Meet The Traveler is a series where each week we interview one lifestyle traveler from around the world. These travelers range from being digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, or simply so passionate about seeing the world that they’ve fully integrated travel into their lifestyle. Our travelers will bring us into their world, sharing their transition story, what they do to support their lifestyle, and giving us insight into their life as a traveler.
If you’re looking for inspiration to transition to this lifestyle, want to meet other people in the community, or are simply curious to know how others live and split their time, then you don’t want to miss this series! A new interview goes live every Wednesday so be sure to set a reminder.
Meet The Traveler: Productivity Coach Alyssa Coleman
We like to start things off by knowing the behind-the-person story. We love getting intimate and learning about what drives a person to be who they are. Let’s skip the small talk, and head right into some more passionate questions.
Could you tell us a bit about your journey? Who were you in a past life, and who are you now?
Absolutely, I don’t picture it as my past life, but there have been some twists and turns. I studied environmental politics in university and landed a somewhat dream role with the government when I graduated. I realized pretty quickly that I needed more freedom than a 9-5 could offer and wanted to work for myself. So I went back to school, started an online business as a productivity coach and things have evolved from there!
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Canada! By the time I hit highschool I’d moved 5 times and I loved the *fresh start* feeling I got from moving. I think that’s a big part of the reason I crave travel now.
What are the things you’re most passionate about currently?
Currently I’m most passionate about finding ways to experience freedom from *anywhere* (including my home). I crave the thrill of booking a flight, researching coffee shops that have almond milk in another country, and getting lost in new cities. Life during a pandemic has me thinking about ways I can experience the freedom I crave without travel. I’ve been enjoying yoga, reading more fiction, and exploring locally.
When did you first get interested in traveling?
I’ve always romanticized travel, but when I was 18 I took a European cruise, and got my first taste of so many countries that I KNEW I needed to get back to. From that moment on I based most of my buying decisions on whether I could purchase a flight with the same amount of money.
I COULD buy this purse, OR I could book a ticket to Iceland.
When did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle? Was there a trigger point?
I think this evolved quite naturally. Once I had my own business as a productivity coach I had the freedom to work from anywhere. I started making connections with other people in my industry and clients from all over the world. Once this happened it started to feel like my office was global and that changed my lifestyle for sure.
How did you go about making the transition to a lifestyle traveler? Was it a seamless transition or a bit difficult?
It was fairly seamless in my case, I always had a home base so I just slowly started traveling more and more. My partner works for a company with a fairly standard vacation policy so it’s a bit difficult for us to coordinate our travel sometimes, but we make it work.
Could you elaborate on what you do for work as a Productivity Coach? Do you work remotely for a company, freelance, or have your own location independent business?
I have a consulting company where I work as a productivity coach. My main focus is working with creatives, influencers, bloggers, and coaches to take their offline services online and grow productively. I also sell a course called Your Most Profitable Quarter Yet which teaches entrepreneurs how to set up systems in their small business. Luckily I can work as a productivity coach from anywhere. It was a bit difficult to take calls when I was in Asia, but most time zones work for me.
How do you manage working and traveling? Are there any specific apps you use to manage your work and lifestyle?
I try to keep a regular schedule and keep Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays free of calls. As a productivity coach, I try to practice what I teach! This gives me the most flexibility and allows me to keep a regular client schedule while giving me a lot of freedom. I like to use the timeshifter app to help with jet lag. I also make sure I have lots of audio books or blinks offline so that I stay inspired while on trains, in ubers, etc.
What is your preferred method of traveling/living? Do you move constantly/stay at a few places for a few months/have a base/multiple bases?
I’ve tried a few things and I find I prefer to travel for 3 weeks at a time at the most, then head back home and recalibrate. I really like to work and travel in sprints. I enjoy being in a really productive phase while at home and a really creative and inspired phase while I travel. That seems to be what works best for my energy levels.
What seasons, if any, do you prefer to chase?
Summer, always! Canada has a pretty long winter so I’m always chasing the sun, and there’s not much I love more than a European fall.
What destinations do you consider to be the best for digital nomads/location independent lifestyles? Why?
I think Lisbon has a really cool scene, and Bali was really a nomad’s dream.
How do you go about making new friends/dating while traveling?
I feel quite lucky that I usually have friends, or clients that I’ve met or worked with virtually in most places. I try to make it a priority to meet them in person whenever I can. There’s really no better feeling than finally meeting in person, and they usually know of the best hidden gems to check out!
How do you keep your long-distance friendships/relationships alive?
Travelling is incredible for my relationships, they say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but I love the feeling of thinking to myself while travelling “I can’t wait to tell them about THIS,” then calling them later to tell them about it. I think it’s a beautiful thing. I also love using Instagram stories. Whenever I’m travelling my stories are filled with things I think my friends and family would find interesting or funny lol.
What is it that you like most about the traveler lifestyle?
I constantly feel inspired. I notice myself looking at problems through a new lens, and become more and more empathetic the more I travel. I also have a tendency to get caught up in the little things when I’m at home – the dishes need doing, I have to fix this shelf in my office etc. Travelling always reminds me that none of that actually matters.
Is there anything you dislike about the traveler lifestyle?
A difficult part is long travel days. I haven’t mastered this quite yet and can become a bit anxious on these “wasted” days.
What’s something that’s currently missing from your life? Is there something stopping you from getting it?
I’d like to buy a home here in Canada that feels more permanent and homey. I love my condo in Toronto, but I’m ready for something that feels like an oasis. It’s quite a big decision and I’m used to making more quick rental moves. I’m trying to be patient while looking for the perfect place that feels right.
Is there something you know now about the traveler lifestyle that you wish you knew before making the switch?
I think having boundaries and a schedule is important. In the beginning I tried just working when I was inspired, but once I created a routine that works for travel I can actually be MUCH more productive AND enjoy the place i’m in much more, too. It’s a win-win.
Do you see yourself living this lifestyle forever? Or will you go back to a more “traditional” life at some point?
I hope to live like this forever, I want my family to experience new places and cultures as much as possible.
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to transition to a life of travel?
My best advice is to start as soon as you can. There’s never a *perfect* time, place, or travel partner. If it’s pulling at your heartstrings, make it happen as soon as you can!
There’s also so much opportunity to make money online. I know a lot of people are afraid to leave a secure job so I recommend looking for ways to start a side hustle while you still have security. It’s a little investment in your freedom!
Where can people connect with you?
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