DNS #23 Monique Alvarez:: “Stay focused and surround yourself with those who support you.”

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“Digital Nomad story” is a weekly story series sharing experiences and tips from nomadic entrepreneurs all over the world on how the being of a digital nomad actually looks like & how they’re rolling in their nomadic lifestyle. Join the journey!

 

Hi, my name is Monique Alvarez

and the way I became a digital nomad was inspired by having two babies in 12 months. I had traveled single and married and once I become a mother I knew I wanted to raise my boys outside the U.S. With two babies in my arms I transitioned our marketing business into business consulting and we were traveling full time just after my boys turned one and two. Being a digital nomad is my greatest dream come true!

 

What’s your normal daily routine as a digital nomad?

Our routine is really pretty simple. We start off with family time and breakfast and then I take the boys to the beach or the park so my husband has focused work time. We meet up for lunch and then he naps the boys and I get to work. We typically have dinner and go for a walk to watch the sunset before bedtime.

 

What’s your favorite part about of being a digital nomad? & What’s the opposite – least favorite?

My favorite part about being a digital nomad is that I get to spend lots of time with my family and we live a lifestyle that is slow and rich. We can take three hours to enjoy lunch and make friends with the people at the table across from us. It’s a low stress life and we get to make amazing memories together. My least favorite is probably that it’s a very misunderstood way of life. We aren’t on vacation. We aren’t trust fund babies. We simply choose to work and life in a way that feels much more humane and true to our hearts.


How do you stay healthy when you travel?

We eat a very clean diet and we walk everywhere. Even our toddlers are used to walking two or three miles a day.

What are the hardest things to keep up with while being a digital nomad? What’s your suggestion for dealing with them?  

I find the hardest thing to keep up with are time zones and days. I have set up my whole life on Acuity and I set my world clock on my phone so I can see at a glance what time it is for my clients.


Are there any online resources you find really useful and essential for your digital nomad career? If so, please share some!

I find using Zoom for client calls is super easy for everyone. I can record calls and put them on DropBox. I also use Zoom webinar for Facebook lives. Last but not least, I’m in love with Trello and how it allows me to keep all communication and documents for 1;1 clients in one space that’s simple to use.

 

What’s the biggest misconception people have about digital nomads? 

A big misconception about being a digital nomad is that it’s only for the young. I learned that my desire to travel wasn’t something I was going to outgrow. In fact, after getting married and starting a family I was more convinced than ever that this is the way of life I desire.


Being a digital nomad may include a lot of traveling. What are your tips & tricks for better travels?

I find great deals on SkyScanner and sometimes I break trips up to find the best deal. For example, when we left Mexico I bought a ticket from Mexico City to London and then a separate ticket from London to Corfu. This ended up saving me over $1000 USD per person. We travel light for a family. Everyone gets one suitcase and that’s it.

 

Many people are afraid of never being able to settle down after being nomads. They can’t live long in one place, they can’t find partner who’d love to travel as much, etc. What are your thoughts on this? Have you experienced these feelings?

I felt that way all through my twenties and I was determined to stay single unless I found someone with a similar love for travel. Thankfully I did and honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to either person to go against your heart. I personally don’t think there’s a cure for those who have travel in their genes.


Where have you experienced the strongest nomad community? Also, please share, if there is any place where you’ve found lack of it!

We tend to pick places off the beaten path and there were only a few digital nomad families in Guanajuato, Mexico. We are now in Ksamil, Albania and we are the only ones that I know of.

 

Top 5 most memorable trips you had 

  • My first overseas trip was to Myanmar at 19 years old. That trip completely ruined me in the best way possible. I was a small town girl whose eyes were wide open. I knew right then that I would travel the world.
  • I moved to Albania at 21 to volunteer at an orphanage after the Kosovo Crisis and it was the first time I had a long stay in one spot. I learned the language and made friends. It was in Albania that I found myself and learned how to be independent.
  • I had been dreaming of visiting Egypt since I was a little girl looking through the pages of National Geographic. Being able to visit the Pyramids was absolutely amazing.
  • Taking my boys to Costa Rica and seeing sloths and monkeys in the forest was incredible too.
  • My biggest dream come true was bringing them to Albania and spending the summer on the Adriatic Sea.

 

What’s your vision of the future? How long are you planning to keep up with your digital nomad lifestyle?

Our vision is to stay in Albania for the next year and grow my business into consulting for corporations in addition to entrepreneurs.

Gathering all your current experience – what would you now say to your old self, back when you just started? 

Trust yourself, you got this!

One simple suggestion for someone just starting. Learn from those who are doing what you dream of. Stay focused and surround yourself with those who support you. Learn how to make consistent income because it will make the rest even more fun.

 

Follow Monique’s adventures:

Website // Instagram // Facebook

 

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