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Nomadic Travel Live w/ Joana Gloria – Founder, Lagos Digital Nomads

🔥 NomadX Live interview with Joana Glória, Founder of Lagos Digital Nomads – Algarve, Portugal.🔥

✅ Joana is not a nomad but a local Portuguese obsessed with hospitality and bringing the new nomad scene to life in Lagos even during the pandemic with special dinners, drinks, paint ball, hiking, boot camps and special coworking access.✨💣

👉🏼 Traveling & Meeting People are Joana’s greatest Passions! Graduated in Hotel Management, at the age of 26 decided to start her own business – she opened 2 Guesthouses in Lagos. Freedom to put her ideas and vision into practice, as well as geographical freedom, were always her biggest motivations. The search for more knowledge and the desire to expand her networking made her move to Lisbon. Many doors opened to her with the launch of “Eat at a Local’s” platform. Helping other entrepreneurs launching their own projects become also a project with mentoring and career coaching sessions. 👩🏼‍💻 👨🏻‍💻

🔊 In the meantime, the pandemic arrived, and all her projects are on stand-by, but she found an opportunity with Digital Nomads! She launched herself into a new project, which according to her words is “the best of my worlds: tourism, entrepreneurship & networking”. 31STAugust was “Lagos Digital Nomads” 1st Meet Up, and since then, the group has been growing. Many Digital Nomads are coming to Lagos and she is now working on the website. Once the website is ready, she is pretty sure that more people will know about Lagos as a great destination for Digital Nomads and also wants to connect them with local entrepreneurs, helping like this local economy. 💪🏼 💜

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Interview Transcription

Dave:

Hey, NomadX community, we are going live today with Joana Gloria. Joana is the leader of the Lagos Digital Nomads here in southern Portugal, down on the southern Algarve. She just started running this group back in late August and wanted to share her bit of information with you all. She’s been in the hospitality industry, she’s run a couple of guest houses, and now she is based out of Lagos. And just want to share her story with you guys. The other thing is she did start a startup called Eat At A Locals several years ago, we’re going to hit on that a bit. She went to the University of the Algarve, and hotel management was her specialty. She speaks several languages, French, English, and Portuguese. And yeah, we want to talk to you guys a bit today about what she’s been up to, the co-working solution she’s built down in Lagos. There’s some new co-living initiatives she’s going to be talking about with you all. And she will be joining us here in one second on the call with us today. You guys have any questions or feedback, please enter them in the comments. Give us thumbs up, give us some comments. Any questions you have for Joana would be awesome. She should be joining us here in a second. Super excited to have you all on the line today. Hey Joana, how are you?

Joana Gloria:

Hi, Dave, good, and you?

Dave:

Hey, I’m doing very well, thank you so much. We’re super excited to have you on the show with us today, The Nomadic Traveler. We’re going to be talking a bit about the Lagos Digital Nomads, and a little bit of what you’ve been up to and your career history so far, Joana. And then just asking some questions about this nomadic movement that you’ve gotten involved in. I guess, just to get started, so where are you now and what are you up to these days?

Joana Gloria:

Well, I’m in Lagos right now, enjoying the lockdown as much as I can, building the website, because this is really something that must go forward. So more people know about us and about our community. So I’m really excited about building this website.

Dave:

That’s awesome, Joana. So tell us a bit about Lagos Digital Nomads. It’s a new group, they just started recently. Maybe give us a little background on your inspiration and what you guys are currently doing down in Lagos.

Joana Gloria:

Well, this all started last summer in August because someone told me that many digital nomads were coming to Lagos. And all my projects were on hold, and are still on hold the other ones. And I saw in this digital nomads, an opportunity for me to build something new, to keep growing and meeting new people and make my life much more happier here in Lagos.

Dave:

Cool. That’s awesome. Yeah, I kind of can’t wind, I’ve been watching a lot, obviously the Lisbon Digital Nomads is so active up in Lisbon and we’ve got different groups all throughout the country that have been active. I know Ericeira got a nice little group that’s getting started, and Porto’s got a little group. But I was seeing tons of activity down in Lagos, and I had to go down there to go meet up with you for dinner one night, just to figure out what was going on. Because I was so impressed with all of the events and activities. Tell us a bit, what do you guys do? What are some of the events. I know right now it’s a little tight with the lockdown. But typically what sort of activities have you guys done? And maybe tell us a bit about the community.

