Welcome to Season 5 of The Radio Vagabond. Join me as I embark on an epic 9-day cruise through the Mediterranean from Malaga, Spain to Athens, Greece with a large group of digital nomads. Are you ready to hop aboard Nomad Cruise 6 with me? Let’s go!
After a minor hiccup trying to get on board the cruise vessel (I left my passport in one of my check-in bags…) I soon found myself making my way to the top deck bar for an ice-cold cocktail to cool off from the blistering Spanish sun. While I sip on my pina colada, let me give you some background information about Nomad Cruise and why I’m even on this boat in the first place.
A BOAT-LOAD OF WANDERERS
Nomad Cruise was started in October 2015 by Johannes Voelkner as a way to gather like-minded nomads into one place (like herding ants at an outdoor rave) to network, share stories, and start an official digital nomad community. Three years later I am joining the tribe on Nomad Cruise 6 – they put 249 nomad strangers on a boat and created an environment of learning, sharing, creating, and most of all, connecting.
We get some mind-blowing sessions. Here are just a few of the talks and workshops that were on offer:
- How to design a winning morning routine
- How to hire remote employees
- Creating a Social Business
- Learn how to create your own Facebook Messenger Chatbot
- A Fresh Perspective on Cryptocurrency for Nomads and Entrepreneurs
- How to start your Affiliate Marketing Channel
- Reframe your brand with great photography
- How to become Google’s best friend
- Turn your passion into a fully automated 6 figure business
- Strategies for sustaining a Digital Nomad lifestyle
- How to travel the world for a year with carry-on luggage only…And look good while you’re doing it!
In a nutshell, Nomad Cruise is a floating conference for travellers, digital nomads, and people who are location independent. But also people who are testing the waters of what a nomadic lifestyle can offer are also invited to dip their toes into the experience.
But it’s not just any conference: because we are stuck on a boat we don’t go home after workshop sessions; we all hang out on the boat and network and mingle. We are all in the same boat, if you like. And you would be surprised just how much of a close bond you can form with people like this in just a few days – it’s unbelievable!
Nomads are a special breed of human, and we are not like most people. Many of us have no home base and live a life of full-time travelling with few belongings, many stories, and a lot of uncertainty, which makes for great conversation. In this episode, I will introduce you to a few of these weird, wonderful, crazy, and inspiring people.
Since we are on a ship, we all have to go through the mandatory drill so we know what to do in case of an emergency (que Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On). It was funny to see everyone lurking around their muster stations in their big red lifejackets.
After the drill, we all congregated at the discotheque venue (not for a party yet) where we received our Nomad Cruise wristband and workshop programs. Our wristbands were to differentiate all nomads from regular cruisers – yes, we were mixing with normals the entire time. This room is where most of the talks, workshops, performances happened, so it was our base for the next few days…with a bar. Yay for bars.
Johannes bød os alle velkommen til vores livs sejltur. Han fortalte os, at vi var 249 digitale nomader fra 42 forskellige lande. En lykkelig global familie. Derefter introducerede han Nomad Cruise-teamet, som vil styre os igennem konferencen og alt hvad der ellers skal ske.
Johannes og jeg har mødt hinanden før. Da jeg var i Cape Town et par måneder tidligere, var han også der og organiserede den vintur, som jeg var på. Faktisk var 10-15 af dem, der var med på denne vintur også her på dette krydstogt. Jeg havde en fornemmelse af, at dette ville blive en fantastisk uge.
Dette Nomad Cruise-armbånd var en rigtig god måde let at finde andre nomader at starte en snak. Når vi skulle spise, blev vi opfordret til at sidde ved nye borde for at lære nye nomader at kende. Og da jeg jo altid har en mikrofon på mig, brugte jeg den under hele krydstogtet så jeg kunne dele min oplevelse med dig.
En af de første, jeg sludrede med, var Maya fra Bosnien. Hun er også en første-gangs-Nomad Cruiser og hun fortalte mig om sit arbejde i personaleafdelingen i et Sarajevo-baseret tech-firma. Hun er ikke digital nomade, men bliver det måske på et tidspunkt. Så hun er begejstret for at møde nomader og blive inspireret.
Vi blev derefter placeret i grupper og bedt om at udvikle en forretningsidé på 20 minutter som en teambuilding-øvelse. Vi vores opgave var også at præsentere en 60 sekunders reklame på scenen for resten af vores nomadevenner. Det var sjovt og en fantastisk måde at bryde isen og interagere med andre cruisere på en underholdende måde.
Ud over foredrag og workshops kan vi også selv organisere meet-ups om stort set hvad som helst. Alt hvad vi skal gøre, er at udfylde et lille stykke papir med emnet, et tidspunkt og et sted.
