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Q: What woman inspires you and why?
A: At the moment, I’m obsessed with Priya Parker and her book, The Art of Gathering. Her multicultural background and experience as a facilitator are absolutely fascinating and as a community leader, I love what she teaches about gatherings. We often take events like dinners, conferences, birthday parties completely for granted and it’s so interesting to learn how to design and create gatherings with more impact and joy.
Q: What kind of friendships have you made on your travels?
A: What I love about traveling is that I get to meet people who I would have never had the chance to meet if I’d stayed at home. When I lived in London studying chemistry, all my friends were also doing chemistry PhDs. Now, I have friends of all ages and backgrounds, from all different cultures and with completely different outlooks on life. Since launching my community, Digital Nomad Girls, most of the friends I have made are women, which is something I’ve never experienced like this before. What all of them have in common is that they’ve broken away from the standard life society tells us we should pursue and they’re all dreamers and doers. Whenever I come up with a crazy new idea, my friends react with ‘awesome’ or ‘do it’, they never try to discourage me or question why I wanted to try something new.
Q: How have you noticed your friendships change since you began jet-setting and if so, how have they changed?
A: Of course, some of my friendships from home have changed a lot. Before I started traveling five years ago, I had already lived abroad for almost five years, so I had changed a lot since leaving Munich, which is where I’m from. Traveling opens your eyes to so many new experiences and cultures that it’s hard not to change. And sadly, many people are scared of change or mistrust it, so some friendships have faded out a little. But at the same time, there are some core friendships back home that have gotten stronger despite the distance and even if we spend less time together.
Q: How does traveling empower you and women in general?
A: Traveling empowers me because I have to step out of my comfort zone all the time. Even after five years on the road, there are always new situations and experiences that challenge me and my beliefs. Travel empowers women because it strengthens your confidence and fosters gratitude. It also shows you what is really important to you in your life and what isn’t actually that important, often this can be quite surprising.
Q: If you were to host a VINA open plan in the next place you traveled to, what would the plan be and why?
A: I’m going to Colombia next so probably a game of Tejo. I hear it’s a throwing game like horseshoes but there’s gunpowder involved. It sounds pretty crazy but fun.
Q: What about your job empowers you?
A: I get to talk to strong, smart, funny, crazy, wonderful women every single day during our virtual coworking sessions, goal setting workshops or Live Q&As. I sometimes have to pinch myself to remember this is my job now. I am extremely extroverted so I thrive on community and conversations, which means I constantly feel energized. At the same time, I am providing a supportive and friendly community for girls who often feel very lonely as digital nomads. I am grateful that my community helps them and proud that I am building something that’s meaningful.
Q: How does Digital Nomad Girls empower women?
A: DNG empowers women by creating a safe and honest space for them to meet other women. It’s so important to learn from people who already have what you want and to be able to identify with them, so that’s part of what we provide. We also empower women by being an honest and authentic voice in the digital nomad world which can be quite loud and all about ‘hustling’ and ‘crushing it’, so we want to counterbalance that and show that there are other ways to live this life. We bring women together online through our membership and offline through our retreats, we help them make friends, stay productive, feel less lonely and turn this crazy lifestyle into something that’s sustainable and won’t burn them out within a few months.
Thanks, Jenny! Be sure to follow her adventures on Facebook.
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