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).
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.
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.
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!
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! 🙂