Mel is an amazing, fun free spirit from New York who I met when I lived at Bondi beach. I was amazed at her drive and achievements at such a young age. She had three websites and was feeling into becoming a coach in her early twenties! She’s also super spiritual. I once said she has the soul of a 100 year old monk. Oh, and she’s also hilarious!
One of the many things I love about travel is the people you meet. It can be so inspiring hearing people’s stories and seeing their perspectives. So I’m going to share interviews with people I’ve met on my travels who have inspired me in some way, as they may inspire you too!
I’m particularly interested in those living and working in alternative ways. Particularly in terms of sustainability or location independent work. This one is focussed on being a digital nomad: working online from anywhere you have internet access. Ie, not tied to an office!
Mel’s work background is in graphic and web design. After travelling in Australia she got a web design job in Sydney CBD. She then embarked on a long roadtrip around Australia, working remotely as she went. We share many interests including the digital nomad movement, spirituality and self development, and of course travel.
Here’s an interview with Mel about being a digital nomad.
What’s your background? (professional and otherwise)
My background is in web design and I’m currently shifting into my passion of life coaching (aka, helping people look at their shit)
How did you first realise being a digital nomad was a viable life option?
I started hearing about it through my endless google searches when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life and when I did my road trip in Australia for 2 months and was able to work along the way really solidified that for me. Since then I’ve gotten deeper into the DN community and there are just loads of people doing it now!
How did you get your first work? How many locations have you been based in for work?
Sydney for a large part of it, then random small towns along the West coast of Australia and then Salamanca, Spain!
What’s been your favourite?
Ah, I mean, I didn’t know cities like Sydney existed! Those beaches! *-*
How do you stay on track?
Hmm, I really don’t think anyone should take advice from me for staying on track. 😛
What’s the hardest part of being a nomad?
The fact that you’re relying on yourself for everything. There’s no constant. You don’t have a regular paycheck (at least not with my job), you don’t have a regular stream of clients (at least not yet), you don’t have a home, a consistent group of friends, or even location. I think that can really wear you down.
I prefer slow travel (staying in one place for 3-6 months) vs picking up and moving every so often.
What’s your work / life balance like?
That’s a bit of a toughie, because I have trouble staying on track I find that I’m always working. Learn from my mistakes!
How does working remotely affect your relationships?
All my close friends I speak to on Skype, that can be a bit tough, especially I find for the friends that are still back home. It’s always easier leaving vs being left. As for romantic relationships, that would be such a doozy unless I’m staying in one place for a long amount of time.
What’s your top tip for existing or aspiring nomads?
I mean, just go out and do it. Fuck the 9-5, circulated air, flourescent lights, fuck it all! Oh, and have some back up money. That always helps.
The amount of times I considered being a topless waiter was too much to count.
How do you see remote working evolving in future?
I see an increase of co-working and co-living spaces. Sharing of skills, collaborating on ideas, impacting local communities.
Who do you most admire in your line of work?
Anyone who has a good heart, who keeps it real.
What are you currently working on?
I’m sort of straddling two worlds at the moment. Design and coaching world. Right now I’m shifting my design audience into small businesses in the health & wellness fields by providing niche wordpress themes and doing branding consultancy. As for coaching, I’m finally putting myself out there and taking on clients!
What are your future plans?
I want to create a conscious community for young people. Like real shit. Not some instagram spirituality worthy stuff.
I want to have real conversations about empathy, emotional responsibility, addiction, etc. I think there are a lot of young people realizing that money and a career aren’t everything (especially in the digital nomad community) and they’re searching for something more— deeper meaning and purpose.
A big part of taking the steps to get there is being around people who are also questioning the system and are going against the grain. So building a community where we’re actually meeting up in person and having real conversations and real interactions is important to me.
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Follow Mel’s travels on instagram and snapchat @duuhitsmel