Interview with a Nomad: Diane Fontes
I am super excited to feature a new series on my blog: Interview with a Nomad, in which I ask five questions of people who identify as digital nomads (am I the only one that loathes that term)?
These questions are:
What is your website if you have one? Talk about your brand and what work you do online while travelling.
Where are you from? How did you come to be travelling long term and what was that journey like?
What is the biggest challenge you face when travelling long term and being a digital nomad?
What advice can you give someone that wants to either quit their job and travel long term or just take an extended leave from their job and home and transition to working online?
What are your top three online resources for either finding online work or accommodating your digital lifestyle?
I am not sure how regular this series will be but I am very happy today to feature Diane Fontes, owner of Melo Management, a social media management and consulting service that she started fresh out of university. Take it away, Diane!
Late last year, after having graduated from university and completing a summer internship, I launched my “solopreneur” business. Melo Management is a social media management and consulting service that works with small to medium sized companies to build and maintain an active online presence on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This is important because having an online presence increases the look of your company’s credibility and drives more traffic to your business.
I have always been fascinated by marketing and social media is something that I feel is fun to work with, as it always keeps you on your toes. Plus, I genuinely enjoy working with these businesses, learning more about them, and building those new relationships. A big perk of what I do is being able to work remotely, which was a big deciding factor in starting this venture.
No matter where I go, I will always be a “Masshole” (this is a nice word we have for those of us from Massachusetts, USA). In my senior year of university, I studied abroad in Lisbon and it was the best decision I ever made.
This is how I got the ball rolling on my travels. Previously, the only international trip I had taken was to the Azores, which are the beautiful Portuguese islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean where my family is from.
When I first arrived in Lisbon, it sort of felt like a dream. I wanted to visit ever since I was a little kid, which was way before the travel boom you see there now. I had to process that yes, I was actually there and I think I was just trying to take in all of my surroundings, as they were completely different from anything I had seen before. As I traveled to other places, like Paris, Munich, and Rome, it became easier to take in all the new scenery.
The biggest challenge when traveling long term is meeting wonderful people, connecting with them, and then having to go your separate ways. Luckily, we have Facebook to help us keep in touch and I have been fortunate enough to visit a couple of these friends in their hometowns and to be welcomed into their homes.
It can be tough to give general advice to those who want to travel long term or quit their job to become a digital nomad because everyone’s situation is so different. I would advise anyone to have a backup plan in the event that things do not work out or in case you come to realize it is not something you want to pursue anymore.
As for those who are nervous about taking the leap, I like to say that it is better to try something and fail than to not try at all and then wonder what could have happened.
The top three online resources I recommend for finding online work or accommodating a digital lifestyle:
Facebook groups are great for connecting with other digital nomads and having a resource of encouragement and advice. Don’t just join to look for help, but be ready to assist others as well in order to keep these communities thriving. Groups are also a good place to find job opportunities.
Facebook events are the perfect place to look for meetups in your area whether you are looking for professional networking or places to meet people with similar interests as you.
If you do a search for remote job websites, you will quickly find a list of them. I have not tried these myself yet as my clients have come from meeting in person, but many others have had good results.
Diane Fontes is the founder of Melo Management, which specializes in social media management for small to medium sized companies. You can check out her adventures and travel photos on Instagram: @diane_fontes
Do you want to be featured in one of these profiles? If so, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!