Joana Gloria:

Yes, of course. So every week we have meet ups, people join us at the … lately, we have been doing it at Barbosa Bar and Kitchen. Sometimes we have live music as well. And I don’t like routine, so I always do different activities. Sometimes we have brunch, other times we have hikings, we do this, fail, fail again, and fail bigger event once a month, we started in December. And I was actually planning to do it again in January, but then the lockdown came, and all the events went down.

Dave:

So that was kind of like a fuck up nights, your version of fuck up nights, right?

Joana Gloria:

Yes.

Dave:

You invited me to come speak, and I’ve got a lot of fuck ups, so I had to … I don’t know if you guys could have handled all my disastrous business dealings. No, I’m just kidding. But yeah, that’s awesome.

Joana Gloria:

Maybe the next time, maybe the next time.

Dave:

Yeah, I’ll have some more recent fuck ups for you guys. But yeah, I love it.

Joana Gloria:

It’s always good to share those fuck up stories because we learn from the other people experiences. And it’s always good.

Dave:

Yeah. Just as long as you don’t fuck up too badly, that’s the issue.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah, but it’s good. Fuck up, it’s a sign that you tried something, so it’s always positive I think in my point of view.

Dave:

Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, me too. As an entrepreneur, it’s a constant part of the journey. It’s just, you don’t want to fuck up so bad where you ruin the whole business.

Joana Gloria:

That’s true.

Dave:

That happens sometimes.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah.

Dave:

So yeah, I’ve noticed you had some events going on, some really nice dinners and some nice restaurants, you’ve had some drink events that I’ve noticed, paintball, I thought that was a really cool event. You had paintball and then you had a DJ after the paintball event if I remember correctly.

Joana Gloria:

We didn’t do that, but we will do it once the measures go a little bit down.

Dave:

Okay. And then the bootcamps that I’ve seen. You have co-working as well, you have a really nice co- working facility down there in Lagos you work out of.

Joana Gloria:

Two actually, two co-working spaces, one in downtown at Mar d’Estórias, it’s an amazing building. I love that place. It’s one of the most inspiring places in Lagos. And once the good weather comes again, they will open the rooftop terrace. And it’s really the best. One of the best places in town to be. And then we opened also at Giramar, a 10 minutes walk from the city center, also closer to the beach. So it’s nice. It’s a different vibe as well.

Dave:

Yeah, so everyone out there who’s a digital nomad, I think a lot of the nomads, they swing through Portugal at some point, we have a huge initiative going on in Madeira at the moment, Lisbon’s really popular. But now we’re seeing that Lagos is really becoming a hotspot. It’s a tourist destination, but also now a destination for digital nomads and remote workers. And if you guys are joining us late here, we have Joana Gloria, she’s the leader of the Lagos Digital Nomads. And just here to share with us a bit about everything that she has been up to, this great community she’s built, we’re trying to recruit more people to Lagos. We saw you guys actually inching up on the nomad list. I think just recently you guys have been increasing your ranking on the nomad list, and we expect you guys to be up there in the top 10 or top 20, at least, sometime soon I would imagine. It’s such a popular destination.

Joana Gloria:

I hope so. And Lagos has this amazing vibe. It’s not a big city, it’s a small town, but it has all that they need to have a lot of good times and meet new people. And enjoy also the surf and yoga, which is quite popular here in this region as well. So yeah, people who haven’t been to Lagos yet, it’s a good way, and it’s a good opportunity to meet the city.

Dave:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I’ve spent some time there. I live about 40 minutes north of Lagos. So, a lot of times I’ll head down there if I’ve got to go see a doctor or a chiropractor or something. But it’s very convenient. And yeah, there’s some really nice surfing down there, especially this time of year. Because the waves get kind of big on the west coast, and down in Lagos it’s a little bit more protected. So some really nice surfing there this time of year I’ve found. And then during the summer obviously it’s a huge destination for people.

Joana Gloria:

It is. And we are very close to the west coast and Sagres is as well, which has the most beautiful sunset in the region as well. I love just going and driving and going and seeing the sun set at Sagres, It’s amazing. And our food as well, our Portuguese food is very good. And many of the digital nomads I’ve been interviewing in our lives, they also enjoy the Portuguese people, we are very welcoming, we are used to this, welcome tourists every year.

