Country: Australia (Originally Canada)
Work Wanderers Retreat: Cape Town
What type of remote work do you do?
I’m a classic online nerd! I cover the realm of building an aligned online presence for service-based businesses that are looking to establish a digital repertoire and reach the global market. At Traveller By Trade we work with clients all over the world helping with website design and development, Instagram strategy and management and brand/content photography.
Why did you decide to join the remote revolution?
I decided to join the remote revolution after years of working multiple jobs and saving every penny to fund another trip, where I would then spend all my money and have to go back home to do it all over again. I learned very quickly that there was a better way, even more so after meeting so many digital nomads on my travels, and knew that I needed to find my online niche sooner rather than later. The dream of being able to travel and work at the same time without having to bounce back home to Canada and work dead-end jobs was something I wanted so badly, but also something I knew was attainable. I promised myself that one day I would buckle down and make that dream a reality… and here we are!
Where have you traveled?
I’ve travelled to 22 countries in total on 5 different continents. My first flight was at 18 when I went to Cuba for my best mates sisters wedding, after that, I was pretty much hooked. A year or so later I did my first big trip to Central America, followed by walking the Camino De Santiago in Europe. I then made my way to Australia, where I now live and have been over to Asia as well as South Africa in that time. My last continent is South America and I REALLY hope to make it there by the end of 2020!
What challenges do you face as a remote worker?
There are a TON of challenges that I’ve faced being a digital nomad, and even more so because I am still in the first year of my business. The biggest challenge, of course, was the choice to actually make the jump and start my own business. The outside voices of mates and family that tell you to take the safe route are always in the back of your head. But, being me, and in truth digital nomad fashion, I went on a 10 day trip to Bali, which turned into a 30-day trip and of course when I got back home my job was no longer there waiting for me. It was then that I decided that I would just jump right in and turn my side-hustle into a business. Being a remote worker and a foreigner living in a different country also came with its own set of challenges while I tried to navigate registering the business, taxes, fees, and all of the laws and regulations that come along with starting your own business.
Why did you join a work Wanderers retreat?
I joined the work wanderers retreat on a complete whim! I was literally days away from heading on my second trip to Bali, and my first holiday with my partner when I was contacted by Andrae. She filled me in on the details and told me the location was in South Africa, an absolute dream destination of mine. I then had a quick decision to make as it would mean me landing back in Australia from our Bali trip and then taking off to South Africa 6 days later. I had a quick chat with my partner and booked my flights pretty much right away. The location was a huge part of why I decided to opt for the quick turn around in travel time plus, I had just started my business and had very little interaction with other digital nomads. I work out of a coworking space in Australia, but its a very different idea between business ownership and location independence or a digital nomad lifestyle, which was also a huge push for me to go on the trip!
How has your Work Wanderers experience been?
My work wanderers experience was amazing! I knew the benefits that could come from meeting and getting to experience something like coworking and coliving and damn was I right. The trip was everything that I expected and more, from the skill shares to the business chats and just interacting and experiencing work and adventure with other people that had similar goals and passions as I do. I found that there was the perfect balance between work and travel, adventure and leisure, interaction and alone time. I was so productive the weeks I was on the retreat but I also got to experience a safari for the first time, amazing markets, delicious food and generally just good times with other online and remote workers.
What advice would you give someone looking to become a remote worker?
If you’re looking to become a remote worker all I can say is 1. Make sure you LOVE what you’re doing because staying productive and on task takes so much more discipline than when you have to be at a job at a certain time every day, and 2. Build a network of other online workers, business owners, or digital nomads! Just like coworkers get you through a crap day at work, having a group of people that you can turn to when you have a crap day working remotely can make a huge difference. We, digital nomads, are mostly business owners and that comes with its own hardships, but then we throw in things like travel issues, 15-hour flights, not having the immediate network of family and friends just down the street, international insurance, flight delays, navigating new cities, getting lost in new towns.. Its that added bit of difficulty that we expose ourselves to constantly and just having that sheer passion or our work and the little group of support mates online can make a HUGE difference.
You can check out my website at travellerbytrade.com
Follow my story on Instagram at @travellerbytrade
Get all your online presence and business inspo on my Pinterest at pinterest.com/travellerbytrade
AND you can check out my side passion project, The Digital Nomad Society by Traveller By Trade where I share tips, tricks, online courses, retreats and a digital nomad focused blog at digitalnomadsociety.com.au