Episode #
027

Moving Tools and Tips Between Countries With Nicole Caba | TNN27

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Episode Summary

Have you ever thought how convenient it would be if there is an app accessible through your phone that has everything you need in being a digital nomad? Imagine a tool in your arsenal where your normally organized-cluttered life would be efficient with all the visa information, tips about the country you’re going to, or even the logistics of your personal stuff. How cool is that? Well, Nicole Caba, founder and CEO of an app that made it possible for digital nomads to travel with ease.

In this episode of The New Nomad, Nicole joins our hosts, Andrew Jernigan and Allen Koski, in exploring the wonderful world of digital nomads via Avvinue, an app that definitely makes a difference in traveling for our laptop-wielding warriors. They discussed the opportunities that we all have now when it comes to making your ideas a real money-maker or just learning things via hackathons. This is really a fun experience for everyone, digital nomad or not. Truly an episode worth listening to.

From the episode

Overlooked place: The Canary Islands/Las Islas Canarias

Find Nicole on these platforms:

     Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

Find Avvinue on these platforms:

     Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

What You'll Learn

Avvinue is an app that you, your clients and friends should explore for planning the relocations ahead.

Hackathons are addictive. Start here to find one, a good starting place but try Meet-up Hackathon groups also.

Timestamps

[1:27] Taking advantage of what technology can do for you

[10:14] Organizing your life as a digital nomad via Avvinue

[15:44] Hackathons: a playground for thinkers and innovators

[17:44] People love giving advice

[21:45] Tools that you van use to bring out the innovator in you

[27:39] Relationships should not hinder you in moving forward

Show Transcript

Allen  

Welcome to The New, New Nomad. We have an interesting guest today, Nicole Caba will join us from Lyon, France. She's the founder and CEO of Avvinue. And really somebody who I think, is bringing some really interesting things to the marketplace, an app that really helps support people with moving. But beyond that, it just helps people feel more comfortable in that location, independent lifestyle, moving back and forth, etc. You know, Andrew, as I was looking at this, it really appeared to me that, you know, building an app looks really easy, but we know it is not. And I know you've been down that road. Insured Nomads building an app for people, there's so much technology behind it. So bringing my co host, Andrew Jernigan into the conversation, Andrew, when you see what Nicole has done, and thankfully, what you have done is, you know, people just don't understand the miracle of the technology that goes into putting something like an app or a tool together that helps.

Andrew  

Yeah, being a technical founder, I greatly admire the work that Nicole has done. And my wife being one of our co founders here at Insured Nomads, the building and public, which she has done for the past year and a half, which has been an adventure to see and see it blossom so well, integrating different technologies and partners in and it's it's a gratifying, challenging and wild process to to take it public. And, you know, building an app isn't as hard as it used to be. Because right now with no code and low code technologies, you can you can get apps into the app store's basic apps, even to quite complex situations with Bubble and Adalo, tools like that. So it's gonna be interesting, I look forward to having to call on the show with us today because the pool or those who are crossing borders need to evolve. And I think she's providing some, some assets for our space that are essential and have been missing.

Allen  

I couldn't agree more. One follow up question, Andrew, on that. When you know, somebody out there in our audience thinking, you know, I have a something that's unique. And I would like to have and build an app, just out of curiosity, from a lay person's perspective. Is that something you could do yourself? Or is that somebody? Should you find somebody who's built one before and enlist their assistance from your background? And I'll ask the same question to Nicole when we bring her in.

Andrew  

it totally depends on what you want to accomplish. And the complexity of the app, in our case, in my case, no way. The technology that I wanted, requires many different eye level partners and collaborators to make it happen. But I have Yeah, I've built some some great apps that glide apps are a great starting place for for people glide. And Adalo, which I mentioned earlier, some some really great starting places for someone says, you know, there should be an app for that I want to play around with it, which was a great way to get your feet wet to then go to a designer to go to a programmer, or a company to say this is what I want. But yeah, I'm interested to hear Nicole's take on that when she joins us later as well.

Allen  

Well, one thing about the app that I think is a miracle is where I live here, I received a message this morning from the app of the technology that there was an area of bucolic Wilmington, Delaware, where I live to stay away from and I was like, Wow, that's amazing between geo positioning technology and the technology on the app. And and that just doesn't happen by a miracle. There's a lot of thought and a lot of work behind that.

