Plant-based fitness coach Ines Schuber is one of the most dedicated and passionate health and wellness coaches we have met so far. We connected with her in this issue to learn more about her transition from the 9-5 life of a marketing expert to becoming a fitness coach who helps digital nomad women from around the world reach their health and fitness goals.
INES, YOUR JOY AND PASSION WERE THE FIRST ASPECTS WE NOTICED ABOUT YOU. TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU CHANGED YOUR CAREER FROM THAT OF A MARKETER TO HELPING WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD.
I’ve always been an independent spirit who loved to travel and explore the plethora of great food available. The world of marketing is ok, but it became a job that didn’t provide me with joy or fulfilment. What did bring me joy was when I found the secret to achieving my goals of shedding weight and gaining more strength so I could feel better in my own skin by following a vegan diet without restrictions. I was so excited and couldn’t help but tell everyone. In the process, I helped others also achieve their health and fitness goals, and I realized I could start coaching digital nomads who, like me, travel and work for a living but struggle to maintain a healthy, fit lifestyle.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A DN?
I started my online fitness coaching business about a year ago. It focuses on digital nomad women who want to get fit or stronger, learn healthier eating habits, or shed some weight while traveling. But I only became a true digital nomad this year in January when I joined my brother on a world tour in South America.
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY IN ONE PLACE?
At first, I was traveling really fast, changing cities every three to four days, but after several months, I realized that I needed to stay in one place for at least a month to really focus and grow my business. I have since decided to settle down in Medellin for two months. It was the best decision I ever made and my top recommendation for anyone starting out as a digital nomad.
WHY DO SO MANY FAIL TO STAY ON A DIET?
Well, firstly, diets are not the solution! When we “go on a diet,” we soon become miserable since we feel restricted and then binge on anything we can lay our hands on. Furthermore, diets make us hungry and irritable, which later transforms into anger. Diets are a quick fix, not a sustainable long-term solution.
One aspect is to add rather than remove!
Instead of restricting, add some more of the “good stuff” that you don’t get enough of, such as veggies, fruits, and nuts. This is a simple principle to follow that anybody can start incorporating right away. By adding more healthy foods, you’ll automatically eat less of the unhealthy ones.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE TO GET YOUR FIRST CLIENT?
I created a free seven-day fitness challenge in a Facebook group and advertised it via Facebook ads. Another way has been to reach out to friends and family and let them know about my services. Don’t be shy to put yourself out there –- attend events and tell everyone about what you do.
WHAT ASPECT OF THE DN LIFESTYLE ATTRACTED YOU THE MOST?
The opportunity to combine my three passions: nutrition and fitness (via my business) and travel (via the digital nomad lifestyle). I have always loved traveling and had the chance to live in several different countries. I just feel my best when I’m abroad, and that’s why I made it a goal to create a digital nomad lifestyle. Also, over the years I have made great friends from all over the world, and knowing that I can now visit them when I want, without having to worry about asking for vacations, makes me so happy!
There is the misconception that our lives as DNs are perfect all the time and that it’s easy. It’s actually not. Though being a DN who works online while traveling is rewarding, it is hard work and takes a lot of self-discipline. I found it especially hard at first to balance work and travel as I was traveling too fast.
ANY ADVICE TO FITNESS EXPERTS WHO WANT TO BECOME DNs?
Find your passion and niche, create an online presence, and collect testimonials from your clients to showcase. Don’t fill your schedule with too much travel, too fast. Have a good balance between fun, travel, and work.
HAVE YOU EVER RUN INTO TROUBLE OR EXPERIENCED A MEDICAL ISSUE?
Yes, I was living in Canada and had to have surgery for appendicitis. Everything went well as I had insurance, but it took two months for the insurance company to reimburse me. Not health-related but a big struggle nonetheless, there were several times during my South American trip when I went to places that were a bit isolated and that consequently had very poor WiFi. I couldn’t work as a result, and it drove me crazy!
YOUR TOP 3 MONEY SAVING HACKS?
1 – Always bargain when possible. People know you are a tourist and are likely offering you a higher price than you should be paying.
2 – Cook your own food. Make sure your rental has a good kitchen or that your hostel has the minimum required to cook: a pan, spatula, good knife, chopping board, peeler, and, as a bonus, a mixer (to make smoothies and sauces).
3 – Use booking referral discount codes to get discount on anything from accommodation to groceries.
HOW DO YOU FIND GOOD ACCOMMODATION & WHAT IS YOUR ROUTINE ON ARRIVING?
I find most of my accommodation through Bookings.com or by contacting friends and people on digital nomad Facebook groups.
When I arrive in a new place, I always find out the location of the local market, a vegan restaurant (thanks to Happy Cow website), and the best co-working space.
TOP COUNTRY SO FAR?
Colombiaaaaa! I have never been in a country where I was able to experience such diverse landscapes and cultures. You can go from the jungle, to the Caribbean, to the desert – Colombia amazes me every single day!
IS INSURANCE IMPORTANT FOR DNs?
It’s a MUST! Everyone needs to have travel and medical insurance. You never know what can happen or when. If I hadn’t had insurance in Canada, it would have cost me a whole lot of money to have surgery. I currently use Chapka, and I’m really satisfied.
TOP LIST OF ITEMS TO PACK?
1 – External battery
2 – Sleep mask
3 – Bamboo cutlery
4 – A foldable bag
5 – My computer
RECOMMENDED RECIPE FOR BUSY FDNs?
You can find a lot of free recipes and inspiration on my Instagram @ines_schubi. I also wrote an eBook, 5 Ingredient Vegan Snacks, for busy digital nomads who don’t have time for complicated recipes and want a simple solution to eat healthy and vegan while on the road. (https://fitonveggies.com/5-ingredient-vegan-snack-ebook/)
WOULD YOU GO BACK TO A REGULAR JOB?
Are you a successful freelancer, digital nomad, remote, startup founder, entrepreneur or side hustler?
Contact FDN Life to be interviewed & featured in an upcoming issue of FDN Life Magazine.
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