Latoya Allen of SheNomads
Credit: Tucker Kline

Many have the desire to travel the world. For some, that might mean taking a few weeks every year to see a new part of the world and rapidly taking it in before returning home. Others, however, prefer to travel slowly- taking a day (or three) to simply eat bread and nap in Paris, or reading a weathered paperback on the beach in Da Nang instead of rushing to Ho Chi Minh city just because that’s what’s on the itinerary.

For this to be possible we need the ability to be able to travel while we work. Imagine being able to experience these new cultures, foods and music every week, month or year. Imagine traveling to the point where it’s not really traveling anymore. It’s living. This may seem like an unattainable goal, but with the rising remote revolution it’s becoming more possible and more realistic. The most important aspect to making the digital nomad lifestyle a reality is developing the skills necessary to support yourself remotely. In today’s job economy the most viable way to realize your dreams of becoming a digital nomad is to learn to code.

LaToya Allen is the creator of SheNomads — a community devoted to creating a space for underrepresented folks in tech, and allies, who want to work remotely and make this lifestyle a reality. LaToya came up with the idea when she took a job working for Big Cartel- a remote company that helps makers manage their work and build online stores to sell it. A big factor in LaToya taking the job was the ability to work remote and to travel while she worked. In short, it enabled her to be a digital nomad.

Latoya Allen of SheNomads

The only issue was that she didn’t know how to facilitate the lifestyle.

The problem was I didn’t know how to find great flight deals, how to pack for a month long trip, or what the best cities for that lifestyle would be.”

LaToya needed help learning these skills, and realized that there were probably others who needed help as well. From there she started a podcast, which she still runs to this day, where she has conversations with other SheNomads.

From that initial podcast, SheNomads has evolved into a blog and a vibrant Slack community. In the Slack community LaToya runs Ask Me Anythings (AMAs), which are sponsored by tech companies on Wednesdays. On top of that she is opening up office hours where users can ask questions they may have over material that SheNomads covers. Her events are run on Slack so everyone involved can join the conversation- attendees, sponsors and mentors. This keeps everything organized and in one place so that everyone can keep track of the moving parts- whether that be keeping in touch over scheduling or coordinating getting AMAs and sponsors set up with what they need.

The community takes form in a number of ways. On Saturdays, the SheNomads Slack channel runs workshops and classes to help teach skills and help others reach their goals of becoming digital nomads. This Saturday, January 7th she will run two sessions on #introtoruby via her Slack channel. The first from 1:00 – 2:00 CST, and again 2:30 – 3:30 CST. It’s a great, low pressure way to start learning programming with real time support from an expert. LaToya’s class removes one of the biggest hurdles for self-taught programmers: the lack of real time help with the numerous questions you’re bound to have. SheNomads helps break through those barriers by offering a like-minded community to chat with about learning to code, being a digital nomad and experiencing a life off of the beaten path.

LaToya acknowledges that to have the lifestyle change that she exemplifies it takes putting in the work. Learning to code isn’t easy, and it’s going to take waking up early, going to bed late, working on the weekends and most importantly- taking care of yourself in the meantime.

Are you ready to become a digital nomad? Get started at the SheNomads Slack channel:

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