A Digital Nomad at 50? No problem at all!8 min read
A Digital Nomad at 50? No problem at all!8 min readReading Time: 6 minutes
Hi Pam, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your lifestyle?
I’m not a nomad but I am location independent. Having an internet-based business for the last 19 years has afforded me the flexibility to travel extensively around this beautiful world. Earlier this month, Australia and New Zealand marked my 44 and 45 country and happily counting.
We are in love with your company Adventurous Life! Pam, can you tell us how the idea of Adventurous Life was born?
When I was 46, I found myself a young widow. My husband and I did a lot of traveling in the last few years before he passed away and we both loved visiting different countries around the world and really delving into the culture, learning more about the places we were visiting beyond the “tourist hot-spots”.
When he died, I wanted to continue to feed my passion for traveling and went on vacations with my mom and some of my friends. A week here, a couple of weeks there. All on “touristy” holiday like cruises and beach destinations. It was fun but certainly wasn’t fulfilling my desire to linger in a location to really deep-dive and get to know the place I was visiting. They had responsibilities like partners, families and jobs they had to get back to. I was fortunate that I worked for myself as a business trainer and coach and was able to be anywhere as long as I had my laptop and reliable WiFi.
I tried traveling by myself a few times but quickly learned that it wasn’t for me. I like to share what I’m seeing with others, to be able to talk about it and revel together. I just found it very lonely.
When I turned 50, I decided that I that I was going to figure out a way to be able to travel the way I wanted to—to really linger in a place and get to know its people, customs and culture, and see things “off the beaten track”. I turned to the web to research ways I could travel solo, without being alone. I looked at all the usual suspects, the 12-day bus tours through various European cities and even singles cruises, but it just didn’t appeal. And then I happened upon a new movement called “digital nomad”.
And I found that there were a few companies that offered opportunities for digital nomads to work and live together in exotic locations around the world. Most for a month at a time, one for even a whole year, and I was intrigued. This sounded like just what I was looking for!
I contacted seven of these companies to learn more about them. My biggest questions concerned age. I noticed that the majority, if not all of the people on the websites, were in their 20’s. At 50, I wasn’t really interested in partying my face off all month. I needed to shake things up in my life and business, and at the same time, satisfy my wanderlust. Well, I found that yes, most of these groups focused on participants in the 25-30 range. But I did come across one that told me that yes, their average age was 26 but they had a variety of ages from 21 to 70 join them.
So, gulp, I decided to step WAY outside my comfort zone and signed up to join them in Buenos Aires for a month with a group of 35 strangers, many of whom were literally half my age. And man, am I ever glad I did. The experience was incredible and completely changed the trajectory of my life.
While I was in Buenos Aires, I realized if I was searching for this type of travel opportunity, others my age must be looking too. In fact, there were a couple of participants that were my age and they agreed it was a fantastic idea.
I started working on the new company while I was there. 16 months later, Adventurous Life took a dozen 40+ business owners to Lisbon for a month of working, exploring and living like a local.
What is your current destination and what are you planning next?
I’m currently at my home base in beautiful Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada, where we boast the world’s longest freshwater beach.
We have several trips planned this year including, Amsterdam in May, Dublin in July, Split in September and Buenos Aires in November.
What do you like the most about traveling and working remotely?
Working day in and day out in a home office can get old fast – and it can also be pretty lonely. Taking my business with me while I travel allows me to experience living in another place, working in different coworking spaces and connecting with different people from all over the world. I love that I can work, say in the morning, and then head out in the afternoon to explore the city I’m in. I love to learn about different cultures and I’m crazy about architecture, so this lifestyle lets me experience all of that. I highly recommend it! 🙂
What is the most challenging part of planning/organizing your trips?
The most challenging part of planning our trips is finding the right housing. We provide our participants with full apartments which they share with one or two others, and our objective is to find these apartments within the same building, which can sometimes be tough. We have found that working with local property management or real estate firms has provided us with the greatest success.
What is the place/country you like the most while traveling and why?
It’s so difficult to choose just one! So many of our locations have been absolutely amazing. Through our travels, I’d have to choose New Zealand, Bali and Prague.
New Zealand because it seemed that with each curve in the road, the landscape was more beautiful than the last.
Prague is one of my favourites for a couple of reasons. The first is that I got engaged on the Charles Bridge about 15 years ago, and when I was there this past September, I scattered my husband’s ashes as I walked across the bridge again. (It was a memory-filled, joyous experience.) And since we were there the first time, the city has been refurbished – it’s beautiful, like they polished all the buildings!
And finally, Bali because the people are lovely, the weather is amazing, and it’s just so exotic and romantic.
Are you guys going to coworking spaces while you travel/work remotely?
We use coworking spaces in each place that we travel. We look for upscale, functional spaces that entice our participants to produce their best work.
In case you do, would you like to recommend a certain place?
Let’s talk about community. From all these places you’ve visited, is there a special place that you specifically liked because of community?
Bali wins for community. Because we had membership with Outpost, we were all able to participate in their many activities, such as weekly massages, workshops and community luncheons. The locals were also very easy to get to know and were extremely friendly and inclusive.
Pam, can you tell us what is your biggest dream, in case you do have one?
As Adventurous Life is only a couple of years old and we’re just gaining traction, my big dream for it is to be able to gain greater international visibility to grow the trips so they’re continuous throughout the year with hired facilitators, where I can join in when I want.
Since learning about coworking travel, it’s changed the trajectory of my life.
Many younger people know about the concept but it’s foreign to many people over 40. I want to be able to expose as many other people as possible to this lifestyle to feel empowered and free too.