Dave:

That’s great. Yeah, so you have a background in hospitality, so I can see that carrying over in everything you’re doing down in Lagos. It seems like second nature to you.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah. I don’t know if I told you actually, I was born in a guest house, because my grandmother, she rents rooms before I was born, she used to go to the train and invite tourists to rent a room in her house. So the contact with tourists and people from all over the world has been with me since I was a baby. And even the concept that I’ve created with Eat At A Locals, I used to have meals at my grandmother’s with the tourists, and Christmas with tourists as well. So this is part of me, yeah.

Dave:

That’s amazing. Yeah, I wanted to, I know it’s not active at the moment, but you have a really great concept for dining with locals. And I think I met you and your business partner at one of our events about a year or two ago. And I was really blown away by the concept-

Joana Gloria:

At Web Summit. Yeah.

Dave:

But I was really blown away by the concept. I think it’s a really, really great idea once this pandemic is behind us. But maybe tell us a bit about your concept that you guys are working on. Because I still feel there’s a great opportunity for it here in Portugal and other places around the world.

Joana Gloria:

You say, regarding to Eat At A Locals?

Dave:

Yes, your Eat At A Locals.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah. Well, actually the two most popular regions to work are the Porto region and Madeira. And that’s why I have been traveling quite a lot to Madeira because our hosts really want it so bad, their food is amazing. Actually in all the country the food is amazing. And we like to welcome and people like to open the door of their houses and share our culture. The opportunity to be in contact with people from all over the world and share experiences and our culture. It’s our main thing to do in our Eat AT A Locals. Yeah.

Dave:

That’s awesome. And you get such great food and such great seafood, that’s one of the things I love.

Joana Gloria:

And the good thing is that you can go to restaurants and have the most popular dishes from Portuguese gastronomy, but actually we have such a huge variety of gastronomy that there are many dishes that you don’t find on the restaurants. And as much as you go to the interior of our country, you will find dishes that you have never known and tried in anywhere else. Even for me, it has been quite surprising. And last year, I think I met around 50 or 60 hosts. I really put some weight on because eating Portuguese food and drinking wine and desserts, oh my God. But at the end, it’s a good experience meeting people.

Dave:

Yeah, it’s super nice to get a chance. I think that, for the nomads, it’s super meaningful to not only have the experience of visiting the country, but have a chance to meet some of the locals, have a meal at a local’s home. I mean, that sounds like an incredible experience that you’re never going to forget throughout your life. I mean, obviously the restaurants are great, but until you’ve gone into a local’s home and shared a meal with them,

Joana Gloria:

It’s different. It’s different, and actually one of my ideas with Lagos Digital Nomads, once the website is launched, I want to start connecting the locals with the digital nomads.

Dave:

Yeah, I think that’s really important. I was noticing that you guys have … you’re on a lot of different channels, so not only on Facebook … So for everyone out there in the community, you can find them at Lagos Digital Nomads, you guys run a Facebook group. But also you’re on Telegram. And then there’s another social site I was noticing, I can’t remember the name of it.

Joana Gloria:

Discord and we have Instagram, but right now I’m also working in another app called Mighty Networks. So you can create a community there, because it has been quite challenging with this Facebook group, because Facebook doesn’t show you everything. So many people, they miss our events. And this Mighty Networks, you can create a community there, and it’s 100% organic. You will see all the posts, all right. So, they won’t miss any events, any post from anyone. So I’m working on that solution as well. And yeah, and it also has direct chat. You can speak to the people who are in the community. So it’s quite interesting that solution that I’m working on.

Dave:

That’s great. Yeah, I’ve heard that from a couple of people, that app is supposed to be very good for helping to build community. So, that’s great. So yeah, everyone on this channel, if you get the chance, check out Lagos Digital Nomads, their Facebook group, they’re on Mighty Networks, they’re on Telegram, Instagram, and some other channels as well. But yeah, Joana has done an amazing job with this group. And I wanted to just maybe ask you a few questions here. I know you’re not a digital nomad necessarily, but maybe tell us a bit about some places that you’ve visited that you really liked, or that have inspired you over the years in your interest for travel and hospitality.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah, I love to travel and I’m always with an eye open because I like to learn also when I travel. Learn with the others and see what they’re doing and bring some innovation to our country and to Lagos as well. So for me, I love Azores. I don’t know if you have been there. Azores, it’s nine Portuguese islands in the Atlantic. And all of them have different personalities, the islands. So, that’s one of my favorite places to go. Where else? I’ve been to India, which was an incredible experience as well. I love Mexico. I love Mexico. And those like Mexico and India are two places that I really enjoyed as well. Cuba as well, Havana. And then also around Europe.