Andrew  

Yeah. And in that case scenario, if it were a little bit closer to you, another partner would then reach out and call you and say, Hey, are you okay? And if it's even worse, they're gonna send people to respond and move you to a safer spot. So that's, that's interesting. But yeah, let's bring Nicole along today because we're, we are eager to hear. I want to hear the latest in Avvinue. What's going down the Avvinue what's being built on the Avvinue? And so, Nicole, join us.

Nicole  

Hello. Hello. Thanks so much for having me. I love hearing the discussion because I'm like so ready to like share. But yes, thanks so much for having me join the podcast really excited to speak with you all.

Allen  

So Nicole off of our comments, have you built things would you share much like Andrew did some of your perspectives on what you built and certainly your transition to the location independent lifestyle and how you support that because I think Avenue and by the way avenue for the listeners out there is A V V I N U E. It's really interesting to share a little bit about that in your journey to decide what you wanted to build and how you built it.

Nicole  

Yeah, absolutely. So I'll just share a little as well that this is my second tech startup. So second app and kind of going off of what Andrew was saying in terms of what can anyone just build something? Absolutely! I think anyone can just build something but there's nothing better than having experience as well or that I like to say expensive learning experience now doing it the second time around I think the mindset changes completely when you're doing something over again and up, but you could have done better and that's definitely how I say I approached Avvinue as my second tech startup. 

Nicole  

So in terms of like just now living this new more nomadic lifestyle so I moved from the US almost two years ago, I was living in New York and decided to consider how can I live abroad Where can I go and literally just went through this options of okay which countries have good weather, good food? You know, everyone has like their criteria that they're really looking for. And for me it was this and being able to travel and so of course you were Europe was like top Let me try to find a place in Europe. But when it came down to like, Okay, what visa options are there? That's where it got a little tricky start trying to figure out but where can you go. And so ended up getting a French tech visa, so that I can actually settle base but be able to travel throughout. And I think that's a little different than just a nomadic lifestyle for anyone going anywhere and not having a home base. They actually like having a home base and then being nomadic on top. So I think there's another name for that. But I've always moved. I've always been moving, um, my family, they're immigrants. My mother from Dominican Republic, my dad's family from Puerto Rico, and my dad was in the military so I was born in a Navy base in California and then moved different states University in a different state then was always looking for like what's next? That I think is always the question on my mind is like, Where is next? Like Where can I explore? So I honestly don't even know where it's I always like where could I go next? Where can I see myself because I'm always changing we're always evolving so why can't we evolve and be in a place that better embraces who we are in that moment? So that's how I feel Yeah,

Allen  

so it's that amount of moving is that what inspired you to develop Avvinue because I'd love you to talk about this because you know people are listening are like yeah, we're thinking about moving or we move a lot it's a tool that will help and when I looked at it I was like man this this could really help streamline a lot of the process and time you know people forget about things as they move etc. Is that background of yours What inspired you to see that hey, I think I can help some people here and perhaps help myself as I move too?

Nicole  

yes so as you now heard, I've moved a lot but it doesn't matter how many times you move there's always something new or different and that's where it inspired me now when I was moving to another country was okay, what do I need to do when do I need to do it? How should I do it? And it just, I ended up down this rabbit hole of researching and researching and researching um, that is a natural like planner um, type a planner so I don't know this is just like super natural for me was just okay, how can I make it easy so that if I do go again, or if I do now decide to move to another place, how can I have something already kind of like a template and that's really where it inspired me of, Okay, I like this resource to be available to anyone else so that they don't have to go through the hours and hours and hours of research. And trying to figure out like, Okay, what should I do and then stumble upon like, oh,

Nicole  

in our app, which I haven't shared too much, but Avvinue all and move, we gave the guidance of what they should do and when they should do it. And we also work with vetted suppliers all around the world to allow you to book those services through our platform. So not only do you know, Hey, get travel insurance, got your health insurance, but here's Insured Nomads that you can work with. And so we work with our vetted suppliers that we handpick, and it makes a huge difference to help people save time, save energy, and really get more organized because not everybody's organized. And so we just like give them exactly what they need on mobile or on web, so that they can better plan their move. Because at the end of the day, you're not you're not moving to deal with the logistics you want to move so you can enjoy where you're going. And that's what we want to help you get to.

