Freelance Writer & Consultant
Why did you decide to go on Remote Year?
I was at a real inflection point in my life. I’ve always loved to travel and wanted to get back out there again. I walked away from a job that was very location-dependent. I also decided to pursue writing as a career and dive back into social impact consulting as I had done a bit of it before. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it all work (it almost didn’t), but I eventually figured it out and hit my stride. Long story short: I wanted to change my life trajectory through travel and learning to work remotely.
How did you find yourself a remote role?
I first quit my job in California. Then I looked around (mostly on unimpressive job boards) and secured a few freelance writing gigs. I used my connections to line up remote consulting gigs with nonprofits and other organizations.
What advice would you give to others considering Remote Year.
Shelve any expectations you have and go with the flow. Get your relationships, finances, and other ties back to home in order before you leave. Pack lighter than you think you need (literally buy a bag one size smaller than you expect to need). Hang onto who you are as an individual traveler/human in the midst of a big group.
What are you working on for the year?
Writing a book. Expanding my portfolio as a writer in various publications. Building a social impact consulting business. Trying to stay fit and healthy. Figuring out how to fight for the things that matter while living a joyful, fulfilling life.
What do you hope to achieve/gain by the end of Remote Year?
Finish this book I’ve been working on. Some lasting friendships. An amazing global network. A world that feels both bigger and smaller. Most of all, the confidence and know-how to explore even farther.
What does your typical work day look like?
Get up and head to a cafe for breakfast mid-morning. Start working late morning. Take a few calls here and there. Maybe explore a new neighborhood for a few hours. Head to an evening event with remotes or to meet a local for a drink. Dive into that night’s #turnup scene and/or “Irish exit” home like a responsible adult.
Where does your passion for travel come from?
Probably from going to a very diverse high school with people from many different backgrounds. I’ve always loved interacting with varied cultures. I got to travel a fair amount in college and during my 20s, so it’s really become a lifelong habit.
How has working remotely affected your current work?
Productivity has actually increased because I’ve taken on more projects, started using Slack as a communication tool, and have found ways to use time more flexibly. It’s been great. I’d say I’m much better at integrating work and life (play) more effectively and fluidly these days.
Do you plan to sustain this remote lifestyle after Remote Year?
I’ll definitely live differently than I did before Remote Year. I’ll more or less be based out of the Philadelphia area. But I’ll keep things very flexible and likely travel quite often both domestically and internationally.
What is the most challenging part of being a digital nomad?
Finding a community that suits you.
What is the best part about being a digital nomad?
The freedom to live your life (largely) the way you choose.
What is your secret talent?
Writing pub trivia rounds. Secret’s out though.
Where have you lived / traveled to previously?
Prior to Remote Year, I had lived in Kenya and Spain for a semester apiece in college. Had been to just shy of 30 countries before Remote Year as well.
What book should everyone read?
Status Anxiety by Alain de Boton. It helps you feel whole and not always stress about what others think (about you).
What is your favorite digital nomad hack?
It’s not digital at all. Using powdered laundry detergent as an odor remover for stinky workout sneakers.
What are 3 things you can't live without on the road?
T-mobile worldwide data
A good pair of jeans
What has been your favorite Remote Year city?
Ugh, dislike this question. If I had to say though, I’d go with Valencia because it was our first city, has its own special charms, and is a great jumping off point for other journeys in Europe.
Describe your Remote Year experience in 3 words.
Whirlwind. Expansive. Enlightening. WEE!!
Describe your perfect day.
Morning Sex. Hot shower. Brunch. Read a book. Talk to my Dad. Watch a movie. Write something worth reading. Drinks with friends. A delicious dinner. A night out dancing to hip-hop. Rinse and repeat.
Where are you in 30 years?
If Remote Year has taught me anything, it’s to refrain from planning too far ahead. Hopefully somewhere wonderful with people I love.
What are you most passionate about?
Learning. There’s so much to see and learn and write about, it’s overwhelming. I’m also passionate about applying that learning, to make everyone’s lives better. Probably even more important.
Who is the most interesting person you've met while traveling?
Probably Hassan, the owner/operator of 7AY (with his wife), the co-working space in Rabat. He impressed upon me the importance of my voting in the US election with a new global perspective since being on the road with Remote Year. He encouraged me to wield that power wisely. I’ll never forget that moment. He is a family man and a renaissance man who traverses multiple cultures and classes in his daily life. I was in awe of all that he accomplished.
Your favorite quote / words to live by?
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke