

Finding reliable wifi was a struggle in some places which made it a bit stressful at times! But generally, being present. When I’m in a new place for a short time, I have to remind myself why I decided to leave the cubicle in the first place and that is to experience the world and give myself space to just be.

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

I seriously use the DNG Facebook group as a first port of call for advice or to see who else might be where I am… then working in coworking spaces is usually a good way to meet people. I learned that there are not too many degrees of separation in the world – and being open to reaching out to friends of friends you may not have met before opens up a whole social network to tap into while you’re away.

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

Obviously I’d tell her to join DNG, but also to just do it. There is no better time than now and you will figure it all out… and you needn’t be motivated by money. There’s a LOT of hype about ‘six figure’ this and ‘income report’ that, but it’s not a race to the top of the ladder (that’s what corporate is for!). It’s about achieving a lifestyle and balance that works for you, sharing your unique gifts with the world and finding reward in non-material things.

Quick round:

When I feel lonely, I….ask my sisters to send me cute pictures of my nephews and niece J

My favourite digital nomad location is….Sun & Co at Javea! I’m not even trying to suck up here – it’s seriously my favourite!

The one item I always pack is …Noise cancelling headphones. Great for planes and trains and noisy coworking spaces!

In 5 years time I want to be….past the hustle phase of business and enjoying longer periods of downtime while travelling.

My favourite digital nomad tool/app/resource is… Work Hard Anywhere app to find good cafes with wifi.

My all-time favourite quote is….

“You cannot make everyone happy. You’re not an avocado.” Ha ha love that one but don’t know who originally said it.

But also, I love “Two elements must therefore be rooted out once and for all – the fear of future suffering and the recollection of past suffering; since the latter no longer concerns me, and the former concerns me not yet” – Seneca.

Thank you, Melissa for sharing your story with us! You can connect with Melissa on Instagram and Twitter, and find her on her website MelissaPackham.me

If you’re curious about joining our next retreat in Javea this September, you can find out all the details and apply here.

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Sign up banner slim

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Alumni Taylor- Founder of Remote Like Me

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Alumni Taylor- Founder of Remote Like Me

In this interview series we share the stories of real Digital Nomad Girls who’ve all created a life of travel and freedom and who have joined the Digital Nomad Girls Retreats. Nothing is as inspiring as meeting real people living the life that you’re dreaming of. Find out how they did it!

This week we meet Digital Nomad Girl Taylor Lane who is the founder of Remote Like Me.

Taylor is originally from the USA where she studied to be a teacher. She’s been travelling the world since 2015 and settling down in Latin America for long periods of time. Currently Tyalor is living in Medellín, Colombia and she’ll be spending the month of July in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.

1. What is your location independent job?

I’m the founder of Remote Like Me, a membership site which helps people find and land remote jobs.

I used to work as a Customer Success Manager for a Saas company, which allowed me to live the Digital Nomad lifestyle. People started asking me how they could do it too. So, I decided to start Remote Like Me, 

2. We met at the DNG Retreat in Las Palmas, yay! What made you join the retreat?

This decision was way out of the norm for me. I always rolled my eyes at other programs that focus on working and travelling together, but when I saw that there was a DNG retreat, I was immediately interested. I’ve been a part of the DNG community for a while now and I really trust you (Jenny), the members, and its mission. I was drawn to the fact that it was in such a great location and I was dying to step foot in Spain. The affordable price really made it a no-brainer.

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Las Palmas

At the DNg Retreat in Las Palmas, April 2017.

3. What did you get out of the retreat? What was your favourite part?

Oh my gosh, that is hard to answer. So many things! If I have to pick one favourite thing, it would be the mastermind sessions during the week. Nothing lights me up like collaboration. Sitting with the group, sipping on cocktails, and helping someone draw out their plan for their next goal… there’s nothing better in my eyes. The resources, insights, and knowledge shared in those mastermind sessions were pure gold.

4. Who would benefit from joining a DNG retreat?

Anyone with a beating heart! The retreat is really open ended, so you get out of it what you want to put in. Jenny made the perfect schedule, including work hours, free time, social get-togethers, group fitness opportunities, and of course the mastermind sessions. We had such an eclectic group of girls and each one got something different out of the retreat.

For some it was a confidence boost, for others it was the action plan to quit their job and launch their own business, and for me… it was the reassurance that what I’m doing is working, people will pay for my services (at a much higher rate than I charged at the time), and my vision is impacting lives all over the world. It truly changed the way I think. I stopped playing small and started building my business into what it really could be.

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Taylor 3

5. What has happened since the retreat?

It’s crazy to think it has already been 2 months since the end of the retreat. In the last 60 days I’ve pushed my business further than I had in the first 4 months combined. After one of the retreat attendees (Monika) gave us a quick workshop on how to write a stellar “About” page, I redid my entire About page and Home page.