Andrew  

So, so if you were to say the top three reasons that someone would add Avvinue to their phone and make it part of their life, what are those top three reasons?

Nicole  

Yeah, so I will say top three reasons. Okay, if you're moving anywhere new, and you have a checklist, if you had anything to do to plan for your move, that's one reason because we actually give you a pre populated checklist, okay? If you need to, at any point coordinate anything, for example, you need to move your belongings like shipping, or a removals company, if you need to transport your pets, if you need to find housing, if you need to speak with an immigration lawyer, if you need to apply for a visa, if you need challenged, if you need any of those things, you can also do it on Avvinue. So say those two reasons. The third one, if you're coordinating and planning a move with another person, also, you can use Avvinue why because now you can both plan together. Myself in my husband planning the same thing. So if I can just sum something to him on the up and see everything related to my move in one place, as opposed to a paper checklists, notes on the fridge texting, and so it's all consolidated in one place to just make it easier. And it also our next update, it will sync to your calendar. So you can literally have that now connection on the go.

Allen  

What I thought was great, what I looked at is I mean, people people forget, you know, I gotta ship stuff, I got to worry about my utilities, I got to look at insurance, you know, I got a household goods. As you've worked with people, what are the areas that usually trip people up, if they don't have the app, other than they probably get things out of out of sequence. Because you when you move out of sequence could be as much of a problem. So you don't want your stuff to arrive early when you're not there. You know, I've heard so many stories about utility issues, etc. about some helpful tips on that.

Nicole  

Yeah, so you're absolutely right on when people should do things. So that's so a lot of people don't know what to do and when to do it. So that's key. When we give you your pre populated checklists, it's actually personalized for you. So you signing up versus somebody else signing up, even though you're moving to the same place, depending on when you're moving, we'll recommend certain things that should be done earlier. So we're considering like contingencies of when they should be done. Because what you just said is correct. A lot of people don't know what's required, for example, for a visa, and now a digital nomad visa is coming out. People, many people don't know what's required in order to get a digital nomad visa. So in some cases, you need to already have temporary housing setup, you need to have your travel insurance, you need to have your flights booked before your visa application is even process. So there are certain things that we'll recommend to you, if you're going, you're just going, let's say on a nomadic experience in the same country versus another country. Now, complexities change. So we also add in country specific things. And I think the most like wow factor we get from people using even just our version one of Avvinue is I didn't even think I needed that service or I didn't even know I needed to do this or this was available. And so we're trying to catch a lot of those catch 22 scenarios that can happen and help people whether it's unlocking your SIM card before you move, or notifying your bank, like there's certain things that aren't, I mean, you can spend all day reading articles we're just trying to get straight to the point here's what you should do. And that saves a lot of headache.

Andrew  

Yeah, so you've been building and Alan brought up the aspects of you know, What if? What if someone says, Okay, I want to build an app? I know you participated in the hackathon recently. And you know, I think that may have been out of Y Combinator. And you've, you're you're very active in, in the innovation space and a forward thinker. When people are listening, thinking, I wonder how hard it is what what are your some of your takeaways from one, hackathon? And taking the idea to from concept into wireframing? And just into some basic environments to then decide, do we want to move further with us?

Nicole  

Yeah, so hackathon. I love hackathons. I don't know what it is about the energy and the chaos and personalities and being under pressure. But I just like love hackathon. I could spend my weekends enjoying a glass of wine. But instead I'm like, "hackathon. Yes, I'm ready to join". So I've done probably about five hackathon. And they're all very different, different organizations that hosts But recently, it was in a Hackathon, it was coordinated by On Deck. So I'm a fellow in On Deck, which is a really great community for different types of paths. For creators, developers, founders, podcasters. And so they hosted this hackathon. And when you join a hackathon, really, if it's just to build something that you know, there's a need for you learn so much about yourself about other people, I highly recommend whether you have an idea in mind or not, look, look at any Hackathon being hosted. I definitely recommend once in person, that the dynamics are completely different. This was my first hackathon done virtually. 

