Work is Where the Home Is recently caught up with Michelle, the founder of The Nomad Escape, a company that helps remote workers and digital nomads to connect with each other through events, retreats and co-living. After spending almost a decade living overseas and experiencing how lonely remote work can be, Michelle designed a program to help people find a community while traveling.
What did your “pre-relocation” life look like?
Before I moved abroad I lived in Amsterdam, in a small apartment in the city. I worked as a social worker and waitress and dreamed of moving abroad. Prior to this during my studies, I went on an internship in Suriname, South America and after I graduated I moved back there for 6 years, working in a variety of different industries.
I eventually returned to The Netherlands, but within 6 months I was done with it – so I upped sticks again and moved to Australia. After spending a year there and some time in Bali – I landed in Portugal 18 months ago and The Nomad Escape was born.
What attracted you to Portugal?
First of all, the capital Lisbon is the digital nomad hub in Europe. It’s packed full of co-working spaces, events and has a huge remote working community. Besides that, the weather is amazing, with about 300 days of sunshine a year and about 9 months of nice weather! The landscape is just stunning, with cliffs and endless beaches. You can camp, surf and do some amazing road trips across the country.
How did you make the transition to working remotely?
I initially developed my digital skills and offered my services as a freelancer to small local businesses. It was a paid way to practice, and fun to work directly with clients.
How do your property and living costs per month compare with your pre relocation life?
In The Netherlands everything more expensive but people also make more money so it’s difficult to compare. Typically the rent for a room in Portugal is around 400 Euros and an apartment is around 1000 Euros per month.
What are your insider’s tips for the Algarve?
Praia da Amoreira is a beach in Aljezur, in the Algarve. It has it all with stunning cliffs, sand dunes and a natural park – it’s perfect for camping in a van!
What do you have planned for 2021?
I’m working on an online platform to help people connect during the pandemic. We also have multiple remote work retreats planned, so I am super excited to bring amazing people together!
You can find The Nomad Escape on Instagram.