After having countless conversations about charging what we are really worth, I changed my packaging and pricing. I ran a free workshop week, where I drove over 1,000 new pageviews to my website, over 500 new members to my Facebook group, and sold countless memberships and extra services. Because of all of the input from my mastermind session, I decided to launch my Start Working Online course. So far, the response has been incredible and I am working towards filling the course to full capacity.

The Start Working Online course is open for enrollment until Thursday, June 15th at 10pm EDT. 

6. How did you get started with your location independent job/business? How can others do the same?

I have a big belief in life that when faced with an opportunity, say yes now and figure it out as you go along. My start to location independence was not different. I volunteered with people with special needs in Guatemala and knew that I wanted to create a lifestyle of travel and volunteering. But I had no idea how to fund it.

I started looking up Digital Nomadism and Voluntourism on Instagram. That lead me to hours of scrolling, researching companies that hired remotely, and dreaming of my new remote position. I applied to many jobs that I knew I didn’t have the experience for, and luckily I landed a Customer Success role with a SaaS company. I actually wrote a guide to finding your dream job on Instagram and you can follow the exact same steps that I took. 

After being in the remote world for about a year, I decided to help others start their online careers as well. I started sending out a free weekly newsletter with a list of quality remote job opportunities and a few people landed their first jobs because of it.

I knew I had to create this business in order to help people all over the world set themselves free. I decided to create memberships at all different price levels in order to help people find and land remote jobs, wherever they are at in life right now.

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Taylor 5

 

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

My family was shocked, wanted me to stay in the United States and be a teacher like I had studied to do. But I finished my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and decided to start my Digital Nomad lifestyle right away. Like I said, say yes now, figure it out later.

My friends were all in awe of my ballsiness (I know that’s not really a word), and showered me with questions about how to do the same thing. All of those inquiries actually ended up being the bedrock of my business. I started Remote Like Me to answer all of those questions and make this lifestyle more of a reality than just a far off dream.

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

Staying healthy and fit has been more of a struggle since starting my own business. I am a bit of a workaholic because I’m such a “get it done” type of person. I need to set better boundaries with daily schedules and not letting work bleed into my personal life so much.

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

I’m a huge believer in Facebook groups. For instance, whenever I’m in a new place, I search for Digital Nomads of _______ enter city name or something similar. Being in those groups is great, but you have to have the confidence to actually take those connections offline and into the real world. As we speak I am getting ready to go out on a lunch and work session with 4 female Digital Nomads who I have not yet met in person. I also love to go to the meet ups at bars whenever I can.

Meet Digital Nomad Girl Taylor 4

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

Say yes now and figure it out as you go along.

There is no better way to find out if the Digital Nomad lifestyle is for you, than to actually go do it. While you are in your first destination, network with other Digital Nomads and find out what kind of path you might be able to start for an online career. There are tons out there and being around others who are actually doing it, sustainably, is a great motivator.

Don’t wait for the perfect plan, the perfect amount of savings, the perfect time… that will never come. Sell some of your things, buy that plane ticket, volunteer in a hostel if you have to, JUST GO! I promise you, you’ll figure it out while you’re doing it.

Quick round:

When I feel lonely, I…. write in my Dear Maggie book. Maggie is a friend from home who bought me a journal to write down all of my adventures. Her only request is that she gets to read it after. So I began writing my “Dear Maggie” stories and will give her the journal when I visit home in August. Then she’ll take the journal and write to me until the next time we see each other and can swap again.

My favourite digital nomad location is…. hands down Antigua, Guatemala. It is a beautiful valley, surrounded by active volcanos, 2 hours from a beautiful lake, and about 3 hours from the beach. Mayan culture is alive and well in the cobblestone streets yet the vibe of the city is young and hip. There are countless cafes, restaurants, and bars that make work and social life an absolute blast. I can’t say enough about Antigua, and that’s why I go back every year.

The one item I always pack is … my big comfy sweat pants.

In 5 years time I want to be…. running Remote Like Me, with multiple employees, helping THOUSANDS of people find and land remote jobs. I also want to be a speaker at international events. Ultimately, I’d love to still be traveling the world and finding new cities to make my temporary home.

My favourite digital nomad tool/app/resource is… Facebook groups. I’ve gotten short term apartments, appliances, local advice, new friends, and lots and lots of business from being a part of different Facebook groups.

My all-time favourite quote is….

If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. -Sheryl Crow

Thank you Taylor for sharing your story with us! If you’re curious about joining our next retreat in Javea this September, you can find out all the details and apply here.

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Sign up banner slim

 

Pin It on Pinterest