What Would You Say to 16 Year Old You?

With Louise Croft

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
Hi! I’m Louise – I have an Instagram and Youtube channel at Digital Nomad Girl and I travel full time while working online. I’m originally from England and my husband and I have been on the road now for about three years. I make weekly Youtube videos with advice on how other people can become location independent too!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I graduated university I was trying to choose between several different life paths – I had a job offer in London, one in my quiet home town, and an idea for a startup. One of my parents’ friends simply said… “Do whatever is most fun!” and that totally changed my life! I chose to do the startup and now I am so thankful for this incredible life of freedom that we have. I use that advice regularly now when I’m stuck between two options… I just pick the one that gets my heart excited and head racing with ideas.

What would you say to 16 year old you?
Don’t overplan. When I was younger I would constantly tweak my 10 year plan and worry about how to set myself up for success in the most optimal way. However, what I’ve seen over time is that you can’t predict the crazy opportunities and curveballs that will come your way. I never could have dreamed I’d be working from a laptop in Puerto Rico so how could I have planned for it? I think you should just work hard, be happy, and be ready take chances when they pop up.

What message do you think every woman should hear?
It is possible. On my Youtube channel and in person I often hear from people that they’d “love to do what you do” but they can’t for one reason or another. They can’t code, or they haven’t travelled before, or they don’t have money saved, or they don’t speak native English. Of course for some people it’s easier than others, but I think if you truly want it you can make it happen. There is always a way! Of course that doesn’t just apply to being a nomad either… anything in life you want – set your sights on a goal and just keep reshuffling until you get the answer you want.

What do you love most about yourself?
This is kind of an odd thing to say but I love that I am so Thrifty! Even as a child I loved to save my money and get a good deal. When I decided to become a nomad I had a big chunk of savings even though I’d just graduated because I was so careful with expenses all through my life, and I loved to earn money through any random job I could find! It meant I was able to move to Thailand with no idea what I was going to do for an income, and that totally changed my life. Debt or bad money management can really limit people’s options and I’m so thankful that it’s something which comes naturally to me.

Why do you love to travel?
For me it’s being a local in a new city. I love that by being a nomad you can base yourself somewhere for a bit longer and blend in. When you’re cycling along a canal in Amsterdam no one can tell that you don’t “belong”. As far as they’re concerned you’re just off to the supermarket or coming back from coffee with a friend and you don’t stick out as a tourist. I kind of think of it as playing dress up or acting in a play! I love to thrift clothes so I inevitably end up dressing like a local  too (all black in Berlin, classic in Paris, t-shirt and jeans in America) and I love that. It’s so fun to be part of a new culture for a little while and then move on to the next identity somewhere else.

What motivates you most?
I’m very self motivated – I am quite good at not comparing myself to others or being competitive but I do get very addicted to success and ticking off to do lists! I always want to get “just one more thing” done and so that really drives me. I tend to take on more than I can handle and then just fit it all in one way or another. Really the last thing I need is more motivation because I tend to get carried away with working long hours as it is. That’s one of the reasons I love having friends or family come visit me along the way – it’s a great excuse to take time off to go out and be a tourist.

If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
My plan was always to be a Management Consultant so I deliberately worked in a lot of different companies and industries while I was studying. I have seen such a broad range of business sizes and cultures and they’re always fascinating. The other option was to run a Charity Shop (aka Thrift Shop). Like I said I adore second hand shopping and it’s something I’ve always been passionate about promoting and making more mainstream. I worked for a charity for a while doing interior design renovations for their shops, and organising fashion shows and events. I loved it but it didn’t allow me to travel so it’s on hold for now. I think it’s possible I’ll go back to it someday and have a little quirky shop of my own!

What is something on your bucket list?
I actually just released a Youtube video of my “Before 30 Bucketlist” because I just turned 29…and the top one is to learn to whistle. Kind of bizarre but that’s the truth!

Have you ever had an extraordinary experience? Describe it!
For sure that would be seeing the Bolivian Salt Flats. It had been on my bucket list for most of my life and I was really worried I’d overhyped it and would be disappointed. However, sitting on a little island covered with cactuses, watching the sunrise over the salt flats, with my fiancé, was utterly overwhelming. I’ve never cried just from looking at nature before but it was such a surreal moment to finally be there and totally magical.

More About Louise

Louise Croft runs an Instagram and Youtube channel at Digital Nomad Girl. She travels full time while working online. Louise is originally from England and her husband and her have been on the road now for about three years. She makes weekly Youtube videos with advice on how other people can become location independent too!

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