Escape the rat race

This digital nomad dances around the world spreading happiness

Last updated on February 1st, 2024

Digital nomad happiness coach - Aliénor Salmon ready to dance in Cuba - Photo by Katy Watson


Meet the woman “bringing the science of happiness to life” as she travels around the world one dance (or 18) at a time.


Aliénor Salmon was working as a happiness researcher at UNESCO in Bangkok when she realized that her research on happiness in schools wasn’t relevant to adults in the workplace and society.


It led her to question her own happiness at a time when she was grieving over a personal loss, as well as experiencing the first signs of burnout.


After years of working in an office, she wanted to put her own happiness first and show others how to do the same so that we can really build a happier world. Dancing seemed like the perfect way to liberate her body from her desk and connect authentically with others in an era when we are so often looking at our screens rather than at each other.


Today, Salmon has her ideal career traveling around the globe and spreading happiness. In this interview, she shares her inspiring story, explains what “bringing the science of happiness to life” means, and her tips for creating your dream job.



Rosie Bell: Tell me about yourself and your story

Aliénor Salmon: I am a Franco-British happiness expert, author, and speaker. I was working at UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau of Education in Bangkok, Thailand, and realized that research projects and policy analysis could actually be done from anywhere. I then transitioned from a full-time staff member to an international consultant.


In August 2016 I set off on a sabbatical dancing around the world. I discovered eight countries through dance and learned a total of 18 dances in just ten months — all of which have been documented in my first book Finding Rhythm: An International Dance Journey.


This journey completely changed my life and taught me that dance is such a powerful tool to increase happiness and what truly matters. So, I built my blog and business Bailando Journey, and started dance retreats and workshops in addition to speaking, research, and consulting work.



RB: What does your job entail?

AS: I bring the science of happiness to life — showing how theories and concepts can work in real-life situations whether in schools, the workplace, or daily life. 


I work on consulting projects for governments and international organizations such as the UN. I also work with startups focused on research, policy analysis, and strategic communications in the fields that relate to creating a happier world such as education reform, social and emotional development, and urban environments to name but a few.


I am also an advocate for happiness as I continuously study happiness itself, both in theory and in practice. I share my findings through speaking engagements, interviews, and social media to help others incorporate happiness into their daily lives and allow themselves to dream beyond limits.



RB: You have designed your own dream job. How can other people create theirs?

Salmon: First and foremost, I ask people to become aware of their core values, beliefs, and principles, and then see how they can make small choices in their daily lives to be better aligned with what truly matters and brings them meaning and purpose.


Then, I encourage people to conduct a dream mapping exercise where you remove the limits of time, money, and other responsibilities to allow yourself anything that comes to your mind. You will find that while some things may be out of reach right now, they may be possible with a proper roadmap. Some things are already achievable if we choose to make them a priority.


Everyone deserves to live their happiest life. I truly believe that we are capable of creating anything for ourselves as long as we take that first often terrifying step.



Follow digital nomad happiness coach Aliénor Salmon on Instagram, visit her website Bailando Journey, and buy her book Finding Rhythm: An International Dance Journey.



Want to become a digital nomad?

If you wish to start your own location-independent business, find a remote job, learn about special digital nomad visas, or dive head-first into the world of digital nomads, book a 1:1 session with me here and ask me anything.


Where can I take courses about location independence?

Skillshare is essentially an all-you-can-learn education platform. For a set monthly fee, you can watch every single class that your heart desires whether you want to know about travel hacks, digital businesses, or working online. Best of all, you can test it all out with a free trial. New members normally get seven days to try it out but with this link, you can quadruple that time, and quadruple the learning.


What is the best travel insurance for digital nomads?

Safety Wing is the ultimate made-for-nomads-by-nomads travel insurance provider. Protect yourself while in Panama with their flexible nomad insurance.


How can I find accommodation as a digital nomad?

There are great deals to be found for short and longer stays (of up to 30 days) anywhere in the world on You can search for accommodations and filter according to criteria like desks, air conditioning, private bathrooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi.


Where can I find useful travel resources for digital nomads?

You can find all my travel resources right here on this page. These will help you out whether you’re looking for the best flight search tools or digital sim cards. 

Hi, I'm Rosie Bell, a location-independent writer, editor and lifestyle entrepreneur. If you want inspiration and support to live, travel and work anywhere, look no further. Let's talk right here.