One Way Nomad of the Week - Sophie Hashemi-Seddighzadeh, Digital Marketing Project Manager
Updated: Jan 19
Sophie Hashemi-Seddighzadeh, Digital Marketing Project Manager
City of Origin: Croydon, England
Current Digital City: Las Vegas, NV USA
First Digital Nomad City: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Current Job as a Digital Nomad: Marketing Project Manager
Previous Non-Remote Job: Digital Marketing Specialist
How long have you been a Digital Nomad?
I started in March 2021 - 1.5 years
What made you decide to become a digital nomad?
It's always been a dream of mine. I went backpacking in 2017 for four months, sold everything, left Texas, and traveled. Eventually, I ended up in Las Vegas on my dads couch due to being broke from that adventure. That experience inspired me to one-day figure out how to travel full-time with an income. Once remote work became normalized during the pandemic, I took the leap of faith.
Did any one person inspire you?
No, I didn't know anybody doing it at the time.
Instagram. That sounds kind of silly, but you follow people who live in Bali, and I had always known about it, but I didn't really know any one person who was a mentor or guide.
What was your biggest fear of this transition?
I've never done a solo trip before because I thought traveling solo was intimidating.
Previously when I went backpacking, it was with me and a girl friend bouncing around. I felt a bit more confident knowing that I had a computer and something to work towards with my free time rather than potentially feeling lonely attempting to do tourist things alone. Work gave me a bit of confidence, but, yeah I was scared I wouldn’t make friends.
How did you make friends?
I went to group gym classes right away because I knew from living in Las Vegas that it was the way I’d made friends before.
When I went to Cocoa gym I met my first friend (now my nomad best friend!) Kelly, and she hooked me up with the Playa Del Carmen WhatsApp groups. And then from there, I went to a digital nomad meet-ups - it definitely helps to put yourself out there.
What made you pick Playa Del Carmen as your first Digital Nomad City?
Because Bali was closed at that time - I was so upset!
Originally I thought Playa Del Carmen wasn’t challenging or exciting enough. I live in America and I'm going to go to Mexico? It felt like it was such a basic choice. But my lease was ending and I had to go somewhere - which ended up being the biggest blessing in disguise.
My friend Kelly had a similar story. She was supposed to go to Bali too - she even had a business visa. And because of the same thing, she ended up Playa Del Carmen. Fate!
What is the biggest struggle you currently have as a Digital Nomad?
I feel like I'm not nomadic enough sometimes – comparison and FOMO are real! You have a flexible lifestyle but then, I over-committed, I was doing too much too quickly which caused me to choose certain experiences which led me to not be able to do other things, which lead me back to Las Vegas in the summer rather than Europe with the rest of my friends.
What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you started nomading?
I guess the lesson I learned pretty early on was it takes time to build quality friendships. If you bounce around every month or so, you're missing out on the opportunity to make memories with your new friends and deepen those connections. So if you plan too far ahead, you can lose money! I had rented an Airbnb in Colombia, but after two months of living in Playa Del Carmen, I decided to stay longer which cost a pretty penny.
Since I love to travel, I was originally super excited for the next thing, the next thing, the next thing – but nomading is a very different experience than regular travel/backpacking.
What characteristic are most important to managing work/life balance?
Recognizing the importance of taking actual time off and going on vacations.
Last year, I was trying to do too visit too many places and work at the same time, but when you're trying to explore somewhere for a week and not take off from work, it's super stressful. With our traveling flexibility, life can feel like a vacation, but it’s still important to prioritize down time.
Where is next for you?
South Africa and Zimbabwe for three weeks for my birthday and then I am moving to Mexico City.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Digital Nomad?
Take the leap of faith. And earn credentials in an industry that favors remote work. Sums it up.
BONUS: What’s one thing you cannot travel without?
My psychic friend gave me a selenite crystal that stays in my backpack.