Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Melissa

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Melissa

In this series, we’re chatting with our Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni about their experiences at a DNG retreat! We’re so excited to feature these amazing ladies and to invite all of our old and new members to join us at our retreat taking place in Javea, Spain this year in June!

Hi Melissa – please tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Melissa – a craft beer quaffing, handmade jewellery-wearing, corporate refugee from Brisbane, Australia. My background is in marketing for multinational food companies, and now I’m a freelance brand strategist and run my own business A Brand Is Not A Logo – where I help small businesses and entrepreneurs build meaningful brands.

melissa packham digital nomad girls

I actually don’t call myself nomadic as these days I’m usually in one place… I consider myself more “location independent” which means I can work from anywhere. After a year of travelling in 2016, I found myself back home in Brisbane where I worked solidly on my business and have now started a family (a digital nomad girl in training!).

 

Why did you decide to join us at the retreat? What motivated you to join?

I attended two retreats – the very first one in Javea in 2016 and again in 2017. The first time I was motivated to join to learn more about digital nomad life for women specifically.

Melissa Packham Digital Nomad Girls Javea Retreat

I knew there was more to life than the corporate ladder, and wanted to meet others who were living the life of freedom, travel and work they loved, so I could be inspired. The second time, I needed a boost of inspiration and support (and that’s exactly what I got).

 

How has the retreat impacted your life as a digital nomad?

I’ve seriously made some of the most important friendships in my life from these retreats. I’ve never met a more diverse group of intelligent, determined, fun and supportive women in one place before.

I know that wherever I go in the world, if one of them is in the same place, I’ll have someone to connect and share new experiences with.

melissa packham digital nomad girls retreat

 

What were your biggest takeaways from the retreat?

The retreats made me realise that there are many different ways to experience a digital nomad or location independent life – and what it is really about is freedom to choose. Most importantly, they confirmed for me that when women genuinely support women, magic really does happen.  

 

What’s your favourite memory from the retreat?

It is so hard to choose just one – but from the first retreat, we saw the moonrise over the ocean while we did yoga together. It was special because it was a super moon. We were all in awe and so zen after our yoga – it was really amazing.

digital nomad girls melissa packham javea retreat

At both retreats, after all of our hard work, storytelling, sharing and bonding, we have fun nights out and dance together which for me, is all about letting our hair down and solidifying our new friendships.

 

Are you still in touch with any of the girls from the retreat?

Yes! So many of them. I’ve caught up with several of them around the world too which was just so amazing. I have plans to catch up with many more this year, too.

melissa packham jennifer lachs digital nomad girls

 

Would you recommend the retreat to a friend?

Absolutely 100%. No matter what stage of their digital nomad journey, I would tell them that they are life changing – they have been for me.

 

Thank you SO much Melissa for sharing your experience with us! If you’d like to connect with Melissa, you can contact her via her website! If you want to find out more about the Digital Nomad Girls retreats, you can find all information here.

Melissa Packham Digital Nomad Girls Javea Retreat pinterest

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Chelse

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Chelse

In this series, we’re chatting with our Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni about their experiences at a DNG retreat! We’re so excited to feature these amazing ladies and to invite all of our old and new members to join us at our retreat taking place in Javea, Spain this year in June!

Hi Chelse – please tell us a bit about yourself!

Hey there! My name is Chelse Hensley, I’m 28 and reside in the Carolinas (USA) when not traveling. I’ve been semi-nomadic for over 3 years now and love blending the best of both worlds when traveling and also keeping a normal routine for half the year of each.

Chelse hensley digital nomad girls retreat jennifer lachs las palmas
I am a Social Media Advertising specialist so I work with brands and businesses to sell products, and events via Facebook and Instagram. I love building sales funnels to help my clients accomplish their business goals!

 

Why did you decide to join us at the retreat? What motivated you to join?

This is my third retreat because Digital Nomad Girls can’t get rid of me 😉 I’ve grown and learned so much from being involved in DNG.

The first retreat, the girls convinced me to leave my 9-5 and operate under my own business, the second retreat solidified my business plan and it’s where I met another Digital Marketer, Bettina Wittman, whom I’ve now been working on projects with for over a year and a half!

Chelse digital nomad girls retreat jennifer lachs las palmas

This upcoming retreat, I’m looking forward to brainstorming new ideas for revenue sources, how to best scale my services, and learning from other experts in their fields.

Also, sipping Spanish sangria and coasting the Mediterranean doesn’t hurt either 😉

 

How has the retreat impacted your life as a digital nomad?

Jenny, the Founder of DNG, is famous for saying “there’s no one right way to be a Digital Nomad” and I love embracing that. I’m not a full-time nomad and I truly enjoy having a homebase back in the states and I think that’s important.

It’s a treat to come to these retreats and meet new people and enjoy the beautiful locale as a type of “working vacation” – it’s a bit of a luxury that is worth every penny.

Chelse digital nomad girls retreat jennifer lachs las palmas

 

What were your biggest takeaways from the retreat?

Ha! Well, uh, my first retreat quite literally changed my life forever. From their support and ideas, I was able to take those tools and lay the foundation to start my own marketing agency.

