Meet Milla, a vegan and yogi digital nomad who works with wellness businesses

Milla Vegan Yogi Digital Nomad

Milla is a vegan yogi digital nomad who left her marketing and PR career in Milan to travel around the world while running her online business.

Tell us more about yourself.

Ciao, I’m Milla and I’m from the north of Italy. I grew up in a truly stunning place on the Maggiore Lake, where I lived for the first 25 years of my life. I grew up in a family of travelers, as a kid I would spend days sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car while we drove to Scotland or Spain or Normandy… you name it. By the age of 11, I had already visited many countries in Europe, experienced an unforgettable coast to coast trip in the USA and Mexico, and had been to Asia.

So you must have grown up loving traveling.

I was completely in love with traveling as a kid, but when I was 15 years old, I convinced myself that I wanted a “conventional” life. I pictured myself living in Milan, having a great career in one of those super fancy public relations agencies, residing in a beautiful house with my beloved and handsome husband, our two kids and one/two dogs.

And I worked towards that, becoming the first (and only) in my family to graduate from University, with not one but two degrees: Public Relations and Advertising degree, then Marketing, Public and Corporate Communication degree. I got a job at a marketing and public relations agency in Milan, and I had a pretty exciting and hectic life and a perfect boyfriend.

 

However, I started having serious troubles sleeping at night due to the amount of work I had to accomplish during the day, which made me miserable. I spent countless nights watching the hours tick by while thinking about my unhappiness and questioning the direction my life had taken. I realized I was cheating on myself by living a life society expected me to live, while my dreams and plans went unfulfilled.

 

How did you transition into becoming a digital nomad?

I left my job in 2012, told my landlord I was moving away, broke up with my boyfriend, packed a few clothes in a big green backpack and bought a flight to Sydney. It took me a few months to let go of my fears, but I was lucky enough to experience real happiness: while I was traveling with my heavy backpack all around Australia, while practicing hours of yoga, while climbing a mountain in Tasmania, while cooking vegetarian food in a fantastic yoga center. I’ve since lived in a few other different countries, while working for companies all over the world. About a year ago, I decided to become a freelancer to help and support people who share my passions in yoga, traveling the world, delicious vegan food, health & wellness.

 

Milla

 

What do you do for a living?

I believe Confucius was right when he said “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” and it’s with that quote in mind that I officially founded my business, Wanderlust Business Solutions, at the beginning of 2016. I started to offer marketing and public relations services to yoga studios, holistic businesses, wellness travel destinations, vegan companies, and eco-resorts because I needed to feel independent and have the freedom to explore the world whenever I wanted to and focus just on clients who shared my same passions and visions.

 

I feel that most of the yoga teachers and entrepreneurs in these industries don’t have the time or knowledge to market their businesses. My goal is to ease their work pressure and give them the technical and moral support they need to grow their businesses.  Most of the services I offer are the same ones I used to do in the marketing and PR agency in Milan, but I’m continually learning new tasks and tools, such as building a WordPress website.

 

How did you find your early customers?

My first two customers were (and they still are :)) a yoga studio in Germany and a wellness travel company based in the UK that promotes yoga retreats. I contacted the owner of the yoga studio, whose contact was given to me by some common friends, and told her about my new business. We met for lunch and started working for her after a couple of weeks.

I was looking online for some inspiration when I found the website of the wellness travel company. I noticed that the vision and mission of their business was very similar to mine, so I wrote to them asking if they needed help. The owner replied saying she was looking for a blogger and social media manager.

I don’t really like cold emailing and prefer to connect with potential clients on social media, eventually telling them what I do and that I am available if they need help.

What has been your best experience as a digital nomad?

So far I’ve only had amazing experiences as a digital nomad. I recently traveled to Tenerife where I spent four amazing weeks at a coworking space located in Puerto de la Cruz, surrounded by fellow digital nomads from all over the world. I also had the opportunity to meet a digital nomad expert, André Gussekloo, author of the book “Digital Nomads. How to live, work and play around the world.” there, and he gave me an incredible amount of tips on how to choose my residency and organize my business wisely.

 

Did you run into any safety issues while traveling?

I’m always extremely careful about the places I visit, and normally feel safe while I am wandering. I love traveling alone, and I will never stop doing it even though people keep telling me how dangerous it can be.

 

On November 2014 I decided to spend two months in India because I wanted to deepen my yoga practice and attend the classes of a few famous yoga teachers I admired. I have dreamt about that trip since I started practicing yoga and was very excited to live that experience but have to admit that those two months didn’t go as expected because of the lack of safety I experienced in India.

 

Even though I was in Rishikesh, a quiet, small city dedicated almost entirely to yoga, I always felt unsafe and anxious that something could have happened to me. It didn’t matter how many articles, pictures and videos I had seen about India, nothing prepared me for the cultural shock. Don’t get me wrong; India is a beautiful and extraordinary place, I was probably just not ready for it at the time.

 

What would you say to aspiring women digital nomads?

If you are passionate about what you do, and you are not afraid of being alone for periods of time while you are traveling, then go and do it!

People usually just see the positive sides of a digital nomad lifestyle: exploring the world, working on the beach, meeting a lot of cool people, etc. The truth is that it can also be a very challenging lifestyle because you are leading a nomadic life, and you have to say goodbye to friends you meet on the road. It can be hard to have lasting relationships and sometimes you also have to deal with bureaucratic problems.

I recommend reading plenty of articles about the digital nomad lifestyle and getting in contact with other digital nomads before giving up your stable job. Maybe you could also convince your boss to give you a couple of weeks to try this lifestyle while continuing to work for your company. Being a digital nomad is not for everyone, but I couldn’t live my life any other way, and this is what makes me feel alive.

Find out more about Milla on her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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