Interview by Tal Bright
Claudia Canu is on a mission to create a healthier society. She first came to Coworking Bansko as a volunteer, fell in love with the place and decided to come back.
How do you make a living working from anywhere?
I’m a health motivator for women, I want to help women to make the big change that I achieved last year.
9 months before turning 40, I took on a challenge to change my diet, study for a Master’s in nutrition, change to healthier lifestyle, do yoga, meditation and exercise, use affirmations and generally keep a balanced life and make changes in myself physically, mentally and emotionally.
I was happy with results: Lost some weight, achieved emotional balance, which is super important, and found my purpose in life. I’ve always wanted to help people and now I know I can help society become healthier.
On my site I offer private coaching sessions. Teaching women means the family and partners can learn too.
I’m focusing on nutrition because I have a Master’s degree and know a lot about how to eat well and how not fall for the food industry traps, but you need to integrate healthy habits as well. It’s all connected.
I’m also working part time for a company (for a couple of years now) in business development, and I have some passive income from my previous blog — Coffee and Brunch BCN.
Do you normally work at coworking spaces? And why?
I’m much more productive when I’m alone. Some of the content I publish is video recipes, which I cannot make at a coworking space
That’s why I usually work from home, but I use Coworking Bansko more for social purposes — to meet more entrepreneurs and other digital nomads.
In order to be productive I need to be social, otherwise I lose my creativity. It helps grow my own projects — you get advice from people and learn from them, but also you need to get out and not just sit in front of your computer.
What do you like about Coworking Bansko?
I fell in love with Bansko because of Coworking Bansko.
When I came here last year for 2 weeks I wanted to leave Barcelona after 8 years and I looked at digital nomad Facebook groups to see what people were talking about.
I was looking for a community that would fit me. I found out about Bansko online and decided to give it a try. I joined the volunteer programme for 2 weeks and loved it. It was a huge difference compared to the living in a big city like Barcelona.
I felt so energised and decided to move to Bansko. I first went to Bali to see if I liked it there, but I liked Bansko better, that was what I needed at the stage of my life. The people I found in Bansko were the people I was looking for.
What do you like about the town of Bansko?
It’s small and quiet, you can just walk around everywhere. The silence here, the contact with nature, the view of the trees and the mountains — they bring me so much peace.
Even if I don’t have all the commodities I had in Barcelona, for instance, I struggle to find some ingredients sometimes, I have so much more here that it doesn’t matter. It makes you appreciate more of what you have in the present moment.
Bulgarians are nice even if they don’t understand you. Even though most of them don’t speak English, if you smile at them they smile back. I didn’t expect this. I’m from Italy and lived in Spain where people are open, and I find people here are nice, probably because it’s a small town.
What’s your favourite thing about your current lifestyle?
The people I get to meet and collaborate with, the things that can come out from meeting like minded people. It makes you grow as a person and as an entrepreneur.
This lifestyle also helped me find me current boyfriend!
I left my country 17 years ago, always wanted to live somewhere else, wanted to learn different languages and about different cultures. Even when I was living in Barcelona for 8 years I kept travelling.
When you live this lifestyle, you’re not just travelling as a tourist. We travel slowly and stay at least for a month or more in each place. I keep discovering the world.
How many hours a day do you work on average?
Too many. About 9- 10 hours a day on average. Sometimes I work less — I don’t have fixed hours.
A lot depends on the social aspect — if I were somewhere where I didn’t have a community I’d work even more hours.
I do take breaks and take care of myself with workout, yoga, meditation etc.
How do you stay productive while you travel?
I keep my routines which helps to maintain a balance and I eat healthy which helps me stay productive.
When you’re working on a project that’s your passion you’ll also be productive
Finally, being in a place where you feel comfortable is important to be able to concentrate and be productive.
What apps do you use and recommend for digital nomads or long term travellers?
- Google Translate, especially if your in a country where they use a different alphabet.
- XE Currency app.
- Google Maps
- Splitwise — to divide expenses. The apps works with different currencies.
- Hangouts for international calls.
- Wherever I go I get the local transport and taxi app.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Finding a way to be comfortable in order to be productive. We cannot just go wherever we want, because in some countries I know I wouldn’t be productive.
What are your plans for the future?
I want my health motivation project to grow. I want to be able to help as many people as possible and my goal is financial freedom.
I want to keep discovering the world in a comfortable way.
I’m now creating a recipe book with colouring pages for kids with artist Irina Pandeva. We met at Coworking Bansko. The idea is to make it easier for mothers to teach kids about healthy food, and the kids will also be learning a second language — names of ingredients.
I am also creating a digital product: A course about meal planning. It’s a big struggle for women to organise their meals so that they always have access to healthy food.
You need to do some work in the beginning but it is doable and I’ll make it easier with spreadsheets and tools. That’s what I do — I plan my meals for the whole week. You can have healthy delicious and balanced food. It’s going to be an online video course with live sessions on Facebook and a Facebook group.
About the author
Tal Bright was a Nomad in Residence at Coworking Bansko in May 2019. She’s been a digital nomad since 2009 and is currently sharing her knowledge on her travel blog, brightnomad.net, and works as a content creator.