I still keep in touch with many of the girls and it’s like having a group of travel BFF’s all over the world. Some of us have met up in other parts of the world like Scotland, Bulgaria, and the Canary Islands.

 

What’s your favourite memory from the retreat?

Boating around the Costa Blanca in Javea was absolutely stunning and I’ll never forget that day. It was a fantastic activity for us girls – even though a few of us got stung by jelly fish. But hey, now I have a story telling people I got bit by a Jelly Fish on the mediterranean. How many people can say that?

Chelse digital nomad girls retreat jennifer lachs javea

 

Are you still in touch with any of the girls from the retreat?

Of course. Just last week I had 2 skype calls with previous retreat members and I speak to my business partner whom I met at the last retreat at least a few times a week. And I had a lovely skype call with DNG Founder, Jenny, for my birthday.

Oh yeah, not the mention LIVING in Bulgaria for a month with Carole, whom I also met in Javea!

 

Would you recommend the retreat to a friend?

If there was a percentage higher than 100%, I’d use it. Do it! It’s worth the investment in memories and applications you can apply for your career and personal growth.

Chelse digital nomad girls retreat jennifer lachs las palmas

 

Thank you SO much Chelse for sharing your experience with us! If you’d like to connect with Chelse, you can contact her via her business, Recharge Social Media or her personal website ChelseHensley.com! If you want to find out more about the Digital Nomad Girls retreats, you can find all information here.

Retreat Alumni Pin Chelse pinterest javea las palmas digital nomad girls

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Susannah

Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni: Susannah

In this series, we’re chatting with our Digital Nomad Girls Retreat Alumni about their experiences at a DNG retreat! We’re so excited to feature these amazing ladies and to invite all of our old and new members to join us at our retreat taking place in Javea, Spain this year in June!

Hi Susannah – please tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m Susannah. I’m 27, and I’m originally from Washington State near Seattle in the U.S. Growing up homeschooled, I never got used to the whole “get up, go to work or school all day, come home, live for the weekends” mentality. I spent the first few years of my working life at a startup, not doing the kind of work I ultimately wanted for my career (writing).

susannah digital nomad girls retreat javea spain

So, after juggling a full-time job in the tech startup world and freelance writing on the side for four years, I decided to call it quits on traditional employment and write for clients (and myself) full time. That was two and a half years ago, and today I’m based in the Boston area but travel frequently, especially back to Seattle to spend time with family.

 

Why did you decide to join us at the retreat? What motivated you to join?

I found out about the retreat at the best possible time. I was getting ready to quit my job at the startup where I’d been working for four years, and I was really nervous about learning how to manage the day-to-day challenges of working for myself full-time.

I actually found out about the retreat quite late — another girl had dropped out and there was one spot open. Feeling anxious about spending so much money in one go — especially just as I was really launching a new business–I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take the leap, but I knew it was something I wanted to do.

I had a quick chat with Jenny before deciding that it was an investment I needed to make. I’m not a “fate” type of person, but everything lined up perfectly and it felt like this was my chance to build a community and get off on the right foot for my new life.

 

How has the retreat impacted your life as a digital nomad?

It helped me create a community quickly and gave me the understanding that even though working for yourself can feel isolating at times, you’re not alone. There were so many inspiring women at the retreat with the same doubts I had, and it was wonderful to build those friendships, get tips, and realize that I was really doing all right.

susannah digital nomad girls retreat javea spain

Oddly enough, the fact that almost all the girls had work to do while we were there (just as I did) made me feel like I fit in. Normally, I am the one ducking away for an hour or two to get work done. At the retreat, that felt really normal.

 

What were your biggest takeaways from the retreat?

That we’re all facing the same fears, doubts, and challenges. Some girls had amazing social media accounts, while others had high-level clients. Despite these amazing accomplishments, we all acknowledged the things holding us back, which helped me gain perspective and gave me hope that I could make this life work.

The other takeaway was that having a community rooted in face-to-face relationships is critical, even if most of your interaction takes place online. The retreat was a great way to create that community.

 

What’s your favourite memory from the retreat?

Although there were many great memories, like getting lunch together, yoga, masterminds, and swing dancing in the courtyard, my favorite was probably our sea kayaking expedition.

susannah digital nomad girls retreat javea spain

It was physically tough, but we were rewarded with a swim in a beautiful large sea cave and had the satisfaction of pushing ourselves to paddle back to shore.

 

Are you still in touch with any of the girls from the retreat?

Yes! I am a happy member of the Inner Circle and enjoy chatting with Jenny on a regular basis. I was also lucky enough to have another of my new friends come by for a visit during a trip to the US the following winter. While I haven’t been keeping up with everyone regularly, the friendships we struck up feel like ones that could just pick up where they left off.

 

Would you recommend the retreat to a friend?

Absolutely! It was an incredible experience and I’d definitely do it again. Beyond getting to know the girls, Sun & Co (and Javea) was fantastic and I have zero regrets about taking the leap and making the investment. I’d be jetting off to Spain again this year if I didn’t have prior commitments for June!

susannah digital nomad girls retreat javea spain group

 

Thank you SO much Susannah for sharing your experience with us! If you want to find out more about the retreat, you can find all information here. We hope to see you at one of our future retreats! 🙂

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