Today we have two nomad interviews combined thanks to the lovely couple, Steven and Daisha who came to stay with us at Punta La Barca.
Let’s learn about these inspiring individuals!
From Depression and Dengue to Full-Time Nomading, Meet Steven!
Meet Steven. A Belgian, a fighter, a survivor, a life with drastic ups and downs. One of the most wonderful and vulnerable people I’ve met.
Having struggled for years with severe depression, Steven decided one day to throw this energy into travel. He’s made a life for himself in far-flung parts of the world, learned countless life lessons, and is now helping others fight their own demons.
Since 2001, Steven has gradually increased his time away from home. Flash-forward to today and he’d describe his travel style as ‘full-time’. While this may sound like a dream to some, he’s careful to share the realities.
“It’s not rainbows and butterflies. It’s a learning process. Mostly about yourself. It’s pushing on that comfort zone, time and time again. It’s going two steps forward and taking one back. But ultimately: I felt life. Energy. And that was so beautiful, so indescribable, I wanted to taste more of it.
I usually volunteer in different places to keep the costs low, because I’m living mostly on savings.’’
While travelling on a low wage and working on the road has its downsides, Steven doesn’t mind. After all, he’s faced real struggles in his time. ‘‘Nomading for me was an escape from life – an alternative to suicide’’ he admits.
He tells us about times he’s faced his own mortality as a result of travel. How he caught dengue fever when hiking for four days in rural New Zealand, without any human contact. Steven swears that the experience cured him.‘’It taught me to fight big battles. I know how to fight depression now.”
Rather than put his depression to bed, Steven’s experiences have motivated him to help others dealing with mental health issues. But he’s not focussed on making a business or profit from it. ”It’ll happen when it has to happen’’. He shrugs.
Currently, he’s helping with life and project coaching alongside his wife, Daisha, who runs her own business. ”I love to support people that seek freedom to do what truly feeds them. True freedom has an incredible taste. It automatically awakens the sense of responsibility to take care of ourselves and those around us.”
Steven, we can learn a lot from you. Write a biography! Or even better, come make us happy again at Punta La Barca 🙂
Changing The World, One Life Coaching Session At a Time, Meet Daisha!
Let’s turn back time to 2012. Daisha was travelling slowly, spending three to nine months in places in an effort to get to know them properly.
Despite her brave choice to follow a less conventional lifestyle, she’s modest when it comes to her entrepreneurial ways. ”I started out as a life coach, travelling while working with clients via Skype. I didn’t know the concept of ‘digital nomadism’, I just saw my opportunity and it seemed fun.”
Gradually, she had even fewer reasons to travel fast. Since Wi-Fi was essential for doing her job, she had to find the best connection. This can be tricky nowadays but was even harder in 2012.
Daisha would settle in locations, getting to know people in the community and renting places for long periods so that it would work out cheaper. She did this for the benefit of her life coaching business but learnt a lot through it, meeting locals, learning about their lives and immersing herself fully in new places.
Talking with Daisha, you feel the love. She radiates life and experience and is full of advice when she feels you’re implicitly seeking it.
With her typical modesty, she says ”I’m slowly towards my big dream: a world where everyone is empowered to do what they love. I have hope in entrepreneurship. If people contribute what they’re really passionate about and use their skills, resources and time for their creation of choice, it will shift our world.”
Daisha spent about six months in Santa Marianita. She loved our humble abode so much that she’s called Ecuador home for some years, building a little adobe-house in Vilcabamba. Though her nomad genes seem to have caught her up now: she’s on the move again. If you ever want to get some inspiration, call her up! She’ll answer :). And if you see her, ask her about her love story with her husband, Steven. A story about ayahuasca, selling everything to find him between the greek refugees, and ending up building an adobe house. You’ll love it.