Meet Maria Zlobina: Solo Traveler and Digital Nomad

Meet Maria Zlobina, her journey spans from the vast landscapes of Siberia, Russia, to the thriving scenes of Utah, USA. After almost a decade of settling in the U.S., she embraced the digital nomad lifestyle, embarking on a global adventure over the past 1.5 years.

1. What is your line of work as a Digital Nomad?

My first year of nomad life was spent working in corporate finance, but a few months ago I quit my job to build my coaching practice (digital nomad coaching, life coaching, group coaching, business, and entrepreneurship coaching).

2. How long have you been a Nomad and solo traveling and what encouraged/inspired you to do it in the first place? What would be your advice to someone who wants to embark on this journey?

I have been traveling all over the world for the last 1.5 years, 95% of that is traveling solo. 

What encouraged me to do it is the feeling of freedom, and excitement of exploring and seeing new places, meeting new people and cultures, and learning about myself in the process. After COVID (and a toxic relationship lol), something shifted in my mind about the time. I felt this urge to pursue what I wanted and make my life look like and feel like I wanted it to be. 

Life is short! We don’t know how much more we have. However, we treat time worse than any other resource.

My advice would be to do your prep work understand what it involves and make sure it’s really what YOU want to do. It’s not as easy as it looks in magazines and postcards. But if it’s really for you, then go after it! Getting help from those doing it already (to save yourself some heartburn) is another piece of advice! 

3. Where would you recommend a first-time digital nomad and a first-time solo female traveler to visit that isn’t on everyone’s radar and why? From this location, can you recommend some of your favorite co-working spaces or environments for remote work?

Not sure what’s on everyone’s radar currently, but I’d recommend listening to yourself first and what you are comfortable starting with. For example, it can be not very far or a country with the same language. I’m a big believer that people should do what feels right to them, and not for everyone else. 

From my experience, I spent the longest time in Bali, Indonesia. It’s safe, affordable, and relaxing. Tons of places to work (both – cafes and restaurants and co-working spaces). 

I also liked Budapest, Hungary, it’s a fun European city, pretty and affordable (compared to other places in Europe), and I would go there again.

I liked Split, Croatia. It’s safe and beautiful but more expensive.

I don’t think some places are better/worse for solo female travelers, as it depends on what you do there and how you behave. I spent 2 months in Quito, Ecuador, which is not the safest place ‌, however, I was smart about it, so everything went great.

4. Since our platform thrives in uplifting minorities – we want to know, in what ways has traveling as a nomad and solo female traveler influenced your perspective on cultural diversity and global connections?

My experience expanded my view of the world and different cultures. I’ve been to North America, South and Central America, Europe, and South East Asia.. all of these places are so different. The key to the digital nomad and traveling experience is not to compare new places to our home but to take it all in as it is, observing, exploring, enriching, and understanding. 

It also led to so much more gratefulness and appreciation in my life, including gratefulness and appreciation for what I already have and how I have become.

People are all human beings, no matter what part of the world we are in. We all crave that feeling of connection and belonging. And from my observations, people who travel a lot are much easier to establish a connection with. They don’t play games of geography, separation, status, etc. They see you differently.

5. As a Digital Nomad and Solo Traveler, how has this contributed to your spiritual journey, and have you encountered any transformative moments or insights along the way?

Once I started this journey, my life was split into Before and After. 

I learned so much about myself, including “who I want to be when I grow up”. I found my passion during this journey and it alone is priceless for me. 

I became so much more resilient. I stepped up in my level of accountability for my life and future. It led to a complete change in my financial situation as well. 

I learned that any moment can become a life-changing one, and so much more.

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