Dave:

Okay. That’s great. Yeah. I’ve always wanted to go to India. I haven’t been there yet. But yeah, Mexico is quite nice. I love tacos and their mezcal.

Joana Gloria:

I love the Mexican food as well. Yeah. Regarding India, it’s an experience of life. If I want to go back there, I don’t think so.

Dave:

It’s a different experience.

Joana Gloria:

It’s a different experience, but it was a really nice experience, yeah.

Dave:

Well, this has been awesome, Joana. Just to wrap up with a couple of questions here, we’re trying to keep these about 20-30 minutes. I’d love for you to share with us your vision for what you think this digital nomad movement’s going to look like going forward post-pandemic. And then if they have any special offers or something you’d want to share with the community, that would be awesome too.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah, of course. So yeah, I think more and more people will start to travel and work at the same time, for people who don’t have any kids yet, it’s on their plans to have this experience. Because they just want to leave home right now and be somewhere where they have the feeling that they’re on a vacation as well. We are also working with some hotels on workation packages. We’re actually creating these packages here in Lagos. And I think the community in the Algarve in general is growing. We have such beautiful places in Portugal. And other communities, like you said, Madeira is working right now. Lisbon, Porto, Ericeira as well is very popular between digital nomads. So yeah. And regarding Lagos, well, you can always get into our group. And don’t be afraid to come to Lagos alone, we’ll welcome you here in our community. You will never feel alone because I’m pretty sure you will come to one of our events and you will meet a lot of people and make new friends. And yeah. And I feel we’re kind of a family here in Lagos, which is really nice. Yeah.

Dave:

That’s awesome. It’s great to have that when you’re away from home to be able to have an immediate community that you can tap into.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah. And this week, I’m also closing a deal with an entrepreneur here from Lagos. We’re going to open a co-living with our brand, Lagos Digital Nomad, so I’m really excited with this. It will be in Praia da Luz, five minutes drive from Lagos. So new things will come with new people also into the business. Yeah.

Dave:

Praia da Luz is a really, really nice little beach town with some awesome little restaurants right along the coast and great sunsets. My wife and I, we’ve spent some time down there and we really, really enjoy it. So I think Praia da Luz will be an awesome spot for co-live.

Joana Gloria:

Yeah. And there’s many communities there, yoga communities and surf communities as well. So yeah, there’s a really good vibe here and you make friends very easy. Yeah.

Dave:

Fantastic. Are there any special offers you could give us to anyone in the community here, to the co-work or to this new co-living place?

Joana Gloria:

Yes. During the lockdown, only one of our co-works, it’s open right now. So we are only accepting people for a week or a month. And we have special prices for those memberships actually. Yeah. Let’s see how it goes. And I hope this lockdown ends very, very, very soon. So we can start again with our meetups and our fail events. And I hope that you come and share with us one of your failed stories.

Dave:

That’s right. All my failures. I’ll tell you-

Joana Gloria:

Not all, only one, only one.

Dave:

It’ll take up too much time. Yeah. Well, it’s awesome having you on here, Joana. You’re doing an amazing job in Lagos. And hopefully the co-work, I know the co-work is going great. The co-living, I’m sure it will be great. And yeah, I just want to thank you for all your efforts and all the work that you’re putting into it. And for everyone here in the NomadX community, if you get a chance, when you think about Portugal, start thinking about Lagos, because there’s a lot happening in Lagos, even off season. And Joana’s running point on it. And you can join her groups through Lagos Digital Nomads and meet some awesome people, do some awesome events. Their brunches, I was taking a look at the spread for the brunches, which was amazing, some good caps.

Joana Gloria:

Amazing, amazing, amazing. And yeah, I don’t know if I told you, I was living in Lisbon before the lockdown, because I always wanted to be close to like-minded people. Because here the locals don’t invest that much in different businesses and projects. But right now I feel great here with this community. And I’ve never been so busy here in my life in Lagos. So this is incredible, even in the winter season, so yeah. Perfect.

Dave:

Well, awesome, Joana. We really enjoyed having you on the show and thanks so much for everything you do.

Joana Gloria:

Thank you.

Dave:

And we’ll keep an eye out for you over the next several months here.

Joana Gloria:

Thank you. Okay. Thank you, Dave, bye, ciao. Thank you.

Dave:

All right. Take care. Have a great rest of your day. Ciao.

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