I really wanted to take a year to challenge my (rather traditional) perception of what constitutes a successful and happy career.
Also, we live in a beautiful and amazing world full of fascinating people...I can't think of a single good reason to turn down an opportunity to go out and see it.
I am supporting Accenture's Nonprofit Group, which is headquartered in Washington, DC and serves a large variety of nonprofit clients. I'll work with my team on business development, market research, internal collaboration and knowledge sharing, and more. I have an awesome job, and I think we're doing great things to make the world a better place. We also make several hilarious jokes per day.
On the side, I'm blogging about social entrepreneurs all over the world on my site, www.impactbeacon.com. I am having an absurd amount of fun with it.
I found a wonderful team at Accenture with leaders who believe in supporting their people and creating an environment that is the best place to work. Then I asked them if I could do Remote Year and for reasons I still don't fully understand, they (read: she...thanks Elaine) said yes.
I've also heard through the grapevine that getting what you want is this funny thing that exists at the intersection of opportunity, preparation and hard work. But whatever, let's not overthink this one.
Go bring travel into your life.
You'll probably get lost at least one time and that is fine. You will survive. You should also know that your GPS in google maps will work even if you don't have local service. Use the blue dot, people, use the blue dot.
Lived: Connecticut, North Carolina, Washington DC, Madrid, Zambia
Traveled: Thailand, Turkey, France, Spain, Morocco, Germany, Norway, Italy, Netherlands, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Zambia, Botswana and various locations in the Caribbean
I'm very fortunate to have been raised by parents who gave me every opportunity to travel. From an early age, I've traveled within the US and overseas. I've got the bug and it's never going away.
What the heck?
Dustin Johnson because he's a pilot. No one said there wasn't a plane on the island. Got you on a technicality, Remote Year.
My head, my heart, and my toothbrush.
1. Maya Bay, Thailand at sunset
2.The Zambezi River at sunrise
3. Paris, France all the time
“That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.”
― Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain
It's impossible to pick just one. I read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver years ago and still consider it one of the best reads I've had, so let's go with that.
I live everyone and nowhere all at once. This has given me a previously unknown sense of absolute independence.
Wait--this feels like the right moment for an Instagram!
Food poisoning, missing friends and family, and making the switch from seeing my colleagues 40-60 hours per week to 0 hours per week.
I enjoyed my life as an early bird back in DC, so I like to be up and about before 8-8:30 (it was definitely earlier than that back in DC), usually with a caffeinated beverage. Checking my blog's stats while getting my daily dose of T Swift wakes me up and motivates me to go do something productive, seemingly without fail. Throughout the day at work, you can find me tap tap tapping away on my computer, and while I try to get a lot done, I always make time for lunch. I also make sure to set aside time for at least one sarcastic comment and at least one sincere comment. After work, I dabble in exercise, dinner, and exploring the location of the month. Also, my life in DC certainly taught me to appreciate the inherent value of happy hour, and I occasionally revisit that.
Of course, this may all very likely change once we hit Europe and I'm in a vastly different time zone from my team at work. Alas, flexibility is everything when working remotely.
I'm speaking at Duke University commencement about the importance of using one's education and talents to build something that will make the world stronger, healthier and/or happier. I obviously take a moment to reflect on my twenties and feel grateful for all of the amazing people and places I encountered.
After the speech, I visit the campus gardens with my best friends from Duke, who I still see very regularly. Then I head out to attend my annual Remote Year reunion, which happens to be taking place on the moon.
I also have a happy family life and career, but I couldn't possibly jinx all of that by describing it here. How could you even ask that of me?
An absolute badass and, ideally, an inspiration for young women who want to live a happy life and engage with their world.