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Is the "Digital Nomad" Trend Actually a Good Thing?

An Interview with Carrie Hoffman

· Girlboss Interviews,work and travel,Entrepreneurship

Carrie is a location independent entrepreneur, founder of the company "Global Travelers Network" and a freelance marketing consultant for hostels all around the world. She is currently living in Bangkok with her husband and plans to work and travel for the next couple of years. She also runs her own blog, which she monetises through affiliate marketing. Find out more about her journey so far and what's in store for the future.

Female Digital Nomad sitting on top of the number one hostel in the US

When did you decide that you would like to start working and travelling?

I started combining work and travel right after graduating from college when I joined the Peace Corps and went to work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Tanzania, East Africa. Since then I’ve been hooked on travel and have also tried to find ways to use my time and skills for good in the world.

It wasn’t until this year though, that I officially became a nomad. My husband and I sold and stored away everything in our home of five years in California, left our dog with his parents (*tear* “Miss you, Toby!”), and started traveling indefinitely. We’re now living as expats in Thailand, and while it is challenging it is also a dream come true!

Why did you decide to become a marketing consultant for hostels?

My husband and I have stayed at lots of different hostels throughout our travels and worked at a few. In my last “real job” I managed the #1 Hostel in the USA and also helped with their marketing and social media campaigns. It was a super fun and rewarding job! I knew that I had a lot of expertise and skills which could help hostels around the world improve and succeed. I got an opportunity through a friend to do marketing for a new hostel in Bangkok and I jumped on it! Global Traveler Networks was born! From here, we would love to continue helping hostels, small businesses, and NGOs up their game. I love that it’s a very social and creative job. Good hostels are all about promoting travel to break down barriers between people and make the world seem smaller. I’m totally on board with that mission!

How Carrie decided to become a location independent marketing consultant for hostels

What does a typical day look like for you?

There isn’t really a “typical” day; it varies a lot. I always need to get to know the city the hostel is in, so I do a lot of the touristy activities and I take a lot of pictures! Sometimes I work from my computer at one of my favourite cafes or vegan restaurants. Sometimes I’m in the hostel meeting with the staff and the owners, helping them to plan activities and execute improvements.

Do you prefer to work from co-working spaces, cafes or from home?

Cafes! I love good coffee and I’m most productive when I’m highly caffeinated.

Location independent entrepreneur, Carrie Hoffmann explains how she works from cafes

How many hours do you work per week?

40+ right now, because I’m helping a lot at my current client hostel and also pouring a lot of time into marketing our new business and improving our travel blog! It will be worth it!

Which country that you visited, did you like the most?

That’s such a hard question! A piece of my heart will always stay in Tanzania because that’s where I first lived abroad and felt really integrated with the community there. I learned to speak Swahili and I lived very off-the-grid. It was very challenging but also empowering.

I also loved Ecuador, because it has everything you could possible want from a South American adventure destination (jungle hikes, hot springs, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, beaches, amazing markets) without hordes of tourists!

Digital Nomad and Entrepreneur, carrie, says how Tanzania is her favourite country to live in

How do you monetise your blog?

We occasionally accept sponsored posts for awesome products and experiences we support anyway.

What are the biggest problems for a location independent entrepreneur?

Self-care can be a problem because when you’re an entrepreneur it’s tempting to be constantly working on your business. You have to give yourself time to put down the laptop and do some yoga!

It's important for a travelling entrepreneur to practice self care

What's the best advice you ever got?

“Tupo pamoja” means “We are together” in Swahili and it’s also in my first tattoo. Borders are fake; race is fake; we are one global human race. Our humanity is bound together.

What's your favourite quote?

“And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?"

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”
― Donald Miller, Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road

How long do you see yourself travelling for?

I see myself traveling for the next couple years, at least! I generally prefer to travel slowly. I like to actually live in a place for a bit and get to know it on a deeper level. That being said, my husband and I have a dream to race in The Mongol Rally in 2019 so that is sure to be a crazy time of speedy travel. Hopefully we can produce lots of epic stories for our blog.

Do you write about social issues, politics or world issues on your blog?

Yes because politics are an important part of travel, and promoting social justice is important to us. We hope our writing helps people to realise that there’s no reason to fear people who are different from you. No matter how different cultures seem, most people in the world just want their fair share of prosperity and happiness.

Where can we find you?

You can find me online at www.laaventuraproject.com. I am also on Instagram at @LaAventuraProject and on Youtube too!

Digital Nomad Entrepreneur has some time off to go exploring in the mountains

If you would like to start working location independently and travelling the world... what's stopping you? Check out our blog post "12 ways you can make money online right now".

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