Excited to have my good friend, Dr. Alexis Shields join us on episode #9. Alexis is a naturopathic doctor who has taken her practice on the road and now treats ger patients virtually from anywhere in the world. Today she shares with us the sequence of events that led her from running a brick and mortar medical practice to a thriving, globe-trotting online practice with her husband Shannon.
Alexis studied naturopathic medicine in Portland, Oregon at the Natural College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she earned her doctorate degree in medicine. She found naturopathic medicine when her father was faced with health issues and traditional medicine was not providing the necessary results. During his treatment, she witnessed the benefits he found through naturopathic medicine and this impacted her so much that she decided to become a naturopathic doctor herself.
After graduating medical school, she started her brick-and-mortar practice. After four years in business, she and her then-fiancé decided to sell off the business and move across the country. Before settling on the East Coast, they wanted to take the opportunity to travel abroad for an extended amount of time. Alexis sold most of her possessions in preparation for the extended trip abroad, and this unfamiliar task actually helped her realize that she could do with a lot less in life - a valuable lesson to learn before starting her nomadic lifestyle.
Alexis’ travels have taken her to dozens of countries where she’s met so many incredible entrepreneurs (like myself) who have opened her eyes to the possibilities of developing a thriving virtual medical practice. Once she learned that it was possible, she and Shannon decided to develop their virtual businesses and continue their world travels, and have successfully done so for almost 3 years now.
Living the nomadic lifestyle can be tough and isolating, even with a partner in tow. Alexis and her husband now have a year long lease in Portugal, surrounded by a small community of like-minded entrepreneurs but over the past few years, they’ve spent a lot of nights in hotels or Airbnb apartments and often it’s tough to meet others and make friends.
The duo has taken it upon themselves to search out groups for support and to develop friendships with other travelers and expats and she emphasizes the importance of creating alone time when traveling with a partner. She spends a lot of time by herself in coffee shops doing work, and there she’s able to meet others and making friends. Facebook groups of like-minded people have also helped her deal with the nomadic lifestyle.
There’s never a perfect time to take an extended journey abroad. Just take the leap and go. You’ll find what you need on your journey.
Staying healthy while traveling is a major component of her nomadic lifestyle. In a new community it’s important for her to find a gym for exercise (and it’s a great way to get to know the locals). She uses some online resources as well, like Yogaglo.com (yoga, meditation, stretching and many other classes) and barre3.com (dance, pilates and weight training) for exercise at home. She uses the Stronglift App as well for strength training on the road.
Having solid nutrition principles to follow every day will really help you stay healthy and fit. Even if you’re dining out a lot, you’ve got to figure out how to eat healthily and seek out food that makes you feel good.
Alexis recommends doing yearly blood work to track your health year over year. Also, commit to doing something every day that brings you closer to your health and fitness goals. Don’t allow the “go-go-go” mentality push you to avoid paying attention to your health.
“People, when they’re healthy and feel good, perform better.”
Alexis has lots of big plans for the future.
Within the next year she’s going to take a team based approach to her business and will build a team to better help her patients. She’s also building out corporate wellness programs for companies that want their employees to be more productive and function at higher levels.
Alexis has radically changed her life and business to suit her desires, and she’s a fantastic example of what is possible when you think outside the box and have the courage to make life an adventure.
THE BOLD LIFE MOVEMENT PODCAST
SOME QUESTIONS I ASK:
- What does it take to be a naturopathic doctor and why did she want to become one?
- How did her conversation start with her then-fiancé to move out of the US to practice naturopathic medicine?
- What are some logistical things they had to deal with once they decided to stay abroad for multiple years?
- What did their friends and families say when they decided to pack up and travel abroad, and what did they say then they made the decision to live abroad and not return to practice medicine?
- What have been some of the hardest parts of living a nomadic lifestyle, especially with a partner in tow?
- What are her travel/business plans over the next 5 years?
- What are some tips she would give traveling people to stay healthy in new environments?
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
- What naturopathic medicine is and how it can benefit you.
- That you can get by in life with very few possessions and in fact the less you have the easier it is to spend time abroad.
- That anybody can adapt to a nomadic type of life as long as they give themselves time to adapt.
- How her clientele has changed from the brick-and-mortar practice to the virtual practice.
- How Alexis views confidence and how you can foster confidence in your own life.
- Plus much more…