We recently spoke to Alina of the popular Nomad Girls blog to find out how she has built a location independent lifestyle while inspiring others to pursue their own dreams in the process.
Please can you give us some background on who you are, where you’re from and what you do as a digital nomad?
My name is Alina and I am the founder of Nomad Girls – blog for digital nomad girls and freelancers. I am originally from small city in central Russia. At the age of 14 I have moved to UK to study and spent there 6 years. After graduating from university, I have travelled and lived in the USA, Europe, and Russia. For the last 4 years I have been freelancing, working with clients from all over the world and also running my own projects. Now I am a full-time social media manager and a blogger.
Why did you decide to start start your own business and does it meet your expectations so far?
During and after university I had tried few office jobs and did few internships but never felt that this is what I want. My favourite subject at school and uni was business studies, that’s how I knew that I want something of my own. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I am very happy so far. It’s definitely ups and downs, but I love to learn new things, to solve problems and I love challenges. The work never ends and I have a lot of ideas and plans on how to take the business to the next level.
What is a typical day like for you?
Because I am a fan of slow travelling, I was able to establish some daily routines which helped me stay stress free and be productive and healthy. My day varies, but typical one would be something like this: pilates/stretching in the morning, breakfast, working with clients, lunch, and then coffee and working on my blog. In the evening I try to read, watch movies or just go outside and explore.
You have built an amazing source of an endless inspiration and content for all digital nomad girls – Nomad Girls. What made you to start this project?
When I understood that freelancing is a suitable option for most people, I have decided to inspire and empower other women around the world to give it a try. Through my work I hope that I will be able to help as many people as possible to travel more and work remotely.
Your Instagram page for Nomad girls has nearly 26 000 followers. What are your three tips on building such a huge community?
1. Figure out your niche and your target audience. You have to know your people really well. 2. Be consistent. It’s really difficult to keep going if you don’t see immediate results. But just keep doing it! 3. Get as much feedback as possible, build content strategy based on your audience interests, problems and questions.
What pushed you towards a nomadic lifestyle?
For me, the “9 to 5” job was never a comfortable option. I have always wanted to work on the go, explore new places and have a flexible working schedule that I can adjust according to my needs and projects. I just felt it from the inside. So, I had to give it a try.
What is the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place?
Good question 🙂 First thing I would probably do is find some nice food places around me, like good sushi and Thai 😀 And also check out some coffee shops to work from.
What have been your favourite places so far and why?
1. Lisbon. It’s such a perfect place for digital nomads. Lisbon has everything you need as a freelancer and it’s cheaper than most EU cities. 2. London. Because I have spent so many years there and I just love the vibe, the social life and entrepreneur environment.
How do you stay productive?
I try to be productive by working in intervals, using Trello for tasks and using a timer. It’s good to know what exact time of the day works best for your productivity and to have an inspiring and uplifting working environment around you. I am really productive at coffee shops, so I always go there when I need some serious work to get done.
What does the word ‘home’ mean to you?
In short: home is where I feel calm, confident and inspired.
How do you find new clients?
Mainly through social media (Facebook groups, LinkedIn), referrals and networking. With many clients I work long-term (more than a year) so I don’t need to always look for new clients. My advice would be to build long-lasting relationships with existing clients. It really helps!
What are the main aspects of your personality that have allowed you to live as a digital nomad?
Independency, calmness, positive outlook and passion for travel.
How do you stay healthy when you travel?
I do my research and try to find pilates / yoga studio or boxing classes nearby and sign up for it. I also try to sleep 7-8 hours everyday, always do a morning power smoothie and generally try to find time to learn more about human body, food and health by reading interesting blogs and articles
Which books have had a big impact on you?
My recent favourite books are: “Rich dad, poor dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki, “Emotional intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, “From good to great” by Jim Collins. I also love reading success stories of companies like Zappos, Walmart, Starbucks. Those stories always inspire me!
How do you define success?
Success for me is doing what I love and feel passionate about, have an opportunity to travel around the world and live in different countries.