Nicole  

And while we were doing the hackathon, we had people who were all over the world. So we needed to build something within a weekend that delivered value to people. And so we're like, what can we build, that's when we realized working against time zones, even just finding a time for us to meet to build something was difficult. And so we ended up building a way to schedule team meetings easily across time zones. And we built that that product, but if somebody is not, um, you know, just starting off and has an idea, I highly recommend joining a community where they can learn there's podcasts that have tremendous information, you don't need to go to school for it. But just absorb information. Surround yourself with people who are building, they're going to drop gems all day. People love giving advice. So if it's you're trying to learn something, just ask someone, they're more than happy to pretend to be an expert, but you'll learn a lot along the way.

Allen  

That's That's so funny. People do love to give advice. It's really it is an important thing to ask, you know, good questions. You know, one thing I'm just thinking is, so there are people who listen to this podcast that, you know, are just embarking on a new journey. So if I'm a lay person, and I hear hackathon, what it is that you've signed up with a group, and they take a particular point in time and they say, we're going to come up with a unique idea. We're going to see how we can build it out. Go in and can you just give a little bit more particulars of what is a hackathon if somebody is never participant? I mean, you gave a good idea about it, but I think people want some of the gory details so to speak.

Nicole  

Okay, yeah, sorry, I was super vague. Okay. So yeah, so a hackathon is kind of like you said, Alan, you can sign up to an organization, let's say, there's an event happening where you can say you want to build a product, they put you into a team, or let's say the first day, they ask, Hey, does anyone have a random idea they want to build usually, that's how it starts off. And so you just random idea, like I saw on Twitter or somebody saying like a dating app for the metaverse or something, I don't know, come up with your crazy idea that you think could be cool. It doesn't even have to be a real problem. It could just be whatever you want to build. So you throw out your idea. And they put you into groups of random people. But they try to make sure that there's certain skill sets within the group. So maybe somebody is good at marketing, maybe somebody is good at business, somebody that the researcher, hey, you could be a great writer, that's me. No matter what you will have some skill sets that are needed to build a team. So that being into a team, and now you have around like 40-72 hours to actually build a product. That products can be using no code, low code tools that are mentioned. And or a website. So you work all weekend. To figure out or whatever it is to determine like, what do you want to build? How does How do you want it to look, you create a branding, you can create a presentation. And at the end of this really hard working weekend, no sleep allowed. You then can pitch your idea, usually like one to three minutes, you pitch in front of a panel of judges, and it's a no judgment zone. It's a fun event. But then you pitch your idea. They give feedback, you really get to see what it's like as if you're on Shark Tank, but it's really not Shark Tank. And at the end, the whole point is you make friends you learn things, you, you may even build something that actually becomes a business. I've met many people as a result of just randomly joined a hackathon now have a successful company. So so many opportunities I that's why I highly recommend hackathon.

Andrew  

So if someone said, Okay, that sounds appealing to me, you've participated in several, is there a best? first recommendation for someone if they were saying, Okay, I have an idea, and I want to find a hackathon. You know, where where would you say to go? I know it's a very general question, because it's it. It all depends on the idea. I when I asked that, I think one place is an online accelerator that is very loosely structured called Pioneer, which is pioneer.app Online. And let's see, that's that's one I'd recommend. It's not exactly hackathon, but it's more of a remote accelerator that has some potential funding involved. But it's a it's more of a long term commitment. Go for it Nicole.

Nicole  

Yeah, I'm trying to think of like some other ones. There has also been, it's called Code2040. They have hackathons regularly happening, laying hands on like Meetup. I may be promoting it. But definitely look to see where they may be hosting a hackathon and co working spaces. Because usually they'll use that space. Um, there's, yeah, there's quite a few, I would look up hackathon, Bend, those may be really good Pioneer. Yeah, and the permissions. So there may be some that are hackathons that are very tech heavy. So they actually may not require you need to be a developer, then there's others that literally you could be anyone jump in, and you'll have many people, they're like, Oh, I just want to experience it. But if you're going to do it, be all in because that makes a big difference in your experience.

Allen  

Sure, sure. So you've you've traveled around, and certainly made some transitions. So a question that we ask our audience that already likes to hear from all of our guests is what is an overlooked person, place or experience you would suggest our listeners discover? Now, I will say this, you've already gotten one out of the way because a hackathon was something that we never expected to come up today. So already a gold star something different and of course on Avvinue but an overlook the person place or experience you as a person would recommend our listeners discover.

