Aline DAhmen is the founder of Nomad Soulmates, Nomad Soulmates, an online dating app for single nomads. The community helps nomads meet people who share their same lifestyle and values. Learn more about her work through our conversation below.
How did you first become interested in long-term travel/digital nomadism?
Right after high school, I took a gap year before intending to go to university. But instead, I fell in love with traveling. I spent the first two years traveling, coming home for a few months, and then going back again.
Through that time, I realized I was no longer willing to commit to a university. I no longer believed it would bring me what I was really seeking, which was to travel and meet online entrepreneurs. For me, the better school was the co-working spaces I’d visit, where I’d have access to this community of people I could learn so much from. I thought that was better than university. So, I began working as a virtual assistant (VA) and now I work in marketing and consulting.
What made you decide to start Nomad Soulmates?
A year ago, I was in a conference with 300-400 digital nomads and I realized almost everyone was single. So I started a Facebook group where this community could get together and help find partners.
Overtime, I began realizing that a lot of people seek a travel partner or a meaningful relationship while they travel. Shared love always doubles up the experience. People wanted to have deep connections with people, but as people come and go, it’s hard to keep that up.
It’s not that we were not networking. It’s actually the other way around. Digital nomads are really good at networking, but we’re not as good at making conversations and relationships run deeper.
That’s when I decided to turn the group into an online dating app.
How do your experiences with romance relate to those of your clients?
I was in a relationship for six years before I started traveling. But once I was on the road, I felt very disconnected to my partner at that time because my values changed.
After that relationship ended, I spent time healing from it, so I wasn’t thinking of dating or doing anything serious. But the longer I stayed on the road, the more I realized that intimacy is something I still seek. I wanted to have the experience again of two people really knowing each other and helping each other, and I began seeking somebody like a life partner again.
But even though I felt like it could be a time that I could commit to a relationship, I couldn’t necessarily see it working with someone who didn’t share my lifestyle, someone who worked a nine-to-five for example, or wanted to stay in one place. This lifestyle is my first priority and for many digital nomads, it’s theirs too. In those cases, you can either find someone who wants to work around that, or someone who is doing the same thing.
What makes romance so difficult for digital nomads? What are the barriers you see most?
It’s hard to find someone with the same mindset towards both remote work and traveling. It’s hard to find someone who is willing to travel the world having adventures AND also understands that it’s not only about being an adventurer, but also about working while you’re having fun. Many travelers don’t understand this. They just want to have adventures all the time but don’t understand the part of our life that has to work every day and be busy.
There’s also the problem of being in different locations. You might think a nomad might be entirely flexible, but often times there’s issues with visas, conflicts in travel plans, etc.
What do you hope to see for the future of your business or nomad dating in general?
With the future of work, I do believe that remote work is becoming a more normal lifestyle. I want to create an impact with those kind of workers. And I don’t want to just create an app. I want to provide community. It’s so important in a relationship to accept each other. I think this app can help people find that.