Johannes kicked off proceedings welcoming us all to the cruise of a lifetime. He told us that we were a bunch of 249 digital nomads from 42 countries around the world. A happy global family. He then introduced the Nomad Cruise team who will be facilitating the conference.
Johannes and I have before. When I was in Cape Town a few months before, he was also there and organised the wine tour that I went on. In fact, 10-15 of the people from that wine tour were also here on this cruise. I had the feeling that this was going to be an amazing journey.
Having a Nomad Cruise wristband on was a really great way to easily identify fellow nomads to engage with. Every mealtime we were encouraged to sit at new tables to meet new people and make connections. And since I always carry a microphone around with me, I used it throughout the cruise to bring my experience to life for my listeners.
One of the first I chatted with, was Maya from Bosnia. She’s also a first-time Nomad Cruiser and told me about her work in human resource in a Sarajevo based tech company. She’s not a digital nomad but might be at some point. So, she is excited to meet the community of nomads and get inspired.
We were then placed into groups and asked to develop a business idea in 20 minutes as a team-building exercise. We had to present a 60-second commercial to the rest of our nomad friends which was hilarious. This was a great way to break the ice and interact with our fellow cruisers in an entertaining way. And guess what? We didn’t win.
Apart from the keynotes and workshops, we can also organise meetups ourselves about anything really. All we need to do is fill out a small piece of paper with the topic of the meet-up, a time and a place, and then people just sign-up and show up.
People hosted meetups about various topics, from app development and public speaking to SEO and organised networking retreats. Anything and everything, really. So, of course, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to have people assemble to hear what I have to say, so I organised a meetup saying, “Let’s meet and I’ll record our chat about being a nomad for my podcast”.
Luckily, some people showed up…well, only three. I was joined by Austin Lichtman from the USA, Tilo Riemann from Germany, and Rod Cook from, well, nowhere and everywhere. We met in a corner of the restaurant and just chatted about our impressions of the cruise and people so far. Austin told me he recently quit his corporate sales job and was using this experience to see if he was keen to begin his nomadic journey. Rod started his nomadic journey at the age of 19 and has been doing this most of his life. Tilo wasn’t a nomad, but he was an online poker player and could do it from anywhere in the world, so his lifestyle was similar to that of a nomad.
FOLLOW UP: WHERE ARE THEY NOW
I recently caught up with Austin to find out what became of his digital nomad journey. He hasn’t become a nomad just yet. Instead, he got into acting and modelling so he’s pursuing that at the moment – and still living in Philadelphia.
Tilo is nomadic now and started a ‘poker staking stable’ business a few months ago, where he and two partners teach the strategies necessary to become a poker professional. They call it Coffee Grinders and take all of the financial risks. Their students never have to invest their own money, and in return, Coffee Grinders receive a share of their students’ winnings.
Rod is a regular at all Nomad Cruise events and has continued to build his business Retreats, and set up Coliving Hubwith a lead team. They put on the first global Coliving conference in Las Palmas after this cruise and was planning to do another in Los Angeles – but then the pandemic put a stop to that.
That’s all for this episode. Be sure to look out for the next episode where I continue my amazing cruise through the Mediterranean on a boat full of like-minded digital nomads.
My name is Palle Bo, and I gotta keep moving.
LETTER FROM A LISTENER
I just caught up on all your episodes. I’ve enjoyed listening to your journey while I’m walking, weeding, or cooking. I was so glad to hear you say in an interview that you had enough material for many more episodes. Once or twice you mentioned upcoming travels and I think you said you were coming to Vermont, USA.
Were you able to visit before the pandemic? If you haven’t yet been here and you travel to Central Vermont/Montpelier area post-pandemic during sugaring season, you are welcome to visit our tiny backyard sugar shack.
Thank you for your email, Marcy.
Yes, I’ve actually been to Vermont, before the Pandemic. I did a road trip of all the six states of New England, including Vermont. I spent a week in Lunenburg and a few days in Burlington. This is stuff that is coming up in season six of The Radio Vagabond.
Thanks for offering me to visit your backyard sugar shack. That sounds exciting! Maybe another time.
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
I really would like to hear from you. Where are you and what are you doing as you listen to this episode? You can either send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or go Contact to my website TheRadioVagabond.com.
Or send me a voicemail on WhatsApp and I can play it on the next episode. My WhatsApp number is +4540105105. Either way I would love to hear from you. It’s so nice to know who’s on the other end of this.
A special thank you to my sponsor, Hotels25.com, who always provide me with the best, most affordable accommodation wherever I am in the world.