Jara Dekker: Are You Curious About Being a Digital Nomad Therapist? | EP 21

Have you considered taking your Canadian private practice online and overseas? Would you be interested in becoming a digital nomad therapist? Is it even possible?

In this podcast episode, I speak with Jara Dekker, a seasoned traveller who’s been working on the move for the past five years. We discuss the pros and cons of digital nomadism, how to make friends, and how to combine the passion that you have for life with the passion to continue building your Canadian private practice.

As you know I’m all about seeing you succeed in your Canadian private practice, so in the spirit of keeping things real, check out my Tools and Deals page where you can get free access to my online private practice checklist, as well as discount codes and subscriptions specials on EMRs, website builders, and online practice essentials. Visit fearlesspractice.ca/deals to claim your discount codes and to get more info!


Having stood at the crossroads between visionary and project manager for many years, Jara has learned that relationships are THE most important investment you can be making in your life. This discovery has resulted in her creation of Little Black Book, the system for nurturing and creating your network, a second mind holding all the details so you don’t have to.
Her study of relationships and people has also co-created the world’s most revealing psychometric assessment (or personality test for us laymen ;P ) Logos, which reveals your genius, your blind spots, and the fastest path to reach your goals.

Jara does all of this while traveling around the world, hosting different events in multiple countries, and adventuring. The living definition of a digital nomad.

Learn more about Jara Dekker on her website.

In This Episode

  • How Jara became a digital nomad
  • What to consider as an aspiring digital nomad therapist
  • Create the life that you want
  • How to make friends wherever you go

How Jara became a digital nomad

A digital nomad is a person who works remotely, full-time or part-time, while traveling to new places. In some senses, Jara has constantly been traveling.

From completing her schooling in the Netherlands to adventuring with her family from Hawaii to the Philippines, traveling around the world herself, and coming from a family of travellers, it feels natural for Jara to move from place to place.

Moving around has just been an innate part of life. Also, my mother has family in the Netherlands, so we would go every year for as long as I can remember.’ – Jara Dekker

Around five years ago when Jara first started the digital nomad lifestyle, she met great employers who wanted her to work for them on the condition that she remained within the North American time zone.

I’d been wanting to leave anyway, and here [is] someone [who] is going to pay me to just be wherever I want to be as long as I show up, so that was when this was presented to me.’ – Jara Dekker

What to consider as an aspiring digital nomad therapist

If you are interested in experiencing the work-while-travelling lifestyle as a Canadian counsellor, consider these questions first:

  • What kind of nomad do you want to be?

Set the standard for what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do during this experience.

For example, would you want to predominantly stay in Airbnb’s or hotels? Adjust your expectations to create your budget accordingly.

  • Are there certain places you would like to travel to?

Where would you like to go? Think about the countries and continents you could travel to.

Remember the time zone differences so that you can still provide therapy sessions at hours that are appropriate for you and your clients.

  • Prioritize internet quality.

Since a strong internet connection is going to be vital for you to continue providing therapy, make sure to check that the places you want to go to and work in have the appropriate connectivity requirements.

Create the life that you want

At any point in your life, it is important to ask yourself – as both a therapist and a client – whose voice is dictating my life?

If you find that you are living your life by someone else’s advice or rules, then it may be time to change things up and find what truly feels good and works for you.

In a way, you’re giving me permission, like, “Yeah, you can still have your apartment, go travel, and have a home base,” and that might be a really good thing instead of just getting rid of everything, going away, and potentially running into some issues.’ – Julia Smith

Start small to try it out. If you want to try the digital nomad life, take a month away, find someone to sublet your apartment or to take care of your home, and try being a digital  nomad therapist somewhere.

You have permission to do whatever you desire and create whatever you desire. I give that permission to anyone listening right now, like please, lean into the life that you want to create.’ – Jara Dekker

How to make friends wherever you go

Even though constant travelling can sometimes feel lonely, it’s not. You will create a massive network of online friends and loved ones as you travel.

You do get to know a lot more people that you otherwise wouldn’t meet. It is really expansive in many ways.’ – Jara Dekker

Jara’s tips for making new friends:

  • Go to a new coffee shop a few times a week and connect with other regulars like yourself
  • Join Facebook groups for ex-pats of your home country when you get to a new place

Connect With Me

Resources Mentioned and Useful Links:

Ep 20: How Do I Optimize My New Canadian Private Practice? Live Consulting with Cayle Fiala

Sign up for my free e-course on How to Start an Online Canadian Private Practice

Learn more about Jara Dekker on her LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook profiles and her website

Research these countries which encourage digital nomad workers

About Julia

Julia Smith, MEd, RCT, CCC, is the owner of Fearless Practice. She specializes in consulting with Canadian counsellors and therapists who want to start a private practice. She also owns a private practice in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she helps teenagers and adults who want to be confident and happy but are feeling weighed down by anxiety, stress, and depression. She also blogs for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. You can read more articles about Canadian counselling and psychotherapy at www.ccpa-accp.ca/blog/.