This a new interviews series I'm doing with nomadic souls from around the world sharing their story from going from "normal" to nomad. Today I'm talking to Aline Dahmen, the romantic nomad behind Nomad Soulmates.
N+C: Willkommen Aline! Thanks for doing the interview. Can you share with readers who you are?
AD: Hey, I’m Aline from Germany hitting the road as a solo traveler for on-off 3 years now. I’m just starting out as a digital nomad and hope to continue living my passions like traveling the world and meeting beautiful, inspiring people from all over the world. I’m also founder of Nomad Soulmates, which is a dating service for digital nomads, long-term travelers, and everyone who is seeking this lifestyle. I’m very passionate bringing people together and being surrounded by like-minded people.
N+C: What was your first solo trip abroad and what inspired you to go solo?
AD: Aaaw the good, old memories! My very first trip as a solo traveling woman was to Southeast Asia. I had gotten accepted for an apprenticeship back home but still had 4 months left for travel. I had to overcome a breakup with my boyfriend that time and I really felt like spending quality time with myself to focus on healing and new goals. Traveling solo was a great choice.
N+C: How did you come up with the idea for Nomad Soulmates?
AD: Haha good question! Well it all started at the DNX conference* in Berlin last year when I first met this incredible community of Digital Nomads. Meeting them was a great experience but at the same time I was wondering why about 70% of them are single. As a traveler I must say it is really challenging to find your Soulmate as you are always on the move. Of course there is Tinder but you must be very lucky meeting someone who is like-minded. There was no real dating site just made for nomads, and as I’m very passionate about relationships and how communication between men and women works, I decided to go for it. Now I’m working together with a target group that I totally love and a project that’s so cool it doesn’t feel like “work”.
*DNX (Digital Nomad Conference) is a biannual conference with workshops and speakers geared toward traveling freelancers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs, who are trying to sustainably live a location independent lifestyle.
N+C: Which country seems to have the most nomads looking for a traveling soulmate?
AD: It’s actually wherever nomads can find wifi and do work! Chiang Mai, Thailand is a big nomad hub for example. Quite a lot of them are in Bali and Ko Lanta as well. You find them in street cafes, and co-working spaces, ect. I’d say Southeast Asia is a good spot in general because of the climate, cheap living, and healthy lifestyle. There are also a lot of nomads in Europe – Germany for example. Not every nomad is total traveling junkie and absolutely location independent. Some still have their home base in their home country.
N+C: I guess it’s to early to ask if there have been any nomadic babies due to Nomad Soulmates, but have you had some successful matches so far?
AD: Haha, you are right. It’s a bit too early since this project is only 3 months old, so no nomad babies yet! Other than that, we’re counting 4 matches from a speed-dating event that we organized at the DNX conference this year in Bangkok.
N+C: Congratulations on having your first nomadic speed-dating event in Bangkok at the DNX! What was your biggest takeaway from the conference?
AD: Thanks Chris! Yeah, the speed-dating event was such a blast! It felt really fulfilling seeing them having fun dating each other. I would say my two biggest takeaways were not calling it “speed-dating” anymore because the word “dating” is super formal and it almost sounds like you’re on a interview. I want to take that pressure out of it. Also, I had always thought of this as an online dating site, but working with this community, and seeing people engage on such a personal level was so fulfilling that I can’t just do online dating. I’m playing with a few ideas like offline events, hangouts, and organizing retreats for single nomads in the future.
N+C: So cool! Can’t wait to see what you plan next. Back to you though… Do you have any packing tips for female travelers that feel like 2 suitcases aren’t enough?
AD: I’m a super light traveler. I have 6-7 kilos (13-15 lbs) with me. My best advice for packing is definitely using packing cubes where you can put your clothes in. Since I’ve been using them, my backpack isn’t messy anymore which I love. My clothes are usually very light and comfortable – I mostly go to warm areas. I also only have two pair of shoes – sport shoes and flip flops. If I need anything else I can easily buy it somewhere or replace something.
N+C: What is your travel-osophy?
AD: I’ve learned that I really enjoy myself and the like-minded people (travelers and nomads) who surrounding me. For me, traveling is about being involved in our world, and interacting with other cultures and their habits. I enjoy the journey of life and actually doing what I love.
N+C: Lastly, what advice do you have for someone that is considering traveling solo for the first time?
AD: Traveling solo is a fear that many people have which is normal because it means going out of your comfort zone. It is always something new. You don’t have a clue about what is going to happen to you, what kind of impact it’ll have your life, or how it will change your personality. And there’s the fear of being lonely. My advice would be to travel with a group first. Then you will see just how many people you’re meeting on your way. You’ll see that you’re actually not lonely at all and that there are a lot of solo travelers out there. After a while of traveling together, split with your group and go out on own. Once you start, you will realize that it’s way easier to connect with other people that you probably wouldn’t have met if you were clinging to a group.
N+C: Thanks so much for your time Aline! If finding a partner with a sexy foreign accent is your thing, there are plenty on Nomad Soulmates! Do it now before your potential soulmate loses his/her wifi signal ;)
All photos courtesy of Aline Dahmen.