Solo Traveler Lis Kanzler Turned Digital Nomad Entrepeneur.
We are thrilled to introduce you to this young creator: Lis Kanzler! She started her digital nomad path as a solo traveler and has now become a passionate entrepreneur. The reason for her success? Following a location-independent lifestyle.
Follow her on this interview, where she shares her first steps, her most valuable tips on how to separate work from leisure, and her favorite spots around the world for connecting with other digital nomads. Guess what, Fuerteventura is one of them ;)
First things first: where are you from, and what are your passions?
I am half Peruvian half German, but I grew up in the beautiful city of Barcelona. That’s why I always say that I am Catalan from the heart and a citizen of the world. Of course, as a 3 + years digital nomad, I love traveling above everything else! I am also passionate about quality conversations, expressing myself creatively through writing and painting, cooking healthy recipes, and moving my body as much as I can. I am a sucker for nature, beautiful sunsets, good wine, and so many other things, too!
When did you first get interested in traveling?
When I was 18. Overwhelmed by the huge amount of university and degree options out there, I decided to go on a sabbatical year to Australia in order to get to know myself and my interests a bit better before making a decision. It’s the best thing I have ever done! From that moment on I understood that my destiny was to be a traveler. I had traveled before, but never at this level... it was something special. The beginning of a new Lis.
Wow! So when did you realize that you wanted to make travel a lifestyle?
Well.. once I came back from Australia, I thought that it would be impossible for me to transform my passion into a lifestyle, let alone my job. I surrendered to the fact that I needed to get a university degree to earn money, because “that is what people do.” Little did I know that there was this thing called being a ‘digital nomad.” Fast forward 3.5 years later and a ton of challenges and adventures, I finished my degree and, at about the same time, I got introduced to a group of digital nomads living in Barcelona. Turns out that there are people actually living wherever they want, and making money working online. That was the point I got inspired to do the same - and I started my digital nomad adventure!
How has it changed your life?
It has changed everything for me! Traveling and moving from place to place (what nowadays everyone knows as being a "digital nomad") was still quite a foreign concept back in 2018. But thanks to this fast-paced lifestyle, I learned more about who I truly am, what I like and what I don’t, what I stand for, and what I want my goals to be in life. Being a digital nomad has accelerated my personal growth process times a thousand, and it is something that I can not recommend enough for people to try out!
How do you manage working while traveling?
I think that after some time you learn to find the balance between discovering your new surroundings with great enthusiasm, without losing yourself in a holiday mindset. A lot of people think that working remotely equals being on vacation. That is simply not true.
For me, I have learned that having a fixed working schedule is crucial, as compared to working random hours throughout the week. Also, for me, it is crucial to sign up for a good coworking space like cocoworking wherever I go. I become a lot more productive and it helps to differentiate my leisure time from my focus time.
What is your preferred method of traveling/living?
There are a lot of ways of being a digital nomad. Some people move constantly, others stay for longer periods in new destinations, others have 3–4 bases around the world to which they rotate every year. I have found my favorite to be a mix between the ladder two. I like to move rather slow, having one base to which I return to over and over for a specific season. The rest of the year though, I like to explore new places and stay in each location anywhere from 1 month to 3 months.
What seasons, if any, do you prefer to chase?
Summer. I think most of us, digital nomads, chase the sun and the good weather. No wonder... who wouldn't want to live in an eternal summer paradise, like for instance, Fuerteventura?
What destinations do you consider to be the best for digital nomads/location independent lifestyles?
I have learned that the setting is crucial for having a good experience. Things like good coworking spaces, a cost-effective living, an already existing digital nomad community or startup scene, and, of course, good weather and beautiful nature are top of my list!
From my own experience, I would highly recommend newbies to start with places like Fuerteventura, Cape Town, Bali, Lisbon, or Barcelona. Start there, and you’ll very quickly make up your own preferences.
How do you go about making new friends/dating while traveling?
After some time, you realize that it is always a similar process. Not only with friends, but with everything! First, understanding the dynamics of the city, finding a flat that suits you, and moving in. Then, you have to get familiar with your surroundings (new favorite cafes, shops, parks, markets…) and start meeting people!
I find that in places like Fuerteventura, which are surrounded by stunning nature and so many outdoor activities, it is much easier to make friends! As they are often populated by very active and rather smaller communities, you will quickly bump into like-minded people and start making plans to join a surf session, a sunrise hike, or a beach day adventure. Another tip I would give you is to learn languages so you can quickly make international connections wherever you go. Speaking Spanish, for instance, is so convenient when traveling around!
Is there something you know now about the traveler lifestyle that you wish you knew before making the switch?
Definitely! When you are moving to a new place every two or three months, your routine gets lost along the way – there is no way around it. Unfortunately, with a lack of routine, a lot of other negative habits take place as a consequence. Although I picked up this problem quite early on, I wish I had made it a priority sooner! As I mentioned before, finding a good coworking space is essential for finding your balance and routine, so I would truly suggest you to go to one.
What’s your best advice for someone wanting to transition to a life of travel?
Invest in growing your intuition! At the end of the day, it will be your gut feeling that will guide you most of the time when you find yourself being confronted with a challenging situation or an important decision to make, without anyone else to help you. Growing and perfecting your intuition will undeniably teach you that there is only one person – yourself – that you need to take on any adventure.