If our previous interviews haven’t yet inspired you to pack your bags and jet-set to your next destination, we hope that our latest post leaves you yearning for wanderlust. Team TakeMeThereToday is thrilled to be interviewing wonderful independent women for our travel blog series. Now, we have the pleasure to introduce Naomi Bowler. She runs a personal development platform called KLAR International and has created extensive content about her life and lifestyle. She is in her 20’s and is Swiss-American.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a digital nomad.
I’ve been a digital nomad before I realized I was a digital nomad. I didn’t know that was a thing back in 2013, over 4 years ago. I was still a full-time artist at that time and I didn’t want to decide between Europe and New York any more. I put everything I owned into storage, gave up my apartment in Bushwick, and went to see my family in Switzerland for a month. The initial plan was to return and move in with my ex-boyfriend after that month, but some family stuff was going on at the time, so I had to end the relationship and also be honest to myself about my desire to live a location independent lifestyle. At the time I was a little embarrassed because I was a lot “younger” (maturity wise) and I didn’t know a single soul who was essentially homeless like me, so people thought I was just being reckless (and at the time I cared what people thought). I was also struggling to make ends meet as a full time artist, so it wasn’t exactly glamorous.
My sister let me crash with her so many times and I will never be able to repay her for her generosity. My mom was there for me in person or facetime when I thought I had lost it, and she remained patient and caring throughout. After almost a year of bouncing between Western Europe and the East coast I spent a little over a year in Boston because I was ready for some financial change as well as a new professional challenge. I saved up every penny I made after living expenses during my time in Boston to start my business, Klar International. After my time in Boston I went straight back into location independence.
What was your inspiration behind the creation of Klar International?
I love life coaching, but I was thinking bigger than just doing the traditional 1-on-1 between a client and a coach. I didn’t want to exclusively help people who had the financial resources to hire a coach, because coaches are expensive AF. So I came up with a concept that was affordable and accessible to anyone who has goals and a will to put in the work, regardless of their economic circumstances. Now I have several coaching models from helping people become digital nomads to obtainable group coaching programs.
How do you maintain relationships considering that you travel frequently?
I really think it all comes down to each individual’s priorities on whether you want to make relationships work with your lifestyle or not (any kind of relationship). It’s honestly not any harder for me than if I were in one place full time. The traveling actually has nothing to do with my ability to maintain relationships. For me it has everything to do with my current 100% focus on building my businesses. I’m working on my “empire” from the moment I wake up until I do my gratitude before sleep. I don’t have the kind of work that ever really has an end or the option to clock in and out, because it’s my passion and full responsibility. Also, my friends and family are spread out all over the world, so it usually requires some travel anyway. When it comes to dating, that’s something that is on pause at the moment, but I would be happy to eventually meet someone with similar priorities, visions, drive.
Is it hectic? Do you get enough time to explore the destinations you visit?
I definitely don’t take “enough” time to explore destinations, but that comes back to the exact same point of priorities. If I didn’t prioritize my business growth I could definitely explore more! But, right now I have a vision that I am actualizing, and it takes a lot of time to build that up – on a daily and on a larger scale of things. It can get hectic if I don’t plan well, but so far I’ve been very lucky with finding the right airbnbs/hotels and flights that work for me. I’ve been planning on becoming more of a “slowmad” next year and staying in one place for several months at a time, but I’m still not sure where that will be.
A funny/embarrassing moment you witnessed on the job or experienced yourself?
It’s getting harder and harder for me to feel embarrassed hahahaha #noshame. But I’m outside my comfort zone on the daily in order to make moves in life. Not exactly funny or entertaining though, sorry haha. I do have a very silly side to me too!! ?
How does social media play a part in your life and career?
It plays an enormous role. Both for my business and my love for content creation. Instagram is practically the only social media app I use nowadays. I do have a Youtube account, but I’m currently neglecting it. I’ve stopped using Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat altogether and have made massive wins going all in with Instagram. I’ve made some of the most incredible, like-minded friends and connected with brands and other businesses.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Vulnerability. I have to face myself daily and I come with my own insecurities. I also have a moderate case of imposter syndrome that I have to punch in the face all the time. Luckily I’ve always found ways to thrive in adversity and I’m pretty sure I secretly love the struggle. I love doing what scares me, even if I feel like I’m going to suffocate of anxiety for a few minutes. My “job” has forced me to grow at a rate I couldn’t have expected and coincidentally I am obsessed with personal growth. If I don’t believe in myself, why would anyone else? So the hard part is not always fun, but it’s necessary.
What do you love most about your job? / Perks that are included in the job?
On the outside it would be the freedom of being the boss and the freedom of working from wherever I feel like it. But it’s truly so much more than that. It’s about the big picture of making a difference, even if it’s a tiny difference in this massive world we’re in. Making a difference for someone else is making a difference for myself – and vice versa. It’s a constant giving and taking. When I’m going through feelings of fear, doubt, insecurity, I remember that I have 86,400 seconds every single day to take action and do more than yesterday. Being in charge of my life is my everything.
What is your favorite destination? Any place you still haven’t visited?
My gosh are there many places I haven’t visited! I haven’t even seen a fraction of this planet and I am starving to see so much more as soon as my priorities start to shift. I spent the bulk of my life traveling between the East Coast and Europe, and now that I’ve branched out to Asia, I can’t get enough of it. Which is why I keep coming back to Bangkok for a month at a time (where I am now).
What’s next on the road ahead?
My wish-list for the rest of this year is Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore – But might just as likely turn out to be the US or Europe. This year has been full of surprises. I’m supposed to meet one of my girlfriends in Bali in three weeks, but I’m not sure if that’s still happening with the volcano on the brink of eruption. As for business and personal it’s all about staying focused and committed to my vision. It harmonizes quite well!
What is your advice for female entrepreneurs?
Hmm, where do I begin. Make self awareness and gratitude your number one obsessions and practice it like you breathe oxygen. Done is better than perfect. Execution always wins. Failures are the best lessons, so do it often. Do what scares the shit out of you. Evaluate and pay attention to your absolute closest circle and how they influence you and your pursuit.
Try becoming a minimalist. It will change your life forever. I am a fashionista at heart and I’m still able to do it (with a few sacrifices at the moment). I live out of a carry-on suitcase and two handbags, so I never even have to check in any luggage which, collectively, saves me hours of time. I genuinely believe that minimalism leads to lower levels of stress and more mindfulness, and therefore more happiness. Minimalism started with materialistic means for me at first, and over time it spilled over and transformed nearly all other areas of my life.
I’ve become a conscious being as a whole and I have no intention of ever going back, even if I live out of two big suitcases one day (or soon) because I really do crave more fashionable expression that I used to have living in NYC full time. Also, learn the basic sentences of the country you are in. It’s so so so important and makes a huge difference. Listen to your gut and speak with locals about safety – Don’t listen to what “they” (non-locals) warn you about in advance, because you’ll miss out on those truly enriching experiences. Get outside your comfort zone as much as possible, as long as you don’t become fatally ill or injured!
We would like to thank Naomi Bowler for taking the time to inspire us to follow our dreams. She exemplifies sacrifice, perseverance, and has demonstrated that it is a mixture of all these that are required in finding one’s passion. She is a testament that life is full of trial and tribulations, but eventually, it all gets sorted out. Thank you, Naomi.