Read our first digital nomad interview with Erika Marty, a successful online marketer and one of our #nomadgirls 🙂 Enjoy the reading and don’t forget to prepare some questions for the comments section.
Please tell us a little bit about your background (country, age, education)?
I was born and raised in gorgeous South Lake Tahoe, California and am 26 years old. Both of my parents are immigrants with my mom being from Guatemala and my father from Switzerland so I grew up lucky enough to travel with them to visit family in their countries. I speak Spanish, German, and English fluently. I received my Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in Global Studies and German and completed my Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy in Paris. In my free time, you can find me hiking, mountain biking, or skiing.
Why did you choose digital nomad lifestyle? What was the turning point to become a full-time nomad girl?
I lived in Europe for 3 years and fell in love with living with foreign cultures. I decided that I wanted more freedom to be able to move around, but I still wanted the security of being able to make money so I started researching the nomad lifestyle. The freedom to live anywhere and still earn money was appealing to my free spirit. For me, the turning point was realizing that most of us live a life of owning things rather than owning time. It’s so much more important to spend your time lavishly than it is to spend money lavishly. I sacrifice new clothes, expensive toys so that I can spend each and every moment where I want and exploring new things the challenge me and help me grow.
What it’s like to be an online marketer on the go?
It’s liberating to be able to do marketing on the go, anywhere on the planet. It’s also been very important to remain disciplined and focused because it’s so easy to prioritize exploring a new city or going on an exotic excursion over work. For me, it’s powerful to recognize that work is the foundation that allows me to live a life free from one location. Because of this, I work hard to ensure that I have a steady income each month, but I also make sure to enjoy the present because that’s the whole point of this lifestyle. The key is to recognize balance and constantly check in to make sure I am devoting both time and energy to the things I create through work as well as to my personal development.
Many girls who are just starting out are scared to quit their regular 9-5 jobs and balance remote work and travel. What advice can you give to them? What advice would you give to yourself back when you were starting out?
My advice to girls looking to become digital nomads is to stop making excuses. I think we all at some point or another justify not taking a scary step by making excuses concerning money, time, or how hard it is to give up present situations. Give it a shot! More than likely with a good deal of effort things will work out, and if they don’t, you can always go back home with new experiences and a chance to start something new. My second bit of advice is to do your research and set yourself up for success the best you can. Look into remote opportunities long before you plan on leaving, work and save as much money as you can. Reach out to others who have been successful at creating the nomad lifestyle, we love guiding others and the travel community is an amazing support system.
What is the most fun/coolest place (or thing) you have done or visited in the last year?
The most amazing things I experienced this last year were visiting Russia and seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. Russia was so magical in winter and it was exactly opposite of what everyone said it would be. There is something truly stunning about the Aurora Borealis and I don’t think its beauty and wonder can be described in words.
Mention 3 unusual things you can’t travel without =)
I’m a minimalist traveler so I try to pack only the bare essentials that I’ll need as it makes being on the go so much simpler. A few unusual things I can’t travel without are chocolate because I’m Swiss, magnets because I buy one for my mom every place I visit, and a reusable grocery bag because there’s already too much plastic in the world.
How do you cope with many challenges of being a digital nomad? For example, health issues & safety. What worked for you and what did not?
Coping with challenges is one of the skills that develops most as a digital nomad. Through my travels, I’ve become much more patient and tolerant of many situations. I’ve learned to just mellow out when travel plans go awry and I’ve also learned to be much more aware of my surroundings. Yelling at someone to do what you want them to do never works and a smile and sincere plea can get you pretty much anything on the planet.
From your experience, what are the best cities and countries for nomad girls traveling solo and/or with someone?
For solo female travel, I think Europe and Asia are both great options depending on your budget. I lived in Paris for a year by myself and made some of the most amazing friends I have. Travel in Asia is on the rise and it’s so easy to meet other individuals who are digital nomads. For me, I don’t think there is really anywhere that is bad for female travel as I’ve been to Turkey and Russia as a solo traveler, it’s just a different experience. Don’t let being solo stop you from going; there are so many ways to meet travelers and locals alike if you need a little support or company.