Nicole  

So you know, there's been some trends lately and of course, we know a lot about like digital nomad visas that are popping out but there's also like co living options. And I'm finding those to be really interesting and not just co living for Okay, if you're single, and you're just gonna go to this house and be there but there's also co living spaces that are full apartments for families. And that means you have your own private space with your own like you can be there but it's still a community that you can go live there for a month explore. And so I'm going to say I haven't been myself but I know a lot about and Las Islas Canarias, which natural Rodriguez, he's always like promoting and sharing and he's very involved. But he's definitely working on a lot of different like co living options. So I would really say definitely, like, look at what he's doing. He's an advocate for the Nomad lifestyle. And I'm definitely like an up and coming place that I feel like it's like overlooked islands. So I'm going to say that and I'm planning to go next. So if anyone else is going let me know. We'll line up together like but but those cool co living options seems pretty cool when they have the family options because I like that.

Andrew  

So if they're planning to go there, and they want to go with you, or they're saying Come join us we have a co living space or we have a house that would just welcome you. How would they get in touch with you and where can they find what you're up to next? Because I follow you on Twitter. I know you're active on LinkedIn. But what are the best ways for people to find you? Of course, this will be in the show notes. But some people are listening right now wanting to go and download your app. They're wanting to go get involved in what you're up to, to learn more. share with everybody.

Nicole  

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Well, you just mentioned the two places that I spend a lot of time, Twitter definitely, my DMS are open, anyone can reach out, also LinkedIn. So those are really great places also orders if you're wanting to download our app. So it's an iOS and Android and on the website. Also, feel free to send me an email so if you have any questions like I'm more than happy to help, get connected. I love interacting with people I'm a social person. So definitely feel free to shoot me an email. So Nicole@Avvinue.com, and I'd be more than happy to hear about your journey and help. Also same things with Twitter. My handle is NicolexCaba, so you can find me there. Same thing on LinkedIn. So usually all my social profiles, same name. So definitely connect with me. The most inspiring I love hearing people's journey like, that to me makes me also think where am I headed to next because they're going so I want to go somewhere. I actually just met a few customers yesterday. So that was super exciting. And they're like, oh, we're putting a face to the name. And it was it was really nice. We could just feel the energy we're all like whwre are we moving to?

Allen  

go that's so great. You could do it. But actually we could feel the energy growing is we're going to be able to see each other face to face more often now that people move beyond the pandemic and things get safer and safer for us all to get together. So thank you for joining us today. I really appreciate it. I'm jealous, because I like Lyon friends very nice. But I also really respect what you've done on this avenue app. And I learned something new about hackathons today. Andrew what what did we learn today and your reflections, my friend?

Andrew  

I learned one a new place to put on my to do list and you know I've heard about Nicole we've never met I've heard about or heard about it through Brett on our team that has has talked with her and as we work on integrations and API developments and things like that. So it's it's good to hear a bit more of the story of a founder who is traveling the world not letting those things hold her back, you know. Married and still pioneering ahead because we didn't go there but being a you know what used to be referred to as a trailing spouse or an accompanying partner, you know. We've got to still have our identity, have our you know, I've been there in different seasons of life, married to someone from another country than my old passport. So it's it's one of those things where I'm inspired by the courage and the willingness to keep keep growing and trying new things.

Allen  

That sounds great. I mean it's it's, it's true And you know what else I see more and more folks supporting this location independent lifestyle. And with something like Avvinue or even what you've created Andrew and Insured Nomads, I mean just really amazing stuff. So thanks to Nicole today. Just want to remind people that The New Nomad is not just the podcast, it is a community of people, ideas, and spirit helping you take advantage of that location independent lifestyle. Please continue to travel safe, please report back those interesting travels and we look forward to seeing you down the road. Take care and stay well. Cheers.

Moving Tools and Tips Between Countries With Nicole Caba | TNN27

About the Guest

Nicole Caba

Nicole Caba was born to Dominican and Puerto Rican parents and raised in the US. As a child of an immigrant, Nicole was always eager to experience life abroad. In 2019, she sold her personal belongings and moved to France with her partner and launched Avvinue, an expat moving platform. Over the previous 10 years, Nicole provided her expertise in logistics, planning and technical project management for Fortune 500 global companies and launched a mobile app to market. Now, Nicole is determined to make it easier for people to move and get settled abroad with the Avvinue platform and as host of The Moving Roadmap podcast.