How to become a digital nomad. It is the dream job of more and more people all around the world. Not having to work in a 9 to 5 job and being able to travel and work from whenever in the world. Sounds like a dream right?
Maeve is actually living it.
She is a vegan writer translator and businesswoman while travelling the world and helping other people find freedom by growing their digital businesses.
I interviewed Maeve, as I think she is super inspiring and a role model to many of us.
Please tell us something about you.
I’m Maeva. I was born and raised in Southern California, although I come from a French and Colombian background. I’m a writer and a translator and I help brands and entrepreneurs make a positive impact and reach their English-speaking audiences. Both my parents are also vegan and translators, so I kind of followed in their footsteps.On top of that, I’m a digital nomad — although I have my base in Barcelona, I travel quite regularly and haven’t stayed put in one place longer than 5 weeks in the last 4 years.
When did you come to Barcelona? Why?
I moved to Barcelona 5 years ago. Before that, I lived in Paris and London. I came on an impulse. I’m one of those people (you’ll meet lots in Barcelona) who came for a weekend and decided to stay. I wanted to be closer to the sea and to have somewhere that’s smaller and more centralized than London.
How did you become a Digital Nomad? What did you do before?
A lot of blood, sweat and tears! No, just kidding, but launching my digital business wasn’t easy. I began by following my parents and getting into translation, but as our specializations diverged, I was left to it on my own. Then went to London to study translation and I spent day and night researching other translators and writers that I admired. I had to work all the time but I still wanted to travel, so I just began to work while I traveled.
I’m not a full-time digital nomad–meaning, I’m location independent but I’m not technically ‘homeless’. I have my base, an apartment in central Barcelona, and I travel from there.
Before, I worked at a fast food restaurant and was a bartender and had my occasional side hustles.
What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
The pros are obvious! Freedom.
You can make money from anywhere. I haven’t taken a vacation yet this year, but I’ve been in Los Angeles, Denver, Brussels, Prague, Barcelona, Medellin, Cali, and I’m currently talking to you from Faro, Portugal. I was working the whole time.
There are a few cons. One is the non-vacation thing. I think there are digital nomads that do take vacations and I managed to take one last year after a burn-out but most of the time, as an entrepreneur, I have trouble taking time off and it’s sometimes hard to fully enjoy the place I’m traveling to. Also, since I’m often on the road, it’s hard to meet up with people and maintain some relationships.
Where have you travelled to? Where has it been the easiest to be vegan?
I don’t like to country count. You could still be a digital nomad traveling only within one country, and I like to travel to a lot of cities within a single country.
Listing all the cities and villages I’ve been to would take too long, so in terms of countries so far have gotten to know (some better than others): the USA, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Andorra, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, Colombia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Australia. It’s still a small, small percentage of the world and each place has so much to discover within itself.
It’s like trying to meet and get to deeply know a ton of people!
In terms of eating vegan, probably the best cities were Los Angeles (thanks, home!) Berlin, Vienna and London. But some places are surprisingly easier than you’d expect. I just spend a month in a small village in Colombia that had four (yes, four!) vegan restaurants, which is NOT something you’d expect from a rural Colombian town.
So many cuisines can be easily made vegan, while in other places you need to be a little more creative or just cook.
Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to become a digital nomad and work from anywhere in the world?
You don’t need to run your own business to be a digital nomad. You can also find remote employment jobs. Be disciplined, be hungry to see the world. But also don’t worry too much about labels and what a digital nomad should do or shouldn’t do, or how often or long you should be traveling. The whole lifestyle is built on the premise of freedom to choose the life you want. So if you want to change places every two days, so be it. Others prefer to chill out and spend a few months in a place at a time, and that’s fine too. There’s no race to travel to more places and slow travel and getting to know fewer places more deeply is just as valid as traveling to a ton of places.
Just do you.
Find me on Instagram and on my blog, Maeva Everywhere.